222 years old The University of North Carolina’s “Old East” is the first state university building in the United States. William Richardson Davie, founder of the university, laid the building’s cornerstone on October 12, 1793. Hugh Morton made this photograph of the residence hall basking in warm sunlight circa 1973. Today marks the 222nd birthday of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Want to know more about the history of Old East? Check out a short UNC-produced video about the building.