University of North Carolina at Asheville

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University of North Carolina
at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Asheville seal.png
Motto Levo Oculos Meos In Montes
Motto in English
I Lift My Eyes to the Mountains
Type Public
Established 1927
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 Urban
Colors Blue and White[2]
Athletics NCAA Division IBig South
Nickname Bulldogs
Affiliations UNC System
University of North Carolina at Asheville

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) is a co-educational, four year, public liberal arts university.[3] 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[4] liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. In 2016, The Princeton Review ranked the university number one in its listing of "Best Schools for Making an Impact".[5]


Asheville, North Carolina

UNC Asheville was founded in 1927[6] 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.[citation needed]

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.[7][8]

In 1961 Asheville-Biltmore College moved to the present UNC Asheville campus[9] 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),[10] 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[edit]

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 first nationally on the "Best Schools for Making an Impact" list 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 - 2016 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 21st lowest average debt among graduates of public universities nationally, 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 "2016 Best Colleges." The Princeton Review features UNC Asheville among “The Best 380 Colleges” 2016 Edition, selected primarily based on academic strength and surveys of students. Students quoted said: UNC Asheville’s professors “are brilliant and are invested in their students.” “Lectures are a rarity and most [class] time is spent in discussion.” UNC Asheville’s environment is “incredibly welcoming and open-minded.” “A personalized, liberal arts education at a public school price.” “A smaller university in a beautiful city,” a “perfect student town” that offers “incredible restaurants, night life, music, dancing, and more.” UNC Asheville is named a "Best Buy," in The Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2016 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 12 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.[11]


UNC Asheville offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 36 majors.[12]


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.[13]

As part of the University of North Carolina's 17-campus university system, UNC Asheville also falls under the administration of President Margaret Spellings[14] and the UNC Board of Governors advised by the UNC Faculty Assembly.[15][16]

  • 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[edit]

Chief Executive Officers of the university:[17]


  • 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
  • 2014–2015: Doug Orr, Interim
  • 2015–: Mary K. Grant

Student Government Association[edit]

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'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.[18]


  • 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.
  • 2016 - The Men's Basketball team won the Big South Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a number fifteen seed for the first time in the school's history, playing number two ranked Villanova in the South Regional Bracket [19]

Points of interest[edit]

Lightning over the Wilma M. Sherrill Center.


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

Notable Faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  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. ^ "Color Palette | Communication and Marketing". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  3. ^ "UNC Asheville Fact Book" (PDF). UNCA. 2008. 
  4. ^ "Office of the Chancellor". UNCA. 2008. 
  5. ^ "UNC Asheville ranked No. 1 for 'making an impact'". Citizen Times. Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  6. ^ "About UNCA". UNCA. 2008. 
  7. ^ "Today in Asheville history: Seely's Castle". Asheville Citizen-Times. October 22, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Lois Staton (July 1980). "Overlook" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Today in Asheville history: Botanical gardens created". Asheville Citizen-Times. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ "University of North Carolina at Asheville". Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 2008. 
  11. ^ "UNC Asheville Facts and Figures. 2016". Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. 
  12. ^ "UNC Asheville Degrees". University of North Carolina at Asheville. April 27, 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Search | UNC GA". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Search | UNC GA". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  17. ^ "2007 Fact Book - UNCA" (PDF). University of North Carolina Asheville. 2007. 
  18. ^ "UNC Asheville Bulldogs Official Athletics Site". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  19. ^ "Bulldogs Headed to Brooklyn as No. 15 Seed , Will Face Villanova". UNCA Bulldogs. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  20. ^ "Kristina Abernathy Bio". The Weather Channel. TWC. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  21. ^ Masonson, Leslie N (2012-06-01). "The Trading Book: A Complete Solution to Mastering Technical Systems and Trading Psychology - Book Review". Futures (magazine). Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  22. ^ "Wiley Cash Bio". Wiley Cash. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Willow Koerber". USA Cycling. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". University of North Carolina Asheville. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Roy A. Taylor Award". UNC ASHEVILLE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°36′58″N 82°33′58″W / 35.61619°N 82.56614°W / 35.61619; -82.56614