Professor finds support in the Carolina community

The week before Thanksgiving break, UNC Kenan-Flagler professor Chip Snively told students that classes were canceled because of a family emergency. He could have left it at that. Instead, he decided to get real, sharing that his 17-year-old nephew had committed suicide.

It was a time for Snively to grieve, but it was also a moment for him to teach. It was a moment to acknowledge tragedy in the hope of helping the students who sit in front of him every day. He encouraged them to be open about their personal struggles and aware of friends and family members in need. They responded with an outpouring of support and sharing of their own experiences.

As the one-month anniversary of his nephew’s passing approached, Conor Hayes ’18 and Caitlin Gallant ’19 stopped by Snively’s office to tell him that members of UNC’s Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity had made a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in his nephew’s honor. His students’ generosity even inspired a Business School senior administrator to make an anonymous gift to AFSP, too.

“UNC Kenan-Flagler isn’t just a business school—it’s a community and a family. It really is hard to put into words, but I can tell you it’s never been more evident to me,” said Snively. “I couldn’t be prouder and more humbled to be a member of this university and business school.”

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