1956-1959 Momentum Builds
By 1956 the Chamber of Commerce had endorsed moving Charlotte College out of Central High School to its own location. A year later, the Community College Act allowed the college to begin offering day classes, and its enrollment of 492 students surpassed two North Carolina four-year colleges! 1957 was indeed, as Cone noted later, “a year when tremendous activity was taking place.”
Immense progress continued into 1958 for both the college and Cone, who became the first woman president of the Southern Association of Junior Colleges. The responsibility for Charlotte College was transferred yet again as the Board of Trustees of the Charlotte Community College System—headed by prominent businessman J. Murrey Atkins—took over. On the state level, Charlotte College became a state-supported, two-year college as it was also brought under the administration of the North Carolina Community College System. The school continued to secure increased funding after the successful expansion of a two-cent countywide tax and passage of a bond election that year.
On February 2, 1959, Charlotte College literally gained immense ground when the Board of Trustees purchased 270 acres of land on Highway 49. The selection of this site, a move heavily influenced by local businessman and engineer W.A. (Woody) Kennedy, was widely viewed as strategic, particularly since it would attract commuter students from many surrounding cities.