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Charlotte College records

Identifier: UA0034

Scope and Contents

The Charlotte College Records consist primarily of the official files of Bonnie E. Cone as director and president of Charlotte College from 1949 to June 30, 1965, and make up the primary source of information on the college during this period. They reflect the development of Charlotte College as it grew from a temporary extension of the University of North Carolina and became a permanent junior college with aspirations of achieving senior college status.

The records contain six accessions, the two largest of which are from the Director/President’s Office. The first of these is from 1949-1960 and the second from July 1, 1960 to June 30, 1965. Until July 1997 the latter files were identified as “Chancellor’s files, 1960-1965.” An accession consisting of a minutes book was received from the Board of Trustees, and an accession from the State Auditor via the Chancellor’s Office in the mid-2000s contained a report on the history of Charlotte College given in 1962. An illuminated manuscript of the prayer given when the bill was passed to make Charlotte College the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina and copies of the Resolution and Indenture effecting the change made up the fifth accession, and the sixth consisted of memorabilia from the early days of Charlotte College.

Physically, the Director/President’s files have been maintained in their original order with original subject headings, with each accession consisting of subject files arranged alphabetically by folder and chronologically within each folder. Some rearrangement was done upon initial processing to improve consistency in filing, but material on the same subject occasionally may be found under more than one heading. Also during initial processing, folders from the 1949-1960 accession that dealt with agencies of the state and federal governments were relabeled “N. C. State Government” and “U. S. Government” respectively with specific agencies identified by sub-titles.

Intellectually, however, the files from each accession have been combined and rearranged into the following twelve series: Founding and Development; Administration; Academics; Student and Campus Life; Publicity, Publications, Media, and Merchandising; Alumni; Associations, Societies, Boards, and Other Organizations; Local, State, and Federal Government; High Schools, Colleges, and Universities; Correspondence; Speeches; and Memorabilia. The files from the remaining four accessions have been interfiled intellectually into these series.


  • Creation: 1946-1967, 2004-2005
  • Creation: 1949-1965


Accessing the Collection

Some material (e.g. student and personnel records) restricted.


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.

Administrative History

Charlotte College was founded in 1946 as one of twelve college centers of the University of North Carolina created as a response to the educational needs of returning veterans. Shortly after receiving legislative approval for Charlotte College, an advisory committee was organized to promote the college and to procure additional funding. A movement began to make the college a four-year, state-supported school, and among the plans advanced to achieve this goal—all of which were unsuccessful—was one proposed by Woodford A. "Woodie" Kennedy to establish the Belk University to be financed by a combination of state appropriations, local contributions, and support from the William Henry Belk family. Davidson and Queens Colleges would have become the liberal arts division of the university, and a new agricultural and technical college would have been created.

While this plan never came to fruition, Charlotte College did partner with public junior colleges in Asheville and Wilmington to win the creation of a state-financed system of community colleges. This campaign culminated in the Community College Act approved by the legislature in 1957. In accordance with this act, the Charlotte school board severed its administrative and financial ties to Charlotte College, and in 1958 Charlotte College became a state-supported, two-year college and was brought under the administration of the North Carolina Community College System. Funding for the system came from state appropriations, a special county property tax, and state and local bond issues. At the same time, a separate board of trustees, chaired by J. Murrey Atkins, was appointed for the Charlotte Community College System, which consisted of Charlotte College and its African-American counterpart, Carver College.

In February 1959, the Board purchased 270 acres on Highway 49 for the site of Charlotte College, which had shared facilities with Central High School in downtown Charlotte since 1946. In September 1961 the first two buildings—for liberal arts and science/engineering courses (later named the Macy and Kennedy buildings)—were occupied. The library and college union buildings were completed in 1962, and in 1963 the state of North Carolina purchased an additional 127 acres for Charlotte College. The following year, in the spring of 1964, a gift of about 500 acres by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners expanded the site from 270 to 897 acres.

Bonnie E. Cone, who had been appointed director of the Charlotte College Center in 1947 and had been named director of Charlotte College, the Center’s successor, in 1949, became president of the College in 1961. In September of that year, the Governor's Commission on Education Beyond the High School, on which Bonnie Cone served, was appointed to determine whether the need for higher education facilities in populous areas warranted additional campuses of the university system. This commission’s work led to the suggestion that Charlotte College be incorporated as the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina.

In July 1963 the school became a four-year state-supported college subject to the terms of the State Colleges Act (General Statutes 116). J. Murrey Atkins was appointed chairman of the new board of trustees, but he died before taking office, leading to the appointment of Addison Hardcastle Reese as chairman.

At the time it enacted the State Colleges Act, the General Assembly also adopted procedures for the expansion of the Consolidated University. The executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina designated Mecklenburg County as the first to be studied under the expansion procedures. University of North Carolina President William Friday appointed the Advisory Council on Educational Policy, which visited Charlotte College on February 12, 1964, to advise on the designation of Charlotte College as the fourth campus of the university system. The council recommended that Charlotte College become the fourth campus of the university, and the General Assembly approved this recommendation on March 3, 1965.

Charlotte College awarded its first and only baccalaureate degrees on June 6, 1965, and on July 1 of that year Charlotte College officially became the fourth campus of the Consolidated University system by act of the 1965 General Assembly.


33.418 Linear Feet (29 boxes (22 record cartons, 1 - 5" document case; 2 slim document cases; 3 flat boxes, 1 oversize box))

Language of Materials



Records of Charlotte College. Consists primarily of Bonnie Cone's files including speeches and correspondence, but also includes files relating to the Board of Trustees, financial matters, the development of campus, growth of academic programs, and the transition of the college from temporary to permanent junior college status and on to its establishment as the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Related Materials

University Archives:

- Charlotte College Center Records (UA0033)

- Charlotte Community College System Records (UA0092)

- North Carolina State Engineering Extension Program (UA0062)

- Student Government Association Records (UA0237)

- Faculty Governance Records (UA0042)

- Charlotte College Photographs (UA0065)

Manuscript Collections:

- Charlotte City Board of Education Records (MS0001)

- Cone (Bonnie Ethel) Papers (MS0112)

- Kennedy (W. A.) Papers (MS0040)

- Rowe (Oliver Reagan) Papers (MS0047) - transcripts of speeches in support of the establishment of Charlotte College as a four year school

- Galvin (Hoyt R.) Papers (MS0054) - chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, which also worked for four year status

- Reese (Addison H.) Papers (MS0062) - selection of the present site of the university and initial construction on the new campus

- Carver College Records (MS0063)

Processing Information

On 13 January 2017, eight folders containing student grades, copies of transcripts, and information regarding students not admitted to the college were destroyed per retention schedule and conversation with Legal Affairs.

Charlotte College records
Legacy description modified and additions written by Olivia Eanes
December 2016
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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

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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