UNC-Chapel Hill to celebrate life of Dean Smith on Feb. 22 at Smith Center; Family to hold private church service Feb. 12

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UNC-Chapel Hill to celebrate life of Dean Smith on Feb. 22 at Smith Center;
Family to hold private church service Feb. 12


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Feb. 9, 2015) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will celebrate the life of Coach Dean Smith during a public memorial service at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22, in the Dean E. Smith Center. More details will be announced at a later date. The public, fans and all who cared about Coach Smith are invited to attend this event.


The family will have a private church service on Thursday morning, Feb. 12. The University asks the public to respect the family’s wishes regarding Thursday’s private church service, as space will be limited. Members of the Smith family; Mr. Smith’s close personal friends; and Coach Smith’s basketball lettermen, coaches and team managers should RSVP as soon as possible to Kaye Chase at 919-962-7870 or chasek@unc.edu. All others are encouraged to attend the University’s celebration of Coach Smith’s life on Feb. 22.


“We are comforted by the countless gestures and words from people near and far offering their condolences,” the Smith family said in a statement issued Monday. “Although we are unable to respond to each individual, we deeply appreciate everyone reaching out to share how Coach Smith touched their lives. We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever.”


The family has said that in lieu of flowers, individuals should feel free to make a memorial contribution to one of the following organizations:

  • The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, based in Chapel Hill. The organization lives out Smith’s values of caring for the poor and those in need. For more information, contact The IFC.


  • The Dean E. Smith Opening Doors Fund will support talented undergraduate students who need significant financial assistance to attend Carolina. It will also provide financial support to graduate students in education and social work — two fields close to Smith’s heart. For more information on the fund, contact UNC Development.


  • Individuals may also give to the charity of their choice to honor Coach Smith and the values he exemplified.




Communications and Public Affairs contacts: Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595, karen_moon@unc.edu; Tanya Moore, (919) 962-6229, tanya_moore@unc.edu


Athletics Communications contact: Steve Kirschner, (919) 962-7258, stevekirschner@unc.edu