A Red, White and Carolina Blue Connection

“As a military leader, you’re taught to take care of your troops…”

“As a military leader, you’re taught to take care of your troops…”

For Carolina alum and retired U.S. Navy Reserve Captain Robert Herrington ’84,flying high in the sky has always been part of his life.  

His father,Dr. Robert Herrington,who served in the U.S. Air Force as a pediatrician and later joined the UNC School of Medicine, was one of the people who helpedArea Health Education Center’s (AHEC) Air Operations get off the ground in 1968. Since then, Carolina’s Air Operations has transported health science faculty, medical residents and university officials to all areas of the state for educational activities.

For the younger Herrington, this exposure to airplanes as a child kickstarted a lifelong passion for planes.  

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do freshmen year, but knew I liked flying,” Herrington said, “so I had started flying on my own at Horace Williams Airport.”

The same Chapel Hill airport his father flew out of while working with AHEC acted as a launching pad for Herrington’s own thirty-year career flying in the Navy and Navy Reserves. There, he took lessons and obtained his Private Pilot’s license while also earning his history degree at Carolina.  

Now a pilot for American Airlines flying across the country, Herrington acknowledges the Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge for bringing him back to Carolina and wants to help connect others to the initiative.

“Military dependents are a special group of people,” he said. “As a military leader, you’re taught to take care of your troops so the Vetter Scholarships resonated with me. I’ve been involved with several veterans-related nonprofits, but this connected that work with Carolina.”

Learn more about theRed, White and Carolina Blue Challenge.

Readers Also Viewed...

Portrait phots of Carolina students, researchers and places in a grid pattern with the GiveUNC logo overlaid on top
Campaign Priorities

A day like no other

Find a cause, unlock a challenge, join in some friendly competition and spread the word. You can make a difference on GiveUNC.

Images representing race issues at Carolina.
Campaign Priorities

Reckoning with Carolina History

“There’s a lot of trauma embedded in this history.”

Chancellor's Spotlight

The ‘visionary leader that Carolina needs today’

"He is deeply committed to our University and its mission, prioritizing student success, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and addressing the critical needs of North Carolina and the world."


Lifelong learners, lifelong supporters: Snow family bequest

UNC-Chapel Hill alumni Claude and Sarah Snow — long-time supporters of Carolina — have made a $2.6 million planned gift to the Campaign for Carolina.


An Epic Journey, An Epic Carolina Future

The McNelises are investing in areas where Carolina excels and that are key foci of the For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the University’s most ambitious fundraising effort ever — faculty, students and research.

Global Impact

The Benefits of Being Uncomfortable

For more than 100 years, Carolina’s Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA), one of the first educational centers in the United States dedicated exclusively to the study of Latin America, has been dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s leaders.