Francis Bolling "Buddy" Kemp '63
It is only fitting that this alumnus receive his due recognition from alma mater on the campus of a sister college where his friend and mentor serves as Trustee chair, in the city of Charlotte where he lived and worked for two decades, within sight of the gleaming corporate tower of NationsBank. For it was in our city, working with Hugh McColl, for the bank to which he dedicated his entire professional life, that he left an indelible mark distinguished by its competency and its humanity.
Thirty years ago, this alumnus began his twenty-two year career at NCNB as a credit analyst, fresh out of Harvard Business School. In 1972, he became National Division executive, serving for five years until he assumed responsibilities as North Carolina Banking Group executive. Between 1977 and 1983, he orchestrated a transformation of NCNB consumer banking noted for aggressive cost-containment, progressive measurement and reward systems, first-rate training programs, and a genuine commitment to teamwork.
No more the stepchild, the revitalized retail bank emerged as the earnings foundation of the company and the cornerstone for interstate expansion. In 1983, this alumnus became president of the bank. Two years later, he was named president of NCNB Corporation, where he assembled merger management teams for Pan America Bank in Florida and Bankers Trust in South Carolina. In 1988, with the acquisition of the failed First Republic Bank, he became chairman of NCNB Texas, where he lead the herculean turnaround of the largest banking institute of that state.
Because like his mother and father before him, he had banking in his blood; because he personified the enlightened business leader, ever attentive to issues of family leave and affirmative action, as well as the bottom line; because the extraordinary rise of NCNB so seamlessly intertwined with his own; because his creativity, keen intelligence, and boundless energy inspired all around him; and because he so readily assumed the duties of citizen and alumnus; the Davidson College Alumni Association proudly extends to Francis Bolling "Buddy" Kemp, Class of 1963, posthumous recognition as Distinguished Alumnus and makes this award to Ginger Kemp, on this day, May 27, 1997.