University of North Carolina Greensboro 

Written By Peter Cotell

The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) was established on February 18, 1891, as a college for women. The push for higher education for women was led by Dr. Charles Duncan McIver, who is generally credited as the school’s leading founder. The school was the only public institution intended for the higher education of women in the state of North Carolina. Its courses included commercial (e.g., secretarial) education; training of teachers, and home economics. By 1949, it was the largest college for women in the entire country. Although it is no longer exclusively a women’s college, the student body remains 66 percent female.  

The school’s first year in operation was 1892, when it was known as the State Normal and Industrial School. The name would change numerous times, beginning in 1897 when it became the State Normal and Industrial College. That name would last until 1919, when the school became known as North Carolina College for Women, lasting until a switch to the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in 1938.  

Starting in 1932, the school became one of the three schools of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, joining the main campus at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The first black students enrolled in 1956. In 1962, the university became co-ed, allowing men to enroll, and the first doctorate degrees were awarded. The school changed its name for the last time in 1963 to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

As of fall 2022, UNC Greensboro had an undergraduate enrollment of 14,198. UNCG offers over 150 undergraduate programs and over 200 master’s and doctoral programs. UNCG hosts 17 athletic teams known as the Spartans. Notable alumni of the university include U.S.  congresswoman Virginia Foxx, who currently (2024) heads the House Committee on Education and the Workforce; actor Tyler Barnhardt, who starred in the popular Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why; and legendary NC State Women’s Basketball head coach Kay Yow.