Honorary Degree

Richard Y. Stevens

Doctor of Laws

Richard Stevens

Richard Y. Stevens is an attorney, a distinguished public servant and a triple alumnus of UNC-Chapel Hill who has served the state and university in numerous ways.

During his five terms as a North Carolina State Senator, Stevens was the senior budget leader under both Republican and Democratic majorities. He worked across the aisle to ensure effective governance and fought to preserve funding for higher education during the Great Recession. Before his election to the state legislature, he served for 16 years as the county manager of Wake County, overseeing a time of significant growth.

Stevens’ service to Carolina spans decades. He served on the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees from 1995–2003 and again from 2017–2021, including four terms as chair. Over the years, he has served as chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Endowment Fund, UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation, UNC General Alumni Association and Board of Visitors for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Stevens earned B.A., M.P.A., and J.D. degrees from Carolina. Scholarships at the School of Law and the School of Government have been established in his honor. In 2017 he received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Stevens has received numerous other awards, including the UNC General Alumni Association Distinguished Service Medal, American Society for Public Administration’s Public Service Award, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, William Richardson Davie Award and North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Award for Distinguished Public Service.

For outstanding accomplishment in public service, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to confer on Richard Y. Stevens the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

Return to list of recipients