William Rand Kenan Jr. was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on April 30, 1872. He resided for many years in Lockport, New York, where he died on July 28, 1965.
As an alumnus and an honorary member of The University of North Carolina’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Kenan had a continuing interest in education and the development of the Chapel Hill campus of the University. In this he carried on a Kenan family tradition of service to North Carolina that began in 1735 with the arrival of the first Kenan family from Scotland to settle in Upper Hanover County. Mr. Kenan felt so keenly about the importance of education that he stated in Article Nine of his Will: “I have always believed firmly that a good education is the most cherished gift an individual can receive, and it is my sincere hope that the provisions of this Article will result in a substantial benefit to mankind.”
In addition to several charitable bequests and lifetime provision for a number of employees, Mr. Kenan in his Will directed the remainder of his estate, $95 million, become the corpus of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. It is administered in accordance with the laws of New York State, of which Mr. Kenan died resident.