Former UNC Chancellor William B. Aycock dies at 99

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — William Brantley Aycock ’37, who began his career as a high school history teacher and became a distinguished professor and chancellor of the University during a period of tremendous growth and social and political upheaval, died Saturday, according to the school. He was 99.

Throughout his long life, Aycock walked outside his door and met the face of duty on the other side, where it requested his singular intellect and matchless industry. In each of those moments — when his father fell ill in 1938, requiring him to provide for his family; when World War II erupted, prompting Col. Aycock’s decorated military service; and when the new UNC System president, William Friday ’48 (LLB), asked him to leave the law school to serve as chancellor in 1957 — Aycock never slighted those who needed him.

“I’ll be happy to take a turn,” he told Friday of the chancellorship, vowing not to serve more than seven years. “I’m primarily interested in teaching school, but I’ll come and take a turn.”

Read more: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill