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1960-1965 University

Cone saw Charlotte College's achievement as a state-aided institution as just the next step toward her goal of achieving university status. Her workload seemed to increase exponentially as she remained committed to the college even while continuing to take on other jobs in the community, such as working with Governor Terry Sanford on the Commission on the Status of Women (1963-64). A review of Cone’s correspondence clearly reveals that there was never a shortage of demand for her abilities.

Yet she still made time for picnics. The first gathering of faculty and students on the new campus was a picnic on April 4, 1960. When it began to rain, the group moved their picnic inside an old barn, which was one of the only structures on the site. After the groundbreaking ceremony on November 21, 1960, Kennedy and Macy were the first buildings to be constructed the following year. Cone became president of Charlotte College, but the institution suffered a major setback when a statewide bond election was defeated (although it passed in Mecklenburg County). Finally, in 1963 the bill to make Charlotte College into a four year, state-supported school was approved.

W.A. Kennedy Building and barn, circa 1962

The old barn, the Kennedy building, and part of the Macy building, circa 1962.

In 1965 Charlotte College acquired university status and accreditation. Cone was named acting chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which was seated on a thousand acres of land.


Use the media player below, left, to hear William Friday recall Cone's efforts building UNC Charlotte.

Bonnie Cone raises a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony for Charlotte College, November  21, 1960

Groundbreaking ceremony, November 21, 1960.

William Friday on Cone's work, recorded in 2012.

1960-1965 University