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Organized cheering was a part of the game day experience since the earliest days of UNC sports. Students in the stands, led by an elected "chief cheerer," chanted or sang from a variety of prepared cheers. The cheerleaders left the stands in the 1920s, led by Vic Huggins. An enthusiastic supporter of university athletics, Huggins is credited with bringing the first group of uniformed cheerleaders to Carolina. One of the most influential cheerleaders in campus history was Norm Sper, who came to Carolina in the late 1940s and helped establish lasting traditions, including the Beat Dook Parade, the Victory Bell, and the Cardboard Club. Some notable alums have served as cheerleaders at UNC, including future president Frank Porter Graham, who was elected chief cheerer in 1909, and bandleader Kay Kyser, who organized a large group of students called the Carolina Cheerios, known for their matching outfits and coordinated cheers. By the 1940s women joined the cheerleading squad and the cheerleaders followed other schools in developing a more modern style of cheerleading, with colorful uniforms, organized cheers, and gymnastic stunts.

Date Established: 1914

Date Range: 1914 – Present

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