John Motley Morehead III

UNC Class of 1891

From an editorial in the Greensboro News & Record, as reported in "The First State University."

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John Motley Morehead has become for North Carolina what the Medici and Borgias once were to Renaissance Florence — a patron of culture and enlightenment with few peers…

“Uncle Mot,” as he was known to many of the 425 Morehead Scholars whom he had met personally before his death in 1965, made his most important scientific discovery less than a year after he graduated from UNC in 1891.

While working as a chemical engineer for his father in Spray, N.C., trying to make aluminum in the world’s first electric arc furnace, Morehead discovered calcium carbide and perfected the present-day process for its economic manufacture.