north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

Note: Marker has been replaced and defaced marker scrapped.

     Considered by many to be the greatest educator of his era in the South, Edwin Anderson Alderman served as president of three schools, the University of North Carolina, Tulane University, and the University of Virginia. Born on May 15, 1861, in a house on Third Street in Wilmington between Red Cross and Campbell Streets, Alderman was the son of James and Susan Alderman. The house in which he was born was demolished to make way for a commercial building in 1950, scarcely three months after the state marker was erected.

     Young Alderman attended private academies in Wilmington before enrolling at the University in Chapel Hill. After graduating he taught school in Goldsboro and there rose to the superintendent of local schools, a post he held until 1889. In that year, and for three years thereafter, he and Charles D. McIver conducted teachers’ institutes across the state. In the eyes of many, they laid the groundwork for the education initiatives of Governor Charles B. Aycock ten years later. In 1891 Alderman took a post at the nascent campus that is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

     Two years later Alderman moved to Chapel Hill where he was professor of the history and philosophy of education. In 1896 he became the University’s president, beginning a four-year tenure that was plagued by financial difficulties. In 1900 he became president of Tulane University. His principal achievement there was to strengthen that institution’s ties to the public schools. In 1904 he became the president of the University of Virginia, all previous administrative heads having held the title of faculty chairman. In his later years Alderman suffered from poor health. He died of a stroke in April 29, 1931.

University of Virginia Alumni News, (July/August 1931)
Dumas Malone, Edwin A. Alderman: A Biography (1940)
Clement Eaton, “Edwin A. Alderman: Liberal of the New South,” North Carolina Historical Review (April 1946): 206-221
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 11-12—sketch by W. Conard Gass
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources