The UNC Charlotte community is mourning the death of Charles C. “Cliff” Cameron, 96, a longtime and dedicated supporter of the University.
Cameron’s service to the University began in 1967, when he became a member of the board of directors of the UNC Charlotte Foundation.
"It is impossible to measure the impact that Cliff Cameron made on UNC Charlotte and the whole University City region,” said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois.
“His vision and leadership, from the late 1960s until the present day, helped shape our campus's emergence as an important research university, and, through the development of the University Research Park, University City's growth into the second-largest employment center in Mecklenburg County," he said.
The former chairman and chief executive officer of First Union Bank, Cameron always found time to remain connected to UNC Charlotte, Dubois said.
“One of his biggest contributions occurred in the early 1980s, when Cliff co-chaired UNC Charlotte's first capital campaign, the Campaign for Excellence,” he said. Cameron also served as a member and chairman of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors. Actually, Cameron was on the 100-member Board of Trustees of the Consolidated University of North Carolina when UNC Charlotte was added as the system's fourth campus. (The system's governing system changed in 1972 to a 32-member Board of Governors with each campus having a Board of Trustees.) Cameron was chairman of the UNC Charlotte trustees in 1977 and conducted the search that named E.K. Fretwell the University's second chancellor. He would later serve as chair of the UNC Board of Governors and oversaw the search that resulted in Molly Broad's selection as the third president of the system.
Through his involvement with the UNC Charlotte Foundation, Cameron is credited with helping to create University Place and the resulting economic growth and development. He also played a part in the creation of the Ben Craig Center, which is now known as Ventureprise.
Cameron also played a key role in the establishment of University Research Park; he was called a driving force in the development of the research center, which is one of the largest university-affiliated parks in the country.
One of the University's most prestigious scholarships, the C.C. Cameron Scholarship for Merit, bears his name in recognition of First Union's and his personal contributions that made the financial assistance possible. In honor of his service to the University and the state, UNC Charlotte awarded Cameron an honorary Doctor of Public Service in 1983.
Dedicated on Sept. 25, 1991, the Cameron Applied Research Center contained roughly 74,000 square feet of laboratory, office and conference space to support world-class research.
In 2000, the center was renovated and expanded to add roughly 42,000 square feet of space.
Today, the building is home to the University Writing Program and the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management.
His name also appears on one of the campus’s main thoroughfares, Cameron Boulevard. Harris Alumni Center is located at the intersection of Cameron Boulevard and Alumni Way.
“He truly was a giant, and he will be deeply missed,” Dubois said.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 1, at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, UNC Charlotte (Cameron Scholars Endowment) or the charity of one's choice.