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James W. Womble began his UNC career in 1963 in the storeroom at N.C. Memorial Hospital. In 1966 he joined the Department of Physical Education, and then in 1978 he and the department’s maintenance program were transferred to the Physical Plant.

Until the Smith Center opened in 1985, [Womble]’s duties included overseeing maintenance and operations of facilities including Fetzer Gym, Carmichael Auditorium, Woollen Gym, Kessing Pool and the indoor track. He then became responsible for the maintenance and operations of the Dean E. Smith Center and the Maurice J. Koury Natatorium. He oversaw a 12-member staff that coordinated maintenance and arrangements for special events and athletic contests at those two facilities.

Womble’s award citation described him as a “good leader” who worked long hours and was willing to take on even heavier loads of responsibility. Those efforts earned him “the respect of those he leads, the high regard of his own supervisors and the students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public who depend upon his successful work.”

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