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Good afternoon. My name is Jackie Overton and I am the Chair of the Employee Forum. The Forum is an elected body of 60 delegates who are chosen to represent the needs of the almost 12000 staff employees to the Chancellor and his administration.

Usually when the Carolina family come together like this is it is when something tragic has happened—untimely death of a Chancellor (Hooker) in 1999, the events of September 11th 2001, the sudden death of SBP Eve Carson in 2008. We gather like this–in our hallowed Polk Place–to grieve, to find support, and to search for answers. Indeed this week has been no different, as our beloved and beleaguered Chancellor announced his resignation from this place that he loves. He loves Carolina so much that he feels it is in Carolina’s best interest for him to step aside so that Carolina can continue to shine without the negative spotlight from the past couple of years. That may be his logic (and it sounds good on paper especially to those who don’t know him), but that perspective is NOT shared by those of us gathered here today. So that is why we are here now: to share our sorrow at losing one of the best Chancellors that Carolina has ever had (and I am speaking from a 37 year lens); to show our remorse for not stepping up sooner to help shoulder more of his burdens nor to help deflect some of the negativity; and to solidify support for how we are going to move forward.

When I think of Chancellor Holden Thorp, this quote by John Wesley comes to mind:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Indeed he has done good for the staff of Carolina and for the students and for the faculty. That’s why we are here today. To show our love and support and especially our appreciation for him, no matter what his final decision is.

Thank you.

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