Douglas Hunt had worked closely with Massey for several years to establish the Massey Awards and other initiatives, including the Carolina Seminars program.
Chancellor Paul Hardin and the Massey and Weatherspoon families surprised Hunt by honoring him. The award citation praised Hunt for his virtues as a lawyer, gifted historian and civil servant.
“The invisibility of many of his contributions is transcended by their timeless and long-term effects,” the citation said. “In spite of driving to Washington countless times, enduring endless committee meetings, mastering the knotty prose of government documents, he never lost his own awesome powers of articulation or his sharp eye for grammatical slippage or his good humor.”
Hunt had been special assistant to the chancellor ― and responsible for government relations ― since 1980. Previously, he was vice chancellor for administration and affirmative action officer.
He practiced law for a decade with the Washington, D.C., firm Gardner, Morrison and Rogers, founded by the late North Carolina Gov. O. Max Gardner. Hunt served for eight years as special assistant to the Undersecretary of the Treasury and then to the Secretary of the Treasury. From Washington, D.C., he went to Columbia University, where he was vice president for finance from 1969 to 1971 and deputy to the president for governmental affairs from 1971 to 1973.
A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a 1946 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Hunt earned his law degree at Yale University in 1951.