Investing In Bright Futures

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“It is my ardent desire to perpetuate as far as possible the great service which [the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] has rendered to the State of North Carolina, the South, and the Nation, and I can think of no better way of extending its influence and increasing its prestige than by enabling youth of . . . character and ability . . . to become students thereat.”

–John Motley Morehead III


In 1945, John Motley Morehead III established the first merit scholarship in the United States. His vision was to invest in those with the capacity for leadership so they could use their gifts to give back to University and the world.

In 2007, Mary Cain gave a generous gift to the Morehead Foundation to continue the legacy of her husband, Gordon, whose life and philosophies were very similar to those of John Motley Morehead III.

Morehead-Cain Alumni and friends value the generosity and vision of our two benefactors—a vision that continues to guide us today. We now have the opportunity to invest in a new generation of scholars.


“The money we are giving away was made by using leverage, so it follows that leverage should be a factor in giving it away. Rather than donating money to alleviate problems, it is better to try to prevent the problems. Consequently, a substantial part of our funds is going to education at all levels, from trying to improve the secondary schools to creating college scholarships.”
—Gordon A. Cain


Although our scholars make up only just over one percent of the undergraduate student body, they have had an exponential impact at Carolina. They are leaders: at this year’s inauguration of the new student body officers, the outgoing student body president, chief of staff, honor court chair, and student attorney general welcomed the new student body president, senior advisor, student body secretary, student attorney general, and senior class president—all Morehead-Cain Scholars.

They bring academic prestige to UNC: 31 of Carolina’s last 34 Rhodes Scholars, the University’s first Gates Cambridge Scholar, 19 Truman Scholars, 5 Mitchell Scholars, 24 Luce Scholars, and 35 Fulbright Scholars.

And they leave legacies: founders of the Clef Hangers, the UNC Dance Marathon, Students for Students International, and the HOPE Community Garden in Chapel Hill, just to name a few.

Your gift to the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund counts as a gift to Carolina. And what better way to invest in this University than in the Program that has contributed so much to its leadership, prestige, community, and academic climate?