James Norwood Pratt, America’s Leading Tea Lover, and quite possibly the world’s most widely read authority on tea and tea lore, has deep ties to North Carolina. A lifetime learner and accomplished scholar, Mr. Pratt has been celebrated in both San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC in the past six months, with another event scheduled for fall 2018.


In a private ceremony in San Francisco on December 7, 2017, James Leloudis, the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina, recognized Mr. Pratt as an Honors Carolina laureate and presented him with a certificate of attendance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dean Leloudis commended Mr. Pratt, a native North Carolinian, for his exceptional scholarship on tea – from history to folklore and culture.


Five months later, Mr. Pratt returned to his roots in Chapel Hill and presided over an Honors Carolina Tea Tasting and Conversation for a standing-room-only audience of students, faculty, and friends. Several of the students are serious teaists, and Mr. Pratt suggested that they consider developing a tea club alliance with their counterparts at the University of California–Davis.


Honors Carolina will welcome Mr. Pratt back to Chapel Hill in the fall to deliver the annual Hillard Gold ’39 Lecture. The lecture was established by alumni James and Jonathan Gold to honor the memory of their father, Hillard, a member of the UNC Class of 1939. Hillard Gold practiced medicine as a urologist and believed in the power of education to break down barriers, broaden our experience of the world, and improve our lives. “I am delighted that Mr. Pratt will again spend time with our students and the wider campus community,” Dean Leloudis said. “He will teach us about the significant and complex role tea has played throughout history, and the ways it shapes our world today.”

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