Carmichael Residence Hall

When Carmichael Residence Hall opened for the fall 1986 semester, it was the first new dorm on campus since the 1960s. More important for students, it was the first dorm with air conditioning. The coed dorm also included four new "living-learning" programs, giving students from the same major the opportunity to live together. Carmichael now houses students with similar academic interests, as well as a makerspace, a design and fabrication facility operated as part of UNC—Chapel Hill's Innovate Carolina program.

The building is named for Katherine Kennedy Carmichael (1912—1982). A legendary figure both feared and loved by students, Carmichael served as dean of women from 1946 until 1972. The position of dean of women oversaw the academic and social lives of the growing population of women enrolling at Carolina. While men on campus could largely come and go as they pleased, dress how they liked, and socialize wherever and whenever they chose, female students were subject to a strict set of rules, including mandatory study halls and curfews, a ban on drinking, and a dress code. All of these were overseen by Dean Carmichael, whose Women's Handbook was required reading. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Carmichael was known for her proper dress and manners and expected the same from her students. At first seen as practical and necessary, the "women's rules," and Carmichael's strict interpretation of them, were challenged by students in the 1960s, leading to gradual changes throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, until finally women at Carolina were subject to the same rules and restrictions as men. When that happened, the university abolished the position of dean of women, and Carmichael served as an associate dean of UNC Student Affairs. Although she no longer oversaw women students, she continued to advocate for the advancement of women at Carolina.


Date Established: 1986

Date Range: 1986 – Present