Losing Carolina

The Well, ca. 1832, Kemp P. Battle, Kemp Plummer Battle Photograph Album of the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, P0100, Wilson Special Collections Library, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Losing Carolina

by Gene Nichol
Southern Cultures, Vol. 25, No. 1: Backward/Forward

“It takes generations, or perhaps centuries, to build great institutions. But they can be wounded in a moment.”

It can be an odd undertaking to explore the meaning and mission of an American public university through the lens of history. The concept of a “university of the people”—especially for a southern state university—must begin with a great and unyielding asterisk.