UNC President Thomas W. Ross is the 2015 recipient of the Echo Foundation’s Award Against Indifference. The Charlotte-based foundation presents the award each year to a member of the community who works "with an eye toward peace, a heart filled with compassion and a voice against indifference.”
Ross, who accepted the award September 17 during an awards gala in Charlotte, was honored for his lifelong commitment to justice, equality, and open access to excellent education. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System, was the evening’s keynote speaker and received the foundation’s inaugural Sandra and Leon Levine Medal for Life Award.
Ross has served as President of the 17-campus University of North Carolina since 2011. A graduate of Davidson College and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, he previously has served as president of Davidson, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a Superior Court judge, and director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. He also has practiced law, served as a congressional staffer, and served on the faculty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government.
Ross’ many previous honors include the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice Award, the NC Bar Association Citizen Lawyer Award, Distinguished Alumni Awards from both Davidson and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, and the UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 to carry on the message Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte that year – a call to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage. The Echo Foundation brings speakers and programs to Charlotte that demonstrate how one person can make a difference for humanity.