Presidents of UNC

Carolina's early history is marked by long presidential tenures. The campus leader was at first designated as presiding professor. Four men served under that title, from 1794 to 1804, when the trustees opted to promote Joseph Caldwell to president. He served until 1812 and stepped in again four years later to serve another twenty-three years. Caldwell was followed by David Lowry Swain, whose thirty-three-year tenure remains a record. In the political turmoil of Reconstruction, mathematics professor Solomon Pool attempted to keep the university open for three years in the face of virulent Democratic opposition. After reopening in 1875 the university gained new prominence and stability under the twenty-year tenure of Kemp Plummer Battle. Presidents Francis Preston Venable and Harry Woodburn Chase began to build a research enterprise, while the brief tenure of Edward Kidder Graham saw the creation of an extension program to serve the state. Although Frank Porter Graham's nineteen years as president spanned the change from a single university to a consolidated system, his influence on Carolina as a progressive dedicated to academic freedom shaped the university's reputation for the remainder of the twentieth century.

Presiding Professors
David Ker: 1794—96
Charles W. Harris: 1796 (July—December)
Joseph Caldwell: 1796—97
James S. Gillespie: 1797—99
Joseph Caldwell: 1799—1804

University Presidents
Joseph Caldwell: 1804—12
Robert Hett Chapman: 1812—16
Joseph Caldwell: 1816—35
Elisha Mitchell (acting): 1835 (February—December)
David Lowry Swain: 1835—68
Solomon Pool: 1869—72
Charles Phillips: 1875—76
Kemp Plummer Battle: 1876—91
George Tayloe Winston: 1891—96
Edwin Anderson Alderman: 1896—1900
Francis Preston Venable: 1900—1913
Edward Kidder Graham (acting): 1913—14, (president): 1914—18
Marvin Hendrix Stacy (acting): 1918—19
Harry Woodburn Chase: 1919—30
Frank Porter Graham: 1930—34