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Endowed Professorship Named for Bowie State University President

March 25, 2013

(Elizabeth City, N.C.) – March 25, 2013 – A newly endowed distinguished professorship at Elizabeth City State University has been named in honor of Bowie State University President Mickey L. Burnim, former chancellor at ECSU.

The new position will be added to the faculty of the Walter R. Davis School of Business and Economics. It is being funded by the C.D. Spangler Foundation, which has funded 123 other endowed professorships at institutions in the University of North Carolina system.

Spangler, a Charlotte businessman and public education advocate, served as president of the UNC system from 1986 to 1997. In 2007, the Spangler Foundation committed to provide $6.9 million to endow one distinguished professorship on each of the 16 UNC-system university campuses. In 2008, the foundation invested up to $20 million over five years to help each campus qualify for one additional endowed chair each year—potentially adding 80 more professorships. Currently, ECSU has eight distinguished professorships. 

Burnim, now in his sixth year as president at Bowie State, served as chancellor of ECSU from September 1995 to August 2006. He said he is honored to have his contributions to higher education recognized by C.D. Spangler Jr.’s family foundation.

“I am honored Mr. Spangler would remember me and recommend that I be honored in this way,” Burnim said.

He added that he is honored that ECSU Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist and the ECSU Board of Trustees would consider Mr. Spangler’s recommendation. “It is always gratifying to know someone recognizes and appreciates the work you have done,” he continued. “To the extent that he remembered the contributions I made to the University of North Carolina system and ECSU, I am gratified.”

Burnim has 25 years of leadership experience in higher education. He holds three degrees in economics – bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Prior to serving as chancellor of ECSU, Burnim served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University. Earlier in his career, he worked as assistant vice president for academic affairs in the University of North Carolina’s General Administration. He and his wife, LaVera Levels Burnim, have a daughter and son and five grandchildren.


Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website