January 18, 2022

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries Receives $5 Million Gift, Largest Gift Ever Made to UNC Libraries

From UNC Libraries:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna Florence Fearrington has given $5 million to the University Library in support of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.

The gift is the largest ever made to Carolina’s libraries. In recognition, the grand reading room in Wilson Library will be renamed the Fearrington Reading Room.

Fearrington, a 1958 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, was honored as a Distinguished Alumna at this year’s University Day convocation, on Oct. 11, for her pioneering career in finance and her achievements as a collector of rare books.


Fearrington has earmarked $1 million of her gift to help update the Fearrington Reading Room and adjacent exhibition areas.

The remaining $4 million will create the Fearrington Special Collections Library Fund. The University Librarian and the director of the Louis Round Wilson Library will use income from this endowment to meet emerging needs and pursue opportunities that will benefit Carolina students and enhance the work of researchers.

“Florence’s gift goes beyond merely sustaining the collections,” said University Librarian Sarah Michalak. “We use the word transformative quite a lot these days. Having the Fearrington Special Collections Library Fund will lead to transformative new directions in special collections and in the research they inspire. The director of Wilson Library will be able to fund new collections, drive their use, and innovate so that students and scholars well into the future can make new discoveries and build new understanding.”

Learn More About the Gift and Florence Fearrington

Visit the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.