James Kenan was a leader.
At 22, he was elected sheriff of Duplin County in 1762. He later led protesters to Wilmington to voice opposition to the new British Stamp Act. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Kenan could not sit on the sidelines, and he led a militia in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776.
Following the war, he returned to public service and served several terms in the state Senate.
But it’s at UNC-Chapel Hill where we remember his name best. Several of the buildings, including the stadium, are named after Kenan and his heirs.