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Chancellor (Dean W. Colvard) Records, 1964-1979

Identifier: UA0026

Scope and Contents

The Chancellor (Dean W. Colvard) Records consist of the office files of Dr. Dean W. Colvard, who was appointed chancellor shortly after Charlotte College became the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1965. Dr. Bonnie Cone served as acting chancellor until April 1966, and some files are from her tenure. A few files also extend into E. K. Fretwell’s chancellorship.

Major subject areas included are accreditation; building plans; budget information; material relating to departments; minutes and other committee records (including faculty, All-University, and educational associations); correspondence with state and federal agencies and other service organizations; handbooks; faculty information including correspondence with the Faculty Executive Committee; information on foundations and professional societies; class schedules; materials pertaining to trustees; information on university organization and adult education; speeches; and reports.

As chancellor, Colvard was the primary link between UNC Charlotte and the non-academic community. Many of his addresses to civic, fraternal, and business organizations and to commencement ceremonies are included. Some personal papers relating to the chancellor may be included as well, in addition to material concerning the chancellor's participation in civic and educational organizations. These include but are not limited to the American Council on Education, Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, Council of Presidents of State and Local Universities, National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges, North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about specific topics covered in the collection and their historical context, see the Historical Note.


  • Creation: 1964 - 1979


Accessing the Collection

This collection contains some restricted material. Certain files containing student and personnel information are restricted and must be reviewed by archives staff for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) before access can be granted.


Copyright held by UNC Charlotte. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical Note

On July 1, 1965, Charlotte College became the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina System, governed by a new Board of Trustees. The trustees subsequently appointed Dean W. Colvard, until then the president of Mississippi State University, as the university's first chancellor, and he worked closely with them. Included are trustee correspondence and committee files (see Board of Trustees series).

The Chancellor's papers are a major source of documentation of academic administration and academic policy for the university. Shortly after becoming a state-supported university, administrators began working for graduate programs. Proposals for graduate programs initiated during 1965-1969 are in Boxes 25 and 26. In 1965, the Charlotte architectural firm of Ferebee, Walters, and Associates proposed that UNC Charlotte establish a school of architecture. The records reflect the efforts of university administrators to found the school and the early operation of the program (Boxes 5, 6). In 1966, the university began planning for a program in business administration (Box 7).

In mid-1965 the North Carolina legislature proposed a Speaker Ban Law, which prohibited certain radical-affiliated speakers from appearing on state-supported campuses. Correspondence, reports, and clippings document the efforts of university officials, especially trustee Addison Reese and Acting-Chancellor Cone (Colvard had not yet begun his chancellorship), to block or weaken the bill, which was widely perceived by academicians as violating academic freedom and freedom of speech (see Legislation subseries [Boxes 46-47]; Committees subseries [Box 54]). Of particular interest is a statement by Bonnie Cone to the Speaker Ban Study Commission.

A number of buildings and facilities were constructed between 1965 and 1969. Planning for Smith Engineering Building began in 1966 (Box 43); the facility was built with funds from a Higher Education Facilities Grant. Planning for the first two dormitory towers was also begun in 1966. The Wilmington, North Carolina, firm of Leslie Boney and Associates designed two 500-student towers; the university applied for Housing and Urban Development funds, and constructions bids were let in 1968. Cafeteria building plans document the planning and design of the dormitory cafeteria during the same period (Box 8). Also in 1966, a house was purchased and renovated for the residence of the chancellor (Box 9). An amphitheater (Box 5) was constructed in 1968 in response to the need for a facility to host LeGette Blythe's Charlotte charter bicentennial outdoor drama, Hornet’s Nest. In 1969, the Belk Bell Tower was designed and constructed with funds donated by the Belk family. This collection documents the selection of the Schulmerich Carillon and the planning and design by architects Little, Lee, and Associates (Box 6). Brocker Health Center planning began in 1969, and the facility was completed around 1971 (Box 7). The Fine Arts Building Committee (Box 20) and Rowe Arts Building Plans (Box 43) files document planning and design of the Rowe Fine Arts Center (Construction did not begin until 1970). Capital Improvements Requests files document the application and justifications for funds (Boxes 8, 64). Capital Improvements Status Reports are monthly reports of the status of capital improvements (Boxes 8, 64).

One of Chancellor Colvard's strongest interests was the development of a University Research Park near the UNC Charlotte campus. Files in the Alphabetical Subject Files series (Boxes 53, 102, 148) document the early push for the park. In 1966, Collins and Aikman (See Businesses and Organizations series [Boxes 11, 66]) revealed plans to build a facility in the park, for which ground was broken in 1968.

Efforts of the UNCC Foundation (see Foundations, Gifts, and Scholarships series), especially members Addison Reese and B. W. Barnard, to raise funds and community support for the university are well documented. The Patrons of Excellence program was established to recognize university supporters. Foundation members worked closely with the university administration to create endowed professorships. During 1966 several professorships were endowed. Mrs. Clara McKay Stone gave $50,000 to endow the first professorship at UNC Charlotte, the Stone Professorship in Chemistry (Box 47). B. W. Barnard, director of the UNCC Foundation, solicited in 1966 a $100,000 grant by the Dickson Foundation to endow the Rush S. Dickson Professorship in Finance (Box 14). Shortly afterward, the American Credit Foundation awarded a $100,000 endowment for the American Credit Corporation Professorships of Business Administration (Box 3). Mr. and Mrs. Sanford V. Davenport established the Robert Lee Bailey Professorship in History (Box 6).

In 1968 campus disruption and black activism became topics of interest and concern. The Black Student Unrest files (Boxes 7, 60) document the Black Student Union campaign for recognition of black interests. Also in 1968, Stokely Carmichael spoke on the UNC Charlotte campus (Box 8). Included is a transcription of a recording of his speech as well as public reactions to his speaking on the campus. In December 1969, the Black Student Union, led by student Benjamin Chavis, presented the university administration with ten demands. The records reflect administration and public reaction as well as Chancellor Colvard's effort to navigate a tense situation. Closely related are files concerning the Black Studies Program (see Academic Programs and Departments subseries [Boxes 7, 60, 107]).

The Piedmont Crescent Urban Policy Conference (Boxes 40, 41, 90, 140) was a popular forum for urban life issues.


64.01 Linear Feet (154 boxes [153 letter document cases, 1 slim letter document case] plus one shared oversize box)

Language of Materials



Records of the Office of the Chancellor, largely from the period when Dean W. Colvard held the office.

Related Materials

Chancellor Installation Records (UA0032)

Chancellor (E. K. Fretwell) Records (UA0030)

Chancellor (James H. Woodward) Records (UA0174)

Chancellor (Philip L. Dubois) Records

Dean W. Colvard papers (MS0141)

UNC Charlotte Photographs Collection (UA0066)

For information on the establishment of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, see Charlotte College records (UA0034). The files of the various vice chancellors (Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Student Affairs) and other campus offices provide related materials on the development of the university and its programs.

Previous versions of the Office of the Chancellor website dating back to 2015 have been archived and are available at*/

Processing Information

This collection was initially transferred to the archives as three separate collections of alphabetical subject files, each collection consisting of a distinct run from A to Z. In December 2019, they were merged into one collection and the files were grouped into series for ease of reference. Physically, the files remain in the order they were received, with the exception of restricted files.

There are no folders 185-186 in Box 10, no folder 203 in Box 11, no folder 271 in Box 15, no folder 312-344 in Box 18, no folder 433 in Box 25, no folders 494-498 in Box 30, no folder 578 in Box 33, no folder 629 in Box 37, no folder 742 in Box 43, no folder 796 in Box 47, no folder 53 in Box 60, no folder 227 in Box 123, and no folder 414 in Box 141.

Chancellor (Dean W. Colvard) records, 1964-1979
Legacy description edited and additions made by Olivia Eanes
December 2019
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte [All collections not yet online. For assistance, contact Special Collections:; 704-687-1170] Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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