Jim Heavner

Heavner: Welcome, President Spellings

Let’s welcome President Spellings, our new university system president, and Margaret, our new neighbor in the Southern Part of Heaven. This neighbor thing is important to every mission.  A single parent whose children are grown, she arrives with very few local connections.  It’s not just her job that’s tough. Public figures are challenged in making new friends with no agenda.  Let’s let her know that, in our neighborhood, she’s a welcome new neighbor.  That’s who we are. She’s moved into the biggest house on the hill with the biggest job in the state, the most important and the toughest...

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Jonathan Howes Remembered

“Picture a town too good to be true.” That was the theme Jonathan Howes chose for an inter-city visit by community leaders that he led to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in the 1980’s. It was the large vision by a largely quiet man, whose extraordinary life and leadership is being commemorated this weekend at The Chapel of The Cross. A leader who offered his public service never required the spotlight, but had the courage to take it to stand down fools, those less qualified who rattled nonsense that threatened to harm. And he had a high capability to know the difference....

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Yow’s Friends in Tune

UNC IT nerd-whiz Ken Yow plays a mean bass. You’ve probably heard and seen him behind the specs riffing away at Friday’s on The Front Porch at the Carolina Inn as part of Mick Mixon’s Franklin Street Band. Once in a while, it’s the heart strings that are plucked when we hear the story of old friends, generous spirit and happy endings. Yow grew up in Randleman, that small town that most would call a pit stop between Greensboro and Asheboro, now with about 4,000 souls.  But Yow and his buddy Jimmy Hayes would call it a great place...

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Mack and Sally Brown in Chapel Hill: “But Can He Coach?”

The nature of my work carries the blessing of getting to know and work with our town’s most extraordinarily interesting and effective people who are making the most interesting differences in our lives. And very few were more interesting, or made more of a difference in their parts of the world, than Sally and Mack Brown during their time in Chapel Hill. Mack ended his coaching career this weekend when he retired as head football coach after sixteen years at the University of Texas in the middle of great attention. This causes me to reflect on our joyful time...

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