Timeline

1927             

  • September 12: First 86 students (men and women) attended Buncombe County Junior College.
  • College was part of the Buncombe County School System and was located in the new Biltmore High School (just south of I-40 in Biltmore).
  • Tuition was free.

1929             

  • Great Depression caused tuition to be charged. College would accept vegetables, eggs, milk, and general produce to pay tuition.
  • First graduating class (Roy Taylor, valedictorian).
  • Merges with closed Asheville City College and changes name to Biltmore College.

1934             

  • Because of the growing Depression, the Buncombe County School System withdraws financial support for the college and the campus moves to city-operated David Millard Junior High School (present site of Beverly Hanks Realtors on College Street, downtown). City School System provides financial support for the college.
  • Faculty turns over authority for college’s management to a Board of Trustees.

1936             

  • College chartered as Asheville-Biltmore College to recognize new financial/administrative connection with the Asheville City School Board (still known as Biltmore College in popular parlance).
  • College is first accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

1940             

  • Because of population pressures in the City School System, the college is forced to move to the Asheville Normal and Teacher’s School (present site of Memorial Hospital Campus on Biltmore Avenue, south of downtown).

1942             

  • In pursuit of its “own” campus, the college moves to the former County Home for Children (present site of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church on Merrimon Ave., north of downtown).

1947             

  • First parking lot built (80 cars).
  • Alumni Association founded under direction of first valedictorian, Roy Taylor ’29.

1948             

  • Representative Roy Taylor ’29, introduces first state legislation to charter a state-supported college in Buncombe County.

1949             

  • Increased enrollment forces college to move to Seely’s Castle on Sunset Mountain (just north of the expressway cut). The castle had been a private residence for John and Evelyn Seely, E.W. Grove’s son-in-law and daughter.
  • New names were contemplated for the college including Castle College and Overlook College.
  • As a result of the move to the mountain the Asheville-Biltmore comes to be called the “College in the Sky.”

1957             

  • Asheville-Biltmore College becomes first two-year college in North Carolina to receive state funds and is the originator of North Carolina’s community college system.

1958             

  • Enrollment increase leads to exploration of new campus location. Sites considered included the eighth floor of City Hall, the municipal golf course, and the Beaver Lake area.  Decision was made to stay at Seely’s Castle. Asheville citizens voted solidly in favor of a bond referendum to expand the campus on the mountain.
  • Under the presidency of Glen Bushy, the Board of Trustees reconsiders relocation and purchases 161 acres from attorney Landon Roberts and others in Woolsey Dip on the site of the Civil War Battle of Asheville.

1959             

  • Groundbreaking for what would later be called Phillips Hall on the new campus.

1961             

  • First classes held at new campus in the fall.
  • The first two buildings on the North Asheville property are completed and formally dedicated. The Administration Building (later Phillips Hall) housed offices, the library, and some classrooms while the Science Building (later Rhoades Hall) served as the main classroom building.
  • First African-American student enrolled.
  • Humanities Program founded.

1963             

  • Asheville-Biltmore College becomes a senior institution authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees.
  • Physical Education Building completed; Physical Plant housing Facilities Management and Design and Construction opens.

1964             

  • Because of the move to a baccalaureate institution, there are no graduates.
  • The Student Center, with a cafeteria, kitchen, dining room, snack bar, book lounge, meeting rooms, and large open areas for student gatherings, opens.

1965             

  • D. Hiden Ramsey Library dedicated. First building to be named. During dedication speech Governor Dan Moore states that it was his desire for Asheville-Biltmore to become North Carolina’s public liberal arts college.
  • Only one graduate (Trudy Wong). She is believed to be the only graduate of the short-lived three-year baccalaureate degree program.

1966             

  • The 66 in ’66 were the first four-year graduates from Asheville-Biltmore College.
  • First African-American graduate (Francine Delaney).
  • Oliver C. Carmichael Humanities Building opens and is named after Oliver Cromwell Carmichael, former chairman of North Carolina’s Board of Higher Education. Carmichael Humanities Lecture Hall, a semicircular 330 seat hall next to Carmichael Hall, completed.

1967             

  • First residence halls open (later known as the Governor’s Village).

1969             

  • College joins the University of North Carolina System (along with UNCW and UNCC) and is chartered as The University of North Carolina at Asheville. (The other 10 joined in 1972).
  • William Highsmith named chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
  • The Student Center is named Lipinsky Hall after Louis Lipinsky, a local businessman and a member of the Board of Trustees of Asheville-Biltmore College.

1970             

  • First Commencement held at steps of D. H. Ramsey library, with the first class to receive UNC Asheville degrees.
  • Enrollment crosses 1,000 for first time.
  • The Administration Building is named Phillips Hall in honor of Robert “Robin” F. Phillips, a member and chairman, of  the Board of Directors for Asheville-Biltmore College, and a member of the UNC Board of Governors.

1971 

  • The Science Building is named Rhoades Hall in honor of Verne Rhoades, who donated the land that became W. T. Weaver Boulevard.

1972

  • The student health center, named for Asheville physician and philanthropist Dr. Sprinza Weizenblatt, is completed.

1975         

  • Zageir Hall social sciences building is completed and named for Colman Zageir (1894-1975), an Asheville businessman and a longtime supporter of the university.
  • The sports complex is named in honor of Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice, a local football player.

1977       

  • Dedication of the Carol Belk Theater. Irwin Belk of Charlotte was a generous supporter of higher education and former North Carolina senator and congressman.

1979             

  • Enrollment crosses 2,000 for first time.
  • Owen Hall is built and named for Charles D. Owen, a local textiles mogul and founder of Owen Manufacturing Company.

1982            

  • Enrollment crosses 2,500 for first time.
  • Highsmith Student Center opens.
  • Highrise Residence Hall opens, name derived from it being the tallest building on campus.

1984             

  • Women’s basketball wins National NAIA title.               
  • Honors Program founded.
  • David G. Brown appointed chancellor of UNC Asheville.

1985             

  • UNC Asheville joins the NCAA and the Big South Conference.
  • First fraternity (Pi Lambda Phi) and sorority (Alpha Xi Delta) chartered.

1986             

  • UNC Asheville becomes a NCAA Division I school.

1987             

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute founded.
  • First National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at UNC Asheville.
  • UNC Asheville is a founding member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).
  • University Hall, the third residence hall constructed.

1988             

  • Receives first national press attention when named among “the very best” of America’s “high-quality, low-priced” colleges in Changing Times Magazine.
  • Master of Liberal Arts (now Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences) program starts.
  • Robinson Hall completed as extension to Rhoades Hall, and the building is renamed Rhoades-Robinson.

1989      

  • University Hall is renamed Mills Residence Hall in honor of Ernest and Albina Mills who established a number of important endowments at the university.

1991             

  • First Masters of Liberal Arts graduate (Leah Karpen).
  • Karpen Hall is dedicated, named in honor of Morris and Leah Karpen, prominent community leaders and major contributors to the university.
  • Last Rockmont held.
  • Samuel Schuman appointed chancellor of UNC Asheville.

1992             

  • Officially recognized as one of the nation’s first public liberal arts colleges.
  • First Lawn Party held (at time known as UNCAMont).

1994  

  • Patsy Bostic Reed appointed chancellor of UNC Asheville.
  • South Ridge residence hall constructed.

1996             

  • Tenth National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at UNC Asheville.
  • The university Dining Hall opens, replacing the one housed in the Highsmith Student Center.
  • The Health & Fitness Center, attached to Justice Center, the university’s first facility dedicated to student recreation, opens.

1997             

  • First Founders Day held.
  • Dedication of Highrise Residence Hall as Founders Hall, during Founders Day.

1998

  • West Ridge residence hall constructed.

1999   

  • James H. Mullen Jr. appointed chancellor of UNC Asheville.

2001             

  • UNC Asheville’s Alma Mater is dedicated.
  • Glass House added to Ramsey Library.

2003

  • Governor's Hall, the university's sixth residence hall, opens.
  • The Reuter Center opens, named in honor of Irving J. Reuter a former General Motors executive, and his wife Janet, both founders of the Janirve Foundation.  

2004             

  • University welcomes largest freshmen class ever 700+.            
  • University reaches largest enrollment ever 3450+.
  • Highsmith University Union is constructed and named for longtime university president and first chancellor, William E. Highsmith.

2005     

  • Anne Ponder named sixth chancellor.

2006             

  • Twentieth National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at UNC Asheville.
  • New Hall opens.

2007             

  • University celebrates 80th anniversary.
  • The University Seal and Quadrangle Clock are dedicated.
  • UNC Asheville opens and dedicates Sam Millar Facilities Complex.

2008     

  • UNC Asheville purchases seven-acre Rhoades Property - including a home now used by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and a community garden. The purchase was accompanied by a gift from the Rhoades family - one of the largest the university has ever received.

2009      

  • UNC Asheville selected as the first national headquarters for the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
  • Rocky I joins the Bulldogs as the first live mascot in 20 years.
  • Zeis Hall opens and is named for Steve and Frosene Zeis in honor of the largest gift ever given to the university.

2010      

  • Janice W. Brumit Pisgah House opens. Named in honor of Janice W. Brumit, chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees from 2005-08.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy expands satellite program to UNC Asheville.

2011      

  • Wilma M. Sherrill Center opens. Named after former Representative Wilma M. Sherrill.
  • The UNC Asheville Foundation purchases nine acres of land located at 525 Broadway for future campus growth and for development of a greenway linking campus with downtown.

2012      

  • UNC Asheville honors former Chancellor David G. Brown by renaming University Hall as Brown Hall.
  • Overlook Hall, the university's seventh residence hall, opens, raising the percentage of students who live on campus above 40 percent.
  • UNC Asheville receives its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, with praise for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), known on campus as Inquiry Arc.

2013      

  • The university purchases the former Mountain Area Health Education Center facility located at 118 W.T. Weaver Blvd. The facility houses an expanded Student Health and Counseling Center and offices for Advancement and Alumni Relations.

2014      

  • Lookout Observatory opens. The astronomy laboratory and observatory is built in partnership with Asheville Astronomy Club.
  • The University of North Carolina Board of Governors names Mary K. Grant to become UNC Asheville's seventh Chancellor in January 2015.
  • The UNC Asheville Foundation purchases three parcels off Zillicoa Street for a total of 13 acres added to campus.
  • UNC Asheville welcomes the largest freshman class in a decade, with 645 new first-year students and 380 new transfer students.

2015

  • Chancellor Mary K. Grant starts in January as UNC Asheville's seventh chancellor.
  • UNC Asheville signs agreements with the City of Asheville for dual-enrollment for high school students and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for expanded educational opportunities and cultural programming.
  • Bulldog Athletics dedicates a new track facility.
  • Rhoades Hall earns LEED Gold certification for renovations made in 2012.
  • UNC Asheville welcomes the largest first-year class to date, with 737 first-year students and 316 transfer students.

2016

  • UNC Asheville and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) partner to launch the Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (CCE). The CCE provides business resources and training programs to support student and community innovations and craft products. It is located in downtown Asheville and is part of The Hive AVL, a shared regional resource center for academic institutions.
  • New Hall is renamed to Whitesides Hall in honor of Alfred J. Whitesides Jr., UNC Asheville Bulldog Athletic Association (BAA) board member and community leader. He has also served as president of the BAA and the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.
  • The university hosts the thirtieth National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • UNC Asheville's STEAM Studio (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math), an interdisciplinary makerspace with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, opens at the River Arts Makers Place (RAMP).