UNC Professors Seek Memorial to Honor Late Sen. Wellstone

UNC Professors Seek Memorial to Honor Late Sen. Wellstone


A professor and a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are seeking a memorial on campus to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, a two-time Carolina alumnus who died in a plane crash Oct. 25.

Dr. Joel Schwartz, an adjunct professor of public policy and professor emeritus of political science, and Gene Nichol, dean of Carolina’s School of Law, hope to raise $25,000 for a group of three to five benches to be placed on the campus.

Wellstone, a former student of Schwartz’s and good friend of both professors, received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Carolina. After graduating, Wellstone accepted a position at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he was a professor of political science from 1969 to 1990. In 1990, he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Schwartz and Nichol say they see the benches as a fitting memorial for Wellstone, who believed that “we need to replace isolationism with fellowship. (That) we need to talk about community, about justice, about the goodness of America.”

“The Senator Paul D. Wellstone Memorial would be a place where we can sit and talk, a place of fellowship and conversation where ideas and opinions can be exchanged,” Schwartz says. “It would be here for us to visit for generations.”

The tragic crash last October also took the lives of Wellstone’s wife, Sheila, and daughter Marcia, three campaign staffers and two pilots.

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