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By Ralph Derickson

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As president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, Broad heads the oldest public university in America.

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Feb. 14, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of North Carolina System President Molly Corbett Broad kicked off a two-day inaugural ceremony at the University of Kentucky with a convocation address in the Singletary Center for the Arts. Broad, who has been president of the UNC system since 1997, was accompanied on stage by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton and UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

"President Broad is recognized as a leader in higher education and is one who truly understands the connection between higher education and economic development," said UK Acting Provost Michael T. Nietzel. "She is highly respected in higher education and was an excellent choice for a convocation speaker because she has taken the directions that UK will be taking as it strives toward its top 20 goal."

As president of the 16-campus UNC system, Broad heads the oldest public university in America. The UNC system enrolls 163,000 students and encompasses all of the state's public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees.

An economist, Broad came to UNC from the California State University system where she served as senior vice chancellor for administration and finance.

Earlier in her career, Broad served as an executive officer for Arizona's three-campus university system and in a succession of administrative posts at Syracuse University. In 1976, she took a one-year leave of absence from Syracuse to serve as deputy director of the New York State Commission on the Future of Postsecondary Education. When she returned to Syracuse in 1977, she was named vice president for government and corporate relations. During the eight years she held that post, corporate and foundation giving to the university tripled.

A native Pennsylvanian, Broad is the daughter of two public school teachers. She earned a General Motors Scholarship to Syracuse University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in economics. She holds a master's degree in economics from Ohio State University.

Other inaugural activities today include receptions, tours, literature readings and music. The King Alumni House, Stuckert Building (Career Center), Lucille Caudill Little Library, and the UK Art Museum all featured special offerings.

An Inaugural Gala Concert featuring faculty and students from the UK Opera Theater and the UK Symphony Orchestra was held in the afternoon at the Singletary Center.

At 9 p.m., an Inaugural Gala was set to begin in the Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington. More than 1,200 students, faculty and staff and the members of UK's first family were expected at the semi-formal event.

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