CHAPEL HILL – Former UNC System President Bill Friday remains in critical condition Thursday at UNC Hospital. The 91-year-old was listed in critical condition Wednesday at UNC Hospitals.
Friday graduated from law school at UNC and that was just the beginning of a long career with the system. He retired in 1986 but has remained very active in the community.
"He's been a real icon in this area for all of his work," said Chapel Hill resident Ann Noyes.
Friday first served as dean of students and then went on to become the school's president in 1956, a position he held for three decades. During that time, he oversaw desegregation and the expansion of the school to 16 public universities all under one system.
One of his notable contributions to the school is the Friday Continuing Education Center.
"He wanted people to have access to it, to the incredible talent here, to the research here, to the teaching and it came about, I guess, through the Friday Center in terms of service,"said Friday Center director Rob Bruce.
Friday also spent 30 years as host of a show on UNC TV called “North Carolina people.”
There is no update on his condition or the reason for his admission, but we do know Friday suffered a minor heart attack in 2008.