Communism

Having weathered complaints of excessively liberal bias since the leadership of Frank Porter Graham in the 1930s, the university faced new accusations, beginning in the 1950s, of being a training ground for Communists. The claims were frequent enough that consolidated university president Gordon Gray addressed them in his 1950 inaugural address, stating that "Communists are not welcome" at Carolina or the other two system schools. The accusations were heightened a few years later when UNC alumnus Junius Scales, who was then working as an organizer for the U.S. Communist Party, began distributing publications on campus. The continued claims of Communist influence were a major factor in the passage of North Carolina's Speaker Ban Law by the state legislature in 1963, which prohibited known Communists from speaking at any of North Carolina's state-supported schools. UNC administrators, especially system president William C. Friday, had to balance their continued resistance to claims of Communist influence with a defense of academic freedom. The university's resistance to the speaker ban only further supported the views of some North Carolinians that Chapel Hill was a haven for Communist sympathizers.