W. Frank Dowd IV and Roddey Dowd Jr. are the 2023 recipients of the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award. Frank Dowd is president of the Dowd Foundation and chairman of the board of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry; Roddey Dowd serves as vice chairman of the company and director on the Dowd Foundation Board. They were honored Thursday, Aug. 31, during a special luncheon in the Popp Martin Student Union.
W. Frank Dowd founded Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company in 1901. Five generations later, the family-owned and operated company is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of pipe and fittings and operates one of the largest fittings molding facilities in the world.
"The Dowd family has helped transform Charlotte into the vibrant place it is today," said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. "Frank and Roddey Dowd have continued this tradition of outstanding leadership and exemplary service through their longtime investment in many Charlotte local nonprofits including UNC Charlotte. We are thrilled to recognize them with one of the University's top awards."
Frank Dowd has held leadership positions on numerous boards including UNC Chapel Hill, Charlotte Country Day School, Atrium Health, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, North Carolina Outward Bound and the Good Fellows Club. He honored his late wife with the creation of the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational, which features a number of the country’s top collegiate swimming programs in a multi-day competition.
Over the years, Roddey Dowd has served on the boards of the Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission and Woodberry Forest School. He recently joined the board of the Council for a Secure America. He also served on the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board, a role his father, Roddey Dowd Sr., held.
At UNC Charlotte, the Dowds' service and generosity are unwavering and significant with multi-generational board service and support to Charlotte 49ers athletics, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the William States Lee College of Engineering. The most recent commitment to the University from the Dowd Foundation created a professorship in capitalism studies within the University’s History Department.
The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1987 by the Board of Trustees of UNC Charlotte and the Board of Directors of the University Foundation, honors those who have provided outstanding leadership and exemplary service to the Charlotte community and to the advancement of UNC Charlotte. Award recipients receive a statue of "The 49er Miner," cast from a sculpture by Lorenzo Ghiglieri.