Now Available Online: 1992 Spike Lee Rally Video

On September 18th, 1992, filmmaker Spike Lee spoke at a rally at the Dean E. Smith Center in support of a free-standing Black Cultural Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lee had learned about student activism in support of a Black Cultural Center at Carolina when the New York Times reported on the participation of several Black football players in the movement. The UNC Libraries Digital Production Center has recently digitized a videotape of the rally. The full video is now available online.

In the 81 minute-long recording, leaders of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) movement and the Black Awareness Council (BAC), an organization founded by four football players, speak to an audience of over 5,000 attendees. Then, Spike Lee enters the stage to offer words in support of the students rallying for a free-standing Black cultural center. He also offers praise to the athletes involved in the movement and highlights the contributions of Black athletes in the rising prominence of college athletics. In an interview prior to his speech, Lee said that he was there to learn from and show support to the student leaders involved in this movement.

The rally was an important step in the multi-year, student-led advocacy for the building that would become the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

Learn more:

New Acquisition Documents Andy Griffith at UNC

A black and white photo of a young Andy Griffith looking off to his left, taken from the 1947 Yackety Yack.
1947 Yackety Yack

A new addition to the Andy Griffith Papers in the Southern Historical Collection provides a fascinating glimpse into Griffith’s experience as a UNC-Chapel Hill student in the 1940s. The new materials include documents, a letter of recommendation for Griffith, and even a copy of his UNC transcript.

The transcript, from the Department of Music, shows Griffith’s courses and grades and provides a look at how UNC’s requirements have changed over the years.

Griffith received mostly Bs, Cs, and Ds, as well as a few Fs. It’s also quite interesting to note that he fulfilled his “Hygiene” requirement as a student.

A scanned image from April 9, 1949, of a positive recommendation written on Andy Griffith's behalf.
Letter of Recommendation, in the Andy Griffith Papers #4697, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

At the end of his academic career at Carolina, Andy Griffith received a positive recommendation from an unnamed mentor for a teaching position. In this recommendation written in April 1949, Griffith’s mentor compliments his character and leadership qualities, as well as his musical talent. They note that though they feel that he is qualified to teach vocal work, his instrumental work is “fair” since he has less training in instrumental music. The writer makes it clear that Griffith has a “natural ability” in music. 


Lastly, this pamphlet is one of the most interesting amongst the Andy Griffith papers and dates to the early 1950s after he graduated from UNC. It’s a promotional brochure for a program titled “Unique Entertainment,” a performance entertainment service collaboration between Griffith and his wife Barbara Griffith. “Unique Entertainment” consists of singing, dancing, dramatic readings, and comedy sketches that would be tailored to their audience.

1980s UNC Students Protest CIA Recruitment on Campus

In the 1980s, UNC-Chapel Hill students organized to protest on-campus recruiting by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Citing the CIA’s involvement in conflicts in Central America and the Middle East and drawing attention to the agency’s increased role under President Ronald Regan, student protesters objected to the presence of CIA recruiters on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Carolina students led anti-CIA protests as early as 1983, and the movement gained significant momentum when the student-run CIA Action Committee (CIAAC) led several protests between 1987 and 1989. The photos shown in this post are from the Durham Herald Co. Newspaper Photograph Collection in Wilson Library.

Timeline of Anti-CIA Protests at UNC-Chapel Hill

October 29 1987: Six members of the CIAAC were arrested during a protest in Hanes Hall. Graham Entwistle, Keith Griffler, Dale McKinley, Joey Templeton, Mary Lisa Pories, and Katherine Taaffe (the only non-student) chained themselves together in order to block the entrance to Hanes Hall where CIA interviews were being held. These activists were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but the judge in the case did not pursue criminal charges against any of the members. Daily Tar Heel, October 30, 1987.

Students protest in a building lobby. Two students are playing acoustic guitars, others are holding signs. The legible signs say "Criminals In Action" and "Peace with Justice for All."
Student protest in UNC-Chapel Hill Law School lobby, February 23, 1988. Photo by Jim Thornton, Durham Herald Co. Photo collection.

February 24, 1988: Members of the CIAAC went to the University Inn where a CIA recruiter was holding interviews and protested outside his door. The recruiter left Chapel Hill without conducting interviews after CIAAC members followed him down Interstate 40 making sure he did not enter campus. Daily Tar Heel, July 14, 1988.

Photo of a student holding a poster reading "6 Million Dead 1947-1988 / CIA Off Campus" while a man places materials in the trunk of a car.
CIA recruiter Page Moffett prepares to leave Chapel Hill after being confronted by protesters on and off campus. Photo by Jim Thornton, February 24, 1988. Durham Herald Co. Newspaper Photograph Collection in Wilson Library.

April 15, 1988: CIAAC protesters lay on the floor of the Career Planning and Placement Services work area in Hanes Hall. During the protest, CIAAC members sang protest songs and held hands. After refusing to leave the area, eight students were carried out of the building and arrested for trespassing. During this event, senior Graham Entwistle, junior Lisa House, junior Jerry Jones, junior Kasey Jones, graduate student Dale McKinley, evening college student Steve Sullivan, sophomore Joey Templeton, and senior Amy Thompson were arrested. This protest was intentionally held at the Career Planning office due to the office’s role in connecting CIA members with UNC students to discuss possible careers. Daily Tar Heel, April 18, 1988.

October 28, 1988: Members of another activist group, the Chapel Hill Coalition for the Freedom to Dissent (CFD), confronted the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees regarding their choice to stay silent regarding the case of Dale McKinley (his arrest and jail sentence). During this meeting, Ken Sandler, a graduate student and CFD member, read a letter condemning the Board of Trustees and their alleged attempts to stifle freedom of expression on campus. At this time, McKinley was serving a 21-day sentence in Orange County Jail for his actions on campus. Daily Tar Heel, October 31, 1988.

November 2, 1988: Following a rally in the Pit, around 20 students took part in another demonstration outside Hanes Hall, staging what they called the “CIA Café.” Students acting as waiters carried plates containing plastic limbs and other symbols of violence to illustrate their accusations against the CIA. As people walked by, the waiters offered the plates, asking, “Did you order the CIA atrocities?” Daily Tar Heel, November 3, 1988.

November 6, 1989: The CIAAC created a “symbolic graveyard” on Polk Place in front of South Building. This was accompanied by a mock funeral procession. The protesters carried their symbolic coffins inside the building and left them at Chancellor Paul Hardin’s desk. Hardin was not present for the protest. Daily Tar Heel, November 7, 1989.

A student hammering a wooden cross in a grassy area of campus.
UNC student Graham Entwistle placing crosses in front of South Building as part of a protest against CIA recruiting on campus, November 6, 1989. Photo by Dan Charlson, Durham Herald Co. Photo Collection.
Students march to Hanes Hall holding a sign stating, "Non-Disruptive Peaceful Protest"
Students march to Hanes Hall to protest CIA presence on campus, November 1988. Photo by Chuck Liddy, Durham Herald-Sun photo collection.
Ten students hold posters against the CIA's presence on campus in front of Hanes Hall
Student protest at Hanes Hall, November 1988. Photo by Chuck Liddy, Durham Herald-Sun photo collection.

From the Archives: The Freelon Group on the Design Philosophy of the Stone Center, ca. 2004.

In the Records of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for for Black Culture and History, we recently came across a design statement from the Freelon Group, the architects responsible for the Center. The Group was led by Phil Freelon, a North Carolina-based architect of international renown, now best known for his work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. Learn more about Freelon.

The Stone Center pamphlet discusses the group’s “intentional blending of traditional elements of the UNC campus environment with carefully integrated references to African influenced design.” Read more below.

Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
Freelon Group, Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.” From the Records of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center (#40341), University Archives.
Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, page 2.
Freelon Group, “Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.” From the Records of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center (#40341), University Archives.
Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, page 3
Freelon Group, “Design Objectives for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.” From the Records of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center (#40341), University Archives.

From folder 105, “Center space, 2003-2004, undated.”


Doris Betts on Traffic and Campus Parking, 1967

Doris Betts in her office near a sign that reads "Reserved Parking for Doris Betts"
Doris Betts in her UNC office, 1992, with a sign that may have been inspired by her 1967 letter about campus parking. [News Services Records, 40139]
Although the UNC campus has changed and grown significantly over the past half century, one thing has remained exactly the same: it can be tough to find a place to park. Students, visitors, and employees all know the struggle of searching campus lots for open spots or else paying for a space that is often nowhere near your final destination.

In the University Archives, folders labeled “Traffic” or “Parking” are common in administrative collections, usually filled with letters complaining about campus parking challenges. We found one of these folders, labeled “Parking, 1967” in the records of Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson. One of the letters it contained seemed similar to so many others, until we noticed the name of the writer: Doris Betts, the acclaimed novelist and longtime UNC faculty member in the Department of English.

In September 1967, after receiving a $1 parking ticket for failing to display her parking sticker, Betts wrote to the Chapel Hill Police Department, with a copy of her letter to Chancellor Sitterson. “Having paid the dollar,” she wrote, “I now feel entitled to complain.”

In what is easily the most literary parking complaint we’ve ever read, Betts addressed the absurdity of receiving a ticket while parking in order to pick up her faculty parking permit. Betts compares the campus parking regulations to scenes from Alice in Wonderland, with the police department in the “position of the gardeners in Wonderland who—discovering that they had planted a white rose bush in the spot the queen has ordered a red one—were busily coating the blooms with red paint.”

Betts also raises an important point that is likely even more relevant today: the burden of long commutes and parking challenges falls largely on those students and staff who cannot afford to live near campus. The full letter, transcribed below, is worth reading in its entirety.

September 28, 1967 

Chapel Hill Police Department
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 


 I enclose my fine of $1.00 for the parking ticket issued yesterday by Officer 3 for my car . . . parked in a faculty zone while I was teaching classes but not yet marked with the new permit sticker. Having paid the dollar, I now feel entitled to complain.  

I commute to teach classes in the University English Department, and since I am not on-campus between Wednesday and Monday, there is an inevitable time-lag in the receipt of red-tape requests and the compliance with red-tape requests. I have paid my parking permit fee for the new sticker, to replace last year’s F. sticker for which Officer #3 must have noted on the bumper, but in order to go to the department and obtain this sticker on my next teaching day, it was necessary—oddly enough—to leave the car in a parking space. I was so enchanted to find one in time, for a change, to be in the office at the time set for student conferences, that I scooted right in and parked in it without considering this hazard of time-lag. The sticker will be on the bumper next time your officers pass my car. Whether it will be PARKED anywhere is, of course, a very different and more complex question.  

 On my first day of classes, having driven over from Sanford, I then put nearly and equal amount of mileage on the car by motoring up and down the lanes and lots of the U.N.C. campus in search of some place to be rid of the thing. When I finally did park and hike some distance to my department office, I encountered both my department chairman and the provost, who responded to my grumbling by saying all would be different as soon as I paid the new fee and obtained the new parking permit.  

 Now, however, time lags and all, this begins to sound more and more like Alice in Wonderland, like the Queen of Hearts passing sentence first and having a verdict second. I am not clear why a permit and a sticker ten feet high will manufacture a space where no space existed without said permit. In actuality, I have paid $5 for the privilege of driving around just as much and just as often and an extra dollar for the privilege of meeting the student conference on time and being delayed in picking up the sticker. While some students and lithe young faculty members, residing in Chapel Hill, may be able to reach classes on-foot, on-Honda, and on-Schwinn, those of us who commute must come in automobiles of necessity. I assure you, that if you drove on highway 15-501, behind school buses and brick trucks, behind trucks which showered your windshield with sand and poultry feathers, and cars full of nice old ladies who straddle the center-line in the interests of moderation and safety, sniffing your own burning gasoline in the air of Lee, Chatham, and Orange Counties—and THEN arrived, minus the cost of a permit and the cost of a traffic ticket unable to find a plain legal rectangle within reasonable distance of your duties, you’d be in a cross mood, too.  

 Gentlemen, the situation is not your fault; Officer 3 is doing his duty in abiding by understandable campus rules; I submit the fee fully understanding the justice of it. But the purpose of the letter, with its carbon to Dean Sitterson, is to relieve my feelings and find a more suitable outlet for them than Muttering Under One’s Own Breath.  

 I call your attention to the editorial in today’s Greensboro Daily News, which seems to be based on such common sense that it comes like the voice of Alice into the Queen’s croquet game and trial.  

 By the way, the student conference I met yesterday was also delayed. The student came out to his own car to find that HIS sticker had been neatly peeled off his bumper—either that, or the glue proved unreliable. He had been by to collect, he though a duplicate sticker, since he had paid a $10 registration fee and will actually be graduating in January. He was told that, for the coming 3½ months, he must buy a second sticker, at an additional $10. They are trying to discourage black market track in stickers, he said. The two of us had a difficult time getting off this subject and onto the purpose of our meeting, which had to do with literature and the rhetoric of fiction. Had I known that at that very time Ticket Number 40457 was even then nestling under my windshield wiper, I doubt we would have managed to deal with the short story form at all.  

Gentlemen, you are in the position of the gardeners in Wonderland who—discovering that they had planted a white rose bush in the spot the queen has ordered a red one—were busily coating the blooms with red paint. As such, you have our sympathy. It is not much help to you, any more than my complaining is much help, but I hope it makes you feel better. I do.  

 Sincerely yours, 

Doris Betts
(Mrs. Lowry M. Betts)

New Collection: Martha Flowers Papers

We are excited to announce the Martha Flowers papers are now open for research. This collection contains programs, clippings, and photographs documenting the career and personal life of the legendary actress, singer, and UNC professor. Many of these items highlight Flowers’s performances in “Porgy and Bess” in the 1950s and 1960s.

Flowers, a Winston-Salem native, graduated from Fisk University before continuing her music studies at The Julliard School in New York City where she began her career as an opera singer.

Black and white profile image of Martha Flowers
Wellington Jones Concert series program

The renowned soprano toured internationally in the touring company as Bess in  “Porgy and Bess,” during the 1950s and 1960s, performing in 29 countries on four continents, and received numerous awards. Included in the collections are photographs of the cast in costume, programs from  international shows, and programs from the Flowers’ solo shows.

In 1973, Flowers joined the faculty in the Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill, becoming the first Black faculty member in the department. Flowers’s arrival was covered by Sadie Copland for Black Ink, the newspaper of the Black Student Movement. Copland wrote that Flowers “wanted to teach where she was most needed. Since there were no Black music instructors here, but there were Black students in the program, she decided UNC was where she could best fulfill this need.” During her tenure at UNC, she taught courses in voice, diction, and Afro-American music, and performed in faculty recitals in the Hill Hall Auditorium (now Moeser Auditorium).

Martha Flowers at piano with group of UNC Students.
Martha Flowers and UNC class, ca. 1970s.

Learn More:

Marc Callahan, David Garcia, and LaToya Lain, “DWW: Martha Flowers: Black Music Faculty Trailblazer.” UNC Department of Music, 11 November 2020.

UNC-CH honors Black music faculty trailblazer, Martha Flowers. The Durham Voice.

Remembering Martha Flowers (1926-2022). UNC Department of Music, June 3, 2022.

UNC Spring Commencement Speakers: A Historic List

The spring commencement ceremony has been a time for reflection and celebration since UNC’s first commencement in 1798. Commencement has traditionally included a featured speaker who provides insight and advice for the graduating students. These speakers have often included prominent people well known through their work in politics, arts, business, journalism, and public service. This list includes UNC-Chapel Hill’s featured spring commencement speakers from 1951-2022.

Year Speaker Role and Affiliation
2022 Frank Bruni Author, Journalist, New York Times
2021 Anthony Fauci and Kizzmekia Corbett (delivered virtually) Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Fauci), research fellow and scientific lead for the Coronaviruses Vaccines and Immunopathologies Team at the National Institutes of Health (Corbett)
2020 Roy Williams (delayed until October 2020) UNC Men’s Basketball Coach
2019 Jonathan Reckford CEO, Habitat for Humanity
2018 Rye Barcott Author, founder Carolina for Kibera
2017 Brooke Baldwin CNN Correspondent
2016 Anne-Marie Slaughter Foreign policy analyst
2015 Jason Kilar Former CEO, Hulu
2014 Atul Gawande Author, Surgeon
2013 Steve Case Co-founder, AOL
2012 Mike Bloomberg Mayor of New York City
2011 E.O. Wilson Author, Biodiversity scholar
2010 John Grisham Author
2009 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Anglican archbishop, Activist
2008 Jessye Norman Opera singer
2007 Madeleine Albright Former U.S. Secretary of State
2006 Wendy Kopp Founder, Teach for America
2005 Rev. Peter Gomes Theologian, Harvard University Divinity School
2004 Julius Chambers Attorney and Civil Rights activist
2003 Bill Cosby Actor, comedian
2002 John Edwards U.S. Senator, North Carolina
2001 Stuart Scott ESPN Anchor
2000 Stuart E. Eisenstat Deputy Secretary, U.S. Treasury
1999 Bill Bradley Former basketball player, U.S. Senator
1998 Marian Wright Edelman Children’s Defense Fund
1997 Erskine B. Bowles White House Chief of Staff
1996 Seamus Heaney Poet, Nobel Laureate
1995 Johnnetta B. Cole President, Spelman College
1994 Francis Collins Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
1993 Ted Turner Broadcaster
1992 David Brinkley News anchor
1991 Lawrence Douglas Wilder Governor of Virginia
1990 Hugh L. McColl Bank of America
1989 Roger H. Mudd News anchor
1988 Dale Bumpers U.S. Senator, Arkansas
1987 Peter V. Ueberroth Commissioner, Major League Baseball
1986 James G. Martin Governor of North Carolina
1985 Charles Kuralt  CBS News reporter
1984 William Leuchtenburg UNC Professor of History
1983 Jim Leutze UNC Professor, Curriculum of Peace, War, and Defense
1982 Martha Nell Hardy UNC Professor, Department of Communications
1981 J. Carlyle Sitterson Former UNC Chancellor
1980 Doris Betts UNC Professor, Creative Writing
1979 Richard J. Richardson UNC Provost
1978 Jim Hunt Governor of North Carolina
1977 Edward Bernstein President of EMB Research Economists
1976 J.W. Fulbright Former U.S. Senator, Missouri
1975 John Caldwell Chancellor, N.C. State University
1974 James Holshouser, Jr. Governor of North Carolina
1973 Juanita Kreps Professor of Economics, Duke University
1972 Elizabeth Koontz Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
1971 J. Carlyle Sitterson UNC Chancellor
1970 Clifton Daniels New York Times
1969 James A. Shannon Former director, National Institutes of Health
1968 Alexander Heard Chancellor, Vanderbilt University
1967 Gordon Blackwell President, Furman University
1966 Frank Porter Graham Former President, UNC
1965 Douglas M. Knight President, Duke University
1964 Terry Sanford Governor, North Carolina
1963 August Heckscher President’s Special Assistant on the Arts
1962 Ralph McGill Publisher, Atlanta Journal Constitution
1961 Lenoir Chambers Newspaper editor
1960 Luther Hodges Governor of North Carolina
1959 Vermont C. Royster Newspaper editor
1958 Norman Cousins Editor, Saturday Review of Literature
1957 Robert B. House Chancellor, UNC
1956 Barnaby C. Keeney President, Brown University
1955 Carl Sandburg Author
1954 Andrew J. Warren Rockefeller Foundation
1953 Francis P. Gaines President, Washington & Lee University
1952 Gordon Gray President, Consolidated University of North Carolina
1951 William Clyde DeVane Yale University

Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC: A Timeline

This timeline highlights some of the key people and events in the development and growth of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. The historic records of the department have been recently transferred to the University Archives and are now available for research.

March 1970: The student group Female Liberation issues a list of demands, one of which calls for “inclusion of courses for and about women in the curriculum.” [Source: Records of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 1920-2004, University Archives. Box 35: Female Liberation, 1969-1974 Demands.]

9. inclusion of courses for and about women in the curriculum and inclusion and re-evaluation of women in the subject matter of existing courses; Women are either patronized or ignored in courses, or their role is defined as erotic, troublesome and/or neurotic. It is certainly no accident that women students learn that all accomplishment and honor is male.
Excerpt from the Female Liberation demands, 1970, calling for women’s studies classes.

February 1973: The University Women for Affirmative Action organizes with the goal of ending discrimination based on gender at UNC. [Source: Margaret Anne O’Connor Papers, 1972-1989, Southern Historical Collection. Women’s Advisory Board 1973-74]

November 1974: Joan Scott, a faculty member in the Department of History, asks the Faculty Council to investigate the possibility of establishing a Women’s Studies program. At the Council’s request, Chancellor Nelson Ferebee Taylor appoints a committee to explore the idea. [Source: Interview with Mary Turner Lane, 1986-1987. Southern Oral History Program Interviews, Southern Historical Collection]

April 1975: The Chancellor’s committee to explore the creation of a Women’s Studies program unanimously recommends the creation of such a program. [Source: Margaret Anne O’Connor Papers, 1972-1989, Southern Historical Collection. Women’s Advisory Board 1973-74]

Article headline: Women's Studies. Renovating the Ivory Towers.
Excerpt from an article about Women’s Studies programs from the Nov/Dec 1975 issue of She.

July 1976: Professor Mary Turner Lane agrees to serve as the first Director of the Women’s Studies Program. Dr. Lane, a professor in the School of Education, began as an instructor in 1954. During her time at the UNC, Lane worked to end social limitations for female students. Lane also helped found the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals and served as a chair of the Committee on the Status of Women. [Source: Margaret Anne O’Connor Papers, 1972-1989, Southern Historical Collection. Women’s Advisory Board 1973-74]

Spring 1977: The Women’s Studies curriculum begins offering courses. Women’s Studies is offered as an area of concentration under the Interdisciplinary Studies major. [Sources:  Pamela Dean, Women On the Hill: A History of Women at the University of North Carolina; Daily Tar Heel, 10/22/1976]

Spring 1978: Women’s Studies 50 is established as a required introductory course. At this time, the Women’s Studies Program consists of about 25 courses. [Source: She, September 1977]

1979: The program graduates its first major, Sandra Jo Martin. Martin was the editor of She and an intern with the Council on the Status of Women. [Source: Pamela Dean, Women On the Hill: A History of Women at the University of North Carolina]

1982: The Duke-UNC Center for Research on Women is established to promote Women’s Studies scholarship, research, and curriculum development in the South. [Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1917-2002, University Archives. Series 2: Academic Programs, Subseries 2: General. Women’s Studies, Curriculum in: General, 1995-1997]

February 1988: The UNC Faculty Council approves a proposal to make the Women’s Studies Program an independent curriculum offering a bachelor’s degree. The change was not approved by the UNC System. [Source: Daily Tar Heel, 2/25/1988; Daily Tar Heel, 4/1/1992]

1988: The Women’s Studies program offers a certificate in Women’s Studies. Many students used this certificate similarly to a minor in other fields in order to include Women’s Studies on their transcript without majoring in the program. [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008, University Archives.  Folder: Annual Report 1990-91]

1989-1990: Graduate students at UNC organize the conference “Women’s Studies in the Triangle.” [Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008, University Archives. Folder: Annual Report 1989-90] 

31 July 1992: The UNC System Board of Governors approved the independent Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies as a full-fledged curriculum (a B.A. degree in Women’s Studies). Students could now major in Women’s Studies. [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008, Folder: Annual Report 1992-93] 

1993: The Women in Science program, housed in the Women’s Studies office, was established. The program contemplated issues leading to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences. The program hosted seminars and discussions on a range of topics such as the daily lived experience of women in science and challenges faced by women in the sciences. [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008, Folder: Annual Report 1994-95] 

1994: A graduate minor in Women’s Studies established.  [Source: Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1917-2002, University Archives. Series 2: Academic Programs, Subseries 2: General. Women’s Studies, Curriculum in: General, 1992-1994]

March 1996: During the 1996-97 school year, The Women’s Studies department celebrates its 20th anniversary. Part of this celebration includes a keynote address by Professor Joan Scott on “Gender and the Politics of Higher Education.” [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008]

2004: The Women’s Studies program begins offering a minor in Sexuality Studies. [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008, Folder: Sexuality Studies Minor]

July 2012: The Department of Women’s Studies becomes the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. [Source: Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1971-2008]




Announcing a Change in Records Management: UNC-Chapel Hill Now Using the UNC System Records Schedule

A New Records Schedule for UNC-Chapel Hill

This spring brought significant news in records management on our campus. Effective immediately, UNC-Chapel Hill will no longer rely on a separate records retention and disposition schedule. Instead, we will use the UNC System schedule.

Why Was This Change Made?

For the past several years, the State Archives of North Carolina, which oversees records management activities throughout state government, has been working to consolidate local schedules in order to ensure consistency across state agencies and to make it easier to update and maintain records schedules. UNC-Chapel Hill was the only UNC System school to maintain a separate records schedule. By using the UNC System schedule we will bring our record retention and disposition practices into line with those of our colleagues at other UNC System schools throughout the state.

What Effect Will This Have on Records Management in My Office?

Probably very little. The retention requirements in the UNC System schedule match those in the separate UNC-Chapel Hill schedule in nearly every case. When there are differences, we will work with the State Archives to determine the proper requirements and update the records schedule as necessary. The biggest thing all of us will have to get used to is looking to a new document for all our records management questions.

What If There are Records in my Office That Are Not Covered in the UNC System Schedule?

This is bound to happen as we work through the process of reconciling the UNC-Chapel Hill schedule with the UNC System requirements. If you have documents in your office that do not appear to be represented in the UNC System schedule, please contact us right away: We’ll work with you to figure out the appropriate retention and disposition plan and will continue to collaborate with the State Archives to ensure that the UNC System schedule covers all record types produced on our campus.

Will My Office Still Need to Work with the UNC-Chapel Hill University Archives?

Yes! We are still your first point of contact for all of your records management questions and will continue to be the repository for the official records of the university. We are still getting used to the UNC System schedule ourselves, but we are available to work with you to interpret the requirements in the records schedule and answer any questions you have.

Will You Offer Training on Using the UNC System schedule?

Yes! We will continue to offer records management training through Carolina Talent. These sessions will cover records management basics and will be updated to reflect the use of the UNC System schedule. Our Guide to Records Management at UNC-Chapel Hill has also been updated and continues to be the best first stop for your records management questions.

Edwina Thomas Applies to Graduate School at UNC in 1938

After working its way through the Missouri state and federal courts, the landmark case Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada challenging segregation in higher education came to a close in 1938. In December of that year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Lloyd Gaines had been unfairly denied admission to the University of Missouri Law School because he was Black. When Gaines first challenged his rejection, the University offered to pay for him to attend law school outside the state. Gaines’ lawyer, Charles Hamilton Houston, masterfully convinced the courts that if Gaines could not attend the University of Missouri, the state would have to build a law school for Blacks equal to that of whites, recalling the “separate but equal” doctrine laid down in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The decision was to enroll Gaines at the University of Missouri.

That year, in 1938, with the Gaines decision clearly having created fissures in the walls of Jim Crow, Black students continued pushing on the walls surrounding UNC. In late 1938, Pauli Murray applied to UNC’s graduate school and was denied. Her subsequent exchange with President Frank Porter Graham reveals both her genius and the tenuousness of Graham’s liberal position on race and integration.

Another Black woman applied earlier that year in 1938. Her name was Edwina Thomas. Her exchanges with Frank Porter Graham and Dean W.W. Pierson can also be found with Pauli Murray’s via the Records of the Office of the President of the UNC System Frank Porter Graham (1932-1949). When Thomas wrote to UNC asking the Dean for an application, the Gaines case had not yet been decided, but she was certainly very well aware of the details of the case and its chances for success.

Scan of letter April 1938 Dean Pearson to Edwina Thomas
In April 1938, Dean W.W. Pierson wrote to Edwina Thomas explaining why she would not be admitted to graduate school at UNC.

In January of 1938, Edwina Thomas, student at Talladega College in Alabama and of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, applied to graduate school at UNC. She requested an application by mail, which she filled out and returned. It is very unlikely that applications to the University asked for race – surely it was just assumed all applicants would be white. It appears to have taken some time for the Dean to realize that Thomas was Black. Pierson responds to Thomas at Talladega, dated April 27, 1938: “It is my understanding that it is the public policy of the State of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina not to admit members of the colored race to the University. Such admission would entail a reversal of a social policy of long standing and would require action to that effect by the trustees of the institution. I withhold therefore a ruling as to your academic eligibility for admission.”

In May, Thomas writes directly to President Frank Porter Graham, with echoes of the Gaines case in her response: “As I am unable financially to cope with the expenses of graduate schools outside my own state, I should like very much for you to advise me as to just what I can expect from the State of North Carolina in the way of help financially if I am to be denied admission to the State University because of my race.” Graham does respond to Thomas, assuring that despite the “laws of North Carolina with regard to providing separate schools for the two races, and the long established public policy of the state, I took the matter of your letter up with the Governor of our state,” and that the General Assembly should discuss the issue at some point the next year.

Scan of letter June 1938 Edwina Thomas to Frank Graham
In June 1938, Edwina Thomas writes from Winston-Salem stating that she is anxious to hear new of decisions regarding higher education and race.

In June 1938, Thomas writes Graham again, and on the letterhead of Wentz Memorial Congregational Church, where her father was Reverend. Referring to any possible decisions made at the state level regarding admission or funding of Black education, she says, “I look forward with great anticipation to any new developments along this line.”

Undeterred, Edwina Thomas still presses President Graham, writing from her home in Winston-Salem in August 1938, indicating that she is very much aware of legal and political tides within North Carolina: “Since a special session of the state legislature has been called, I was wondering the problem of facilities for negro graduate students could not be presented at this time. If this matter could be disposed of during this special session it would be considerably helpful for students, like myself, who wish to attend graduate school next year (next school year).” She closes, “I do hope that this very pressing problem can be mitigated soon.” Graham responds with news that neither education funding nor admission of Black students were discussed at the special session and would not be revisited until January 1939.

This is the extent of correspondence between Edwina Thomas and UNC administrators. She would not waste time waiting and went on to graduate school at Ohio State. Engaged as a scholar and leader, she became a lifelong member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. It is not clear if Graham took Thomas’ case specifically to the Governor at the time, as he claimed. The result would have been predictable, as Governor Clyde Hoey was a virulent segregationist and white supremacist.

Photograph of Edwina Thomas from 1963
Photograph of Edwina Thomas, The Ivy Leaf, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, June 1963

Edwina Theolyne Thomas was born in 1918 in Alabama to parents the Reverend George Jefferson Thomas and Winnie Cornelia Whitaker. Edwina’s father, originally from Georgia, was the leader of Winston-Salem’s Wentz Memorial Church, a Congregational Church. Before taking over at Wentz in 1924, George Thomas had been the field superintendent for Congregational Churches in Georgia and the Carolinas. When Thomas applied to UNC, she was 20 years old. A few years later when Thomas was 22, she married attorney H. Alfred Glascor, of Columbus, Ohio, and they lived some time in his hometown. Her marriage ended and she moved to Wisconsin, where Thomas became a renowned clinical psychologist at the Milwaukee County Memorial Hospital, a position she held for more than twenty years. There, she formed its first hospital outpatient unit in 1949. Tragically, Thomas died in a car accident in 1968 at age 50, and was mourned by the Milwaukee Star newspaper with a poem, “The Milwaukee Star mourns the loss/Of such an asset to our community;/But realize that one who lived so well/Will continue in the hereafter with impunity.”