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William Rand Kenan, Jr.

William Rand Kenan, Jr. (1872-1965)

As a student, William Rand Kenan, Jr. assisted Venable with his experiments. After graduation, he traveled to five continents to set up plants for acetylene production. He later joined oilman Henry Flagler in developing the east coast of Florida. From a family that had supported the university since its inception, Kenan continued its tradition. His sister, Mary Lily Kenan, married Flagler in 1901 and inherited much of his large estate. After her death in 1917, Kenan came into her substantial fortune. He gave generously to such university projects as the football stadium, the chemistry department, and the University of North Carolina Press. Today, the Kenan Charitable Trust provides funds for professorships, science buildings, and the arts.