Davie Hall

Davie Hall was completed in 1908 to house the Departments of Botany and Zoology. Located at what was then the eastern edge of the campus, it was said to have all necessary modern conveniences, including elevators, a dark room, and rooms suitable for plants and animals. A new wing for botany was built in 1925, and underground lab space was added in 1940. The building did not age well and received a major renovation and addition in the 1960s: parts of the old building were torn away, and a new addition was built around the old one. The new addition added a distinctly modern style to the campus. It was designed by the architectural firm of Holloway-Reeves, which was also responsible for the State Legislative Building in Raleigh. When the new addition was completed in 1967, the Department of Psychology moved in.

Davie Hall is named for William Richardson Davie, the former Revolutionary War officer who is often called the father of the university. Davie graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1776 and joined the military to serve in the Revolutionary War. After the war he was active in politics in North Carolina, serving as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, in which he advocated for the interests of slaveholders and helped introduce and pass the Three-Fifths Compromise. At a ratification convention held in Fayetteville in 1789, in which Davie introduced the bill to ratify the federal constitution, he also successfully introduced a bill to establish the University of North Carolina. Davie was active in early university governance helping to establish a curriculum and hire its first faculty. As grand master of the North Carolina Masonic Order, Davie led the Masonic ceremony held at the laying of the cornerstone of Old East in 1793.

In the early 1800s, after an unexpected loss in a race for Congress and following a contentious argument about funding for the university, Davie retired from political life to his growing plantation in South Carolina. At the time of his death in 1820, Davie held 116 enslaved people.


Date Established: 1967

Date Range: 1967 – Present