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The loss of beloved colleague and friend Jacqueline “Jackie” Overton in spring 2017 was keenly felt throughout her home department of UNC Transportation and Parking, the Division of Finance and Administration and across campus. Overton, a double Tar Heel with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters in education and counseling, served Carolina with distinction for more than three decades, during which she made close friends and a lasting impression on the institution she loved.

Upon her death after a hard-fought battle with cancer last April, the University sought a way to honor a woman who fearlessly led the staff of UNC-Chapel Hill and was known for her dedication and humility in service, her kindness, sense of humor and especially for her love of Carolina.

Over the fall, the Division of Finance and Administration installed a memorial bench next to the UNC Campus Y on Polk Place in her honor.

Overton left an indelible mark on Carolina during her career.  She restructured the Housekeeping Department, served on the Chancellor’s Search Committee, was a liaison to the Board of Trustees, was an active member of the Carolina Black Caucus, served and led the Employee Forum and was a board member of the Association of Women Faculty and Professionals.

Overton was recognized many times for her work both on and off campus. Among her many awards and recognitions were the C. Knox Massey Award, the University Award for the Advancement of Women, the Kay W. Hovious Award, the UNC Unsung Hero Award and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Town Hero in 2013 and 2015.

Cheryl Stout, director of Transportation and Parking who worked with Overton for 28 years and was a close personal friend, says she was honored to have the chance to share the plans for the memorial bench with Jackie before she died.

“In her final days, I told her there would be something for generations to come to know she was here,” said Stout. “The last words she said to me are the ones on the plaque for her bench, ‘In my mind, I’m going to Carolina.’ She loved this place, truly loved it.”

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