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University of North Carolina

First in the Nation: A Brief History of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Established in 1789 during the Presidency of George Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first public university in the Nation. After the first convocation in 1795, the University's history would unfold into a story about one of the most prestigious learning institutions in America today.

Organized around the belief that the educated person is a public asset, UNC Chapel Hill's undergraduate and graduate rigors include emphasis on public service, leadership & global study.

Among other firsts, UNC Chapel Hill was the only public University to award degrees in the 18th Century and leaves a legacy of 250,000 living alumni. Comprised of 14 schools, led by the College of Arts & Sciences, UNC's commitment to higher education has fostered a diverse learning atmosphere.

The UNC Tar Heels athletic department is one of the most famous attributes of the university, producing some of the most iconic athletes and Olympians in American history. The Tar Heels athletic program, along with the Ram mascot, is one of the most successful and well respected collegiate athletic programs in the country. With a history of awards for both men and women's athletics, the Tar Heels are supported by fiercely loyal fans and beloved by Chapel Hill.

Tour the 730 acre UNC Chapel Hill campus while visiting our historic Chapel Hill hotel. Lovingly called the "Noble Grove," the campus is home to landmarks such as the Old Well, the Davie Poplar tree and Memorial Bell Tower. Take advantage of The Carolina Inn's central location on the UNC campus and learn more about the university and its unique history.

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