NC dignitaries gather to honor William Friday

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Officials from state government and higher education are honoring the legacy of former University of North Carolina President William Friday.

Dignitaries from across North Carolina gathered Wednesday at Memorial Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus to honor Friday, who died last week.

UNC President Tom Ross said Friday's life was not just well served, but lived in as extraordinary a manner as any the state has ever seen.

Gov. Bev Perdue recalled her conversations with Friday, talking about a philosophy he championed until his death — that a good education in North Carolina "was a birthright."

Perdue declared Wednesday as Bill Friday Day. Flags have been flying at half-staff at all state facilities since Friday's death, and bell towers at various UNC campuses rang out in his honor Wednesday morning.

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