Honoring a life, lives saved

IGHID collaborator, Dr. Greg Allgood, honored with 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. A new video highlights the partnership between UNC and Allgood’s organization, P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water

November 27, 2012 — As it has every year since 1877, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill celebrated its founding on October 12. Well more than a hundred years ago, Governor Zebulon B. Vance ordered that “the anniversary of the day on which the cornerstone of the University was laid be made a college holiday to be observed with appropriate ceremonies.”

Photo by Erin Hull, 2012 UNC Students of the World Team

University Day is also the day on which Carolina recognizes distinguished alumni for their outstanding contributions to humanity. Alumni are nominated by a special committee, recommended by the Faculty Council and approved by the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

This year the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases was thrilled that one of the distinguished alumni awards went to IGHID collaborator Dr. Greg Allgood. Previous awardees include Andy Griffith; Bill Friday, and Mia Hamm.

Allgood received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He went on to earn a doctorate in toxicology from North Carolina State University.  While working at Procter & Gamble, he led a team that developed an inexpensive powder that, with a little stirring and time, causes impurities in water—including dirt, bacteria and parasites—to coagulate, allowing them to be filtered through a cloth. The product, P&G Water Purification Packet, was named by Popular Mechanics magazine as one of the top 10 world-changing innovations of 2008.

Allgood is founder and director of Children’s Safe Drinking Water, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the global issue of clean water and enabling others to help solve this problem. CSDW is the focal philanthropic program of P&G’s overall cause program which focuses on helping children in need around the world.

UNC began collaborating with CSDW to deliver clean water to people living in Malawi who are receiving treatment for HIV through UNC Project-Malawi. In September, IGHID announced that the two organizations partnered to deliver the 5 billionth liter of water cleaned with the P&G Water Purification Packet.

The UNC Chapter of Students of the World made a video that highlights the UNC/CDSW collaboration.

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Allgood reflected on his UNC recognition in a blog post on the CDSW website.

When I was at Carolina, I watched as UNC alumni and television personality Andy Griffith received the Distinguished Alumna Award. Imagine, my amazement when I received a letter from Carolina telling me that I’d be among the honored Alumna of 2012. I certainly know I don’t deserve to join the ranks of Andy Griffith and Mia Hamm, but I’m extremely honored. And, I’m thrilled to use the opportunity to help shine a spotlight on the collaboration that P&G and UNC have developed to provide clean drinking water.

In September of this year, UNC selected “Water in our World” as their campus-wide theme for two years. P&G’s work on water across many parts of the University is consistent with this theme. The fact that P&G is able to work with so many parts of the University on water shows the unique skills and assets that the University brings to this global issue that kills more than 2,000 children every day.

Read the entire blog post here.

As if Dr. Allgood hasn’t had a good enough year, earlier this month a global panel of judges named P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program one of the world’s most impactful developments, presenting it with the 2012 Economist Social Innovation Award.

Calling it an innovation “beyond inspiration,” the panel presented the award during The Economist’s 11th Annual Innovation Award gala.

For more on the campus-wide theme, “Water in Our World,” visit the water theme website.

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Media contact: Lisa Chensvold, 919-843-5719 or lisa_chensvold@med.unc.edu

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