Infirmary

The university did not have a campus infirmary until 1895. The Tar Heel described it as a place where "the indisposed, the drooping, the lame and the halting may retreat." In an era when transportation was slow and unreliable and the nearest hospital was in Durham, the college infirmary often handled serious illnesses, including a case of smallpox in 1900 that had the whole campus on high alert. As student health needs increased, a new infirmary was built in 1900, only to be replaced again in 1907. In 1919 the campus hired its first physician, Dr. Eric Abernethy, who brought modern ideas about sanitation and medical practices to the campus. The infirmary building was later named Abernethy Hall in his honor. In an era with very different ideas about privacy, the names of sick students who were admitted were published in the "Infirmary List," a regular feature of the student newspaper through the early 1960s.