Manning Hall opened in 1923 as the home of the UNC School of Law. The modern building, built as part of the expansion of the campus around what is now known as Polk Place, included classrooms and a library. It was expanded beginning in the late 1940s, adding a new wing containing more classrooms, a library reading room, and a courtroom. However, within a few decades the law school had outgrown the building again and in 1968 moved into Van Hecke-Wettach Hall. While the building was vacant it played a role in the 1969 strike of campus cafeteria staff. While the cafeteria workers were on strike, student supporters set up a Soul Food cafeteria in Manning as a way to raise money for the workers and encourage other students to avoid using campus dining services in Lenoir Hall. As the demonstrations within Lenoir grew more disruptive, Governor Bob Scott ordered the state highway patrol to campus with orders to vacate the students from Manning Hall and close the building. Manning was renovated soon after and reopened in 1970 as the new home of the UNC School of Library Science.
Manning Hall is named for John Manning, professor of law at UNC from 1881 to 1899. Under his leadership the law school enrollment grew from just seven students when he began to eighty-seven students by the end of the 1890s. Manning graduated from UNC in 1850 and began a long career in law, interrupted by service in the Confederate army. He also served in the state legislature, where he lobbied successfully to give an annual state appropriation to the university.
Date Established: 1923
Date Range: 1923 – Present