Happy Birthday, UNC!

October 12, 2011, marks the 218th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone at Old East–the oldest building at the nation’s oldest state-funded university.¬†Since 1877, the UNC community has proudly gathered to commemorate this historic event. Wilson Library houses memories of many of these past celebrations. Here are a few of our favorite images from the collections:

University President Frank Porter Graham and Chancellor Robert House lead the University Day faculty procession into Memorial Hall. 1940s. (UNC Image Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives).

Dr. Wallace Caldwell dresses up for the occasion. 1943. (UNC Image Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives).

President Kennedy speaks at University Day 1961. The president was awarded an honorary UNC degree at the ceremony. (Hugh Morton Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives).

A favorite son of UNC, actor Andy Griffith (center) spoke at the 1978 celebration, when he was also presented with the distinguished alumnus award. (UNC Image Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives).

This year’s University Day will celebrate the¬†inauguration of a new UNC System president, Tom Ross; honor five alumni and one faculty member with service awards; and dedicate a plaque to the students who defied the 1963 Speaker Ban. Check out the official site for more information.

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