Passion into Practice

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Passion into Practice The First Fifty Years of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Passion into Practice

Passion into Practice The First Fifty Years of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

With contributions by

Bridget Booher Walter E. Campbell Joseph Garcia Design by Richard Hendel

Copyright Š 2018 William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Overvi ew

Foreword vii 1 Evolution of the Trust  1 2 The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professors  9 3 Education  21 4 The Kenan Funds  41 5 The Arts  51 6 Kenan Family Interests and Historic Preservation, Education, and Conservation  69 7 Whole Community Health  77 8 Looking Forward  83 Trustees and Staff  89



s the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust moves into its second half century, we reflect on our past and how it will shape our future philanthropy. Since our inception, some of society’s challenges have lessened, some have deepened, and new ones have emerged. The Kenan Trust has attempted to focus its grantmaking on the desire to meet certain challenges, governed mainly by the wishes of our benefactor, William R. Kenan, Jr., and our Trustees’ concerns for humanity. This publication is intended to present the reader with some of the Kenan Trust’s wonderful grantees over the past five decades. We are very proud of the work they have accomplished and the key metric we share is how individual lives are improved. Charitable giving has evolved greatly over the past 50 years. Less than two generations ago, support was focused primarily on institutions. Today, funding tends to be focused on project-based grants dealing with causes (e.g. eradicating poverty and homelessness, enhancing creativity and innovation, strengthening early childhood through college education, improving access to healthcare), and stipulates that grant partners provide well-defined metrics and intentional outcomes. Thanks to the change in cynosure from institution to individual, and with the development of the internet, nonprofits such as museums and educational institutions are heavily engaged in outreach, where previously their core work was done within their four walls. This has broadened and deepened the impact and scalability of most institutions’ work and it bodes well for the future. Technology has changed vii


the paradigm greatly, particularly in fields like education and social justice. Whenever disciplines become more professionalized, they tend to become more insular. The field of medicine, for example, is so highly specialized that treatment tends to be focused on, and administered in, very specific ways. While necessary for many reasons, the focus of the whole patient can become lost in the details. Philanthropy has certainly not been immune to this process. We see examples of this silo approach in grantmaking. In the K-12 sector, for instance, funding can support effective and inspiring classroom teaching that leads to impressive outcomes and metrics. However, if children live in distressed environments where systems have created inequalities in jobs, housing, healthcare, and overall access to pathways of success, expecting teaching innovations to ameliorate the other interrelated stressors is an uphill battle. Yet by building portfolios of grantmaking that draw on the resources of strategic funders and alliances of committed nonprofits working in those spaces, a neighborhood can be transformed in extraordinary and sustainable ways. This type of philanthropy may not satisfy acute, short-term needs, and all types of funding must work hand-in-hand to ensure sustainability with impactful results. As we embark on our next 50 years, the Kenan Trust continues to evolve while remaining steadfastly focused on its core mission. As nonprofits adapt to changing social dynamics, diverse populations, and rapid technological advancements, we are committed to ensuring our philanthropic support follows suit.


1 : Evolution of the Trust


illiam Rand Kenan, Jr. was 29-years old in 1901 when his oldest sister, 34-year-old Mary Lily Kenan, married Henry Morrison Flagler, a cofounder of Standard Oil Trust. By the end of 1917, both Henry and Mary Lily were dead, leaving William and his two surviving sisters as heirs to one of the nation’s largest fortunes. Decades later, as William and his advisers began preparing his will, he reportedly told his longtime secretary, “I feel this money has been given to me as a trust. I have got to preserve it and make sure it does something worthwhile.” In April 1961, at age 89, he signed his final will, allocating about $95 million of his $161 million estate to establishing a trust for educational purposes. Following his death four years later, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust started its formal grantmaking program. From the original corpus of $95 million, and after distributing more than 800 grants worth nearly $500 million, the Trust has a market value today in excess of $650 million. Throughout its half-century of operation, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust has embarked on numerous multisector partnerships, and served as a facilitator of, and contributor to, national conversations about pressing issues of the day—America’s struggling education system, the socioeconomic challenges facing underserved communities, breaking the cycle of poverty. The Trust has focused on initiatives that improve literacy and college preparedness, contribute to community-building and economic vitality, and inspire a sense of collective purpose and shared humanity. 1

William R. Kenan, Jr. established a trust bearing his name with the primary purpose of supporting educational initiatives and opportunities.

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One of the Trust’s earliest initiatives—and one that has become its flagship program—was the creation of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorships. First established at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, these fully endowed professorships recognize and reward accomplished scholar-teachers who exemplify a commitment to teaching and undergraduate student learning. William R. Kenan, Jr. had first-hand experience with exceptional faculty members and the intellectual excitement they inspired in their students. As an undergraduate at UNC, he discovered his passion for chemical and mechanical engineering from chemist Francis Preston Venable, who held the first endowed chair at the University and who would later serve as UNC’s president, from 1900-1914. Under Venable’s mentorship, Kenan participated in research that led to the identification of calcium carbide and the process for converting it to acetylene gas. This experience led directly to his successful professional career at Union Carbide. The Kenan Professorships also marked the first of numerous partnerships between the Trust and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Kenan family’s ties to UNC—the first public university to open its doors in the United States—date back to the university’s origins in 1789. William R. Kenan, Jr.’s great-great-grandfather, James Kenan, was among the first trustees of UNC, and his great-great-grandfather on his mother’s side, Christopher Barbee, was the largest single contributor of land to the university in Chapel Hill. Since then, many members of the Kenan family have attended and supported UNC philanthropically, and the Trust has been a steadfast supporter of UNC’s mission since its inception. In 1986, the Kenan Trust-UNC bond was further strengthened by the establishment of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Center as part of the Kenan-Flagler Business School. The Center houses the Trust and offices for four separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations the Trust created: the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund; the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts; the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Engineering, Technology, and Science; and the William R. Kenan, Jr.


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Fund for Ethics. These corporations have facilitated remarkable innovations in using arts to improve academic achievement, fostering new university partnerships with government and industry, and strengthening corporate, political, governmental, and cultural associations by promoting ethical and moral values rooted in integrity, honor, courage, and compassion. Collaboration has long been a hallmark of Kenan grantmaking. In the early ’70s, for example, the Trust and the Southern Regional Education Board joined together to distribute grants to historically black colleges to strengthen their instructional programs. From an initial focus on excellence in teaching at the university level, the Trust has expanded its scope to the entire educational pipeline, making significant investments to enhance the quality of primary through professional school programs, including early childhood literacy, innovations in K-12 pedagogy, and strengthening collaborations between business and private enterprise. In doing so, the Trust has identified grantees who are established thought leaders in their areas of expertise, as well as pioneers in creative problem solving. While educational endeavors remain the central focus of the Trust’s grantmaking, the Trustees have broadened the definition of educational enterprises, recognizing that learning and personal growth can transpire both inside and outside of the classroom. Owing to their powerful role in sparking intellectual and spiritual growth, the arts have grown as an area of focus for the Trust. From mastering mathematical concepts through music education to discovering the joy of creative expression, the arts and arts education align with the Trust’s broader imperative to fund worthwhile work that improves lives. The work of the Trust has also been shaped by the vision of Kenan family members who have served as Trustees. Frank H. Kenan was an astute, experienced businessman whose personal experiences and strong belief in free enterprise informed much of the grantmaking at the Trust for nearly two decades, from 1978 to 1996. Under his leadership, the Trust expanded its grantmaking to private secondary schools

Trustee Frank H. Kenan was a staunch proponent of free enterprise. Thomas S. Kenan III has guided the work of the Trustees since 1982, most notably in the arts and historic preservation.

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both to enlarge consumer choice—a central tenet of free enterprise— and with a goal of improving the quality and efficiency of public schools that served as laboratories for experimentation or incubators of innovation from which traditional public schools could learn. Like his father Frank Kenan, Thomas S. Kenan III, who was elected a Trustee in 1982, brought a unique set of personal skills and interests to the Trust, combining years of experience in business, philanthropy, and the arts. In addition to working for the family’s petroleum, transport, and real estate companies, he had served as an officer of the Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation and worked closely with historic preservation projects at Liberty Hall, the old Kenan home place in Kenansville, North Carolina, and at Whitehall, the magnificent Flagler mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. More importantly, he is closely associated with the Kenan Center in Lockport, New York—William R. Kenan, Jr.’s home for many years until his death—and with the growth and development of the University of North Carolina School of the


As a Trustee, Molly Wiley championed the Flagler family legacy and the Kenan Trust’s interests in Florida and Virginia.

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James G. Kenan III helped broaden the Trust’s focus to include whole community health.


Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he has been actively involved since 1969. Mary Lily Flagler Wiley, who went by the name Molly, served as Trustee from 1996 until her death in 2010. Reared in St. Augustine, Florida, and a longtime Virginia resident, she was instrumental in the Trust’s investments in historic preservation and education in those states. As a Trustee and through her own personal philanthropy, Molly helped guide the transformation of the Ponce de Leon Hotel—built by Henry Flagler in 1888—into Flagler College, and supported the work of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia. James G. Kenan III, who was elected Trustee in 2010, worked closely with his fellow Trustees and the staff of the Trust to infuse its educational focus with personal interests and concerns much as his predecessors did. (His father, James Graham Kenan, Jr., was a 1932 graduate of UNC and served on the Trust’s advisory committee for many years.) With a particular interest in alleviating suffering for underserved pop-

ulations in the United States, he helped broaden the Trust’s focus to include whole community health. Grants in this area include substantial support for food banks in its four targeted states—North Carolina, New York, Florida, and Kentucky—as well as academic and social support for a range of special-needs, vulnerable, and low-income populations. As the Trust embarks on the next 50 years, its founding purpose remains as relevant and necessary as ever. Education is the starting point. It is the fundamental building block from which intellectual curiosity, financial prosperity, and innovative problem-solving emerge—essential ingredients for a productive, healthy society. And with additional emphasis on humanitarian assistance, artistic discovery, and protecting and promoting historically significant places, the Trust is able to connect the dots between institutions committed to making the world a better place. At the same time, the Trustees are keenly aware that their obligation to honor William R. Kenan, Jr.’s intent must be done in an ever-changing world. Given the deeply entrenched, systemic nature of so many challenges facing the global community, the Trust has begun encouraging greater levels of collaboration between and among grantees and grantors, the better to reduce redundancy, build capacity, and maximize impact.

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Chemist Francis Preston Venable was an influential mentor to William R. Kenan, Jr.

2 : The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professors


illiam Rand Kenan, Jr.’s appreciation for the impact a single college professor can have on a student was deep and personal. As a scion of a prominent North Carolina family, Kenan was almost certain to prosper in life. Higher education was the privilege of a small percentage of Americans at the time, and Kenan was one of only 29 students earning bachelor’s degrees when he graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1894, Kenan’s biography Across Fortune’s Tracks noted. But his association with his college professor Francis Preston Venable, renowned as a chemist and educator across the South and beyond, and their experiments fashioning the means to produce acety­ lene from calcium carbide, changed the trajectory of Kenan’s life. Consequently, Kenan has changed the trajectory of the lives of tens of thousands of students across the United States for a half century in a manner that appears unmatched in American higher education. In the will he executed five years before his death, Kenan wrote, “I have always believed firmly that a good education is the most cherished gift an individual can receive.” When he passed away in 1965, the Charitable Trust he conceived came into being and its Trustees began an intensive process to identify its first initiative. Education, and specifically higher education, was a natural starting point given the broad directives in Kenan’s Will. The Trustees sought the advice of William Friday, President of the University of North Carolina system, and Devereaux Josephs, a former chairman of the New York Life Insurance Company and an experienced foundation board member. Friday advised the Trustees to consider an institution’s reputation and visibility 9

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in making their grants and Josephs urged them to consider a school’s connection to Kenan in selecting recipients. The Trust launched its first, and to date largest, initiative in its first year of grantmaking. The trustees gave Kenan’s alma mater $5 million to establish 25 William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorships—10 in the sciences, 10 in the social sciences, and five in the humanities and fine arts. A few months later, the trust awarded a single professorship at five institutions in New York state—Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Syracuse University, and the University of Rochester—all in the state where Kenan resided most of his life, in Lockport, NY. In its initial 14 years, the trust eventually gave $42 million to 56 colleges and universities to establish William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorships. Most of the gifts totaled $750,000 each—nearly $6 million today; UNC’s gift alone would be worth more than $38 million today. Through sound management, the institutions have grown the value of their endowments to more than $450 million. In general, the trust provided funds for a single professorship at each college or university; 24 of them have used income from the grants to fund additional Kenan Professorships. Because Kenan had personal ties to only one university, the trust turned to a familial connection through a sibling or other relative to select some institutions. In other instances, geography related to Kenan’s history influenced their choices. Stetson University and other Florida institutions, for example, reflected Kenan’s inheritance of several important utility and real estate companies in the state from his sister’s husband Henry Flagler, who brought the railroad and electricity to Florida’s east coast after cofounding Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller. Since 1966, 441 leading scholars at the 56 institutions have been named Kenan Professors, including 125 current professors when the trust marked its 50th anniversary in 2016. They represent an actual A to Z, ranging from art history to zoology and from University of Notre

THE WILLIAM R. kenan, JR. professors

Dame sociologist Joan Aldous to North Carolina philosopher Paul Ziff. While Kenan’s gift to higher education undoubtedly is unusual, it is more difficult to determine conclusively that it is unique. No source maintains a list of endowed, named professorships established at institutions across the United States. Certainly, the idea of a single donor endowing more than one professorship is not uncommon. However, the “footprint” of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorships as measured through the total amount granted, the number of institutions benefitting from grants, and the number of scholars holding a professorship, almost certainly has no match in history. Typically, a donor will support fewer than five professorships at no more than two institutions that are alma maters—not 25 at an alma mater and 100 more at schools that are not. James T. Axtell, a historian of American higher education who was a Kenan Professor at the College of William & Mary for 21 years, agreed that Kenan’s gifts likely are unique, resulting in what he called “a pretty big, small club.” That “small club” has included some of the preeminent scholars in their fields in the last half century. As a Kenan Professor, Martin Chalfie of Columbia University shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in using green fluorescent protein in molecular biology research. Nobel Physics Laureate Steven Chu was named to a professorship when he returned to Stanford University in 2013 after serving as Secretary of Energy. University of Chicago law professor Philip B. Kurland was one of twelve legal scholars consulted by the Senate committee investigating Watergate who concluded that conversations captured on secret White House tapes were sufficient to warrant an impeachment charge against President Richard M. Nixon. While he had won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry early in his career and taught Russian history at Mount Holyoke College, Peter Viereck was credited in the New York Times with “helping to bring conservatism out of the margins and into the mainstream as an intellectual movement.” Many of the Kenan Professors also were recipients of fellowships and grants


Nobel Prize winner Martin Chalfie, Kenan Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University.


THE WILLIAM R. kenan, JR. professors

from America’s most important philanthropic foundations including Carnegie, Guggenheim, MacArthur, Pew, and Rockefeller, as well as from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. At first, the Trust encouraged colleges and universities to select Kenan Professors who were as committed to teaching—particularly undergraduate teaching—as they were to scholarship. In subsequent grants, the Trust became more explicit about undergraduate learning as its goal. A news release announcing the five New York state professorships stated the Trust’s aim was to “assist in improving the quality of undergraduate teaching and to enable the universities to arrange the responsibilities of Kenan Professors so they may work more closely with their students.” During its 50th anniversary year, the Trust commissioned historical research to determine the impact of Kenan Professors in terms of their scholarship and their teaching. The Trust had paid closer attention to the former, in part because it began a tradition of inviting the Kenan Professors to Chapel Hill for convocations to discuss broad, interdisciplinary topics. The sixth and final convocation, held in April 1993, focused on “The Modern University: Its Present Status and Future Prospects.” With significant assistance from nearly all 56 colleges and universities, the Trust was able to collect records of courses taught by 378 scholars, 86 percent of all Kenan Professors since 1966. The Kenan Professors have had a prodigious impact on the educational lives of students. In the trust’s first 50 years, Kenan Professors taught no fewer than 4,205 courses, and those courses were offered no fewer than 13,873 times. The courses represented all types of instruction colleges and universities offer—large lectures, laboratories and, more akin to Kenan’s own experience, directed reading for small groups and supervised, one-on-one research. Significantly, 71 percent of the Kenan Professors’ courses were routinely available to undergraduates. Some of the classes show that the Kenan Professors were ahead of their


James T. Axtell, Kenan Professor of Humanities at William & Mary.


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times. Ziff, the North Carolina philosopher, nearly 40 years ago was teaching a course on the philosophy of language offered jointly by the computer science department and his own. Historian Axtell taught a course entitled “The Invasion of North America” 16 times beginning in 1986. While one can envision that perspective in a course today, it was purposefully provocative 30 years ago. “I thought we could get Republicans and Democrats into the same class and talking if we were talking about things that happened a few centuries ago,” Axtell explained. Sharon Cameron, an English professor at Johns Hopkins University, appears to have been the most prolific teacher among Kenan Professors. She offered her courses 395 times from 1986 through 2015, including teaching the introductory “The Study of Literature” 36 times in 29 years. Helen L. Cafferty of Bowdoin College taught 25 different German courses 81 times in 21 years as a Kenan Professor. That level of contribution speaks to the Kenan Professors’ role within their departments. At Bowdoin, there are only four faculty members in the German department. Even at a much larger institution such as Duke, the current Kenan Professor Michael J. Therien is one of only 31 tenured professors in the mathematics department. The professors’ importance to their institutions stretches well beyond the classroom. A few played historic roles. Joan Aldous was the first woman tenured at Notre Dame, the nation’s most prestigious Catholic university, and taught courses on gender roles and family for decades. Isabel MacCaffrey was the first woman to be selected as a Kenan Professor, becoming the 35th Kenan Professor selected. She was among five women tenured at Harvard University in the arts and sciences in a two-year span. A year later, MacCaffrey became only the second woman to chair a Harvard department. It marked the first time Harvard had more than two female professors and came a few years after the University began letting women use its undergraduate library. Nathan A. Scott and his wife, Charlotte Hanley Scott, were the first two African Americans offered tenure at the University of Virginia, and five years later he was named Kenan Professor. Some contributions by


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Kenan Professors were memorable for other reasons. John A. Rassias of Dartmouth College was well known around the world as the creator of the Rassias method of foreign language instruction. He may have been best known on campus for appearing at the medical school in ancient Greek garb to administer the Hippocratic Oath in both Greek and English. Another unusual characteristic of the Kenan Trust’s grants was the latitude each institution was given in structuring its professorship. On William Friday’s advice, the Trustees decided to defer to each institution within the context of improving undergraduate teaching. The result has been a diverse and successful display across the 56 institutions built on each school’s unique needs. The variety of approaches has played out in several ways. Some schools have rotated their professorships at regular intervals, while others have awarded a professorship that was held until a scholar retired or left the institution. Notre Dame’s Aldous held her professorship for 36 years, the longest tenure to date. In contrast, Amherst College appoints a Kenan Professor for a three-year term with the expectation that the scholar appointed will design an interdisciplinary “Kenan Colloquium” with one or more junior faculty members to deliver in concert. Another expression of diversity was in the fields taught. The first four Kenan Professors at both Agnes Scott and Trinity Colleges were chemists, but in all only thirteen of the institutions receiving grants ever had a Kenan Professor in chemistry, the field in which Kenan and Venable forged their relationship. In fact, Kenan Professors have offered more than twice as many courses in the humanities as in science and mathematics. Since 1966, Kenan Professors have offered more courses in English (627), history (409), and political science and government (284) than in chemistry (254), the most common field of science. At Northwestern University, the three Kenan Professors have been economists, at Washington and Lee University, all four have been historians. When it received its grant in 1966, Columbia made clear its intention to use the professorship to renew its flagging bot-

Isabel G. MacCaffrey, pictured with her husband Wallace T. MacCaffrey, was the first woman Kenan Professor.

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any and zoology departments. Molecular biologist Cyrus Levinthal, wooed from MIT, became Columbia’s Kenan Professor and created its biological sciences department. More important to the Trust’s aims, Levinthal brought with him an instructional method called “project labs” that became a hallmark of the department. Rather than carry out rote experiments, undergraduates learn techniques of research for several weeks in a project lab, then use them to explore a problem to which there is no clear answer. The Levinthal example is evidence of another benefit of the deference the Trust showed colleges and universities. Most of the institutions have noted at some point over the 50 years that the availability of Kenan Professorships has allowed them to attract and retain the highest caliber scholars. MIT, which lost out on Levinthal, was able to use a professorship to attract American Studies scholar Leo Marx of Amherst, where he also was a Kenan Professor; Marx is the only example of the same scholar holding Kenan professorships at two separate institutions. Finally, in assessing the impact of the Kenan Professorship, one must consider the times in which they arose. The turmoil around American higher education grew steadily in the Trust’s first years of grantmaking. The Trustees themselves were men of another era who were based in two hot spots in the cultural tumult—North Carolina, where the legislature had enacted a Speaker Ban Law to prohibit leftists from speaking at colleges and universities, and New York, where Columbia experienced some of the most significant student disturbances of 1968. In Chapel Hill at Kenan’s alma mater, UNC, his surname is hard to avoid. The football stadium and business school are named after his family. His sisters themselves made generous donations to create other professorships that bear the Kenan name. The opposite is likely the case at nearly every other college and university at which Kenan Professors teach. William & Mary’s Axtell remembered students sometimes asking him why he was only a “junior professor” based on Kenan’s gener-

ational title. Despite this absence of fanfare or recognition, the trust’s grantmaking to create Kenan Professorships will continue to pay dividends for years to come. As a businessman and as a believer in the power of the collegiate experience, Kenan undoubtedly would approve.

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3 : Education


ducation is a beginning, a first step, a launching point. It’s the foundation that gives rise to dreams and aspirations for creative problem-solving, healthier communities, and productive lives. William R. Kenan, Jr. believed so strongly in the power of education that his Will specifically cited support for such endeavors in order to provide “substantial benefit to mankind.” In the Kenan Charitable Trust’s 50 years of operation, grants for education have comprised the majority of funding allocations. In its earliest years, the Trust awarded grants to several dozen of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, as well as grants to the United Negro College Fund and the Southern Regional Education Board for distribution to their member organizations, including Fisk, Xavier, and North Carolina Central University. The Trust’s flagship educational initiative, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorships, has had an unparalleled and immeasurable impact on enhancing learning and producing critical thinkers. These women and men have produced thousands of publications and hundreds of patents and software applications. They have also received the most prestigious awards, prizes, and fellowships available—while remaining committed to the undergraduate community through their teaching, interest in working with students, and enthusiasm for research. While the Kenan Professorships continue to raise the caliber of teaching and learning in higher education, the Kenan Trust’s scope of grantmaking has extended over time to educational enhancements and initiatives for every age and grade level. One of the first endowment program initiatives outside of higher education was the creation 21

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of challenge grants for private secondary schools. Driving this decision was the belief that such schools could serve as laboratories for experimentation or incubators of innovation from which traditional public schools could learn. Between 1980 and 1991, the Trust committed more than $27 million in grants to 29 recipient schools, with the schools raising $58 million in matching funds. As the Trustees considered effective, high-impact educational models, they recognized that some populations and communities were starting at a distinct disadvantage and required additional interventions, both in terms of academic preparation and social support. In the early 1990s, the Trust approved a series of grants to develop and launch the Durham Scholars Program (DSP) through UNC’s Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise (KIPE). The program was designed by Trustee Frank Hawkins Kenan and Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., at the time a visiting professor at UNC from UCLA. (As part of the development of DSP, the Trust facilitated Johnson’s recruitment to UNC, where he is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.) Johnson, an African American, recognized that the residents of northeast central Durham, especially young black men, faced overwhelming adversity and the wrong kind of networks and connections to help them survive and succeed. That had become clear to Johnson through his own personal and professional experience: from growing up in the tiny town of Falkland, North Carolina, to his 30 years of studying urban poverty: “It’s not what you know,” he explained to a reporter, “but who you know. People who are successful are embedded in a dense network of institutions and individuals who can help them negotiate the potential landmines in their lives. That’s what happened to me. I had those mentors, I could call on them if I had questions or problems.” The program started with the fundamental acknowledgement that there can be many psychosocial obstacles to college beyond finding

James Johnson, right, and Rev. Kenneth Hammond at Union Baptist Church, site of the Union Independent School.


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the money to attend. Johnson described the ambitious program as a “whole person” initiative, one that involved students, parents, tutors, mentors, and community institutions in improving the high school completion and college attendance rates of at-risk minority youth. The program targeted two groups of students, one for outreach and retention and the other for a College Preparatory Academy. The outreach and retention group focused on high school juniors and seniors selected by the program’s board of directors. Up to 30 rising seniors would be chosen each year, for seven years, to receive academic and social support. Of those who finished high school and qualified for college, eight would be selected on a competitive basis each year, for seven years, for scholarships of up to $10,000 for admission to a college or university in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region. Duke University, where the annual tuition was then more than $18,000, agreed to pay the difference in tuition costs. The College Preparatory Academy focused on middle school students. Each year, for seven years, 30 sixth-graders were to be admitted to the program; those who graduated from it and were admitted to college would be guaranteed a $10,000 scholarship. In addition to their regular schoolwork, they would be required to take college prep classes after school and on Saturdays until graduating from high school. The preparatory classes included instruction in technical skills (such as science, math, and information technology) as well as communication skills (reading, writing, and public speaking) and personal skills (critical thinking, time management, problem solving, and note taking). Facilities for the after-school program were provided by Union Baptist Church in Durham, where Johnson was a member, with additional assistance from the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. For those students accepted into the program, participation by their parents or guardians was mandatory. It was compulsory, Johnson stressed, because parents played the key role in getting their children into college. The adults were required to attend workshops and other educational

Durham’s Student U is a college preparatory program that provides academic and social support to students and their families throughout middle school, high school, and college.


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activities dealing with child-rearing, conflict resolution, and related family issues. The program provided mentoring by Kenan-Flagler MBA students through the Urban Enterprise Institute and also gave participating families access to two licensed clinical social workers and as many as six interns from the UNC School of Social Work. Finally, the program would be evaluated by a national group of interdisciplinary researchers. Discussions on the future of the DSP began as the end of its initial period of funding and evaluation approached. In October 2000, the Kenan Trustees made a large grant for development support of the DSP and also promised it additional funding—but only after planning began for an initiative for the program to succeed. A plan emerged from the Trust’s discussions with Johnson and his fellow parishioners at Union Baptist Church. The church, which had been part of the Durham community since 1897, was under the leadership of its dynamic senior pastor, the Reverend Kenneth R. Hammond. Hammond had arrived at the church in 1992, shortly before Johnson arrived at UNC, and the two men had grown up 15 miles apart in eastern North Carolina. Hammond had agreed to house the DSP at Union Baptist and had greatly expanded the membership of the church. Over the next few years, the DSP sought and received charter school status from the state of North Carolina, and was renamed the Global Scholars Academy, an independent public K-8 school. This pathway-to-college model has been embraced and refined by additional Kenan grantees, such as Florida’s College for Kids program, Durham’s Student U, and the KIPP Through College initiative—all of which provide integrated and comprehensive support for collegeaspiring students and their families. “I always knew I wanted to go to college,” says Student U graduate Casey Barr-Rios, who went on to attend North Carolina Central University. “Student U helped me every step of the way.” During the past 50 years, the education landscape has changed owing to significant fluctuations in demographics, advancements in


technology, and revisions to U.S. education policy. The Trustees have responded to the shifting mosaic of needs and opportunities by working with multisector partners to encourage collaboration, enhanced pedagogies, and coordinated approaches to systemic change. One of the earliest Kenan partners in this space has also been one of its most longstanding. The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)—formerly known as the National Center for Family Literacy —started out as a small volunteer-driven effort in a church basement. The NCFL has grown into a leading national organization that has helped shape public policy, strengthen families, and provide economic and academic opportunities. The NCFL initiative combined a test project in Kentucky with the ambition of the Kenan Trust to make a significant contribution to the state of North Carolina. The process began in 1987 when Trustee Tom Kenan visited Washington, D.C., along with William Friday, who had become the Trust’s first executive director shortly after stepping down as president of the UNC system after 30 years. Kenan and Friday visited Secretary of Education William Bennett to inquire about the most promising work being done in the field of literacy. He told them about an initiative in Louisville, Kentucky, that combined early education and adult literacy. Called PACE (Parent and Child Education), the model was the brainchild of family literacy pioneer Sharon Darling and had been funded by the Kentucky legislature. According to Tom Kenan, he and Friday left Kentucky “convinced this was something that would really break the cycle of low literacy. We were committed to exploring the expansion of this exciting program and to conducting research as we took the program to urban areas and to other sites.” Friday agreed, noting the role of poverty in contributing to the intergenerational cycle that perpetuates illiteracy. Soon after that visit, the Kenan Trust Family Literacy Project was born. The Trust funded seven model sites for its initial literacy project: three in Louisville and four in different areas of North Carolina. All of the model schools used a modified and expanded version of the PACE


With foundational support from the Kenan Trust, Sharon Darling, center, helped build a pilot literacy project into a global learning enterprise.



program, bringing together at the same school, several times a week, undereducated parents and their preschool children. The parents receive adult literacy and prevocational training in one room, while their children take early childhood development classes in an adjacent or nearby classroom—all with teachers who have received extended training. The families are then brought together for classes on how to create a productive learning environment at home. And finally, parents are required to volunteer at the schools. Additional commitments from the Kenan Trust enabled the literacy project to spread from seven sites in two states the first year to 29 sites in 11 states in its second year. As a result, the Kenan Trust Family Literacy Project became a focal point for developing literacy programs nationwide. The project received 5,000 inquiries during the first 18 months of its operation. Visitors from 50 states and three foreign countries toured its model sites. National TV shows featured the Kenan Model, as did major newspapers, national publications, and the White House (twice). At the urging of the Trustees, Darling chartered the National Center for Family Literacy as a nonprofit charity in 1989. The NCFL’s major mission was to provide training and technical assistance to replicate the success of the Kenan Model throughout the country. Darling’s personal, professional, and institutional commitments, when combined with financial support from the Trust and the center’s growing national attention, prompted a call from the Toyota corporation in 1991. Toyota has since invested $50 million in the NCFL— which, Darling emphasizes, “would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for the Kenan investment.” The Kenan Trust allowed her and the NCFL “to develop a model, to research the model, to be able to show it to the nation in a way they could embrace.” The Kenan Trust has also continued its grantmaking to the NCFL, providing it with more than two dozen grants totaling more than $8 million since 1989. Much as the Trustees have done at the WRK, Jr. Charitable Trust, the NCFL has reshaped its outreach to meet the



NCFL has adapted its literacy programming to accommodate the changing needs of America’s most disadvantaged populations.


changing needs and conditions of those it serves: America’s most vulnerable parents and children. In the beginning, for example, 80 to 90 percent of the families served by the NCFL were nonimmigrant families headed by single mothers, white and black, who frequently had three or four children. Today, however, those numbers are reversed: 80 to 90 percent of NCFL’s families are foreign-born, and the overwhelming majority of those are in Spanish speaking, two-parent households with two or three children. Along with the changing nature of the families it serves, the NCFL and its mission are being reshaped by changes in how literacy is perceived and access to technology. NCFL clients seek programs that help them find jobs, provide homework assistance to their children, and become full and contributing members of their communities and society. This changing perception of literacy and its place in the larger universe of learning prompted the NCFL to change its name in 2013 to the National Center for Families Learning. As learning and technology have become increasingly interconnected, the NCFL has focused additional efforts on incorporating digi-


tal resources into its programming. In 2010 it introduced an interactive website called Wonderopolis, which encourages creativity, exploration, problem-solving, and community. Each day, a new question— called the wonder of the day—invites visitors to learn, pose additional questions, watch videos, find supplemental classroom resources, and contribute to the conversation. Questions range from serious to silly, but they all spark curiosity: What is a Civil Right? What are marshmallows made of? What is dark matter? In 2014, the Kenan Trust made a matching grant to the NCFL for the development of a formal educator network for Wonderopolis. The grant, made in honor of Sharon Darling, came on the 25th anniversary of the NCFL’s existence. By then Wonderopolis was attracting some two million unique visitors a year, and the NCFL’s traditional literacy programs were reaching parents and children in classrooms throughout the United States and other parts of the world. As it grew, NCFL sought collaborations with educators, advocates, practitioners, schools, community-based organizations, and libraries. That holistic approach is one that more and more nonprofit organizations are pursuing to build capacity and reduce redundancy—and one that the Kenan Trustees encourage. For example, grant recipient Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina, works with the Emily K Center, Durham Academy, and El Centro Hispanico to share best practices. Book Harvest and Reach Out and Read coordinate their efforts with local healthcare professionals and national agencies specializing in early childhood development to jump-start literacy in young children and strengthen the parent-child bond. The drive to improve the U.S. public education system and provide families with more choices has led to the proliferation of alternative and charter schools, prompting the Trust to extend its grantmaking even further. Under Executive Director Dr. Richard M. Krasno’s leadership (1999-2014), the Kenan Trust facilitated large grants for K–12 public charter school reform efforts at New Visions for Public Schools, the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, and PAVE Academy



PAVE Academy is a successful public charter school that has expanded to four sites—three in New York and one in Raleigh, N.C.


Charter School in Brooklyn, New York. Those investments in targeted, innovative pedagogies have paid off. For example, from its first location in Red Hook, PAVE now has two New York schools and one in Raleigh, North Carolina, providing significant increases in student reading and math proficiency. “Parents in low-income communities shouldn’t have underperforming schools as their only option,” says PAVE founder Spencer Robertson. “Every parent wants their child to have the best education possible.”


Krasno’s guiding hand extended to similar educational efforts in Florida, most notably at Western Academy Charter School in Royal Palm Beach, a K-8 school that opened its doors in 2003. Through its creative use of instructional technology and curriculum development in math, science, music, and character education, Western Academy has been designated as a High Performing Charter School by Florida’s Department of Education, and its charter contract has been renewed through 2023. “Our students know that their teachers believe in them and hold them to high standards,” says Western Academy founder Linda Terranova, “and that means that students believe in themselves and strive to achieve those high standards. No one settles for mediocre.” Owing to the Kenan family’s strong ties to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Kenan Trust has funded numerous educational initiatives there. In addition to robust funding for student scholarships, program endowment, and faculty support, Kenan grants provide foundational assistance for imaginative approaches to digital teaching and learning, social innovation, and civic engagement. A partnership between UNC’s Center for the American South and Morehead Planetarium, for example, is producing multimedia opportunities for students, researchers, and the wider public to gain a deeper understanding of the complex economic, political, historical, geographic, and social currents that shape the South’s distinct character. Educational approaches and policies will continue to evolve in the decades to come. The Kenan Trust remains committed to supporting creative, effective initiatives that make a difference in both the short term—afterschool enrichment programs, college tuition, access to healthcare—and for generations to come, as the beneficiaries of those efforts create a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities.


Durham Scholars Program


hen Kyle Payne was 11 years old, he moved with his mother to Durham, North Carolina, in search of a better life. They moved into a small apartment in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods, a blighted urban corridor in northeast central Durham. The 96-block area was arguably the poorest and most dangerous in the city. Most of the residents were like the Paynes: African Americans in households headed by a single woman. Violent crime, drug dealing, gunfire, and fighting accompanied the area’s high unemployment, dependence on welfare, and sad failure rates in school. Sixty percent of Durham County’s poor residents lived in the area, as did two of every three poor families in the county, while the area’s 15 percent high school dropout rate exceeded that of the city and county by more than 5 percent. By the time the Paynes moved to Durham in the late nineties, the corridor was the target of a massive revitalization effort. City government and law enforcement were involved, as were a variety of public, private, and nonprofit groups. Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carnegie Foundation, and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust had all made significant commitments to revitalization. More significant to the Payne family’s future was the creation of the Durham Scholars Program (DSP) through UNC’s Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise (KIPE). DSP had two components: the College Preparatory Academy, which focused on middle school students; and an outreach and retention initiative that targeted high school juniors and seniors. For students accepted into DSP, participation by their parents 34


and guardians was mandatory. Director James H. Johnson says the requirement was essential to the success of the program, since parents play such a key role in helping their children aspire and apply to college. Workshops for parents included topics ranging from family dynamics and child-rearing to conflict resolution. The program provided mentoring by Kenan-Flagler MBA students and provided participating families with access to two licensed clinical social workers and as many as six interns from the UNC School of Social Work. Finally, the program would be evaluated by a national group of interdisciplinary researchers. In August 1995, the program began but the College Preparatory Academy had no waiting list for the first several years of operation. Kyle Payne’s mother, however, was willing to take a chance on this brand new program. She submitted an application for him, and in 1996 the DSP accepted Payne as a sixth-grader in its College Preparatory Academy. Most of his cohort, he recalls, “were local kids that I already knew . . . I would say 90 percent black kids and 10 percent Hispanic kids. Maybe one or two white kids, I can’t remember. About 50/50 boys and girls. Everybody came from a similar background: lower socioeconomic, disadvantaged.” The DSP started at the end of the regular school day, when Payne and his fellow DSP students got picked up from school and transported to Union Baptist Church, which provided the facilities for the fledgling program. Students tackled homework with tutoring help from UNC students and faculty. For Payne, doing homework at the church was not like doing it at home. “I think a lot of people don’t see Durham like a New York City or a Los Angeles, where very serious, dangerous crimes occur,” he says. “I remember instances where my [public school] teacher was giving me a hard time about not completing my homework the night before, and I’m thinking to myself ‘Well, I was [shot at] in a drive-by last night and I barely escaped getting shot. So, I’m not really thinking about doing your homework.’ ” The DSP experience created an environment that recognized and


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celebrated the collective talents and potential of participants, forging bonds among individuals who didn’t always feel like they fit in the advanced courses they qualified for at school. “I was always in academically gifted classes with, typically, white affluent counterparts,” says Payne. “And I just kind of resented the fact that I wasn’t in class with my own people, who looked like me. Typically, because I always felt like an outsider, I felt like I was different and people went out of their way to remind me that I was different. So I just rebelled. I purposefully went out of my way and decided not to do my work. I thought maybe that would get me out of those classes.” One of the best things the DSP did for Payne was introduce him to a very different set of role models and mentors. “Probably one of the rare exposures to positive black men I’ve ever had in my life came through the Durham Scholars Program,” he says. “Looking back, I understand the importance of seeing people who look like you who are successful. The impact that they can have on your psyche as a kid. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Dr. Johnson. He came in with a tailored suit. Which I didn’t know was tailored at the time, and I was like: ‘I don’t know what he does, but I want to do it.’ ” During a DSP field trip to UNC, Payne found his calling. “They took us to the computer lab, I just remember, it was kind of like a light bulb went off,” he says. “I thought, ‘Hey, I could see myself in college. I could do this.’ . . . It was the first time I had ever touched a computer. And I just kind of fell in love with computers at that point.” After finishing middle school, James Johnson and his wife visited the Payne’s home to offer Kyle another ambitious educational opportunity—to attend Piney Woods, one of the oldest historically black boarding schools in Mississippi for his high school years. The school is known for having more than 90 percent of its graduates attend college. “When I first got there,” Payne says, “it just wasn’t a big deal: ‘Okay, I’ll do my work.’ And then the first time I heard my name on the Honor Roll list, I was shocked. Everyone else around me was shocked. ‘Cause


I was kind of a class clown. But once I made the Honor Roll that first time it was kind of like a drug for me. I just had to get all As.” Subsequently, Kyle Payne was thriving at Piney Woods—running track, playing basketball, and excelling at his studies. Encouragement from home helped. “Beverly Hester-Stevens was like the mother of the Durham Scholars Program,” he recalls. “If you needed help with anything, she would try her best to make it happen. I remember when I was at Piney Woods, she would send me these little gift boxes. Little snacks and stuff like that. That was really thoughtful.” Payne’s “blinders” at Piney Woods also awakened him to larger personal responsibilities and his place in the world. “I knew what it meant for myself,” he says of his time in Mississippi. “I knew what it meant for my family, and quite honestly, I felt a lot of weight, a lot of pressure on me to succeed. And I did not want to disappoint anybody. I didn’t want to go all the way from home and look stupid. . . Dr. Johnson and the people at the Durham Scholars Program, I think they saw something in me that I just didn’t quite see in myself. And I think they believed that the environment I was in played a large part in that, and if they could change my environment, maybe they could change my trajectory.” Payne graduated from the Piney Woods School in spring 2003 and then entered UNC at Chapel Hill that fall, thanks to the Kenan scholarship for DSP graduates. By then, his older brother, who had enrolled in the DSP’s outreach and retention cohort, was beginning his junior year at North Carolina A&T on a Kenan scholarship, and their sister, who was about to complete high school and the College Preparatory Academy at DSP, would soon enter Winston-Salem State University, also on a Kenan-funded scholarship. Kyle Payne graduated from UNC-CH with a degree in communications. He found a job at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, working in the call center of its customer service department to save money for graduate school. He was determined to fulfill the vision that had captured


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him during his DSP field trip to UNC several years earlier and pursue a career involving computers or information technology. Yet the Great Recession was also underway, creating financial insecurity, unemployment, and dismal forecasts for the economy’s future. “Being broke keeps me up at night,” he admits. “That’s my greatest fear, not knowing what I’m going to eat tonight. So that was my biggest reservation about coming back to school.” By early 2011, the Kenan Trust had been working closely with Union Baptist Church to create an independent school called Global Scholars Academy, which received approval from the State Board of Education to operate as a charter school called Global Scholars Academy (GSA). When it opened under its new name in July of 2011, GSA was Durham County’s eighth charter school. Operating as a year-round K–8 school, with nearly a hundred students chosen by lottery, the school was open daily between 7:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. By that point, the Kenan Trust had made more than $10 million in grants over the years to the Global Scholars Academy and the Durham Scholars Program. Kyle Payne volunteered with the GSA on many occasions, making it a priority “because I remember how much of an impact it had on me.” He also went back to school, earning a master’s degree in information science from North Carolina Central University in 2012. The degree enabled Payne to land a job with Volvo IT as a system support analyst. Fifteen months later, he took a job with Wells Fargo as a systems analyst. What he was learning, at least with technology, was that who and what you know are both important not only for getting you in the door but for keeping you there. “Technology is fun. It’s one of the few jobs where they’re really just going by your talent. ‘We don’t care about your race. We don’t care where you come from. We just want to know you can do it.’ And that’s what attracted me about technology. You know you’re the right person for the job based upon your skills.” But having a “job” was not enough for Payne. “I wanted to own my own company and I knew in order to do that, I needed to understand bookkeeping, I needed to understand accounting. I needed to under-

Kyle Payne with his mother and siblings, both of whom also received Kenan scholarships, at his graduation from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.


stand financial structuring. I needed to understand how to best position a brand. It was so many facets. Technology is just one piece. I needed the entire pie and I knew in order to do that I would have to come back and get an MBA.” Yet the prospect of going back to school, and the significant financial commitment that required, raised immediate, visceral doubts for Payne. “I grew up poor, and when you’re poor the only thing you’re thinking about is not being poor. I was finally making good money,” he explains. “I was finally able to help my family out, help my friends out. And I’m about just to put that on hold for two years to go back to ramen noodles and McDonald’s? It kept me up at night. But I knew in order to get to the next level, sometimes you have



to take a step back to take that leap forward. I was 100 percent willing to take on all the debt it took. All the student loans.” Payne applied to the MBA program at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School Business School and was accepted for fall 2015. He also received a William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund Fellowship, which provides full tuition. He graduated in 2017 and landed a job at Bank of America in Charlotte— where he’d interned between his second and third year of business school—and is now working in Global Information Security. He continues to explore entrepreneurial, start-up opportunities. “My mother worked very hard to provide for her family, but it was sometimes hard to make ends meet,” says Payne. “The Durham Scholars Program was, without a doubt, the most impactful thing to not only happen to me, but to my family. It is because of the Kenan Charitable Trust, The Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise, the generosity and philanthropy of the Kenan family, and countless other supporting their vision that I was afforded the opportunity to make a better life for myself. My education was truly indeed, to loosely quote William R. Kenan, Jr., the most cherished gift I could have received. Though the impact is immeasurable and I will never truly be able to pay it back, I intend to spend the rest of my days paying it forward.”


4 : The Kenan Funds


he William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust’s top five grant recipients are all located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Four of those grantees are housed along with the Trust itself in the William R. Kenan, Jr. Center. The top grant recipient, in excess of $150 million, is the University, followed by four separate Kenan Funds founded in North Carolina between 1983 and 1995: the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund at UNC-CH; the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts at UNC School of the Arts; the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Engineering, Technology, and Science at NC State University; and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Ethics at Duke University. All of the Funds share a common set of directors composed of Kenan Trustees, members of the Kenan family, and one or two of their closest associates. The Funds and Institutes are completely separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations. Each Institute operates within the structure established by its university for such organizations; each Institute has its own board of directors drawn from the leaders of that university; and each Institute director is an employee of the university where the Institute is located. Financially, the Institutes receive core support each year from their related Fund, usually in the amount of that Fund’s annual earnings on its assets. Twice a year, the Institute directors discuss their program and funding needs with the Funds’ board of directors, who also advise the Institute directors on how to manage the operating funds, investments, programs, and partnerships of their respective Institutes. Significantly, while the Funds hold final approval for the Institute programs they support, the Institutes are encouraged to attract addi41

The Kenan Center adjoins the Kenan-Flagler School of Business on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


tional financial resources for implementing their own programmatic agendas.

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund

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The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund, established in 1983, was created by the Trustees primarily to develop and support what would become the William R. Kenan, Jr. Center on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. The Fund also included allocations to create a private enterprise institute to be housed in the new Center. The Trustees’ goals for the Fund were closely intertwined with plans to celebrate UNC’s Bicentennial, and to improve and expand the University’s School of Business and MBA program. Surging demand for undergraduate business courses had severely taxed the facilities at Carroll Hall, where both the Department of Business and the MBA program had been housed since 1953. At the same time, many supporters believed that the focus on undergraduates had affected the school’s MBA program, diminishing not only its quality and alumni support but also its ability to offer adult and executive education as well as research that would benefit North Carolina’s economy. Although the proposed Kenan Center would help address some of the MBA issues, what was also needed, many believed, was a new building to house the business school itself. With support from the Kenan Trust and additional public and private funds, the school was renamed the Kenan Flagler Business School in 1991. Five years later, in 1996, the new building opened adjacent to the Kenan Center. Named for William R. Kenan, Jr.’s sister, Mary Lily Kenan, and her husband, Standard Oil cofounder Henry M. Flagler, it was the first school on the Chapel Hill campus named for a person or persons. UNC’s Institute of Private Enterprise (IPE) and the Kenan Fund moved into the new Kenan Center shortly before it formally opened in October 1986. William Friday retired as president of the UNC System, and shortly thereafter, was elected president of the Kenan Fund and


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executive director of the Kenan Trust, which moved its offices from New York into the new Kenan Center in 1987. Located on south campus, on a hill above the Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center, the Center contains large meeting rooms and classrooms, offices for the IPE and the Kenan Fund, and several rooms of Kenan family artifacts. That same year, the university’s Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the IPE to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise (KIPE) to recognize the many contributions made by Kenan Trustee Frank H. Kenan, a graduate of UNC’s business school predecessor, the School of Commerce. KIPE pursued the interdisciplinary collaboration that was central to its purpose and that of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund. In August 1989, Dr. John D. “Jack” Kasarda, chairman of UNC’s Department of Sociology, was appointed as KIPE’s new director. Kasarda was a demographer and expert on the business and economic issues of population movement, and he conceived and promoted one of KIPE’s first and most aggressive public-private initiatives: an air cargo and manufacturing complex known as the Global TransPark in the eastern part of North Carolina. KIPE’s second signature program was the MBA Enterprise Corps. The purpose of the Corps, which initially involved a consortium of 16 major universities, was to place business school graduates in private enterprises emerging from the collapse of authoritarian regimes across Eastern Europe and Central and Southeast Asia. The graduates studied language, history, and culture for six weeks before departing for assignments of one or more years in host countries. The immediate benefits of the program—early experience for the graduates— would be coupled with long-term assistance to the host countries and bridge-building with the United States. KIPE provided temporary facilities for the corps at the Kenan Center and also joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in funding much of the consortium’s initial operations. Sixteen of the nation’s leading business schools—including UNC, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, and the University of Chicago—joined the

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nonprofit corporation, which was run by a board of directors from participating universities. The Corps’ first official envoys—44 graduates from the member schools—left for Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland in the summer of 1991. KIPE also developed a program called the Urban Enterprise Corps, which the Trustees described as similar to the MBA Enterprise Corps but directed at minority businesses in the nation’s cities to provide managerial and technical assistance either directly to businesses or to agencies that provide services to inner-city businesses. KIPE completed the program design in 1992, with plans to implement pilot projects in North Carolina in 1993 with the goal of scaling it to become a national program. To assist KIPE with its new inner-city mission, Kasarda recruited a fellow demographer to UNC as a visiting professor in 1992. James H. Johnson Jr. was a native North Carolinian, a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, and a full professor at UCLA. His research on poverty in Los Angeles, as director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, was showing that black youths in L.A. frequently lacked the networks, connections, and bonds of family, friends, and mentors common to their counterparts in urban communities. In addition to an endowed professorship and two adjunct appointments, Johnson became director of KIPE’s new Urban Enterprise Corps and its Urban Strategies Center. One of its first initiatives, the Durham Scholars Program, focused on improving high-school completion and college attendance rates of at-risk minority youth in Durham neighborhoods. (See chapter three.) At the Kenan Center in Chapel Hill, the Kenan Trust worked closely with Kasarda and KIPE to expand the Institute’s already aggressive agenda in foreign, domestic, and campus initiatives. Through its new satellite offices in Washington, D.C., and in Bangkok, Thailand, KIPE was managing the U.S.-Thailand Development Partnership. Created with a $10.1 million grant from USAID, the partnership matched U.S. technologies, products, and services with development needs of Thai-


land through joint ventures between U.S. companies and nonprofit groups and Thai business and government agencies. The collaboration led in 1994 to the creation in Bangkok of the Kenan Institute Asia, which served as a base of operations for both the development partnership and Kenan-Flagler throughout Asia. Now operating independently, the Institute includes Thai government and business leaders among its directors as well as representatives of U.S. businesses operating in Thailand.

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Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science (KIETS) and the Kenan Institute for the Arts


By the early 1990s, faced with the continued impact of the economic recession, state lawmakers had cut more than $100 million in funds for the UNC system while simultaneously increasing tuition at most of its campuses by 30 percent. It was becoming a struggle to maintain the reputation of the system and its commitment to excellence. The Kenan Trustees responded to the situation by expanding the Trust’s grantmaking strategy to two other funds and related institutes at schools in the UNC system. Both schools—North Carolina State University and the North Carolina School of the Arts—were suffering the combined ill effects of public embarrassment and fiscal neglect by the state. High-profile athletic scandals at NC State had led to the resignation of its chancellor and its men’s basketball coach, while a long, acrimonious investigation at the North Carolina School of the Arts had ended with the resignation of its chancellor. At the same time, reduced state funding had forced both schools to cut courses, staff, equipment, and facilities, leading to related losses of faculty, student morale, and long-range planning. Late in October 1991, the Kenan Trust arranged for the incorporation of two new nonprofit funds in North Carolina: the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Engineering, Technology, and Science, to support an institute on the campus of N.C. State in Raleigh; and the William R.

Harold Hopfenberg, founding director of KIETS at NC State University.

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Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts, to support an institute on the campus of the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. On January 27, 1992, the Trust formally ratified $40 million in endowment grants ($20 million for each new Fund) and began the process of creating the William R. Kenan, Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science and the Thomas S. Kenan III Institute for the Arts. The gift was not only among the largest in the history of the UNC system. It also marked the largest commitment in the Trust’s history. The purpose of the new engineering fund was to advance engineering, technology, and science to improve the quality of life and the economic, social, and political well-being of the United States. At NC State University, Harold B. Hopfenberg, the founding director of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science (KIETS), focused its activities on creating new university partnerships with government and industry. The partnerships ranged from environmental science and related technologies to biotechnology, biosciences, and microelectronics, and usually included the selection and support of Kenan Fellows engaged in graduate research for advanced degrees at NC State. Similar to KIPE, KIETS organized, facilitated, and sponsored conferences and meetings at various levels. It began planning a series of Kenan Conferences focused on topics of global scientific importance. The first was held in Asheville, North Carolina, in spring 1995, and brought together an international group of molecular biol-


ogists, geneticists, chemists, and physicians to discuss the distinctive features of the biology of iron in humans, animals, and microbes. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts had a similar mandate, to promote the nation’s cultural heritage and support significant efforts to bring art, music, theater, and dance into the lives of all citizens. Founding director Jeanne Butler oversaw the Fund for ten years. The Thomas S. Kenan III Institute for the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts (formerly the North Carolina School of the Arts) has pursued partnerships with numerous public and private groups to fund and facilitate a wide variety of conferences and meetings, scholarships and performances, and innovative arts initiatives. (See chapter five.)

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William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Ethics


The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Ethics was incorporated in March 1995 to encourage and support the study and teaching of ethics. The Trustees viewed this pursuit as another essential component of strengthening society for the better good, by inculcating ethical and moral values in all aspects of corporate, political, governmental, and cultural associations and activity, as well as through personal behavior. Later that year, the Kenan Trust awarded a $250,000 planning grant to Duke University to create the Kenan Program in Ethics. The previous year, Duke had issued a strategic plan that included an emphasis on fostering students’ intellectual and ethical growth. President Nannerl O. Keohane envisioned a campus-wide interdisciplinary program based on the total immersion concept of teaching ethics. For the next four years, the new Kenan Fund for Ethics provided annual grants of $250,000 to the Kenan Ethics Program at Duke. Keohane appointed Elizabeth Kiss of Princeton University as the program’s founding director in 1996. The program’s early initiatives included designing courses for the study and teaching of ethics and character development as well as for moral reflection and practice in personal

Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics introduces students to the study of moral values and the role of reflection, and issues ranging from global migration and human rights to religions and public life.

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and public life. As the Kenan Trustees reported in 1999, Duke’s ethics program was “shaped by the conviction that moral values cannot simply be studied, but must be learned through practice. Ethics initiatives must therefore strive to move beyond the classroom and the academy to engage challenges and involve participants from the broader local, regional, national, and international community.” Duke’s ethics program became an Institute in 1999, after an evaluation of the program, and in 2000 the Kenan Trustees approved a five-year, $10 million endowment grant for support of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. This interdisciplinary “think tank” serves as a central node for analysis, debate, and engagement on ethical issues at and beyond the University. Its five areas of concentration are global migration, human rights, regulatory policy, moral attitudes and decision-making, and religions and public life. Now considered one of the most active and respected ethics centers in the country, Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics has contributed to a renewed focus on academic integrity, including a new honor code and code-signing ceremony; the establishment of a two-course Ethi-


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cal Inquiry requirement for undergraduates; the implementation of a research ethics requirement for all Ph.D. students (a national first); the launch of a research service-learning initiative that is now institutionalized as DukeEngage; the creation of ethics training for all students in the DukeEngage program; the creation of a graduate fellows program; and the launch of an undergraduate certificate program in ethics.


5 : The Arts


illiam R. Kenan, Jr. was a scientist by training and a businessman by trade. Yet from a young age he was drawn to creative pursuits, including carpentry and stamp collecting. In college at UNC, lacking musical and singing abilities, he earned a spot on the Glee Club by creating a tumbling act that performed during concert intermissions. As an adult, Kenan became an enthusiastic photographer and documentarian, capturing images and film of the Canadian Northwest and the Florida Coast, as well as men’s and women’s golfing championships. While Kenan’s Will stipulates that the Trust support educational initiatives broadly, he would no doubt be pleased to see how the arts have become an integral part of the grantmaking process. And as scientific research has shown how the arts improve cognitive abilities and enhance academic success, the arts and education have become part of the same continuum. In its early years, the Trust made only occasional grants to arts organizations, most notably the North Carolina Museum of Art, the first major American art museum established by state appropriation. With the election of Thomas S. Kenan III as a Trustee in 1982, the Trust embarked on a more consistent and coordinated approach to arts funding. Like generations of Kenans before him, Tom Kenan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his philanthropic interests are deeply intertwined with the mission of the UNC system. The Trust deepened that relationship even further through arts grants that have transformed aging facilities into magnificent spaces, 51

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sparked creative programming that has reached audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and provided funding for young emerging artists to pursue their passion and their dreams. In July 1999, the University announced Carolina First, an eight-year, $1.8 billion fundraising effort to fulfill its vision of becoming the nation’s leading public university. By the time the campaign ended on December 31, 2007, $2.5 billion had been raised. Its most generous donors, committing nearly $70 million, were the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and related Kenan entities and family members. Tom Kenan and Richard Krasno, then executive director of the Kenan Trust, worked closely during the Carolina First campaign with UNC’s new chancellor, Dr. James Moeser. All three share a deep interest in music and artistic performance. Kenan, whose great love is choral music, had performed in the past with the Durham Savoyards, a musical theater group, and has sung for years in the choir at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham. Krasno’s father, a surgeon, was also a “gypsy violinist,” and Krasno himself is a skilled pianist. Moeser, a concert organist with undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, arrived at UNC with years of administrative leadership in higher education. This collaborative effort between the Trust and UNC marked a high point in the history of music and performing arts in the state of North Carolina. The Trust’s commitments in these areas included a challenge grant to establish a new endowment for the University’s Carolina Performing Arts Series as well as a large grant that combined capstone funding for the Kenan Music Building and an endowment to establish the Kenan Music Scholars Program for students entering UNC’s Department of Music.


Carolina Performing Arts In 1931, Spanish dancer Carola Goya launched UNC’s University Entertainment Series on the stage of the newly completed Memorial Hall,

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built on the site of an original 1885 structure. Since then, a wide array of artists and performers have added to the cultural vibrancy of the UNC campus, Triangle community, and surrounding region, including Miles Davis and Maya Angelou, international music groups and homegrown local bands, experimental dance troupes and classical ballet companies. July 2005, the Kenan Trust approved a 1:1 matching grant of $5 million to UNC to create an arts endowment fund to enhance the role of the arts at the institution, including funding for the university’s new Carolina Performing Arts series (CPA) at Memorial Hall. The Trust also committed nearly $119,000 to purchase a Hamburg Steinway D grand piano. The hall already had a New York Steinway D, the model used by most music venues, and with the arrival of the Hamburg later that year, UNC would become one of the few institutions in the United States to have both models. A month later, UNC Chancellor James Moeser announced the Kenan Trust’s $5 million endowment grant during a weekend gala celebrating the reopening of Memorial Hall. The building had been closed for three years for an $18 million makeover funded by the state of North Carolina and hundreds of donors, including the Kenan Trust. Air-conditioned now for the first time in its history, the renovated building also featured additional dressing rooms and stage space as well as a new configuration for the 1,400 new seats in the auditorium. The beauty and charm of the building’s elegant appointments matched the extraordinary talent on stage for the reopening gala: Tony Bennett, Itzhak Perlman, Leonard Slatkin, and the North Carolina Symphony. In 2011, Carolina Performing Arts, using grants from both the Kenan Trust ($250,000) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ($750,000), focused its 2012-2013 season on commemorating the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 classic modernist ballet score The Rite of Spring. The program was designed to connect classes, fellowships, research, and scholarly conferences with CPA performances at Memorial Hall.


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Alexis Johnston performing as part of the UNCSA Rite of Spring at 100 celebration.


More than 200 students studied various aspects of The Rite of Spring through classes in UNC’s Departments of History, English, Art, Music, and Communication Studies. The students also attended a number of related CPA performances at Memorial Hall, while the university’s music department organized two scholarly conferences, one in Chapel Hill and one in Moscow. In all, the CPA presented 11 new works, nine world premieres, and two U.S. premieres inspired by Stravinsky’s groundbreaking work. Yo-Yo Ma and the Cleveland Orchestra performed at Memorial Hall, as did the Joffrey Ballet and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Finally, and fittingly, the only other school asked to participate in The Rite of Spring at 100 was the UNC School of the Arts in Winston Salem. During the weekend of April 20 and 21, 2013, a group of 140 students and faculty from the School performed four pieces at Memorial Hall—three dance and one orchestral— inspired by the Stravinsky classic.

Kenan Music Building, Kenan Music Scholars, and Hill Hall

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Late in 2006, James Moeser announced an $8 million grant from the Kenan Trust to UNC’s music department. The grant was the largest ever made to a single academic department within the University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Half of the grant was slated for completing the first phase of a new music building already under construction on South Cameron Street. The estimated cost of the building’s first phase, $31.4 million, would be met with $19.8 million from the state bond referendum, $7.6 million from university sources, and $4 million from the Kenan Trust. As the capstone gift for the project, the Trust’s grant came with naming rights to the building. It was named the Kenan Music Building in honor of Tom Kenan. A new music building was long overdue. The music department had been housed in the overcrowded, acoustically-challenged Hill Hall, completed in 1907 with funding from Andrew Carnegie. The building had served as the first library on campus until 1930, when it was renovated to house the music department. The building was then renamed Hill Hall in honor of the Hill family and University trustee, John Sprunt Hill, who funded the renovations, construction of an auditorium, and the purchase of a pipe organ. The original building had received little attention since that time, however, with only minor renovations in the late 1950s. Still without air conditioning, it was essentially unusable for three or four months of the year. As department chair Tim Carter put it, faculty and students faced “terrible facilities, an outdated auditorium, moldy classrooms, dingy practice rooms and poor acoustics.” Not only was the facility unsuitable for the department’s 250 music majors—triple the number of a decade earlier—but hundreds of other students attended classes, performances, and practices in Hill Hall. Constructing an innovative, world-class facility that included the latest, most sophisticated technology and design was integral to plans for the first phase of the new 100,000 square-foot Kenan Music Build-


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Hill Hall’s ambitious renovation included a dramatic makeover to the rotunda, and major enhancements to the building’s technological infrastructure.


Kenan Music Scholars Ryan Dickey (euphonium) and Daniel Jones (piano), perform at the Kenan Music Scholars annual Spring Recital.

ing. Scheduled for completion in 2008, the building featured a rehearsal hall large enough for the University’s 300-member marching band. There were also 18 studios for faculty applied teaching, two large classrooms, several piano studios, a half dozen practice rooms, a room for “world music,” a laboratory for digital theory, a recording studio, and a practice suite for percussionists. Moeser described the Trust’s gift as a “transformative” one for the music department—as one that would take it “and music at Carolina to a new level.” While praising the Trust’s long history of giving to the arts at UNC, including the dramatic arts and the new CPA series, Moeser pointed to the new music building as “the first phase—and centerpiece—of our planned Arts Common. Together with Memorial Hall, Gerrard and Old Playmakers, the Kenan Music Building moves us closer to our dreams for the future of the arts at Carolina.” The remaining $4 million from the Trust established an endowment fund for scholarships for students in the university’s music department. Starting in the fall of 2007, and continuing with each subsequent class of UNC freshmen, the university has selected up to four entering students as Kenan Music Scholars. The scholarships cover in-state tu-

ition, student fees, and room and board as well as a $6,000 allowance for each scholar to pursue any number of opportunities, from internships with music groups and specific performers—including those in the new CPA series—to attendance at music events and travel for study abroad or for graduate school auditions. In June 2007, a faculty committee from UNC’s music department selected the first four Kenan Music Scholars on the basis of their academic strength, excellence in the practice of music, and a commitment to majoring in music at the university: soprano Lauren Schultes, violinist Cynthia Burton, French horn player Daniel Hammond, and bassoonist Jessica Kunttu. To date, 40 Kenan Music Scholars have been selected. Several years after the $8 million Kenan grant, the Trust contributed $5 million to jump-start a $15 million makeover to Hill Hall. The ambitious renovation included the remodeling of the rotunda into a dramatic lobby and reception area, a climate control system and treatments to improve the auditorium’s acoustics, stage and practice room enhancements, and a mechanical lift for moving pianos and equipment. The building’s 450-seat performance space was named the James and Susan Moeser Auditorium in honor of the former Chancellor and his wife. The building reopened on February 8, 2017.

UNC School of the Arts

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Thomas S. Kenan had been involved with the North Carolina School of the Arts since 1969, serving on its board of trustees (1969–1985), its foundation board (1974–1990), and its board of visitors (1985 to the present). (The School became part of the UNC system in 1972.) In 1991-92, the Kenan Trust honored his impact with the creation of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts. In the fall of 1991, the Kenan Trust arranged for the incorporation of two new nonprofit funds: the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for Engineering, Technology, and Science, to support an institute on the campus


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of NC State in Raleigh; and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts. In January 1992, the Trust formally ratified $40 million in endowment grants—$20 million for each new fund. The gift was among the largest in the history of the UNC System. The $20 million to endow the William R. Kenan Fund for the Arts included a provision for the creation of a new entity, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, to promote creative leadership and innovation in the arts through partnerships, programs, and initiatives. Since its inception, the Kenan Institute for the Arts has built an impressively robust set of programs and collaborations, including professional and curricular development for faculty, writing workshops and dance intensives, and community innovation labs. Funding from the Trust supports the highly competitive Kenan Fellowships, which provide opportunities for students to explore professional pathways in the arts. The Fellowships began in September 2000 with four recent UNCSA drama school graduates selected for internships at the Kennedy Center in Washington. The original nine-month residencies were “trial and error” for the first few groups of Kenan interns. They were understudies for the Theater for Young Audiences productions that happened there, and a few were called on to perform when the main actors couldn’t go on. Such opportune breaks, however, were not enough for these aspiring young artists. Searching for ways to improve the program, Gregg Henry, the first (and so far only) director of the Kenan Fellows at Kennedy Center, had the Center experiment with UNCSA graduates in design and directing—and not just as observers. The Kenan Fellows were actually placed in local theaters, usually as assistants but whenever possible in charge of directing or design projects. The idea took off, as more established senior designers in D.C. became enamored of the notion of having assistants. As word got out about the caliber of the UNCSA/Kenan Fellows, lighting designers from Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theater J, Woolly Mammoth, and others started calling. The companies were “grateful to have a young, very

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fellowships at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., provide a way for emerging theater artists to combine academic training with the professional theater world.

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well-trained designer coming out of North Carolina School of the Arts to actually design their productions,” says Henry. The Kenan Fellows also get opportunities to work with leading designers brought in for programs at the Kennedy Center, both in the Eisenhower Theater, with its large production space, and at the Theater for Young Audiences. In 2013, the Kennedy Center began paying its Kenan Fellows as employees and increased their weekly pay to help with the rising costs of living in Washington. “More and more internship programs aren’t able to pay around the country,” notes Henry. “The Kenan Fellowship became the only professional development residency that had a weekly stipend, or a weekly salary…I don’t think there’s anything quite like it.” Two years after the Kennedy Center fellowships began, the Kenan Institute for the Arts established internships in New York, through the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education, which became Lin-


UNCSA graduate Mason Hensley during his William R. Kenan, Jr. Performing Arts Fellowship at Lincoln Center.


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coln Center Education (LCE). UNCSA chose a dancer, a director, and a lighting designer as the first interns; since then, in coordination with the shift at the Kennedy Center, only directors and performing artists (musicians, singers, dancers, and actors) have been selected as Kenan Fellows at LCE. Each academic year between 2003 and 2006, UNCSA selected either three or four of its recent graduates for seven-month Kenan Fellowships in the Performing Arts at LCE. The goals of the program have remained consistent since that time: to foster the personal, artistic, and professional development of these emerging artists while also benefiting the New York City schoolchildren served by the program. The LCE Kenan Fellowships have three overlapping phases, making them much more structured than the fellowships at the Kennedy Center. The Kenan Fellows at LCE begin with lessons on aesthetic education techniques; the lessons are designed to prepare the fellows as teaching artists and assistant classroom mentors in the public schools. The LCE fellows also receive training and mentorship in their chosen art form. Finally, at the end of their residencies, the fellows are given an opportunity to create and present an original piece of work at Lincoln Center. Samip Raval is a good example of how the program helps young artists take the next step on their path to professional success. As a LCE Kenan Fellow, Raval wrote, directed and debuted Packing Up, an exploration of a moment in a young man’s life when he is challenged to pursue his talents and dreams as an artist in the face of economic injustice. Since his fellowship, Raval has acted in an international tour of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, as well as stints with Arena Stage, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Artists Repertory Theatre, and Theatre Alliance. Between 2005 and 2007, the Kenan Trust significantly expanded its commitments to the fellowship programs and also funded merit-


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LCE Kenan Fellow Samip Raval has leveraged his fellowship into a thriving career in the arts.


based scholarships at UNCSA called the William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Awards. The purpose of the scholarship awards—approved by the Trust in 2005, with a four-year grant of $1 million—is to help the School attract exceptionally talented students in artistic disciplines and provide leverage to raise additional funds in support of the scholarship program. Between April 2006 and June 2007, moreover, the Trustees approved a three-year, $3 million grant to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to establish the William R. Kenan, Jr. Performing Arts Endowment Fund to support in perpetuity the Kenan LCE Fellowships; and a $2.5 million endowment grant to the Kennedy Center to establish the William R. Kenan, Jr. Performing Arts Endowment Fund to support in perpetuity the Kenan Fellowships at the Kennedy Center. Although the two programs continued to specialize—with performance artists at LCE and designers and directors at Kennedy—the new endowments allowed each program to expand to six the number

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of fellowships awarded and also, at Kennedy, to extend to nine months the placement of artists. In the process, the Trust noted, the Kennedy fellows would have an opportunity “at D.C. area theatre companies to collaborate with established theatre professionals on a range of projects.” In both programs, “the apprenticeship and mentorship benefits provided through the fellowship experience assist these new graduates to gain invaluable occupational experience and to establish professional credibility as they embark on their artistic careers.” Like the LCE Kenan Fellowships, those at the Kennedy Center have provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for young women and men to transition from being college students to working alongside career professionals. During his time as a Kenan Fellow, actor Daniel Frith landed his first professional gig when he was offered a supporting role in a Kennedy Center production. “It was an incredibly well-written character, the cast was a group of truly generous and seasoned professionals, and at the helm was a superb director. I couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience….the Kenan Program allowed my work to be seen by people in the industry, I was constantly meeting directors and other actors to network with, and gave me the opportunity to audition for professional shows I otherwise wouldn’t have been seen for.” In 2011, the Trust gave $6 million to UNCSA—the largest one-time gift in the School’s history—as an endowment to support in perpetuity the William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Scholarships, which replaced and closely parallel the Kenan Excellence Awards that the Trust and the Kenan Fund had been supporting with grants since 2005. As competitive, merit-based scholarships, the awards are designed to attract the very best student artists from across the country and around the world by providing tuition, fees, room and board, and a stipend for four years of undergraduate study to five students in each class year. The Kenan Excellence Scholars at UNCSA are selected not only on their ability in an arts discipline but also on high grades and test scores, extracurricular achievements, and a capacity to lead and mo-


Kenan Excellence Scholar Vera Herbert, left, graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Filmmaking and a concentration in screenwriting. She is currently a producer on the NBC show, This is Us.

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tivate. Their chosen discipline is not a factor in the selection process, nor is their state of residence. Students from 14 states across the nation have received the scholarships, and several have gone on to enroll in leading arts graduate programs and win prestigious awards in opera, documentary filmmaking, theater design, and screenwriting. Proving particularly helpful to all of UNCSA’s graduates are the school’s growing support networks in New York City and Washington, D.C. With more than 120 Kenan Fellows among its graduates, UNCSA has active communities of working alumni in both cities, including the producing artistic director of Theatre Alliance in Washington and founders of the Sonnet Repertory Company and the Oh Force! Theatre Company in New York.


UNCSA/A+ Schools


ne of the first major programs at UNCSA’s Kenan Institute of the Arts was an innovative program using the arts to accelerate academic achievement. After testing the program in a small group of pilot schools, where students showed improved scores on standardized tests and fewer disciplinary problems, the Institute channeled its findings into creating A+ Schools, which launched in 1995. A comprehensive approach to school reform, the A+ Schools initiative started with the premise that the arts are fundamental to how teachers teach and how students learn in all subjects. In A+ Schools, professional development is framed by the A+ Essentials: Arts, Curriculum, Multiple Learning Pathways, Enriched Assessment, Experiential Learning, Collaboration, Climate, and Infrastructure. This process-based approach creates school environments that are unique and well-suited to the staff, students, and local resources. For example, at Raleigh’s Bugg Elementary School, certified teachers in all four art forms—dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts— complement instruction in physical education, science, technology, and library/media. At Durham’s R.N. Harris Elementary School, unit themes such as Western expansion, Civil Rights, feudal Japan, and the Middle Ages are explored through a curriculum that combines courses in science, history, literature, and the arts, the better to convey content knowledge and cultural literacy. In 2003, the A+ Schools Program moved from the Kenan Institute of the Arts to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2010 it


A+ Schools was launched through UNCSA’s Kenan Institute of the Arts to accelerate academic achievement through school reform.

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moved again, to the N.C. Arts Council, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. From its pilot program with 25 pre K–12 public schools in North Carolina, the A+ Schools program has grown into a nationwide network of more than 100 sites, with 43 of those in N.C., including five new sites that launched in the summer of 2017. All state A+ networks regularly share their practices, research, and expertise with each other, and the A+ Schools Program continues to work with other non-N.C. schools, school districts, arts and cultural organizations, and state departments of public instruction to establish A+ pilot sites across the country.


Kenan Support of the Arts

In addition to its longstanding support of arts initiatives at UNC and the UNCSA, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Trust has made grants to support an array of other arts programs, including: The Raymond Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, for experiential arts education programming for children from socioeconomically disadvantaged households Dancing Classrooms in New York,

for the innovative program that uses ballroom dancing to teach students respect for others, teamwork, confidence, and self-esteem The National Museum of Women in the Arts for the exhibition Mary Cassatt: Friends and Family

The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh for facility expansion and for educational activities connected to exhibits such as Monet in Normandy The Smithsonian American Art Museum endowment fund to support travelling exhibitions such as Treasures to Go, a collection of eight exhibitions which traveled to 72 university and regional museums over a three-year period, reaching more than two million people

Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art blockbuster exhibit El Greco to Velazquez: Art During the Reign of Phillip III 67

6 : Kenan Family Interests and Historic Preservation, Education, and Conservation


hen Thomas Kenan and Elizabeth Johnson landed in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1730, they put down roots that have grown and flourished for centuries. Like his forebears before him, William R. Kenan, Jr. felt a deep sense of pride to be part of a family whose history was shaped by and paralleled the birth and growth of the United States. Kenan worked hard throughout his life, but he also recognized that his good fortunes were attributable in part to opportunities made possible by his family legacy. Since its inception, the Kenan Charitable Trust has honored WRK’s life by continuing to support those places and institutions that had strong personal resonance for him, as well as initiatives that preserve and celebrate America’s history. Given the Kenan family’s role as beneficiaries of, and benefactors to, the University of North Carolina’s educational preeminence, it will continue to be an important recipient of funding from the Trust. Similarly, the Trust supports a number of organizations in Lockport, New York, where Kenan and his wife Alice Pomroy lived for most of their lives. Alice, who was related to the Flagler family, hailed from Lockport, and the couple became champions of its economic and social wellbeing. During their lifetimes, the Kenans donated millions of dollars to schools, churches, hospitals, and community organizations in Lock69

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port, and the Kenan Trust continues to support several of those that have become integral to the city’s identity. In 1921, William Kenan, Jr. purchased Randleigh Farm in Lockport. He was interested in issues of safe milk production and the highest quality Jersey cattle, and Randleigh Farm became a leading dairy farm and facilitator of dairy health research. Kenan collaborated with several veterinarians and scientists at Randleigh Farm on topics related to the breeding, feeding, and milk production of Jersey cows with the ultimate goal of creating a cleaner and better national milk supply. After his death in 1965, the Kenan Jersey cattle were relocated to North Carolina and a new farm dedicated as Randleigh Farm. The descendants of the Randleigh Jersey cattle currently reside at the North Carolina State University Dairy Education Unit, and the Kenan Trust in recent years has funded an exhibit there on the history of Randleigh Farm. In 1924, Kenan purchased seven acres of land on Lake Ontario, about 18 miles northeast of Lockport, to create Camp Kenan, a summer camp for boys. The idea was proposed by John Tagg, then the general secretary of the Lockport YMCA. The setting resurrected fond memories for Kenan of church, family, and YMCA activities of his childhood in North Carolina. That state’s first YMCA had been formed in Wilmington in 1857. By 1860, a YMCA had been formed at Kenan’s future alma mater, the University of North Carolina, where his father had entered as a freshman. The first name listed on the cornerstone of UNC’s Campus Y, which was built in 1907, is that of Kenan’s uncle, Thomas S. Kenan, who was then president of the University’s alumni association. (Kenan deeded the land to the Lockport YMCA, which still owns and operates the camp.) Over time, Camp Kenan expanded to 53 acres, and began admitting girls and hiring young women as counselors. The Kenan Trust continues to collaborate closely with the YMCA in supporting new construction and continued maintenance at the camp, including camp cabins, staff housing, a dining hall, pool repairs, a two-story recreation hall, drainage, demolition, new signage, a climbing tower, gear, and safety

Generations of campers have made lasting memories and learned new skills at Camp Kenan.


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equipment. The Trustees have also helped fund Camp Happiness, a camp for adults with developmental disabilities. During her life, Alice Pomroy Kenan was a faithful member of Lockport’s First Presbyterian Church. Shortly after her death, her husband commissioned the design, fabrication, and installation of two large windows of Tiffany glass for the church’s sanctuary. Given in memory of Alice, the windows are among twelve in the church that now serve as a popular attraction for visitors. The church remains a vital part of the community, and the Kenan Trust has funded new initiatives that have enriched the congregation, such as a concert series and an annual theology lecture series featuring Duke University Divinity School faculty. As part of his negotiations with First Presbyterian Church, Kenan also offered the 25 acres and original structures on his and Alice’s property between Locust Street and Beattie Avenue. The buildings included his Victorian mansion (which he continued to occupy while he lived), a carriage house, a greenhouse, and a barn that had once been a carriage house on a neighboring property. The church accepted the offer, which came with a request by Kenan’s advisors on how the property could best be used for humanitarian purposes. The church congregation proposed the construction of a multipurpose community center on the property. Kenan pledged to donate $472,000 toward such a center if the church raised another $100,000, and in 1963, Kenan conveyed his Locust-Beattie properties to the First Presbyterian Church of Lockport. The church eventually reached its fundraising goal, but only after Kenan’s death in July 1965. Five months later, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust made a separate endowment grant of $500,000 to help maintain the mansion, outbuildings, and grounds. After an initial art exhibit staged by the church in 1966, the Kenan Center was chartered in 1967. The center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation managed and directed by an elected, nondenominational board of governors. Between 1968 and 1973, as repairs were made to the mansion, the

Duke Divinity professor Luke Bretherton delivers the Kenan theology lecture at Lockport’s First Presbyterian Church.


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The Kenan Quilter’s Guild biennial quilt show is a popular event that attracts artists, community members, and visitors to the Kenan Center.


Kenan Center dedicated several facilities on its campus. One was the Taylor Theatre. Originally the mansion’s carriage house, the structure was renovated and converted into a 153-seat theater using funding from local philanthropists. In addition to serving local theater groups, such as the Four Seasons Players, the Taylor Theatre features performing artists from around the region and the world, including the Niagara University Repertory Theatre and the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Also during this period the center dedicated the Kenan Arena and the Craft Barn. The arena was completed in 1968, on the Beattie Avenue side of the campus, and was dedicated the following year. Its key feature, an indoor skating rink, immediately proved extremely popular as a source of recreation and as an inspiration for the much-anticipated 1970 premiere of the Buffalo Sabres in the National Hockey League. The Craft Barn, dedicated in 1973, was a well-equipped studio made from the rehabilitated barn. Now known as the Education Building, it houses the Kenan Center’s Montessori Preschool. By the early 1980s, the Kenan Center campus was a popular magnet for arts and theater as well as recreation and sports. The Kenan Arena became a venue for drawing tourists to an annual crafts festival, and home to the Lockport Hockey Association, a popular and competitive high school league whose select squads were perennial contenders in the Western New York Club League. Today, the arena is home to one of the largest indoor youth soccer programs in Western New York, as well as other youth and adult sports programs, a training and fitness center, and a multi-use 5,800 square foot “Annex.” It also hosts such

Center events such as 100 American Craftsmen, the Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting Fest, the Kenan Quilters’ Guild biennial quilt show, and various community events and sporting competitions. The Center’s ties to the community are at least as strong (if not stronger) than at any other time in the Center’s history. From art galleries and period restorations in the Kenan House to presentations at the Taylor Theatre, an Herb Club and Greenhouse, a Montessori preschool, and the multipurpose Kenan Arena, the center continues to maintain and experiment with a wide array of artistic, educational, and recreational services. In 2016, the Trustees awarded a $1.2 million grant to help fund the construction of the Cornerstone CFCU Arena in downtown Lockport, a visible testament to the city’s changing fortunes, and those of its citizens. The arena boasts two NHL-sized ice rinks and an elite performance training center, among other amenities. In addition to these initiatives with direct ties to William R. Kenan, Jr., the Trust identifies additional grantees dedicated to conservation and preservation, including several in Kentucky. The Bluegrass Land Conservancy, for example, received operational support for its work with landowners, community groups, and municipalities to encourage the preservation of land, historic farms, rivers, and streams for agricultural viability, natural habitat, rural heritage, and scenic open space. And Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States between 1805 and 1910, has received support for restoration and structural repairs. A popular tourist destination, Shaker Village is a National Historic Landmark. k e n a n fa m i ly i n t e re s t s 75

7 : Whole Community Health


ood, clothing, shelter. Human beings have fundamental needs that must be met for survival. Yet in order to thrive and be productive members of society, so much more is needed: economic security, a sense of personal safety and agency, and the comfort and support that comes from being part of a fellowship or community. The Kenan Charitable Trust first ventured into grantmaking for vulnerable populations in response to a series of natural disasters in the late 1990s and early 2000s, most notably several devastating hurricanes that hit North Carolina, and the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. James G. Kenan III was elected Trustee in 2011, and he urged his fellow Trustees to consider how best to strengthen society in both the short-term and for the benefit of future generations. Thus, the Trust’s focus on whole community health became more integrated and intentional, through support for organizations providing services to people lacking food security, basic healthcare, and other support services. In doing so, the Trustees noted that global economic instability, coupled with sustained levels of unemployment and rising food costs in the U.S., had led to widespread food insecurity. One of its first targeted initiatives in this space was to provide significant funding to food banks located in the Trust’s four target states—New York, North Carolina, Florida, and Kentucky. Among the inaugural recipients of grant funding were two members of Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations working together throughout the United States. Feeding South Florida, which was operating in a region that had experienced a more than three-fold increase in clients seeking emer77

whole community health

Feeding South Florida’s BackPack program ensures that children who receive free or discounted meals at school have nutritious food for the weekend.


gency food assistance. Kenan Trust assistance provided additional support for Feeding South Florida’s BackPack and Mobile Food Pantry programs. The former initiative provides children who receive free or discounted meals during the school week with backpacks full of nutritional food for the weekend. The latter distributes tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, and bread each year to tens of thousands of individuals. A second recipient, God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Kentucky, distributes food and grocery products to food pantries, soup kitchens, youth programs, senior centers, and day care centers, and advocates for greater awareness of and policies for people facing food insecurity. Additional Feeding America member groups were added in the years that followed, with an eye toward those whose work has significant and far-reaching impact. The Food Bank of Western New York in Buffalo, for example, supplies food to hundreds of partner agencies, including homeless shelters and community centers in four counties. And the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina fights hunger in 34 counties, through efforts to address immediate needs, as well as through nutrition education, teaching kitchens, and working with

whole community health

other nonprofits to address the underlying causes that contribute to hunger and lack of access to healthy food. The Trust’s commitment to whole community health doubled during fiscal year 2013 as a result of support for relief services following Hurricane Sandy. The Trustees awarded $1.2 million to five new grantees within 48 hours of the storm hitting the New Jersey coast in October 2012. All five of the grantees focused mainly on food security: Community Food Bank of New Jersey; Food Bank of New York City and NYC’s City Harvest; Island Harvest of Mineola, New York; and Long Island Cares of Hauppauge, New York. The Trust has continued to provide support for these and other agencies that are often the only resource for families struggling to make ends meet. A second key focus of this Trust initiative is healthcare in its myriad forms, including physical, psychological, developmental, and medical. Grants have helped coordinate services for sexually abused children; provide high-quality, multilingual primary and preventive healthcare to low-income families and uninsured residents; understand the particular needs of the growing geriatric population; pay the salary of a medical coordinator to oversee integrated healthcare for residents of homeless shelters; and provide early intervention programs for children born legally blind. With an eye toward sustainability and long-term impact, the Trust has also helped launch game-changing programs such as the Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program. A collaboration with the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine and the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina, the program was created to address the acute need for primary care healthcare professionals in rural North Carolina. The program was the brainchild of Tom Kenan and Richard Krasno, who was then completing his 15th year as executive director of the Trust. Krasno had served as a director of the UNC Health Care System (2004–2012) and as chairman of its board (2009–2012), and he reached out to his UNC School of Medicine colleagues Dr. William L. Roper, dean of the school, and


The 2017 Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars.


whole community health

Dr. Robert Bashford, dean of admissions, to design the program. The success of the rural experience program prompted an expansion to include scholars interested in urban underserved populations as well. The Primary Care Medical Scholars Program has attracted the interest of young women and men who have both personal and professional reasons for pursuing healthcare careers. Jeb Fox, who grew up in a rural community of Boone, North Carolina, can trace his family’s presence in the North Carolina mountains for generations. He aspires to provide primary medical care to the people and families that are part of his literal and figurative DNA. Similarly, Anna McKinsey has roots in Appalachia, and is deeply committed to building long-term relationships with patients and working with communities to establish a holistic medical practice. In the same vein, the UNC Rural Interprofessional Health Initiative (RIPHI), a three-year pilot program supported by the Trust, provides faculty and programmatic support to help UNC health professions students serve and learn in underserved rural clinic settings in North Carolina. The RIPHI program complements the Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars program, and is a joint effort of the health professions schools at UNC, each of which has a similar mission—improve and promote the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians, improve public health and eliminate health inequities, and advance and advocate for health care through education, practice, research, innovation, and collaboration. The Trustees continue to fund organizations working under the broad umbrella of whole community health. They are intentional about discerning those that are part of effective, integrated networks dedicated to collaborative problem-solving. Durham-based nonprofit MDC, for example, operates the Benefit Bank of NC, which brings together faith and community-based organizations, advocacy groups, public agencies, community colleges, employers, and other stakeholders to reduce poverty. Similarly, Kenan grant recipient the NC Justice Center works in partnership with multiple agencies—faith


whole community health

groups, the legal system, police/public safety, employers, and housing—to help previously incarcerated men and women assimilate successfully back into society. Indeed, as the Kenan Trust considers funding opportunities in all of its program areas, it increasingly seeks partners who are employing multipronged approaches to systemic problems. While the emphasis on innovation and multisector partnerships marks an evolution in the philanthropic landscape, it’s a philosophy that is firmly grounded in William R. Kenan, Jr.’s desire to support those efforts and initiatives that can have maximum benefit for mankind.


8 : Looking Forward


acial unrest. A deeply divided country. Disenfranchised populations. This was the state of America when the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust came into existence, and these dangerous and disturbing characteristics of our nation continue today. Politics have become even more contentious, and economic inequality and discrimination persist. It would be easy to get discouraged that these ills still prevail, and in some cases are even more pronounced. However, the work of the Kenan Trust is firmly rooted in the observation that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. To that end, the Trustees rely on the expertise of leaders at the grassroots level who are addressing those problems as they relate to their communities, and by seeding and supporting adaptive, innovative approaches to entrenched and interconnected issues. When considering how to allocate grants, the Trust looks for initiatives that have the potential to impact as many people as possible, with the understanding that finding solutions requires time, trial and error, and constant recalibration. When initiatives prove successful, the Trust encourages and facilitates partnerships that can accelerate those efforts and scale them on a national level whenever feasible. In recent years, the Trust has begun tackling the complex nature of social and economic inequality as it relates to criminal justice and racial discrimination. In the powerful 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess—the inspiration for the Oscar-winning documentary 13th—author and legal scholar Michelle Alexander documents with chilling precision how the American justice system has become a perverted form of slavery. African 83

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Americans are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and when they return to society they are denied basic civil and human rights, including the right to vote and serve on juries. Because of their criminal records, they are subject to discrimination in employment, housing, and access to education and public benefits. Alexander makes the case that it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. As she notes, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.� This is not an issue that affects only the African-American community. It affects everyone. Spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on pre K-12 public education in the last 30 years. Money that’s being used to warehouse people for minor offenses could be used to provide more robust educational pathways and opportunities for all children. Creating obstacles for whole swaths of the population to better themselves, gain economic independence, and be present for their families and neighborhoods, only serves to reinforce and perpetuate cycles of poverty and despair. Breaking those cycles requires educational and social interventions, and for those interventions to succeed, they must be both practical and ambitious. The Kenan Trust is honored to be part of the innovative ways this is being done in Kentucky, in close partnership with local city leaders, community advocates, and national organizations such as Cities United, a coalition of nearly 100 mayors committed to reducing homicides in their cities by 50 percent by the year 2025. The Trust funds initiatives spearheaded by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and the Lexington Leadership Foundation to create a well-trained workforce and strengthen families. Kenan partners have created civic leadership fellowships for young men in Lexington and Louisville impacted by violence, the better to create a cohort of young black men who can serve as role models and change agents in their communi-

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is one of several Kenan-funded initiatives in Kentucky to strengthen families and communities.


Lexington’s FoodChain and GleanKY have renovated previously abandoned space into a teaching kitchen.


looking forward

ties. Working closely with local public schools and universities, Kenan partners are strengthening the K-16 pipeline, to ensure that one’s skin color or zip code don’t relegate another generation of children to second-class status. As Trust collaborator Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United says, “We must work more collaboratively if we are going to make sure all of us can live in communities that are safe, healthy, and hopeful.” Another fundamental element of a strong community is the overall health and wellness of its residents. The Kenan Trust’s work in Kentucky includes a focus on low-income neighborhoods that often lack access to nutritious food. Lexington’s FoodChain and its partner GleanKY have received Kenan funding to build a strong network of resources and offerings, including the creation of an aquaponics farm and a teaching kitchen, a process for repurposing food from groceries and farmers to serve the hungry and homeless, and classes in cooking and nutrition. In launching and expanding their programs, these organizations work closely with local farmers and restaurants, nutritional experts at Kentucky universities, and with local school, community, business, and nonprofit groups. The support in Kentucky is just one example of how the Kenan Trust is embarking on the next phase of the work ahead. The Trustees are committed to righting the wrongs of injustice on a national scale by facilitating nimble and creative problem-solving at the community level. The Trust is not a static entity that bestows money from an office far from where the hard work is done. Trustees make site visits, ask questions, and expedite connections between nonprofits tackling related issues. Grants include a reporting requirement to monitor whether interventions are successful, which in turn informs the creation of stronger, multiple-partner coalitions to build momentum and drive innovation. The Kenan Charitable Trust’s partners have accomplished remarkable things over the last 50 years. These efforts have helped reduce


looking forward

illiteracy, increase educational access and opportunity, provided aid in times of crisis and disaster, and supported artistic initiatives that sustain our souls and strengthen the common bond of humanity. Yet the work is never done. Guided by a spirit of intrepid resolve, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust embarks on the exciting, unfolding journey ahead.



A. Roberts MacMannis  (1966–1978) Alexander Roberts MacMannis was a graduate of Eastman Business College who also held a graduate degree in accounting from Southeastern University. After working in Washington for what was then the Bureau of Internal Revenue, MacMannis had joined the Flagler System as an accountant from 1926 to 1965. In that capacity, he had become William R. Kenan, Jr.’s closest adviser and friend. He succeeded Kenan as president and CEO of the Flagler System between 1963 and 1965, and he became both an executor of Kenan’s estate and one of the original Trustees of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. John Lathrop Gray Jr.  (1966–1982) For advice on legal and estate matters, William R. Kenan, Jr. relied on the prominent New York law firm of Root, Ballantine, Harlan, Bushby, Palmer & Wood—later Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood. After initially working with senior partner Arthur A. Ballantine, William and his sisters received close attention from John Lathrop Gray Jr., the firm’s specialist in estate, trust, and tax law. “Jack” Gray was a double Harvard graduate (undergraduate and law), and he joined MacMannis as an executor of Kenan’s estate and an original Trustee of the Kenan Trust.


Frank H. Kenan  (1978–1996) A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played varsity football, Frank Kenan founded the Tops Petroleum Corporation, the Westfield Company, the Kenan Oil Company and the Kenan Transport Company. He was also the chief executive of Flagler System Companies in Florida. He was a director of the original Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and numerous other institutions in the area.

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Thomas S. Kenan III  (1982–present) Tom Kenan received a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A vice chairman and director of Flagler System, Inc., he was formerly chairman of the board of Kenan Transport Company, a petroleum transport business. In addition to his service on the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Tom serves or has served as a trustee or officer for numerous foundations and funds, including the Randleigh Foundation Trusts, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Semans Art Fund, and The Duke Endowment. A founder of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1969–85 and is now an honorary trustee. He was on the UNCSA Foundation board from 1974–90, and has been on the Board of Visitors since 1985.


Mary Lily (Molly) Flagler Lewis Wiley  (1996–2010) Molly Wiley was as dedicated to honoring the Flagler legacy in St. Augustine, Florida, as her Kenan cousins were to honoring it in Palm Beach. Using funds from the Flagler Foundation established by her grandmother, Jessie Kenan Wise—who had established the Foundation with funds she inherited from the Flagler System Charitable Trust established by her brother, William—Molly and her brother Lawrence had led the effort to preserve, renovate, and transform Flagler’s first Florida hotel, the Ponce de Leon Hotel, into Flagler College.

James Graham (Jim) Kenan III  (2010–present) Born in Lexington, Kentucky, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Jim Kenan attended Hotchkiss, a private boarding school in Connecticut, before graduating from the University of North Carolina with a degree in English. After working for six years in New York at Morgan Guaranty Trust (now JPMorgan Chase), he returned to Kentucky as chairman of his family’s business, the Kentucky River Coal Corporation. In 1986, he succeeded his uncle Frank Kenan as chairman and CEO of Flagler System, which operates The Breakers Hotel and other interests in Palm Beach, Florida. Jim also serves on the boards of two other family foundations and three additional organizations, including Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky.

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The current Kenan Trustees are Thomas S. Kenan III, JPMorgan representative Mary C. Campbell, James G. Kenan III, and JPMorgan corporate trustee Robert P. Baynard, from left.

William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Individual Trustees Alexander R. MacMannis, 1966–1978 John L. Gray Jr., 1966–1982 Frank H. Kenan, 1978–1996 Thomas S. Kenan, III, 1982–present Mary Lily Flagler Lewis Wiley, 1996–2010 James G. Kenan III, 2010– present

Advisory Committee (1966–1977) James G. Kenan Frank H. Kenan Lawrence Lewis Russell L. Fink

JPM Representatives Thomas J. Sweeney, 1966–1989, representative Harry Barbee, Jr. 1966–1990, representative Frederick Gardner, 1990–1994, representative Daniel W. Drake, 1989–1999, representative J. Haywood Davis, 1994–2003, representative Daniel M. Fitzpatrick, 1999–2000, representative Christopher H.A. Cecil, 2003–2004, representative Robert P. Baynard, 2004–present, representative


Hamilton C. Hoyt, 1966–1968, account manager Edward W. Probert, 1968–1984, account manager Mary C. Campbell, 1984–present, account manager


kenan charitable trustees and staff

George Cordwell, 1966–1987, Secretary to the Trustees Hamilton C. Hoyt, 1968–1987, Administrator William C. Friday, 1987–1999, Executive Director Zona C. Norwood, 1986–2006, Administrative Assistant Ernest L. Howell, 1986–2009, Assistant Vanessa Hayes-Talbert, 1996–2010, Secretary Richard M. Krasno, 1999–2014, Executive Director Catherine Burnett, 2006–2014, Senior Evaluation Officer Tinka Deal, 2010–present, Executive Coordinator Douglas C. Zinn, 2012–2014, Assistant Executive Director, 2014–present, Executive Director Dorian Burton, 2015–present, Program Officer & Assistant Executive Director Catherine Fryszczyn, 2017–present, Senior Evaluation Officer


within–What can I do alone? between–What can I do with another person? among–What can I do as part of a community? K-3 students at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC, were invited to explore the idea of reinventing the community, the essence of the Kenan Charitable Trust’s grantmaking. Given the three stages of philanthropy, “within-between-among,” their drawings varied in interpretation and demonstrate how the ideas interrelate and resonate with all ages. The one displayed focused on recycling.

photo credits Page 2: Flagler College Page 5: [Frank Kenan]: Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Page 5: [Tom Kenan]: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Page 6: [Molly Wiley]: Flagler College Page 6: [James Kenan]: Donn Young Photography Page 8: Portrait Collection #P0002, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Page 12: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University Page 14: William & Mary Page 17: Harvard University Archives. UAV 605.295.11p (Box 3) Page 23: Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Page 25: Student U Page 28: National Center for Families Learning Page 30: National Center for Families Learning Page 32: PAVE Page 39: Kyle Payne Page 42: UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Page 47: College of Engineering. General (UA023.012.000), Special Collections Research Center at NCSU Libraries Page 49: Kenan Institute for Ethics Page 54: University of North Carolina School of the Arts Page 56: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/Music Department Page 59: University of North Carolina School of the Arts Page 60: David Flores/University of North Carolina School of the Arts Page 62: University of North Carolina School of the Arts Page 64: University of North Carolina School of the Arts Page 66: A+ Schools of North Carolina Page 71: Camp Kenan Page 73: Lockport First Presbyterian Church Page 74: The Kenan Center Page 78: Feeding South Florida Page 80: University of North Carolina School of Medicine Page 85: K&S Media/CBMA Page 86: Lexington FoodChain Page 92: Donn Young Photography Page 95: Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC


The First Fifty Years of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

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