We assemble in the little village of Chapel Hill on the old campus of the University of North Carolina to dedicate to youth and truth, beauty and goodness, the Morehead Building. This building is now forever to be the home of the Genevieve Morehead Memorial Art Gallery, the Morehead Planetarium, and the Morehead Foundation for scholarships and fellowships. The conjunction of stars in their courses, revealed in the Planetarium, suggests to us the conjunction of persons, ideas, engines, enterprises and nations, revealed in the heritage, life, services and aspirations of John Motley Morehead III, devoted son and benefactor of the University of North Carolina….
As philanthropist, his vision and benefactions will enrich his alma mater and, through a nobler alma mater, will serve the world through unending generations of worthy youth whom his endowment will bring for training in this place for the service of mankind….
The Morehead Gallery and Planetarium are not only for the youth of the University, but as an organic part of the University, which would ever share its life, are also for the people beyond the college walls….In the Planetarium will be the meeting of earth, skies, and people who need new acquaintance with the goodness of the earth and the majesty of the heavens.
To the human being, as an infinitesimal bit of life on a tiny speck called the earth in the vastness of the universe, will come a deeper humility, a higher reverence, and a nobler aspiration of the human spirit in the presence of the God, whose physical laws are as wide as the universe and whose moral sovereignty is deep in the consciousness of men. Humble, reverent, and aspiring, we look upward into the heavens and inward into the soul for God, the Father, Who gives us our majestic heavens, our good earth and our common brotherhood in daily sustenance of the body, mind and spirit of man for the human pilgrimage toward the Kingdom of God.
In the dedication of the Morehead Building, its Foundation, Gallery, and Planetarium, we rededicate the University of North Carolina.
—Remarks from U.S. Senator Frank Porter Graham during dedication ceremonies for the Morehead Building (commonly referred to as Morehead Planetarium) on May 10, 1949.