Mike McIntyre ’78, Jonathan Reckford ’84 among six leaders to receive honorary degrees at commencement

News & Spotlights | March 30, 2023
Left to right, top to bottom: Mike McIntyre, Lucille Webb, Alexander Julian, Jonathan Reckford, Bryan Stevenson, Hilda Solis (Photo illustration by Sharon Chung/UNC Creative)

This story by The Well was originally published via unc.edu on March 27, 2023.

During UNC Spring Commencement on May 14, Mike McIntyre ’78 and Jonathan Reckford ’84 will receive honorary degrees from the University, along with four other leaders.

Mike McIntyre ’78: Doctor of Laws

A true servant-leader, Douglas Carmichael “Mike” McIntyre II ’78 has relentlessly advocated for a better understanding of the Constitution and legal system and made significant contributions to humanity locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.

As a Morehead Scholar, double Tar Heel and U.S. congressman for nearly two decades, McIntyre advocated for marginalized and rural populations while reforming agricultural and economic policies, fought for federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe and authored legislation for the tobacco buyout and to help distressed communities in the southeastern United States. Voted “Least Partisan Member of Congress,” he always emphasized “doing what’s best for the people back home.”

Internationally, he promoted workforce development and agriculture, and he represented the United States on the Helsinki Commission, as co-chair of the U.K. and Scotland caucuses, and as vice-chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism.

In North Carolina, he has preserved our beaches as environmental treasures, championed funds for military bases, increased the number of veterans clinics, expanded health care for rural areas, organized business summits, promoted civic responsibility, coached youth, mentored students and inspired the next generation of leaders.

Jonathan Reckford ’84: Doctor of Laws

Jonathan T.M. Reckford ’84 is chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, a global Christian housing organization that has helped more than 46 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve their homes.

Since 2005, when he took the top leadership position, Habitat organizations in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries have grown from serving 125,000 individuals each year to helping more than 7.1 million people last year build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Reckford is the chair of Leadership 18 and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Urban Steering Committee for the World Economic Forum.

After graduating from Carolina as a Morehead Scholar, Reckford worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. He was also the recipient of a Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to do marketing work for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee and coach the Korean rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics.

He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business before spending the first part of his career in the for-profit sector, including executive and managerial positions at Marriott, The Walt Disney Co. and Best Buy. While serving as executive pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis, he was recruited for the CEO position at Habitat.

Full bios for the 2023 Honorary Degrees recipients can be found on the Commencement website.