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University of North Carolina at Asheville

University of North Carolina
at Asheville
Motto Levo Oculos Meos In Montes
Motto in English
I Lift My Eyes to the Mountains
Established 1927
Type Public
Endowment $21.1 million[1]
Chancellor Mary K. Grant
Academic staff
296 (part & full time)
Undergraduates 3,663
Postgraduates 41
Location Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.
Campus Suburban
360 acres (1.5 km2)
Colors Blue and White
Athletics NCAA Division IBig South
Sports 12 varsity teams
Nickname Bulldogs
Affiliations UNC System
Website .edu.uncawww
University of North Carolina at Asheville

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) is a co-educational, four year, public liberal arts university.[2] The university is also known as UNC Asheville. Located in Asheville, Buncombe County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, UNC Asheville is the only designated[3] liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.


  • History 1
    • Precis of the University's history 1.1
  • Academics 2
    • Majors 2.1
  • Administration 3
    • Chief Executive Officers 3.1
  • Student Government Association 4
  • Athletics 5
  • Points of interest 6
  • Faculty 7
    • Notable Faculty 7.1
  • Notable alumni 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Asheville, North Carolina

UNC Asheville was founded in 1927[4] as Buncombe County Junior College, part of the Buncombe County public school system. In 1930 the school merged with the College of the City of Asheville (founded in 1928) to form Biltmore Junior College. In 1934 the college was renamed Biltmore College and placed in the control of a board of trustees. 1936 brought both a further change of name to Asheville-Biltmore College, and control was transferred to the Asheville City Schools.

The 20,000-square foot Overlook, or "Seely's Castle", home of Fred Loring Seely, who designed Grove Park Inn, described as "one of Asheville’s most pretentious private residences", became part of Asheville-Biltmore College in 1949. The house, no longer part of the college, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[5][6]

In 1961 Asheville-Biltmore College moved to the present UNC Asheville campus in north Asheville. In 1963 it became a state-supported four-year college, and awarded its first bachelor's degrees in 1966. Its first residence halls were built in 1967. It adopted its current name in 1969 upon becoming part of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, since 1972 called the University of North Carolina System. It is designated as one of three liberal arts universities within that system, and has been classified as a Liberal Arts I institution since 1992.

UNC Asheville has more than 215 full-time faculty members and an enrollment of approximately 3,600 students. Classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Baccalaureate College—Arts & Sciences (Bac/A&S),[7] the university offers thirty-six baccalaureate programs and a master's degree in liberal arts and sciences, first granted in 1991.

Precis of the University's history

Year - Name and Levels

  • 1927 First 86 students (men and women) attended Buncombe County Junior College
  • 1929 First graduating class, merges with Asheville City College, name changes to Biltmore College
  • 1936 Chartered as Asheville-Biltmore College
  • 1957 First two-year college in NC to receive state funds
  • 1958 First African-American student enrolled
  • 1963 Asheville-Biltmore College authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees
  • 1969 College joins the UNC System & chartered as the University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • 1992 Officially recognized as one of the nation’s first public liberal arts colleges
  • 2007 University celebrates 80th anniversary
  • 2009 UNC Asheville selected as the first national headquarters for the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
  • 2012 UNC Asheville receives its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, with praise for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), known on campus as Inquiry Arc.


Ramsey library, UNCA campus

The school's quality and value has drawn praise from national college guidebooks. UNC Asheville ranks third nationally on the "Best Schools for Making an Impact" list from as part of the new Princeton Review guidebook, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In - 2015 Edition. UNC Asheville is one of the nation's best values in public colleges, with the sixth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students, and the 10th lowest average debt among graduates, according to Kiplinger's "Best Values in Public Colleges." UNC Asheville ranks eighth in the nation among public liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2015." The Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges 2014 Edition says UNC Asheville offers a "top-notch academic experience," and, based on student survey responses, Asheville is ranked 14th in the nation on the "Town-Gown Relations are Great" list. Students "love the fact that they are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains" and praised the university's outdoors program, including rock-climbing, caving, hiking and kayaking. UNC Asheville is named a "Best Buy," in The Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2015 Edition, along with UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University - the only North Carolina public universities to earn a place on this international ranking list reflecting academic quality and affordability. For 11 consecutive years, UNC Asheville's Environmental Studies Program has been named to the list of pre-professional programs with unusual strength in preparing students for careers.[8]


UNC Asheville offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 36 majors.[9]


The university is led by Mary K. Grant the chief administrative officer, along with Provost Joseph Urgo and several advisory groups. The institution operates under the guidance and policies of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

As part of the University of North Carolina's 16-campus university system, UNC Asheville also falls under the administration of President Tom Ross[10] and the UNC Board of Governors advised by the UNC Faculty Assembly.[11]

  • William Haggard - Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • John G. Pierce - Vice Chancellor for Finance and Campus Operations
  • Janet Cone - Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics
  • Heather Parlier - University Counsel

Chief Executive Officers

Chief Executive Officers of the university:[12]


  • 1927–1932: S.B. Conley, Dean
  • 1932–1936: A.C. Reynolds, President
  • 1936–1941: Charles A. Lloyd, Dean
  • 1945–1946: William H. Morgan, Dean
  • 1946–1947: Clarence N. Gilbert, Dean
  • 1947–1947: R.A. Tomberlin, President
  • 1947–1962: Glenn L. Bushey, President
  • 1962–1969: William E. Highsmith, President


  • 1969–1977: William E. Highsmith
  • 1977–1977: Arnold K. King, Acting
  • 1977–1984: William E. Highsmith
  • 1984–1990: David G. Brown
  • 1990–1991: Roy Carroll, Interim
  • 1991–1993: Samuel Schuman
  • 1994–1994: Larry Wilson, Interim
  • 1994–1999: Patsy Reed
  • 1999–2005: James H. Mullen, Jr.
  • 2005–2014: Anne Ponder
  • 2015-: Mary K. Grant

Student Government Association

UNC Asheville's Student Government Association (SGA) consists of two branches, an 18-seat Student Senate and an executive branch comprising a President, Vice-President, and Cabinet. Representation in the Student Senate is divided among the four classes, with three additional seats each being given to residential and commuter students. SGA's authority is derived from the Chancellor and the Board of Governors.


UNC Asheville Bulldogs logo

UNC Asheville's athletics teams are known as the Bulldogs. They are a member of the NCAA's Division I and compete in the Big South Conference.[13]


  • 1984 - The Women's Basketball team won the NAIA National Championship.
  • 2003 - The Men's Basketball team won the Big South Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, going 1-1, winning the "play-in" game before falling to top-ranked Texas.
  • 2006 - The Men's Baseball team won the Big South Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
  • 2006 - The Women's Soccer team won the Big South Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
  • 2007 - The Women's Basketball team won the Big South Tournament and advanced to their first NCAA Tournament.
  • 2008 - The Men's Basketball team set a new school record for victories (23) and won a share of the Big South Regular Season Championship. UNCA became the first team in the history of the Big South Conference to advance to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
  • 2011 - The Men's Basketball team defeated Coastal Carolina in the Big South Conference Final to win the Big South Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time. The Bulldogs then won their "First Four" game in the Southwest bracket against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. They advance to play the 1-seed Pittsburgh in the Southwest bracket.
  • 2012 - The Men's Basketball team defeated VMI in the Big South Conference Final to win the Big South Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time.

Points of interest

Lightning over the Wilma M. Sherrill Center.


UNC Asheville has 296 faculty members, mostly holding doctorate degrees.

Notable Faculty

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "UNC Asheville Fact Book" (PDF). UNCA. 2008. 
  3. ^ "Office of the Chancellor". UNCA. 2008. 
  4. ^ "About UNCA". UNCA. 2008. 
  5. ^ "Today in Asheville history: Seely's Castle".  
  6. ^ Lois Staton (July 1980). "Overlook" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "University of North Carolina at Asheville".  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "UNC Asheville Degrees". University of North Carolina at Asheville. April 27, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "2007 Fact Book - UNCA" (PDF). University of North Carolina Asheville. 2007. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Masonson, Leslie N (2012-06-01). "The Trading Book: A Complete Solution to Mastering Technical Systems and Trading Psychology - Book Review".  
  15. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". University of North Carolina Asheville. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Roy A. Taylor Award". UNC ASHEVILLE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
  • UNC Asheville Athletics website

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