After a four-year closure, the University of North Carolina reopened in 1875. Incoming students returned to a deteriorated and empty campus. One student, William Joseph Peele (Class of 1879), remembers seeing "written in chalk in one of the old recitation rooms a memorandum of the brief and disastrous attempt to continue the University after the death of Governor Swain by those unfamiliar with its traditions. It read: 'This old University has busted and gone to hell today'" (Recreation of inscription described in Peele's "Pen-Pictures of the Times of '75," Record [University of North Carolina (1793-1962)], Vol. 1, Number 2, Chapel Hill: The University, 1901-1902).