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1950-1955 Junior College

After submitting proof that Charlotte College aligned with junior college principles, among other tasks, Cone was notified in 1950 that the college would be tentatively recognized as a junior college so students could continue tranferring their credits to other institutions. The college would not obtain full junior-level accreditation until 1957.

When the Board of School Commissioners was granted permission in 1951 to recognize the college as a four-year institution, the board decided against it due to concerns over financial sustainability. Those pushing for university status recognized this opportunity: if increased funds could be secured, the Board of School Commissioners may recognize Charlotte College as a four-year school. 

Much of the support for university status came from the college’s newly formed executive board. Various campaigns were waged, including local businessman and engineer W.A. "Woody" Kennedy’s Belk University proposal that was fiercely promoted but ultimately unsuccessful. Cone continued to build strong relationships throughout the community, advocating for the importance of a college in Charlotte, to help secure additional funding.

W.A. "Woody" Kennedy to Bonnie Cone, September 30, 1950

Letter from W.A. "Woody" Kennedy to Bonnie Cone, September 30, 1950.

Jack Claiborne on Cone's ability to persuade, recorded in 2012.