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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

John Motley Morehead, III

In 1946, alumnus John Motley Morehead, III, presented the university with one million dollars to build a planetarium, which opened in 1949. He also created the Morehead-Cain Scholars program and donated funds for the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower. Morehead’s fortune came from his father, James Turner Morehead (1840-1908), a North Carolina businessman who made advancements in the manufacture of acetylene gas and steel alloys. Morehead’s companies eventually became part of a 1917 merger that created the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. It was Union Carbide stock that the younger Morehead donated to the university for his projects.