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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Memorial to Founding Trustees, UNC (Chapel Hill)

  • Type

    Obelisk

  • Subjects

    Historic Educational Figures

    Educational Institutions

  • City

    Chapel Hill

  • County

    Orange

  • Description

    This obelisk stands nineteen feet tall against the exterior north wall of Person Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Near the top of the obelisk sits a carved bronze profile in relief of William Richardson Davie; at the base there is a bronze plaque with the names of 55 members of UNC’s first Board of Trustees. The obelisk is flanked by two simple marble benches. The monument was originally conceived as a memorial to James and Frank H. Kenan and later became a dedication to the founding trustees. It was dedicated in 1995, coinciding with the university’s bicentennial celebration.

  • Inscription

    Front: TRUSTEES / THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA / 1789 – 1795

    [Listing of names and dates] SAMUEL JOHNSTON 1789-1801 / JAMES IREDELL 1789-1790 / CHARLES JOHNSON 1789-1792 / HUGH WILLIAMSON 1789-1801 / STEPHEN CABARRUS 1789-1792 / RICHARD DOBBS SPAIGHT 1789-1802 / WILLIAM BLOUNT 1789-1790 / BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 1789-1802 / JOHN SITGREAVES 1789-1802 / FREDERICK HARGETT 1789-1796 / ROBERT WHITEHURST SNEAD 1789-1799 / ARCHIBAL MACLAINE 1789-1791 / SAMUEL ASHE 1789-1798 / ROBERT DICKSON 1789-1790 / BENJAMIN SMITH 1789-1824 / SAMUEL SPENCER 1789-1793 / JOHN HAY 1789-1809 / JAMES HOGG 1789-1802 / HENRY WILLIAM HARRINGTON 1789-1795 / WILLIAM BARRY GROVE 1789-1818 / SAMUEL EUSEBIUS MCCORKLE 1789-1801 / ADLAI OSBORNE 1789-1814 / JOHN STOKES 1789-1790 / JOHN HAMILTON 1789-1802 / JOSEPH GRAHAM 1789-1790 / JOHN WILLIAMS 1789-1799 / THOMAS PERSON 1789-1795 / ALFRED MOORE 1789-1807 / ALEXANDER MEBANE 1789-1795 / JOEL LANE 1789-1795 / WILLIE JONES 1789-1799 / BENJAMIN HAWKINS 1789-1798 / JOHN HAYWOOD, SR. 1789-1827 / JOHN MACON 1789-1792 / WILLIAM RICHARDSON DAVIE 1789-1807 / JOSPEH DIXON 1789-1795 / WILLIAM LENOIR 1789-1804 / JOSEPH MCDOWELL, SR. 1789-1790 / JAMES HOLLAND 1789-1795 / WILLIAM PORTER 1789-1799 / ALEXANDER MARTIN 1790-1807 / JAMES KENAN 1790-1799 / JAMES GLASGOW 1790-1801 / CHARLES PETTIGREW 1790-1793 / JOSEPH MCDOWELL, JR. 1790-1794 / WILLIAM POLK 1790-1834 / WILLIAM HENRY HILL 1791-1809 / DAVID STONE 1792-1818 / THOMAS BLOUNT 1792-1812 / JOHN LOUIS TAYLOR 1793-1818 / THOMAS WYNNS 1793-1825 / JOSIAH COLLINS 1793-1795 / JOHN MOORE 1795-1809 / JOHN SKINNER 1795-1797 / WILLIAM PERSON LITTLE 1795-1818

    West face: THIS MEMORIAL WAS COMMISSIONED BY / THOMAS S. KENAN, III, OWEN G. KENAN, / ELIZABETH KENAN HOWELL, / ANN H. KENAN, AND OWN GWYN / IN MEMORY OF JAMES KENAN AND / IN HONOR OF FRANK H. KENAN / DEDICATED JUNE 30, 1995

  • Custodian

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Dedication Date

    June 30, 1995

  • Decade

    1990s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.912540 , -79.052480 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Memorial to Founding Trustees," The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum to University History, (accessed February 8, 2011) Link

      Allman, Kate and Cassadi Walden. "Recognizing the unsung founders," Learn NC, (accessed January 6, 2014) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze plaque and profile.

  • Sponsors

    Thomas S. Kenan III, Owen G. Kenan, Elizabeth Kenan Howell, Ann H. Kenan, and Owen Gwyn.

  • Subject Notes

    Funded and conceived by Thomas S. Kenan and his family in memory of their ancestor General James Kenan, the memorial honors the members of UNC’s first Board of Trustees.

  • Location

    The monument sits against the exterior north wall of Person Hall and faces McCorkle Place on UNC’s campus.

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