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



Marker Text:

     The "Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944," better known as the "GI Bill of Rights" was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944. With unprecedented unemployment in postwar America, many veterans took advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the G. I. Bill, which included the payment of tuition, as well as expenses for books, fees, and subsistence. Soon the enrollment demands at colleges and universities surpassed available slots for admission. Educational facilities sprang up across the country. One such institution opened in Charlotte in 1946. Known as the Charlotte Center, it offered evening classes at the old Central High School building near downtown. In 1947 Bonnie E. Cone, a mathematics teacher, was asked to direct the center.

     Although the demand for such centers had decreased by 1949, Charlotte’s leaders recognized the importance of having a state-supported college in town and convinced legislators to transform the center into Charlotte College, a two-year institution. Cone became the first president of the college. In 1957 Charlotte College acquired land in northeast Mecklenburg County for a larger, permanent campus, and the following year it became a part of the state’s community college system. The first buildings on the new campus were opened to students in 1961. In 1963, as part of a statewide expansion, the legislature voted to make Charlotte College a branch of the newly-created University of North Carolina system. The formal transition and name change occurred July 1, 1965, when it became the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dean W. Colvard was selected to be the first chancellor.

Ken Sanford, Charlotte and UNC Charlotte Growing Up Together (1996)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, An Eye to the Future (2001)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Catalog, 1971-1972
UNC-Charlotte website:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

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