September 26, 2008

The end of World War II was a time of movement and change for many, and Dorothy Dunn (MSPH 1946) was among those restless for new beginnings. She had earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and had spent several years in progressively more demanding positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet a tip from a former sociology professor about the dynamic environment at UNC led her to apply to the new master’s program in health education.With the help of a stipend from the U.S. Public Health Service, Dunn enrolled as a Master of Science in Public Health student, taking epidemiology courses under Dr. Milton Rosenau, founding dean of the School, and receiving close mentoring from Dr. Lucy Morgan and Dr. Eunice “Pickie” Tyler, two women who would be instrumental in her decision to complete a Doctor of Philosophy at Purdue and then pursue academic appointments at Stout State University, Western Kentucky University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Illinois. Dunn ended her career after a long tenure with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an assistant regional director out of Chicago.

“I can say definitively,” Dunn commented several times during her life, “that I got more out of my energy and efforts at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health than at any other school I attended.”

Upon her death on March 6, 2007, Dunn left a significant bequest that will establish a scholarship fund for students in the School’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education.

“This bequest really speaks to the meaning of Dorothy’s education here at the School of Public Health,” says Dr. Jo Anne Earp, professor of health behavior and health education. “It’s an education that doesn’t stop with the earning of the degree. The deep ties remain. We are so pleased that we knew of Dorothy’s plans in advance and had the opportunity to thank her and discuss what she wanted her gift to achieve. It is such a tragedy when we learn that a graduate or friend cared enough to leave a bequest, and we never had an opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ or discuss its use.”

If you have planned for the School in your will or by other means, please let us know so that we may thank you and welcome you to membership in The Gerrard Society, the University’s organization for donors of planned gifts.

— Elizabeth French

Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. To subscribe to Carolina Public Health or to view the entire Fall 2008 issue in PDF, visit