Thomas W. Ross

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Tom Ross
President of the University of North Carolina
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 4, 2016
Preceded by Erskine Bowles
Succeeded by Margaret Spellings
Personal details
Born (1950-06-05) June 5, 1950 (age 66)
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Davidson College
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Thomas Warren Ross, Sr. is an American public official who served as the president of the University of North Carolina system from 2011 to 2016. He succeeded Erskine Bowles on January 1, 2011. Formerly, he was president of Davidson College, a private North Carolina liberal arts college from August 1, 2007 to January 1, 2011.

Ross, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated from Davidson in 1972, as did his father in 1937 and his children in 1999 and 2001. In 1975, he graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Ross became an attorney, chief of staff to Congressman Robin Britt, a state superior court judge for 17 years, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem (2001–2007). He is a former chairman of the UNC Greensboro Board of Trustees.

Ross is the recipient of the William Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Governing Magazine's National Public Official of the Year award (one of ten, 1994), and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.[1]

On August 26, 2010, Ross was elected president of the University of North Carolina system.[2][3][4]

On June 6th 2015, Ross delivered the commencement address at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a UNC member instititution.[5]

In an article on the Washington Post on May 18,2016, as of July 1, 2016, Ross will become the president of the Volcker Alliance, a nonpartisan organization aimed at rebuilding public trust in government that was founded by Paul Volcker.[6]

Ross named the first Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy in 2016.[7]


Academic offices
Preceded by
Erskine Bowles
President of the University of North Carolina System
Succeeded by
Margaret Spellings