Doctor of Laws

W. Lowry Caudill

Lowry Caudill has been described as “the Tar Heel version of a Renaissance man.” Over the course of his career, he has excelled in science, business and philanthropy.

Raised in Shelby, North Carolina, he came to Carolina as an undergraduate and earned a degree in chemistry in 1979. After earning his doctorate in the same field at Indiana University, he returned to his home state to work for Glaxo Inc. In 1991, he and a colleague started Magellan Laboratories, a pharmaceutical development company. After selling this company in 2002, he became worldwide president of pharmaceutical development for Cardinal Health, leading more than 1,400 employees in nine sites across the United States and Europe.

Caudill has given back to his alma mater in many ways. He chaired the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle, which created the Innovate@Carolina Roadmap; led the searches for the current athletic director and vice chancellor for university development; served on the steering committee for the Carolina First Campaign; and currently is a co-chair for the Campaign for Carolina. He played a key role in the creation of the College of Arts & Science’s applied physical sciences department, the first new basic science department at Carolina in more than 40 years. He was a member of Carolina’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2019 and served as its chair. Caudill received UNC-Chapel Hill’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008 and the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2014. The chemistry building, Caudill Laboratories, was named in his honor, as well as his wife’s, Susan Self Caudill ’80, in 2007.

As a colleague once said, “His fingerprints will be on the future of Carolina.”

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