Richard Stevens '74 Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award

Richard Stevens receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award at University Day October 12, 2017.

On October 12, 2017, the University's Distinguished Alumni Award was bestowed on triple Tar Heel and Carolina MPA grad Richard Stevens. The award is presented annually to alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill who “have made an outstanding contribution to humanity in any walk of life.” We congratulate Stevens ’70, JD ’74, MPA ’78, who has dedicated his life to the improvement of his home state and his alma mater, on receiving this prestigious award.

From UNC’s website on University Day:


Richard Stevens is an Attorney with the Smith Anderson Law Firm in Raleigh. He received his BA degree in Political Science in 1970, his Juris Doctor degree in 1974, and his Master of Public Administration degree in 1978, all from UNC. He served on the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees from 1995-2003, and the Board of Visitors from 1991-1995. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees from 1997-1999. He served five terms in the North Carolina Senate from 2003 to 2012. In the Senate he co-chaired the Education/Higher Education Committee and the Appropriations Committee. Prior to his service in the Senate he was the County Manager of Wake County, North Carolina from 1984-2000. In addition he has worked as a management consultant providing assistance with strategic planning, business objectives, marketing and organizational development for private sector clients.

At UNC, Stevens chaired the UNC-Chapel Hill Endowment Fund and the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation, Inc. from 1997-1999 and chaired the Chancellor Search Committee in 1999-2000. He was Chair of the UNC General Alumni Association from 2000-2001, Chair of the Board of Visitors for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Hospital from 2014-2016, and Chair of The Carolina Club from 1994-1997 and 2002-2011. Nationally, he was Chair of the Council of Board Chairs of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges from 1999-2000.

Stevens received the Distinguished Service Medal from the UNC General Alumni Association in 1994, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the UNC MPA Alumni Association in 1997, the National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration in 2000, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2000, the Public Leader in Technology Award from the North Carolina Technology Association in 2004 and again in 2012, the John L. Sanders Student Advocate Award from the UNC Association of Student Governments in 2005, the William Richardson Davie Award from UNC in 2010, and the Award for Distinguished Public Service from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce in 2017. Both the UNC School of Law and the UNC School of Government have scholarships named for Stevens.

He is a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Grail-Valkyries, the Order of the Old Well, the Society of Janus, and the Bell Tower Society as well as Chi Psi Fraternity.

He is married to Jere Gilmore Stevens and they have two adult children.