UNC Chancellor Emeritus Paul Hardin III passed away at his Chapel Hill home on Saturday, the university announced.

Hardin had been diagnosed with ALS.

“Chancellor Paul Hardin was a visionary leader who is remembered in North Carolina and across our nation for his dedication to promoting the life-changing impact and benefits of higher education,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in a release. “In his bicentennial address, alumnus Charles Kuralt spoke of how Carolina was meant to be ‘the University of the people.’ Paul seized upon Carolina’s 200th birthday as an opportunity to light the way to a better future and open Carolina’s doors for all North Carolinians. Paul was warm and gracious and remained very involved with Carolina after his retirement. He will be greatly missed.”

Hardin was born in Charlotte on June 11, 1931, and was the son of a Methodist minister and bishop Paul Hardin Jr. and Dorothy Reel Hardin.

Hardin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University in 1952 before graduating first in his class at Duke Law School.

Before entering academia, Hardin served in the United States Army’s counterintelligence unit as a lawyer.

Hardin worked as a law professor at Duke before serving as president at Wofford College, Southern Methodist University and Drew University. Hardin took over as UNC’s seventh chancellor on July 1, 1988.

Hardin led UNC through the university’s Bicentennial celebration before stepping down in 1995.

Hardin residence hall on south campus was dedicated to Hardin in 2007.

Hardin was 86. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara Russell Hardin, three children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild, according to the university.

Officials say a memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, at 3 p.m. at University United Methodist Church.

The family is suggesting that gifts be made to The Robert and Martha Gillikin Library Fund in honor and Paul and Barbara Hardin, the Duke University ALS Clinic, the Paul Hardin Scholarship Fund at the Duke Law School or the Hardin-Russell Endowment Fund at Lake Junaluska Assembly in lieu of flowers.

UNC officials say they will ring the South Building bell seven times on Saturday, July 8, to coincide with the memorial service to honor his service as the university’s seventh chancellor. The bell ringing is “used to mark only the most significant university occasions.”

Photo via UNC