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William C. Friday oral history interview, 2012 May 1

 Digital Record
Identifier: UA-FR0078


  • 2012-05-01


In this interview, William “Bill” Friday, long-time president of the University of North Carolina System, shares his memories of Bonnie Cone, the founder of Charlotte College. He describes Ms. Cone’s drive to establish a university in Charlotte, her motives behind the endeavor, her ability to bring together individuals of influence and persuade them to join her cause, and her perceptive leadership. He also discusses the nature of his relationship with Bonnie Cone, comments on their similar background, and reflects on his decision to choose Dean Colvard as the first chancellor of UNC Charlotte instead of Bonnie Cone. Other topics include the political aspects of public higher education and the circumstances surrounding Charlotte College’s becoming UNC Charlotte (the fourth campus of the UNC System), including the Carlyle Commission, Arnold King’s influence on Bonnie Cone, and the different dynamics of the campuses at Charlotte, Wilmington, and Asheville.

Biographical / Historical

William Clyde Friday was a 92-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place in his office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, five months before he passed away. He was born in Raphine, Virginia, in 1920 and raised in Dallas, North Carolina. He was educated at Wake Forest College (now University), North Carolina State College (now University), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was employed as the president of the University of North Carolina System for thirty years.


51 Minutes