The Charlotte College Photographs collection is comprised of photographs documenting the history of Charlotte College, including campus buildings and spaces, events, students, faculty, and administrators. Charlotte College was the forerunner of UNC Charlotte.
Charlotte College was founded in 1946 as one of twelve college centers the University of North Carolina created as a response to the educational needs of returning veterans. A movement began to make the college a four-year, state-supported school, and after several unsuccessful plans for expanding the college were proposed, Charlotte College partnered with public junior colleges in Asheville and Wilmington to win the creation of a state-financed system of community colleges in North Carolina. This campaign culminated in the Community College Act approved by the legislature in 1957, and in 1958 Charlotte College became a state-supported, two-year college under the administration of the North Carolina Community College System. At the same time, a separate board of trustees, chaired by J. Murrey Atkins, was appointed for the Charlotte Community College System, which consisted of Charlotte College and its African-American counterpart, Carver College.
In February 1959, the Board purchased 270 acres on Highway 49 for the site of Charlotte College, which had shared facilities with Central High School in downtown Charlotte since 1946, and later expanded its land holdings. In September 1961, academic departments moved in to occupy the first two buildings on the new campus. The library and college union buildings were completed in 1962. Bonnie E. Cone, who had been appointed director of the Charlotte College Center in 1947 and had been named director of Charlotte College, the Center's successor, in 1949, became president of the College in 1961. In July 1963, Charlotte College became a four-year state-supported college subject to the terms of the State Colleges Act. University of North Carolina President William Friday appointed the Advisory Council on Educational Policy, which visited Charlotte College on February 12, 1964, to advise on the designation of Charlotte College as the fourth campus of the university system. The council recommended that Charlotte College become the fourth campus of the university, and the General Assembly approved this recommendation on March 3, 1965. Charlotte College awarded its first and only baccalaureate degrees on June 6, 1965, and on July 1 of that year Charlotte College officially became the fourth campus of the Consolidated University system by act of the 1965 General Assembly.