Many campus buildings (and many rooms within those buildings) bear the name of some individuals who contributed to the growth of the school and who we feel you should remember. Many of the rooms in the Elliott University Center are also dedicated in honor of such persons.
Lula Martin Mciver (1864-1944)
Wife of Charles D. McIver (the school’s founder and first President). Mrs. McIver was an advocate of women’s rights and urged her husband to concentrate on education for women, helping him plan, organize and construct the State Normal and Industrial School.
James Y. Joyner (1862-1954)
Dr. Joyner taught English at the State Normal and Industrial School from 1893-1902. He contributed a great deal to education in his native state, North Carolina. In 1902, he was appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction. During his term a compulsory attendance law was passed, a system of teacher certification established, and a vocational education program begun.
Mary Settle Sharpe (1863-1944)
Mrs. Sharpe joined the faculty of the State Normal and Industrial School in 1896, specializing in reading and speech. She served as advisor to writers, debaters, dramatists, as well as chair of the Faculty Committee on entertainment. She became the first woman to be nominated by a political party for public office in North Carolina, when she was nominated for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1920.
The Cone Family (Mrs. Caesar Cone and her sons Herman, Ben, and Caesar II; and Mrs. Julius Cone)
This group of the Greensboro Cone family donated the initial funds in 1941 for construction of a student union building, which eventually became known as Elliott University Center. The entire Cone family has, throughout the years, been great benefactors of the University and the City of Greensboro.
Philander Priestly (P.P.) Claxton (1862-1957)
Mr. Claxton joined the Department of Pedagogy (Education) at the State Normal and Industrial School in 1893 and became department head two years later. He added both graduate work and correspondence courses to the curriculum and assisted in establishment of the training school for teachers. He later served as United States Commissioner of Education under President Taft.
Edwin A. Alderman (1861-1931)
An ardent advocate of higher education for women, Dr. Alderman was the first professor chosen for the State Normal and Industrial School. Dr. Alderman became President of UNC-Chapel Hill in 1896, President of Tulane University in 1900, and President of the University of Virginia in 1904. He also was a lifetime friend of President Woodrow Wilson and delivered the formal oration at the memorial ceremony for Wilson before Congress in 1924.
Louise Brevard Alexander (1887-1978)
In 1920, Miss Alexander was admitted to the bar and became Greensboro’s first female lawyer. She also served as Clerk of Municipal Court and was a Juvenile Court Judge. She was influential in the campaign for women’s suffrage. She was the first recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award for distinguished teaching. Miss Alexander taught at The Woman’s College from 1936 to 1957.
Sue May Kirkland (1843-1914)
Miss Kirkland was the State Normal and Industrial School’s first “lady principal.” She lived on the premises in an apartment in Spencer Hall. Students receiving visitors had to have them “cleared” by Miss Kirkland beforehand.
Charles Wiley Phillips (1898-1989)
Mr. Phillips was a beloved member of the Greensboro area for many years. He taught at The Woman’s College, and then served as Public Relations Director until his retirement in 1962. Mr. Phillips served in the State House of Representatives for some years following his retirement from The Woman’s College.
Katherine Henrietta Taylor (1909-1994)
Miss Taylor graduated from the NCCW in 1928. At the outbreak of World War II, she and several other women faculty members left their positions to serve the country by joining the WAVES. Upon Dean Elliott’s death, Katherine Taylor was appointed Dean of Women (1948-1955). She served as Dean of Students from 1955 through 1964 when Woman’s College became coeducational and her title was changed to Dean of Student Services and Director of Elliott Hall. She retained that title until her retirement in 1972.
Frances Cottrell Ferguson (1918-1978)
Wife of former Chancellor James S. Ferguson, Mrs. Ferguson was a very valuable member of the Greensboro and University communities after moving to UNCG from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962. She was active with many community and University-based groups and her scholarly interests were in the fields of Russian and American literature.
Mary Dail of Snow Hill, NC. was the first student to register at the State Normal and Industrial School in October 1892. Hers was the first check registered in the treasurer’s book. Miss Dail later explained, “Dr. McIver said, ‘Now Mary, when the doors open, I expect you to be there.’ I took him at his word, you see, and was the first to register.” At the end of that day there were 198 students registered.