George A. Kennedy (b. 1928), Paddison Professor of Classics, received his Ph.D in classics from Harvard University in 1954 (with a dissertation entitled Prolegomena and Commentary to Quintilian VIII (Pr. & 1-3). He joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina in 1966 and quickly began to demonstrate his ability as a valuable asset to the University and as an outstanding teacher. He was named Paddison Professor in 1973, and won a Tanner Distinguished Teaching Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award for research, teaching, and service. His teaching encompassed classics, comparative literature, and rhetoric.
His numerous publications include The Art of Persuasion in Greece (1963), Greek rhetoric under Christian emperors (1983), New Testament interpretation through rhetorical criticism (1984), A new history of classical rhetoric (1994), Comparative rhetoric: an historical and cross-cultural introduction (1998), Comparative rhetoric : an historical and cross-cultural introduction (1999), and Fictitious authors and imaginary novels in French, English, and American fiction from the 18th to the start of the 21st century, as well as Memories of UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC-CH Classics Department, 1966-1976 (2000).
Professor Kennedy served a three-year term, from 1985 until 1988, as chairman of the faculty council; he also served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the UNC Press. The American Philological Association presented him with an Award of Merit, and President Carter appointed him to the National Humanities Council. He was also president of the American Philological Association and of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric. (Source: William S. Powell, The First State University, p. 361, adapted and extended.)