Grimes Residence Hall

Grimes Residence Hall opened in 1922, along with Mangum, Ruffin, and Manly dorms. During World War II the four dorms housed U.S. Navy cadets. There is some question as to whom this naming honored. The UNC Board of Trustees minutes record that the honoree was Bryan Grimes (1828—1880), while later accounts note that the honoree was his, son J. Bryan Grimes (1868—1923). The elder Grimes was a university alumnus and trustee and UNC's second-highest-ranking Confederate officer (Leonidas Polk was the highest-ranking alumnus). Grimes came from a prominent eastern North Carolina family that grew wealthy through the use of enslaved labor. After the war he was a conservative and an advocate for white supremacy. In 1880 he was assassinated under mysterious circumstances. His alleged killer was acquitted but subsequently lynched. An early twentieth-century account of Ku Klux Klan activity in the state claimed that the elder Grimes was an organizer in eastern North Carolina. His son, J. Bryan Grimes, was also an alumnus and trustee and was North Carolina secretary of state. The younger Grimes chaired the trustee committee that oversaw development of Polk Place. He was also an agricultural and cultural leader, helping organize the Tobacco Growers Association and form the State Literary and Historical Association.


Date Established: 1921

Date Range: 1921 – Present