University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Coordinates: 35°54′30″N 79°3′0″W / 35.90833°N 79.05°W / 35.90833; -79.05

University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill
Motto Lux libertas[1]
Motto in English Light and liberty[1]
Established December 11, 1789[2]
Type Flagship[3]
Liberal Arts
Endowment $2.22 billion[4]
Chancellor Holden Thorp[5]
Academic staff 3,518[6]
Admin. staff 8,534[7]
Students 29,390[8]
Undergraduates 18,579[8]
Postgraduates 10,811[8]
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Campus University town
729 acres (3.0 km2)[9]
Former names North Carolina University (NCU)
Colors Carolina blue and white[10]
Athletics NCAA Division I FBS
27 varsity sports[11]
Nickname Tar Heels[10]
Mascot Rameses
Affiliations AAU, ACC, UNC[12][13][14]
Logo of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Endowment, faculty, and student data is for 2007. Endowment of foundations included in total.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (also known as UNC, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina)[15] is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. First enrolling students in 1795, it was the first state university in the United States.

All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status. In both teaching and research, UNC has been highly ranked by publications such as BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report. The university forms one of the corners of the Research Triangle in addition to Duke University in Durham and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

UNC has a strong history in athletics, most notably in men's basketball, women's soccer and men's lacrosse. The North Carolina Tar Heels share rivalries with other Tobacco Road schools and have provided many olympians to United States teams. The student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel has won national awards for collegiate media, while the student radio station WXYC provided the world's first internet radio broadcast.



Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789, the university's cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1793, near the ruins of a chapel, chosen because of its central location within the state.[16] Beginning instruction of undergraduates in 1795, UNC is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the only such institution to confer degrees in the eighteenth century.[17][18]

During the Civil War, North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain persuaded Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft, so the university was one of the few in the Confederacy that managed to stay open.[19] However, Chapel Hill suffered the loss of more of its population during the war than any village in the South, and when student numbers did not recover, the university was forced to close during Reconstruction from December 1, 1870 until September 6, 1875.[20]

The Old Well, a symbol of the University, stands at the heart of campus.

Despite initial skepticism from university President Frank Porter Graham, on March 27, 1931, legislation was passed to group UNC with the State College of Agriculture and Engineering and the Women's College to form the Consolidated University of North Carolina.[21] In 1963, the consolidated university was made fully coeducational, although most women still attended UNCG for their first two years, transferring to Chapel Hill as a junior, since freshmen were required to live on campus and there was only one women's dorm. As a result, the Women's College was renamed the "University of North Carolina at Greensboro", and the University of North Carolina became the "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."[22][23][24][25] In 1955, UNC officially desegregated its undergraduate divisions.[26]

During World War II, UNC at Chapel Hill was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[27]

During the 1960s, the campus was the location of significant political protest. Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protests about local racial segregation which began quietly in Franklin Street restaurants led to mass demonstrations and disturbance.[28] The climate of civil unrest prompted the 1963 Speaker Ban Law prohibiting speeches by communists on state campuses in North Carolina.[29] The law was immediately criticized by university Chancellor William Brantley Aycock and university President William Friday, but was not reviewed by the North Carolina General Assembly until 1965.[30] Small amendments to allow "infrequent" visits failed to placate the student body, especially when the university's board of trustees overruled new Chancellor Paul Frederick Sharp's decision to allow speaking invitations to Marxist speaker Herbert Aptheker and civil liberties activist Frank Wilkinson; however, the two speakers came to Chapel Hill anyway. Wilkinson spoke off campus, while more than 1,500 students viewed Aptheker's speech across a low campus wall at the edge of campus, christened "Dan Moore's Wall" by The Daily Tar Heel for Governor Dan K. Moore.[31] A group of UNC students, led by Student Body President Paul Dickson, filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court, and on February 20, 1968, the Speaker Ban Law was struck down.[32]

From the late 1990s onward, UNC expanded rapidly with a 15% increase in total student population to more than 28,000 by 2007. This was accompanied by the construction of new facilities, funded in part by the "Carolina First" fundraising campaign and an endowment that increased fourfold to over $2 billion in just ten years.[33][34] Professor Oliver Smithies was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2007 for his work in genetics.[35]

Notable leaders of the university include the 26th Governor of North Carolina, David Lowry Swain (president 1835–1868); and Edwin Anderson Alderman (1896–1900), who was also president of Tulane University and the University of Virginia.[36] The current chancellor is Holden Thorp, who earned a bachelor of science degree from UNC in 1986, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1989, and was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University from 1989 to 1990.[37]


The Morehead Planetarium, designed by Eggers & Higgins, first opened in 1949.[38]

UNC's 729-acre (3.0 km2) campus is dominated by two central quads: Polk Place and McCorkle Place.[39] Polk Place is named after North Carolina native and university alumnus President James K. Polk,[40] and McCorkle Place is named in honor of Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, the original author of the bill requesting the university's charter.[41] Adjacent to Polk Place is a sunken brick courtyard known as the Pit where students will gather, often engaging in lively debate with speakers such as the Pit Preacher. The Morehead–Patterson Bell Tower, located in the heart of campus, tolls the quarter-hour. In 1999, UNC was one of sixteen recipients of the American Society of Landscape Architects Medallion Awards and was identified as one of 50 college or university "works of art" by T.A. Gaines in his book The Campus as a Work of Art.[39][42]

The university's campus is informally divided into three regions, usually referred to as "north campus," "middle campus," and "south campus." North campus includes the two quads along with the Pit, Frank Porter Graham Student Union, and the Davis, House, and Wilson libraries. Almost all classrooms are located in north campus along with several undergraduate residence halls.[43] Middle campus includes Fetzer Field and Woollen Gymnasium along with the Student Recreation Center, Kenan Memorial Stadium, Irwin Belk outdoor track, Eddie Smith Field House, Boshamer Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium, Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, School of Government, School of Law, George Watts Hill Alumni Center, Ram's Head complex (with a dining hall, parking garage, grocery store, and gymnasium), and various residence halls.[43] South campus includes the Dean Smith Center for men's basketball, School of Medicine, UNC Hospitals, Kenan–Flagler Business School, and the newest student residence halls.[43]

The Morehead–Patterson Bell Tower was completed in 1931 and stands 172 feet tall.[44]

A new satellite campus, Carolina North, to be built on the site of Horace Williams Airport was approved in 2007. This is planned to be primarily a research park with expanded science facilities, but will also add classrooms and residence halls to cope with future increases in student population.[45]


The principles of sustainability have been integrated throughout much of UNC-Chapel Hill. In the area of green building, the university requires that all new projects meet the requirements for LEED Silver certification and is in the process of building the first building in North Carolina to receive LEED Platinum status.[46] UNC’s award-winning co-generation facility produces one-fourth of the electricity and all of the steam used on campus.[47] In 2006, the university and the Town of Chapel Hill jointly agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2050, becoming the first town-gown partnership in the country to do so.[48] Through these efforts, the university achieved a “A−” grade on the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card 2010.[49] Only 14 out of 300 universities received a higher score than this.

Old Well and McCorkle Place

The most enduring symbol of the university is the Old Well, a small neoclassical rotunda based on the Temple of Love in the Gardens of Versailles, in the same location as the original well that provided water for the school.[50] The well stands at the south end of McCorkle Place, the northern quad, between two of the campus's oldest buildings, Old East, and Old West. Also located in McCorkle Place is the Davie Poplar tree under which the university's founder, William Richardson Davie, supposedly selected the location for the university. The legend of the Davie Poplar says that if the tree falls, so will UNC.[51] Because of the tree's questionable health from damage caused by severe weather such as Hurricane Fran in 1996, the university has planted two genetic clones nearby called Davie Poplar Jr. and Davie Poplar III.[51] The second clone, Davie Poplar III, was planted in conjunction with the university's bicentennial celebration in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.[52][53] Another university landmark is the Confederate monument, known to students as Silent Sam, erected to commemorate UNC students who died fighting for the Confederacy. The statue has at times been dogged by controversy, some critics claiming that the monument invokes memories of racism and slavery, while others counter that "Silent Sam" is simply historical and a part of the rich heritage of the South.[54] The statue depicts a soldier armed with a rifle, but lacking a cartridge box. Thus, Silent Sam does not carry any ammunition and is a "benign" soldier. The statue was erected in 1913 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor the school's Confederate heroes.[55] The student members of the university's Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies are not allowed to walk on the grass of McCorkle Place out of respect for the unknown resting place of Joseph Caldwell, the university's first president.[56]
The Morehead–Patterson bell tower was commissioned by John Motley Morehead III, the benefactor of the prestigious Morehead Scholarship.[57] The hedge and surrounding landscape was designed by William C. Coker, botany professor and creator of the campus arboretum. Traditionally, seniors have the opportunity to climb the tower a few days prior to May commencement.[44]

The historic Playmakers Theatre is located on Cameron Avenue between McCorkle Place and Polk Place. It was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, the same architect who renovated the northern façade of Old East in 1844.[58] The east-facing building was completed in 1851 and initially served as a library and as a ballroom. It was originally named Smith Hall after North Carolina Governor General Benjamin Smith, who was a special aide to George Washington during the American Revolutionary War and was an early benefactor to the university.[59] When the library moved to Hill Hall in 1907, the School of Law occupied Smith Hall until 1923. In 1925, the structure was renovated and used as a stage by the university theater group, the Carolina Playmakers. It has remained a theater to the present day. Louis Round Wilson wrote in 1957 that Playmakers Theatre is the "architectural gem of the campus."[60] Playmakers Theatre was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.[61] Today, the building is a venue for student drama productions, concerts, and events sponsored by academic departments. In 2006, the university began a renovation of Playmakers Theatre, which has included an exterior paint job and interior remodeling. The renovation is expected to be complete by the end of 2010.[62]


South Building, administrative offices of the chancellor and College of Arts and Sciences


UNC offers 71 bachelor's, 107 master's and 74 doctoral degree programs.[63] The university enrolls more than 28,000 students from all 100 North Carolina counties, the other 49 states, and 47 other countries. State law requires that the percentage of students from North Carolina in each freshman class meet or exceed 82%.[64] The student body consists of 17,981 undergraduate students and 10,935 graduate and professional students (as of Fall 2009).[65] Minorities comprise 30.8% of UNC's undergraduate population[66] and applications from international students have more than doubled in the last five years (from 702 in 2004 to 1,629 in 2009).[67] Eighty-nine percent of enrolling first year students in 2009 reported a GPA of 4.0 or higher on a weighted 4.0 scale.[68] UNC students are strong competitors for national and international scholarships. In 2009, two UNC seniors won Rhodes Scholarships.[69] The most popular majors at UNC are Biology, Business Administration, Psychology, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Political Science.[68] UNC also offers 300 study abroad programs in 70 countries.[70]

At the undergraduate level, all students must fulfill a number of general education requirements as part of the Making Connections curriculum, which was introduced in 2006.[71] English, social science, history, foreign language, mathematics, and natural science courses are required of all students, ensuring that they receive a broad liberal arts education.[72] The university also offers a wide range of first year seminars for incoming freshmen.[73] After their sophomore year, students move on to the College of Arts and Sciences, or choose an undergraduate professional school program within the schools of medicine, nursing, business, education, pharmacy, information and library science, public health, or journalism and mass communication.[74] Undergraduates are held to an eight-semester limit of study.[75]

Honor Code

The university has a longstanding Honor Code known as the "Instrument of Student Judicial Governance," supplemented by an entirely student-run Honor System to resolve issues with students accused of academic and conduct offenses against the university community.[76] The Honor System is divided into three branches: the Student Attorney General Staff, the Honor Court, and the Honor System Outreach. The Student Attorney General is appointed by the Student Body President to investigate all reports of Honor Code violations and determine whether or not to bring charges against the student as detailed in the "Instrument." The Attorney General is supported by a select staff of around 40 students. The Honor Court is led by the Chair, who is appointed by the Student Body President, and supported by Vice Chairs who adjudicate all students' hearings. The Honor Court as a whole is made up of some 80 selected students. The Honor System Outreach is a branch of the System solely devoted to promoting honor and integrity in the University community. UNC is the only public university, with the exception of the military academies, that has a completely student-run system from the beginning to the end of the process.


Louis Round Wilson Library opened in 1929 and serves as the special collections library.[77]

UNC's library system includes a number of individual libraries housed throughout the campus and holds more than 5.8 million volumes in total.[63] UNC's North Carolina Collection (NCC) is the largest and most comprehensive collection of holdings about any single state nationwide.[78] The unparalleled assemblage of literary, visual, and artifactual materials documents four centuries of North Carolina history and culture.[79] The North Carolina Collection is housed in Wilson Library, named after Louis Round Wilson, along with the Rare Books Collection and the Southern Folklife Collection.[80] The university is home to ibiblio, one of the world's largest collections of freely available information including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies.[81][82] The Davis Library, situated near the Pit, is the main library and the largest academic facility and state-owned building in North Carolina.[53] It was named after North Carolina philanthropist Walter Royal Davis and opened on February 6, 1984. The first book checked out of Davis Library was George Orwell's 1984.[83] The R.B. House Undergraduate Library is located between the Pit area and Wilson Library. It is named after Robert B. House, the Chancellor of UNC from 1945 to 1957, and it opened in 1968.[84] In 2001, the R.B. House Undergraduate Library underwent a $9.9 million renovation that modernized the furnishings, equipment, and infrastructure of the building.[85] Prior to the construction of Davis, Wilson Library was the university's main library, but now Wilson hosts special events and houses special collections, rare books, and temporary exhibits.[86]

Rankings and reputation

University Rankings
Ranking #

Public University in the US (US) 5
Business administration (US) 6
Times Higher Education World University Rankings (World) 30
US News & World Report (National) 29
US News Best value collge (National) 12
ARWU (World) 38
ARWU (National) 31
The Washington Monthly (National) 36
QS (World) 55

In 2009, the U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC Chapel Hill 5th among the nation's top public colleges and universities.[87]

The university was named a Public Ivy by Richard Moll in his 1985 book The Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities, and in later guides by Howard and Matthew Greene.[88][89] Many of UNC's professional schools have achieved high rankings in publications such as Forbes Magazine, as well as annual U.S. News & World Report surveys.[90][91] In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC business school's MBA program as the 20th best in the United States. In the 2011 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health as the top public school of public health in the United States, and the second ranked school of public health in the nation (behind the top ranked school, Johns Hopkins and ahead of the third ranked school, Harvard).[92] [93] The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy was ranked second among pharmacy schools in the United States in 2008 by the U.S. News & World Report.[94] In 2005, Business Week ranked UNC business school's Executive MBA program as the 5th best in the United States.[95] Other highly ranked schools include journalism and mass communication, law, library and information studies, medicine, dentistry, and city and regional planning.[93][96][97][98][99] Nationally, UNC is in the top ten public universities for research.[100] Internationally, the 2011 QS World University Rankings[101] ranked North Carolina 55th overall in the world, moving up 23 places from its position of 78th in the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).

The NCC is the largest collection of printed materials related to a single state.[102]

UNC's undergraduate program is ranked 28th in the United States by the U.S. News & World Report and is consistently ranked among the nation's top five public universities, just behind UC Berkeley, University of Virginia, UCLA, and the University of Michigan.[103][104] Kiplinger's Personal Finance has also ranked UNC as the number one "best value" public school for in-state students.[105] Similarly, the university is first among public universities and ninth overall in "Great Schools, Great Prices", on the basis of academic quality, net cost of attendance and average student debt.[106] Along with one of the nation's most acclaimed undergraduate honors programs in a public institution, UNC also has the highest percentage of undergraduates studying abroad for any public institution.[63][107]


Graham Memorial is adjacent to Franklin Street and houses the Office for Undergraduate Research and the Honors Study Abroad program.[108][109]

For decades UNC has offered an undergraduate merit scholarship known as the Morehead-Cain Scholarship. Recipients receive tuition, room and board, books, and funds for summer study for four years. Since the inception of the Morehead scholarship program, 29 alumni of the program have been named Rhodes Scholars.[110] North Carolina also boasts the Robertson Scholars Program, a scholarship granting recipients the opportunity to attend both UNC and neighboring Duke University.[111] Additionally, the university provides merit-based scholarships, including the Carolina and Pogue Scholars programs, which offer full scholarships for out-of-state students.[112]

In 2003, Chancellor James Moeser announced the Carolina Covenant, which provides a debt free education to low-income students who are academically qualified to attend the university. The program was the second in the nation (following Princeton) and the first of its kind at a public university. Around 80 other universities have since followed suit. [113]

North Carolina is tied for the largest number of Rhodes Scholars among public universities (47 since 1902) with the University of Virginia.[114] Additionally, many students have won Truman, Goldwater, Mitchell, Churchill, Fulbright, Marshall, Udall, and Mellon scholarships.[115]


Tip-off of a basketball game against Duke at the Smith Center

The school sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Atlantic Coast Conference.[13] The NCAA refers to UNC as the "University of North Carolina" for athletics.[10] As of Fall 2009, the university had won 37 NCAA team championships in six different sports, eighth all-time.[116] These include twenty NCAA championships in women's soccer, six in women's field hockey, four in men's lacrosse, five in men's basketball, one in women's basketball, and one in men's soccer.[117] The Men's basketball team just won its 5th NCAA basketball championship in 2009, the second for Coach Roy Williams since he took the job as head coach. Other recent successes include four consecutive College World Series appearances by the baseball team from 2006 to 2009.[118] In 1994, the university's athletic programs won the Sears Directors Cup "all-sports national championship" awarded for cumulative performance in NCAA competition.[119] Consensus collegiate national athletes of the year from North Carolina include Rachel Dawson in field hockey; Phil Ford, Tyler Hansbrough, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, James Worthy and Michael Jordan in men's basketball; and Mia Hamm (twice), Shannon Higgins, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini in women's soccer.[120]

Mascot and nickname

Rameses at the 1957 Victory Bell football game

The university's teams are nicknamed the "Tar Heels," in reference to the state's eighteenth century prominence as a tar and pitch producer.[121] The nickname's cultural relevance, however, has a complex history that includes anecdotal tales from both the American Civil War and the American Revolution.[121] The mascot is a live Dorset ram named Rameses, a tradition that dates back to 1924, when the team manager brought a ram to the annual game against Virginia Military Institute, inspired by the play of former football player Jack "The Battering Ram" Merrit. The kicker rubbed his head for good luck before a game-winning field goal, and the ram stayed.[122] There is also an anthropomorphic ram mascot who appears at games.[123] The modern Rameses is depicted in a sailor's hat, a reference to a United States Navy flight training program that was attached to the university during World War II.[124]

Celebration on Franklin Street after victory over Duke


The South's Oldest Rivalry between North Carolina and its first opponent, the University of Virginia, was prominent throughout much of the twentieth century.[125] September 2008 saw the 117th meeting in football between the two teams. Carolina has also been a rival with North Carolina State University. Comments made by the football coaches of each college led to a revival in the rivalry, particularly in football, in late 2011. Traditionally, the students from each school exchange pranks before football games, such as painting North Carolina State's Free Expression Tunnel blue in 2006.[126] In retaliation, NC State students travel to Chapel Hill to paint campus landmarks red and a play the NC State fight song and alma mater.[127]

UNC-Duke Rivalry

The most important rivalry on campus is with Durham's Duke University. Located only eight miles from each other, the schools regularly compete in both athletics and academics. The Carolina-Duke rivalry is most intense, however, in basketball.[128] With a combined nine national championships in men's basketball, both teams have been frequent contenders for the national championship for decades. The rivalry has been the focus of several books, including Will Blythe's To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever and was the focus of the HBO documentary Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs Carolina. [129]

Rushing Franklin

After important basketball victories, most notably after Duke games and NCAA championships, students traditionally rush downtown to Franklin Street, which the police close to traffic. People converge at and around Franklin and Columbia Streets near campus and light bonfires.[130] After the 2009 National Championship, 45,000 people rushed Franklin Street to celebrate the victory.

School colors

Since the beginning of intercollegiate athletics at UNC in the late nineteenth century, the school's colors have been Carolina blue also known as "baby blue" and white.[131] The colors were chosen years before by the Dialectic (blue) and Philanthropic (white) Societies, the oldest student organization at the university. The school had required participation in one of the clubs, and traditionally the "Di"s were from the western part of North Carolina while the "Phi"s were from the eastern part of the state.[132] Society members would wear a blue or white ribbon at university functions, and blue or white ribbons were attached to their diplomas at graduation.[132] On public occasions, both groups were equally represented, and eventually both colors were used by processional leaders to signify the unity of both groups as part of the university.[133] When football became a popular collegiate sport in the 1880s, the UNC football team adopted the light blue and white of the Di-Phi Societies as the school colors.[134]

School songs

Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement, convocation, and athletic games are the university fight songs "I'm a Tar Heel Born" and "Here Comes Carolina".[135] The fight songs are often played by the bell tower near the center of campus, as well as after major victories.[135] "I’m a Tar Heel Born" originated in the late 1920s as a tag to the school's alma mater, "Hark The Sound".[135]

Student life

The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies of UNC were founded in 1795 and have debates each week in the New West building.[136]

Organizations and activities

Most student organizations at UNC are officially recognized and provided with assistance by the Carolina Union, an administrative unit of the university.[137] Funding is derived from the student government student activity fee, which is allocated at the discretion of the student congress.[138]

The largest student fundraiser, the UNC Dance Marathon, involves thousands of students, faculty, and community members in raising funds for the North Carolina Children's Hospital. The organization conducts fundraising and volunteer activities throughout the year and, as of 2008, had donated $1.4 million since its inception in 1999.[139]

The University is also noted for its Campus Y, the social justice hub on campus that houses many service and internationally focused organizations. The Campus Y was founded in 1859, and is noted as a "leader in on-campus discussion and dialogue and off-campus service and activism". The Campus Y was at the center of many progressive movements within the university, including the racial integration of the student body, the effort to improve wages and working conditions for University employees,and the establishment of the Sonja Haynes Stones Center for Black Culture and History. The Y is a collection of many UNC specific and outside organizations, such as Big Buddies, Habitat for Humanity, and Nourish International.

The student run newspaper The Daily Tar Heel is ranked highly by The Princeton Review,[140] and received the 2004–5 National Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press.[141] Founded in 1977, WXYC 89.3 FM is UNC's student radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Programming is left up to student DJs. WXYC typically plays little heard music from a wide range of genres and eras. On November 7, 1994, WXYC became the first radio station in the world to broadcast its signal over the internet.[142][143] A student-run television station, STV, airs on the campus cable and throughout the Chapel Hill Time Warner Cable system.[144]

The Forest Theatre was first used for outdoor drama in 1916 to celebrate the tercentenary of Shakespeare's death.[145]

The Residence Hall Association, the school's third-largest student-run organization, is dedicated to enhancing the experience of students living in residence halls. This includes putting on social, educational, and philanthropic programs for residents; recognizing outstanding residents and members; and helping residents develop into successful leaders. The organization is run by 8 student executive officers; 16 student governors that represent each residence hall community; and numerous community government members. RHA is the campus organization of NACURH, the largest student organization in the world. In 2010 the organization won the national RHA Building Block Award, which is awarded to the school with the most improved RHA organization.

At the end of each semester, students organize a flash mob dance party in the library.[146]

The athletic teams at the university are supported by the Marching Tar Heels, the university's marching band. The entire 275-member volunteer band is present at every home football game, and smaller pep bands play at all home basketball games. Each member of the band is also required to play in at least one of five pep bands that play at athletic events of the 26 other sports.[147] UNC has a regional theater company in residence, the Playmakers Repertory Company,[148] and hosts regular dance, drama, and music performances on campus.[149] The school has an outdoor stone amphitheatre known as Forest Theatre used for weddings and drama productions.[150][151] Forest Theatre is dedicated to Professor Frederick Koch, the founder of the Carolina Playmakers and the father American folk drama.[152]

Many fraternities and sororities on campus belong to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), Greek Alliance Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). As of spring 2010, eighteen percent of undergraduates were Greek (1146 men and 1693 women out of 17,160 total).[153] The total number of community service hours completed for the 2010 spring semester by fraternities and sororities was 51,819 hours (average of 31 hours/person). UNC also offers professional and service fraternities that do not have houses but are still recognized by the school. Some of the campus honor societies include: the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Grail-Valkyries, the Order of the Old Well, the Order of the Bell Tower, and the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society.[154]

Student government at Carolina is composed of an executive branch headed by the student body president, a legislative branch composed of a student-elected student congress, and a judicial branch which includes the honor court and student supreme court.[155] The Judicial Reform Committee created the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, which outlined the current Honor Code and its means for enforcement in 1974.[156] Currently, Carolina boasts one of the only student-run judicial systems in the nation. All academic and most conduct violations are handled by the student-run Honor System. Prior to that time, the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies along with other campus organizations supported student concerns.[157]


Lenoir Dining Hall was completed in 1939 and opened for service to students when they returned from Christmas holidays in January 1940. The building was named for General William Lenoir, first chairman of the Board of Trustees of the university in 1790. The new Rams Head Dining Hall seats 1,300 people and has a capacity for serving 10,000 meals per day. It has one large dining area, two medium size dining areas, food service staff offices, kitchen, food preparation areas, storage and a Starbucks coffee shop.[158]

Rams Head Dining Center was opened to the students in March 2005. It includes the Rams Head Dining Hall, Starbucks, and the Rams Head Market. It was opened to offer more food service options to the students living on south campus.[159]


Old East residence hall, built in 1793

On campus, the thirty-three residence halls are grouped into thirteen "communities," varying from the Olde Campus Upper Quad Community which includes Old East, the oldest building of the university, to modern communities such as Manning West, completed in 2002.[160][161] Along with themed housing focusing on foreign languages and substance-free living, there are also "living-learning communities" which have been formed for specific social, gender-related, or academic needs.[162] An example is UNITAS, sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, where residents are assigned roommates on the basis of cultural or racial differences rather than similarities.[163] Three apartment complexes offer housing for families, graduate students, and some upperclassmen.[164] Along with the rest of campus, all residence halls, apartments, and their surrounding grounds are smoke-free.[165] As of 2008, 46% of all undergraduates live in university-provided housing.[166]

Notable alumni


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