William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust Awards $5 Million to UNC Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced a $5 million gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust to fund renovations of the music department's Hill Hall.

The gift will support improvements to the rotunda and 550-seat auditorium in the century-old Andrew Carnegie-funded building, which originally served as the university's library. Renovations will include an expansion of the lobby rotunda and installation of a climate control system, state-of-the-art acoustical treatments, a professional-grade stage, and a lift for pianos and other heavy equipment in the auditorium. Enhancements to the backstage area are also planned.

The Office of the Provost will provide $5 million toward the estimated $15 million cost of the project, with the College of Arts and Sciences raising the remaining $5 million through a special campaign. Renovations are expected to begin in 2015 and take two years to complete.

In 2007, the trust awarded $8 million to the music department, including $4 million to establish sixteen full music scholarships for undergraduates and $4 million to help fund the construction of the Kenan Music Building, which was dedicated in 2009.

"Hill Hall will become a true focal point for music on campus," said department chair Mark Katz. "The new auditorium will properly showcase the talents of our faculty and students and will be a more welcoming space for visiting artists. It's a decades-long dream come true for faculty, students, and the larger Carolina community. We are so grateful to the trust for this gift."

"Kenan Trust Gift of $5 Million Launches Extensive Hill Hall Renovation Campaign." University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Press Release 04/22/2013.