The UNC System Council of Student Body Presidents has honored Chancellor Gilliam with the 2022 William C. Friday Lifetime Achievement Award. It is given annually to a public figure who has exhibited exemplary service to students.
Council member and UNCG Student Government Association President Hazael Mengesha nominated Gilliam for the award. He accepted it on his behalf Saturday, April 22, on the campus of Western Carolina University during the council’s end-of-year banquet. Mengesha presented the award to Chancellor Gilliam in person on April 25, at a meeting of the UNCG Board of Trustees.
In a message played during the banquet, Chancellor Gilliam said, “I’m truly honored to join the distinguished group of previous winners and am all the more honored to have been chosen by you, our talented and dynamic student leaders who represent our campuses.”
The award is named after revered statesman of American public education, William “Bill” Friday, who was president of the UNC System for 30 years. He worked to repeal the 1963 Speaker Ban Law, which made it illegal for critics of the government to appear on campus. He oversaw the racial desegregation of the University System and its expansion to include all of its 16 sister institutions.