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Paul Hardin dies; former UNC chancellor was 86

University of North Carolina Chancellor Paul Hardin III,

University of North Carolina Chancellor Paul Hardin III, right, shows President Bill Clinton a book of essays at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., before the school's October 1993 bicentennial celebration. Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Former University of North Carolina chancellor Paul Hardin III, who led the school into its third century while increasing faculty diversity, died July 1. He was 86.

The university said the longtime educator and leader of several universities died at his Chapel Hill home after battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Hardin served as UNC’s chancellor from 1988 to 1995. During that time he helped lead the school’s yearlong bicentennial fundraising effort and celebration that culminated in late 1993 and included a visit from then-President Bill Clinton. The fundraising effort was so successful that it well exceeded its goals, ultimately resulting in $440 million in private gifts.

Current Chancellor Carol Folt said Hardin will be remembered as a visionary leader.

“We continue to benefit from his forethought and wisdom as well as his dedication and commitment to Carolina,” she said in a message to the campus.

The university said he was a civil rights advocate who helped double minority representation on the school’s faculty. Hardin also gave nonacademic employees a greater say in the campus by establishing a forum for them.

When he became UNC’s seventh chancellor, he told attendees that “the future belongs to those institutions and persons who command it, not to those who wait passively for it to happen.”

Hardin was born in Charlotte in 1931, and graduated from Duke University and its law school. He served in the U.S. Army before working as a lawyer and eventually teaching for a decade at Duke University School of Law.

Before UNC, he served as president of Wofford College in South Carolina, Southern Methodist University in Texas and Drew University in New Jersey. He also served as a Duke University trustee.

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