University Day

University Day, celebrated annually on October 12, commemorates the laying of the cornerstone of Old East on that date in 1793. University Day was first held in 1877 and featured a Glee Club performance and a lecture from university president Kemp Plummer Battle on the charter and establishment of the university. Music and speeches have been a part of the ceremonies ever since. In 1906 the university first awarded honorary degrees during the ceremony, and in 1907 it began the tradition of a procession through campus to Memorial Hall. Two U.S. presidents have spoken at University Day celebrations, both held in Kenan Stadium: John F. Kennedy, in 1961, and Bill Clinton, as part of the UNC bicentennial celebration in 1993.