About Morehead-Cain

    • 1945

      John Motley Morehead III signs indenture creating the John Motley Morehead Foundation

      1947

      Cornerstone of Morehead Building laid on UNC campus

    • 1949

      Morehead Building and Planetarium completed and given to University; Planetarium becomes first associated with a university

      1951

      Morehead Scholarship Program established

    • 1954

      First two out-of-state high schools become eligible to nominate students for Morehead Award (Episcopal High School, Alexandria, Virginia, and Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest, Virginia)

      1957

      First class of four-year undergraduate Morehead Scholars is graduated from UNC

    • 1959

      Mercury Astronauts begin training at Morehead Planetarium

    • 1960

      UNC student body declares November 3 “John Motley Morehead Day”

      1962

      Norton Tennille ’62 becomes first Morehead Alumnus to receive Rhodes Scholarship

    • 1964

      Death of John Lindsay Morehead

      1965

      Death of John Motley Morehead

    • 1966

      Jim Exum ’57 becomes first Morehead Alumnus elected to N.C. House of Representatives

      1969

      British Morehead Award established

    • 1974

      Women become eligible to be nominated for Morehead Award

      Morehead Summer Enrichment Program established

      1979

      Morehead Alumna Karen Stevenson ’79 becomes first African-American woman to receive a Rhodes Scholarship; later serves as a trustee of the Rhodes Trust

    • 1982

      Morehead Alumnus Jim Cooper ’75 becomes youngest person in U.S. House of Representatives (age 28)

      Morehead Alumnus Robin Britt ’63 elected to U.S. House of Representatives

      1985

      Patricia Wallace ’86 becomes first woman elected UNC student body president

      Canadian Morehead Award established

    • 1986

      Morehead Alumnus David Price ’61 elected to U.S. House of Representatives

      Morehead Alumnus Jim Exum ’57 becomes chief justice, N.C. Supreme Court

      1989

      Brien Lewis ’90, a Canadian scholar, becomes first international student elected UNC student body president

      Morehead Alumnus Taylor Branch ’68 wins Pulitzer Prize for his book Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954–1963; Branch later receives MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. “Genius Award”) for his writing

    • 1990

      Morehead Alumni Distinguished Professorship fully endowed at $1 million

      1991

      100-year anniversary of John Motley Morehead’s graduation from UNC

    • 1993

      UNC celebrates bicentennial

      Morehead Alumni inaugurate $3 million Morehead Alumni Bicentennial Fund

      1995

      Fiftieth anniversary of Morehead Foundation

    • 1996

      Morehead Alumnus Mike McIntyre ’78 elected to U.S. House of Representatives

      1997

      First Morehead Alumni Forum, founded by Brad Ives ’86, held in Chapel Hill

    • 1998

      Morehead Foundation contributes $500,000 to UNC Undergraduate Honors Program in support of new Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence

      1999

      Morehead Alumnus Anthony Harrington appointed U.S. Ambassador to Brazil

      Morehead Alumnus John R. Hamilton ’66 sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Peru

    • 2000

      Morehead Alumna Ann Livermore ’80, president of HP Services at Hewlett-Packard Company, named 11th most powerful woman in business by Fortune magazine

      Second triennial Morehead Alumni Forum held in Chapel Hill

      2001

      Morehead Alumnus Francis Collins ’77 (medical fellow), director of National Human Genome Research Institute, selected as Industry Week magazine’s Technology Leader of the Year for his work in deciphering human genetic code

    • 2002

      Death of Gordon A. Cain at the age of 90

      UNC launches “Carolina First” fundraising campaign; Morehead Alumni goal is $4 million

      2003

      Morehead-Cain Alumna Sallie Krawcheck ’87 named one of Fortune and Forbes magazine’s most powerful women in business for multiple years

      Third triennial Morehead Alumni Forum held in Chapel Hill

    • 2004

      Inauguration of the Morehead Scholarship Foundation (renamed the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund in 2008)

      2006

      Fourth triennial Morehead Alumni Forum held in Chapel Hill

    • 2007

      Morehead Foundation receives grant of $100 million from the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation and becomes the Morehead-Cain Foundation

      2008

      Discovery Fund established

      Alumni-in-Residence Program and Alumni Speaker Series established

      Alumni Advisory Teams established

      Alumni readers assist with selection process for the first time

    • 2009

      Fifth triennial Morehead-Cain Alumni Forum held in Chapel Hill

      Mary H. Cain Distinguished Professorship in Art History established

      2010

      Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Visiting Honors Professorship established

      Eve Marie Carson Carolina Way Scholarship established in memory of Eve Carson ’08

    • 2012

      Sixth triennial Morehead-Cain Alumni Forum held in Chapel Hill

      2013

      Rachel Myrick ’13 becomes 30th Morehead-Cain to win a Rhodes Scholarship.

      Christopher “Christy” Lambden ’14 becomes 25th Morehead-Cain and first British student elected UNC student body president


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is
no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


Who We Are

The First.

The first merit scholarship program established in the United States. Founded at the first public university in the United States. The first to envision and implement a strategic summer enrichment program and, most recently, the first to designate a fund for discovery for each of our scholars. Established in 1945 and inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, the Morehead-Cain provides an undergraduate experience without peer.

The Framework.

Four years, four summers—fully funded. Immersion in a vibrant student body. Experienced advisors to introduce passion and potential to a world of opportunity. Exclusive enrichment and networking opportunities—indeed a lifetime connection—with the unparalleled community of Morehead-Cains across the globe.

The Freedom.

Scholars bring the potential, we set it free. We fund. We connect. We encourage. On occasion we question. Sometimes we guide. Frequently we get out of the way. What we don’t do is dictate. The Morehead-Cain is a program proven to develop leaders in a framework intentionally nimble. We provide a net, then let scholars go, giving them the trust and freedom to pursue their own interests, mine their own potential, determine their own sphere of influence, and have their own impact.

What We Do

We Identify.

Decades of experience have developed a singular expertise—pinpointing impact amid a sea of promise. The process is rigorous, the result is this: a small, select community of discernible influence. Morehead-Cain Scholars are driven leaders possessing the rare combination of potential, principle, and purpose, who seek—and receive—more from their undergraduate experience than academic achievement alone.

We Invest.

More than just money. Confidence. Trust. Networks. Time. Community. Collective wisdom. A proven framework. We employ all of the relationships and resources of the Foundation to accelerate the scholars’ experience, providing them more insight, more connections, more engagement, more skill, more understanding, more capacity for impact.

We Inspire.

Accepting the invitation to become a Morehead-Cain means accepting the lifelong challenge inherent in it: To impact—positively, profoundly, perpetually—the people and pursuits that define your life.