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Ruffin Residence Hall

Ruffin Residence Hall

Ruffin Residence Hall was opened in 1922, at the same time as nearby Grimes, Mangum, and Manly dorms. Originally housing only men, Ruffin was converted to a women's dorm by 1976. It is named for two members of the Ruffin family: Thomas Ruffin and Thomas Ruffin Jr. Both were lawyers, served on the state supreme court, and were members of the UNC Board of Trustees. Ruffin Sr. enslaved many people on his plantations in Alamance and Orange Counties and was a partner in a slave-trading business that frequently led to children being taken from their parents and sold. He is probably best remembered for his 1829 ruling in the case State v. Mann, which held that people who enslaved African Americans could not be indicted for injuring people they held in bondage. In the opinion he wrote, "The power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of the slave perfect." Ruffin Jr. had a long legal career, interrupted by service in the Confederate army and a stint on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Date Established: 1921

Date Range: 1921 – Present

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