Morehead-Cain Alumni Visiting Distinguished Professor

This professorship brings to campus distinguished guests who engage undergraduate students and the larger university on issues of broad intellectual and social significance. The professorship was established in 2009 with a generous gift from past recipients of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, the University of North Carolina’s oldest and most prestigious academic merit award.

Ambassador James Sasser (Spring 2014)

Sasser_Jim_photo credit to GRI_cropped

Jim Sasser has spent more than a quarter-century in public life as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, as U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, and as a leading commentator on Sino-U.S. relations and the inner workings of the U.S. Senate. He currently provides strategic advice to leading American and Chinese companies, including FedEx and APCO Worldwide. Senator Sasser is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, vice-chairman of the Committee on US-China Relations, and vice-chairman of the US-China Foundation. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Honors Carolina Burch Field Research Seminar on Domestic and International Affairs in Washington, D.C. Read more at

Taylor Branch, B.A. ’68 (Spring 2012)


Carolina alumnus Taylor Branch won the Pulitzer Prize for Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63the first volume in his acclaimed three-volume history of the civil rights era. Most recently, he published The Clinton Tapes, a vivid account of the thoughts of a sitting president based on 79 interviews he conducted with Bill Clinton between 1993 and 2001. Branch and Associate Dean for Honors Carolina James Leloudis will teach an Honors Carolina seminar on the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sir Christopher Meyer (Spring 2010)


Sir Christopher served as British ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 2003. With that posting, he completed 36 years of distinguished public service, during much of which he was at the heart of British foreign policy. Sir Christopher is the author of Getting Our Way, a 500-year history of British diplomacy, and anchored a three-part BBC documentary based on that work. He and Professor Ted Leinbaugh taught an Honors Carolina seminar titled “Empire and Diplomacy.”