- Morehead graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1817. He was also a distinguished member of The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies at UNC. He served in the North Carolina General Assembly for several sessions and was the first governor inaugurated in the new State Capitol.
Denomination: American Ethical Union
One of Morehead's particular interests was in providing financial assistance to students attending UNC-Chapel Hill. To that end he endowed the John Motley Morehead Foundation, which each year awards generous scholarships (for undergraduate work) and fellowships (for the graduate and professional schools) to applicants chosen through an extensive and competitive screening process. The Morehead-Cain Scholarship is the oldest merit-based scholarship in the United States.