Brinkley Named Kenan Distinguished Professor

September 27, 2021
Dean Martin Brinkley

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Provost Robert A. Blouin announced the appointment of UNC School of Law Dean Martin H. Brinkley ’92 as one of the University’s William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professors. 

“Dean Brinkley joins a highly select group of faculty members receiving this extremely prestigious award,” Guskiewicz and Blouin said in their letter of appointment. “The award provides the largest stipend and research fund of any University distinguished professorship. It represents the highest honor that can be offered by us and demonstrates the high regard we have for Dean Brinkley’s accomplishments and contributions.”

Kenan Distinguished Professorships were created 50 years ago and are granted directly by the chancellor and the provost. 

Several law school faculty members have been named William Rand Kenan Jr. chairs, including current chairs John M. Conley and William Marshall. Past Kenan professors have included Chancellor William B. Aycock ’48 (1915-2015), the Supreme Court scholar Eugene Gressman (1917-2010), and Paul G. Haskell (1927-2018), a teacher and scholar of property, trusts and estates, and lawyers’ ethics. Brinkley inherits the Kenan chair vacated by John V. Orth, who retired earlier this year after 42 years on the Carolina Law faculty.

The Kenan professorships were endowed by The William Rand Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust in 1966, with funds given through a bequest in the will of William Rand Kenan Jr., an 1894 graduate of the University of North Carolina and famed American chemist and engineer. There are 131 William Rand Kenan Jr. professorships at 56 American colleges and universities. The greatest number, 25, is at UNC. 

“I feel deeply honored and humbled to be among the University’s William Rand Kenan Jr. professors,” Brinkley says. “Some of my beloved teachers and mentors have been Kenan professors at Carolina – Bill Aycock, John Orth and Paul Haskell. To serve the University and our law school in their shadow is the privilege of a lifetime.”