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Hortense McClinton honored with 2021 Faculty Service Award

Portions of this story originally appeared in the Carolina Alumni Review (January/February 2021), published by the UNC General Alumni Association.

Hortense McClinton, a retired professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work and UNC-Chapel Hill’s first African American faculty member, has been selected to receive the 2021 Faculty Service Award by the UNC General Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Established in 1990, the award honors faculty who have performed outstanding service for UNC or the alumni association. Both McClinton and William R. Ferris, a history and folklore professor, will receive this award in 2021. The honors usually are presented at the winter board meeting in January, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, they will be presented when such gatherings can resume.

McClinton was a social worker in Durham when she was hired in 1966 to teach at UNC School of Social Work. She was a pioneer in teaching about institutional racism. During her two decades on the faculty, she also provided leadership through her work on the Committee on the Status of Women, Carolina Association of Disabled Students, and the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Minorities and the Disadvantaged.

Several awards for excellence have been named in her honor, including the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion’s Outstanding Faculty-Staff Award — presented to a faculty or staff member, past or present, who has made outstanding contributions to the Carolina community — and the Senior Service Award given by the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

McClinton is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania.