Doug and Beth Searcy of Wilson, NC are the 2020-2021 National Chairs of the Carolina Parents Council. They have been active volunteers on the Parents Council since 2017 when their son enrolled as a first-year student.
What volunteer roles and memberships do you have?
Carolina Parents Council (Class of 2021 co-chairs, Grants Committee, and now, National Chairs); Rams Club; and Kenan-Flagler Parents Council
Why do you support UNC?
Our son, Carter, is a senior in the Kenan-Flagler Business School and Carolina Honors. We joined the Carolina Parents Council during his freshman orientation initially to support his success and that of his peers. We’ve stayed involved through various leadership transitions and challenges because we believe in the University mission and the potential of it's students to do great things in the world.
What areas are you passionate about?
Student success in various forms, academically as well as the transformative impact of meaningful co-curricular experiences such as Carolina Abroad, Honors Carolina, athletics, and student leadership and service.
What would you say to encourage others to give their time and talents to UNC?
A signature program of the Carolina Parents Council is a grants program through which students, organizations, and departments can request funding for special projects and programs. Our faculty and students are passionate and creative, and they inspire us with what they want to achieve. Offering them seed money for their ideas is often leverage for growth and retention as well as a catalyst for excellence. This grants program is just one example of opportunities to impact UNC with gifts of time, talent, treasure, and testimony. As a parent, many of us may feel that we “do our part” through tuition. We do! Yet, revenue losses during the pandemic have challenged institutional budgets and reserves. We are proud to stretch our resources a bit to supplement the University’s capacity to impact the student experience.
How long have you been a volunteer/donor?
For four years, beginning with our son’s enrollment. Neither of us are alumni of UNC, but our support will continue beyond his graduation in support of the University as the flagship institution in the state system, especially with it's focus on educational access through the For All Kind campaign.
What is your favorite Carolina memory?
How to pick just one? Tailgating before football games; welcoming our student home from study abroad trips to South Africa or Sweden, Denmark, and Bosnia; and attending the Honors Carolina scholarship reception would rank highly. But favorite? Freshman move-in (Craige Hall, 3rd floor) was a watershed moment, marking a transition not just for our son but our family. We left a piece of our heart in Chapel Hill that day, and since then, that heart has strengthened, broken a few times, and will forever beat to the tune of the Carolina Fight Song.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
It’s always a GDTBATH!