A New Commitment to Military-Affiliated Students

Army Lt. Col. Bernard W. Dibbert served in World War II, the Korean War and was a Ranger and company commander with the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. A master parachutist, he completed his 100th jump before being deployed to Vietnam. Lt. Col. Dibbert was killed while serving in Vietnam. His military honors included the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Army Commendation Medal.

He was also a beloved husband to Adelia E. Dibbert and devoted father to five sons — Douglas ’70, Bernard, Michael ’74, ’76 (M.A.T.), Charles ’77 and William ’81, ’87 (M.S.W.). All five of his sons went on to graduate from college, four from Carolina.

Lt. Col. Dibbert’s son, Doug, has served as a leader on Carolina’s campus since 1982 as chief executive officer and president of the UNC General Alumni Association. He expanded the GAA’s scope of services, programs and communications to engage the University’s alumni. Under Dibbert’s leadership, the GAA raised more than $12 million to build the George Watts Hill Alumni Center and has fostered a deep commitment to scholarships. As of 2017, the association has awarded more than $1.25 million in scholarships to more than 700 students.

In 2019, a $2 million gift from the GAA will establish an endowed scholarship fund — Lieutenant Colonel Bernard W. Dibbert Carolina Covenant for Military Families Endowed Scholarship Fund — to help qualified military-affiliated students graduate from Carolina debt-free and will honor Lt. Col. Dibbert and Doug.

“Carolina remains proudly committed to access and affordability, which is especially important to military families,” Dibbert said. “I cannot think of anything our association’s volunteer leaders could do that pleases me more than to honor my father by ensuring that there will forever be Carolina Covenant students from military families with scholarships that bear my dad’s name.

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