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Hark the Sound of Tar Heel Voices: 220 Years of UNC History

Daniel W. Barefoot

John F. Blair, Publisher
$16.95 paperback
6 x 9     
255 pages
Published in 2008

“What is it that binds us to place as to no other?” Charles Kuralt famously asked at the bicentennial of the first public university in the New World.

Hark the Sound of Tar Heel Voices provides 220 years’ worth of answers, in the very words of the men and women who created and nurtured UNC-Chapel Hill.

Readers will hear from William R. Davie, who, legend has it, napped under the landmark poplar that bears his name, as well as from Hinton James, who walked from Wilmington to become UNC’s first student. They’ll hear from a witness to the Yankee occupation of the campus and from the lady whose pen saved the university during Reconstruction. They’ll hear from early female and black students and from those who weathered the 1960s.

Decade by decade, campus icons like Proff Koch, Frank Porter Graham, Dean Smith, and William C. Friday have their say. So do illustrious alumni ranging from Zeb Vance to Thomas Wolfe to Andy Griffith to Phil Ford. So does even notorious UNC critic Jesse Helms.

Perhaps most entertaining are the off-beat narratives from people like the early professor who tried to discipline students for stealing horses and hurling furniture at faculty, the cheerleader responsible for the embarrassing one-time basketball appearance of UNC Rameses, and the future chancellor who didn’t graduate on time because he flunked the swimming test.

Here for the first time is a collection of personal accounts from the people who transformed a picturesque wooded hill into a world-famous university.