Venable and Murray Halls

Venable and Murray Halls are home to the Departments of Chemistry and Marine Science. The conjoined buildings opened in 2010 as the final phase of the Carolina Physical Science Complex, the largest construction project in university history. From 2004 to 2010 the university completed Chapman Hall, Caudill Labs, the Brooks Computer Science Building, and then Venable and Murray Halls to complete the complex.

Venable and Murray Halls replaced the first Venable Hall, built in 1925 as a home for the Department of Chemistry. For a time in the late 1980s the pharmaceutical firm Glaxo leased lab space in Venable until its facilities in Research Triangle Park were constructed.

Venable Hall old and new were named in honor of Francis Preston Venable, professor of chemistry and university president from 1900 to 1914. He was the first faculty member to hold a Ph.D., and both as faculty member and as president he helped begin the transformation of Carolina into a research institution.

Murray Hall is named in honor of professor emeritus Royce Murray, who began his career at Carolina in 1960. He is an internationally recognized scientist in electrochemistry and the chemistry of new materials, who led the committee that guided the design of lab facilities in the new buildings.


Date Established: 2010

Date Range: 2010 – Present

One of the landmark features of old Venable Hall was the huge periodic table in the chemistry classroom, shown here during a class in fall 1957. UNC Photo Lab Collection, North Carolina Collection Photo Archives, Wilson Library.