A Chapel Hill couple has given the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health the means to retain or recruit a professor who is a global leader in research and policies for improving the world’s access to clean water and sanitation.
The Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professorship Fund has been established with a $666,000 gift from the Holzworths, who already are among the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s most ardent supporters. The gift will be supplemented with matching funds through the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund to create a $1 million distinguished professorship.
Income from the professorship endowment will be used to provide salary, travel, student assistant and other scholarly support to a designated faculty member in the public health school.
“We share the commitment that UNC has to improving public health around the world,” said Don Holzworth. “We are delighted to be in a position to support the University’s work, particularly in the area of global water and sanitation. Through The Water Institute at UNC and other exciting initiatives, we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the world by leading efforts that leverage ideas coming from universities, governments and the private sector.”
Chancellor Holden Thorp announced the Holzworth’s gift today (March 22) during a meeting of the University’s Board of Trustees. The University just announced plans to mobilize the campus around water through a new two-year, campus-wide academic theme. Key issues of focus will include ensuring water is available to and safe for people around the world since that access affects their health, the economy and social development. A faculty proposal to establish the campus-wide theme, a first for the University in recent history, was led by units including the Water Institute as a response to the Academic Plan.
“This latest gift from the Holzworths strengthens the school’s capacity to make a real difference in global health through the Water Institute,” said Dean Barbara Rimer. “We are so grateful to Don and Jennifer for their passionate support of the school, and especially, our faculty and students. Their interests align perfectly with how both the school and the University are drawing from our expertise and energy on campus to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.”
The Holzworths have generously supported the Gillings school for many years. They established a popular and innovative online executive doctoral program in health leadership, created the Arthur B. Holzworth Scholarship in Health Leadership, the Charles A. Veatch Scholarship in Health Leadership and the Don and Jennifer Holzworth Merit Scholarship in Public Health. They also support the Triangle Global Health Case Competition. Parents of UNC golfer David Holzworth, a member of the Class of 2010, the Holzworths also are generous supporters of athletics at Carolina.
Don Holzworth, who serves as the school’s first Gillings Executive-in-Residence, is chairman of the School of Public Health Advisory Council and an adjunct professor of health policy and management. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle and has been instrumental in helping to lead innovation at the school and in launching the Water Institute at UNC, which is part of the public health school.
The couple’s support of the University flows from a lifetime of dedication to global public health. Don Holzworth founded Constella Group in 1983, a human health services company that employed innovative science, technology and management solutions to solve pressing health problems in more than 60 countries. In 2001, he founded Expression Analysis Inc., a genomic services company that unravels the genetic basis of disease. He served on the President’s Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS under the Bush administration. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Accordia Global Health Foundation, which builds centers of excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa focused on reducing the burden of infectious diseases.
Jennifer Holzworth was Constella’s chief financial officer during its start-up phase and has focused on volunteer work, most recently with emergency and other medical services in Vail, Colo.
For more information on UNC water theme, see http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/5180/107/.
For more information on The Water Institute at UNC, see: www.waterinstitute.unc.edu.
Photo of Don and Jennifer Holzworth: http://uncnews.unc.edu/images/stories/news/campus/2012/holtzworth_crop.jpg
School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467,
News Services contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593,