University of North Carolina-Charlotte's History

By UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

This exhibit features images about the history of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when it was Charlotte College before joining the UNC System. All materials shown here are from the Charlotte College Photographs Collection (1950-1970) held by J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and Archives at UNC- Charlotte. 

UNCC Founder, Bonnie Ethel Cone (1964/1964) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

UNC-Charlotte Founder, Bonnie Ethel Cone

In 1946, the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina was opened to educate veterans returning home from World War II. 3 years later, the Charlotte Center would became Charlotte College, a two year junior college. Miss Bonnie Ethel Cone served as the founder and director of Charlotte Center and then became president of Charlotte College.

Aerial photographs of Charlotte College (1961-07) by Bill BarleyUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Aerial Photographs of Charlotte College

Aerial images taken of the first two buildings on what the 250 acres land that would later become Charlotte College.

Bonnie Cone in front of a half-constructed J. Murrey Atkins Library (1960/1961) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Bonnie Cone in front of what would become J. Murrey Atkins Library

After Charlotte College became a 4-year, state-supported school, the library was built in the center of campus to service it's students. In April 1964, the Charlotte College Board of Trustees named the library in honor of J. Murrey Atkins, the first board chairman who had died the year before.

1965 class registration (1965) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

1965 Class registration at Charlotte College

In 1964, the North Carolina legislature approved bills making Charlotte College a four year, state- supported college. The following year, Charlotte College was renamed to University of North Carolina at Charlotte and added to the statewide university system.

Arboretum dedication (1963-03-31) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Arboretum dedication

Bonnie Cone and Dr. Herbert Hechenbleikner plant first botanical specimen during Arboretum Dedication March 31, 1963. The arboretum would inspire the creation of a botanical gardens, which still exists today.

Charlotte College Basketball Team Wins Dixie Conference (1965/1965) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Charlotte College basketball team wins 1964-1965 Dixie Conference Tournament

Charlotte College was one of the six charter members of the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference that was founded in 1963. The Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was a part of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics until 1973. The organization changed its name in 2003, becoming the USA South Athletic Conference.

Marian Anderson singing at Charlotte College Commencement (1965) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Marian Anderson singing at 1965 Charlotte College Commencement

Marian Anderson singing at the 1965 commencement of Charlotte College. Marian Anderson was a world renowned classical music singer. She was the first African American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Pierre Macy, Professor emeritus (1964/1965) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Pierre Macy, Professor emeritus

Pierre Macy was a French professor with Charlotte College at its precipice. He established the foreign language department and served as its chair. He retired in 1969. The Macy building was named after him and it was one of the first two buildings on the campus.

Edyth Winningham (1960/1965) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Edyth Winningham

Edyth Winningham was one of the first faculty members of Charlotte College. She was hired in 1947 as a political science professor and was the second full time faculty member to be hired. She would continue to teach at the university throughout its expansion and retired in 1967. Edyth was named WBT Radio's Charlotte Woman of the Year in 1970 for her community engagement work.

Collegiate Council for United Nations (1963/1963) by Tommy EstridgeUNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library

Collegiate Council for United Nations

The Collegiate Council of United Nation's was a model UN club prevalent on many college campuses. Pictured is Charlotte College's chapter with their faculty advisors.

Credits: Story

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Credits: All media
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