Bonnie Ethel Cone was born on June 22, 1907, in Lodge, S.C. She was graduated from Coker College (B.S., 1928) and Duke University (A.M., 1941). Cone taught mathematics and science in several South Carolina high schools (1928-40) and math at Charlotte's Central High School (1940-43, 1946-47). During World War II, she taught at Duke University (1943-45) and later performed statistical work for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Washington, D.C. (1945-46). Upon her return to Charlotte, Cone taught math at the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina, which held classes in Central High School on Elizabeth Avenue (current site of Central Piedmont Community College). She served as director of the Center (1947-49) and as director (1949-61) and president (1961-65) of Charlotte College. With the creation of UNC Charlotte, she served as acting chancellor (1965-66) and as vice chancellor for student and community relations (1966-73). Cone's honorary doctorate from Davidson College (1961) and the Charlotte Civitan Club's Distinguished Citizen Award (1965) were both firsts for women. After her retirement in 1973, Cone served as liaison officer for the UNC Charlotte Foundation (1973-77). UNC Charlotte's Bonnie E. Cone University Center and the Bonnie E. Cone Scholarship are named in her honor. Vice Chancellor Emerita Cone died in 2003 and is buried on campus in Van Landingham Glen.
[For additional biographical information, see box 1:4 of this collection; University Archives Reference File, folder on Bonnie E. Cone (on file in reading room); and interviews in this collection and the Oral History Collection.]