In 1980, the late C. Knox Massey established an endowment creating the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards.
Massey was born in Durham in 1903 and attended Carolina from 1921 until 1925.
He served two decades as a University trustee and worked without pay to promote the statewide Good Health Campaign that led to the creation of a four-year medical school and teaching hospital at Carolina. He then worked as a “dollar-a-year” special assistant to the chancellor, aiding in the development of scholarships, professorships and other awards.
In 1984, he joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr., and daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, to create the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund. Income from this fund supports both the Massey Distinguished Service Awards and the Carolina Seminars that promote interdisciplinary thought, study, discussion and intellectual interchange on a wide variety of topics.
Knox Jr. graduated from Carolina in 1959 with a degree in business administration, and then joined his father’s firm in Durham. After the company merged with Tucker Wayne & Co. in 1978, he moved to Atlanta and has served since as president, chairman and chief executive officer.
Like his father, Knox Jr. has been an active force for the University — serving on numerous boards including the Board of Visitors, the Arts and Sciences Foundation and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. He has also given generously to the University. His wife, the former Mary Ann Keith of Wilmington, also graduated from the University in 1959. She is an accomplished sculptor who has served on the Board of the Atlanta College of Art. The Masseys have three children who all attended Carolina: Elizabeth (Class of ’83), Knox III (Class of ’85) and Louise (Class of ’88).
Kay Massey Weatherspoon, a 1954 graduate of Hollins College in Virginia, is married to 1954 Carolina alumnus Van L. Weatherspoon. In addition to their support of the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund, the Weatherspoons’ gifts have played an important role in strengthening the faculty at Kenan-Flagler Business School.
They have also contributed works of art to the Ackland Museum and generously supported the Academic Affairs Library. In 2003, a Weatherspoon gift enabled the library to purchase one of the world’s largest collections of rare Russian books, serials, manuscripts and photographs, assembled over 30 years by Paris bookseller, Andre Savine, and his wife.
Van has served on the University’s Board of Visitors, the Board of Directors of the UNC Foundation, and on the business school’s Entrepreneurship Program Committee. He also served on the Foundation Board for the Bicentennial Campaign for Carolina.
The Weatherspoons have two children, Laura (B.A. ’80) and Martha. Their son, Van Jr. (B.A. ’84), died of a brain tumor in 1989. The family established the Van L. Weatherspoon Jr. Eminent Distinguished Professorship in Neurosurgery in his honor, as well as the Kay M. and Van L. Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professorship in Neurosurgery.