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School of Public Health News November 20, 2023

William L. Roper, M.D., MPHWilliam L. Roper, M.D., MPH (photo credit: UNC Chapel Hill)The University of North Carolina School of Medicine celebrated the official opening of Roper Hall, named in honor of UAB School of Public Health distinguished alum William L. Roper, M.D., MPH, on September 18, 2023. Roper is the former dean of the UNC School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC, CEO of the UNC Health System, and interim president of the UNC System. Roper earned his Master of Public Health degree in 1981 and his medical degree in 1974 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has also served as a professor of health policy and management in the UNC School of Public Health, professor of pediatrics and of social medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, and from 1997 until 2004, he was dean of the UNC School of Public Health.

“Dr. Bill Roper is an unparalleled advocate for both quality healthcare and extraordinary higher education,” said Wesley Burks, M.D., Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and current CEO of UNC Health. “As the students trained in this building go on to care for patients across North Carolina and beyond, I can think of no better model than Bill Roper.”

According to UNC-Chapel Hill, Roper Hall now serves as the university’s new home for medical education, featuring state-of-the-art spaces where students can hone clinical skills and collaborate with learners from across the medical campus and the state. The building provides six floors of training space, featuring cutting-edge technology and intentionally crafted interiors, from large classrooms to dedicated seminar rooms, group and individual study spaces, a 240-person Active Learning Center, a student lounge, wellness center and more.

“The opening of Roper Hall is a testament to Dr. Roper’s impact on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus, as well as the fields of public health and medicine,” said Paul C. Erwin, Dean and Professor of the UAB School of Public Health. “When I was in medical school at UAB in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Dr. Roper was the Health Officer for the Jefferson County Department of Health, then he was CDC Director in the 90’s when I was with the Tennessee Department of Health, and finally he was dean at UNC when I completed my DrPH there in the 2000’s. So, I feel like I have been chasing him for decades! What a great honor for Dr. Roper, and by extension, to the Schools of Medicine and Public Health here, two of his alma maters.”

Read the full announcement of Roper Hall’s opening.

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