• 90th Anniversary

90 Years of UNC Asheville

This year UNC Asheville turns 90, and we invite you to celebrate with us! Join us on campus for special events, share the news about our 90th anniversary (#UNCAVL90years), and learn about the people, events and milestones that make us who we are today as we look forward to our future. Additional university and alumni stories, digital swag, and more will be coming soon!
Please visit this website regularly for updates regarding the 90th celebration. 

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University Timeline

Special Events

  1. Thursday, May 3, 2018

    May 3, time and location TBD

    Economic Crystal Ball Seminar - 34 Years Ago

    Economists David W. Berson of Nationwide Insurance and James F. Smith of Parsec Financial began offering annual financial forecasts.

  2. Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    April 24, all day at multiple locations on campus

    2018 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium

    UNC Asheville hosted the first National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and each semester, the university suspends classes for a day of research presentations. 

  3. Saturday, April 21, 2018

    April 21 at 7 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium

    Charles Frazier

    Joined by special guests, the Asheville native and author of Cold Mountain discusses his new fourth novel, Varina.

  4. Thursday-Saturday, April 5-7, 2018

    April 5-7 at UNC Asheville

    Queer Studies Conference - 20 Years Ago

    UNC Asheville began this biennial event that draws an international group of scholars of gender and sexuality to our campus. This year's theme is Prisons, Borders and Pipelines - Toward a Queer Abolitionist Movement.

    Find more info and registration here.

  5. Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    March 27, time and location TBD

    The State of the Media - 20 Years Ago

    UNC Asheville's Department of Mass Communication celebrates its 30th anniversary with a talk by distinguished alumnus and WYFF-TV News Anchor Michael Cogdill.

  6. Monday & Tuesday, March 19-20, 2018

    March 19-20 in the Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall

    F Word (Feminist) Film Festival - 17 Years Ago

    The screenings began as part of the university's Women's History Month Celebration. On both nights, a panel discussion will take place following the screening of the films.

    Find event details here.

  7. Thursday, March 1, 2018

    March 1 at 7 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium

    Christine Darden - Parsons Lecture

    One of the real-life NASA "human computers" featured in Hidden Figures delivers the 2018 Parsons Lecture in Mathematics.

    Visit events.unca.edu for details.


  8. Friday & Saturday, February 9-10, 2018

    February 9-10, Laurel Forum in Karpen Hall

    Southern Appalachia Undergraduate Philosophy Conference - 19 Years Ago

    This regional symposium provides a professional-style philosophical forum for aspiring undergraduates to present significant and original work.

    Find more event details here.

  9. Thursday, February 8, 2018

    Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium

    Pedrito Martinez in Concert

    The acclaimed Cuban singer and percussionist brings his band from New York City for a night of Latin jazz.

    Visit events.unca.edu for details.

  10. Friday & Saturday, February 2-3, 2018

    February 2-3 at Kimmel Arena

    Bulldog Basketball & Alumni Weekend

    Join the UNC Asheville Community for a weekend full of Bulldog Basketball. The weekend will include basketball alumni legacy games, discounted tickets to a doubleheader, an alumni zone between games and a closeout event downtown. Put on your Bulldog Blue and cheer on your team during this exciting basketball filled weekend!

    Register Now

  11. Thursday, January 18, 2018

    Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., Kimmel Arena

    Michelle Alexander: MLK Week Keynote Address

    The author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness presents UNC Asheville's 2018 MLK Week keynote lecture.

    Visit events.unca.edu for details.

  12. Friday, December 15, 2017

    4 p.m., Kimmel Arena in the Sherrill Center

    Fall 2017 Commencement

    UNC Asheville celebrates its December 2017 graduates.

  13. Thursday, November 9, 2017

    7-8:30 p.m. in Karpen Hall's Laurel Forum

    Visiting Writer Aviya Kushner

    Aviya Kushner is the author of The Grammar of God: A Journey Into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau, 2015), a finalist for The National Jewish Book Award as well as a finalist for the 2016 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature. The Grammar of God was one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015.

    Kushner will discuss the challenges of making Biblical grammar lively and accessible. Kushner's talk, part of UNC Asheville's Visiting Writers Series, is presented by the Department of English and the university's Center for Jewish Studies, in partnership with Congregation Beth Israel. This event is free and open to everyone.

    Visit events.unca.edu for details.

  14. Tuesday-Thursday, October 17-19, 2017

    Oct. 18 at 7p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium

    Vandana Shiva

    World-renowned environmental activist Vandana Shiva will visit UNC Asheville for a three-day residency Oct. 17-19, highlighted by a free public lecture on Oct. 18.

    Visit events.unca.edu for details on all events included in the residency and tickets.

  15. Thursday-Saturday, October 19-21, 2017

    The Fourth Annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference offers scholars and the community an opportunity to address the African American experience in Southern Appalachia. This year's theme is "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." In addition to history, this year's conference will highlight research from UNC Asheville's State of Black Asheville classes, as well as examples of current-day community resilience. The conference is free and open to the public.

    Visit aawnc.unca.edu for details.

  16. Thursday, October 12, 2017

    ***Due to Hurricane Irma, the Founders Day keynote lecture with David Brooks has been rescheduled from September 12 to October 12 at 7 p.m. in Kimmel Arena in the Wilma M. Sherrill Center.*** 

    David Brooks - SOLD OUT

    UNC Asheville celebrates Founders Day with a keynote lecture by David Brooks, New York Times columnist and a leading analyst of American culture and politics. This ticketed event is free to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

    This event is supported by The David and Lin Brown Visionary Lecture Series and The Van Winkle Law Firm Public Policy Lectures.

    Visit events.unca.edu/event/david-brooks for details.

  17. Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    7 p.m., Lipinsky Auditorium

    Wiley Cash in Conversation with Charles Frazier, with Music by Shannon Whitworth

    Wiley Cash celebrates his new novel, The Last Ballad, set during the 1929 Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, N.C. He’ll be joined by Charles Frazier, and Shannon Whitworth will perform ballads written during the strike, as well as originals.

  18. Friday-Sunday, September 22-24, 2017

    Everyone is welcome to join the UNC Asheville community for Homecoming & Family Weekend, September 22-24, 2017! From soccer games to back-to-class sessions, there will be something for everyone.

    Friday, September 22

    5 p.m. – Family Weekend Welcome Reception; Laurel Forum
    drop in until 6:30 p.m.
    6 p.m. – Alumni Awards Reception; Scholarship Deck
    6:30 p.m. ­– Alumni Awards Dinner; SHE 417 in Kimmel Arena
    7 p.m. – Volleyball Game; Justice Gym
    8 p.m. – Alumni Welcome Social; Downtown Asheville

    Saturday, September 23

    10 or 10:30 a.m. – Hall of Fame Brunch; Sherrill Center 417
    10:00 a.m. – Back to Class sessions; various classrooms
    12:00 p.m. – Homecoming & Family Weekend Picnic; Quad
    1:30 p.m. – Golf Cart Homecoming Parade
    2 p.m. – Tailgate w/ Rocky's Kid Zone; Location TBD
    3 p.m. – Women’s Soccer Game; Greenwood Field
    5 p.m. – Alumni Zone at the Soccer Game; Greenwood Field
    6 p.m. – Men’s Soccer Game; Greenwood Field
    8 p.m. – Closeout Event; Downtown
    Sunday, September 24
    9 a.m. – Student-Athlete Parent & Alumni Breakfast; Brown Hall

    Sunday, September 24

    9 a.m. – Student-Athlete Parent & Alumni Breakfast; Brown Hall

    Register Now!

  19. Thursday-Friday, September 14-15, 2017

    Sept. 14 - 7 p.m., Lipinsky Auditorium; Sept. 15 - 2 p.m., Sherrill Center

    The Zeb Vance I Know

    The legacy of Confederate officer and N.C. Governor Zebulon Vance will be re-examined in this two-day symposium, with a keynote by David Blight, director of Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition on Thursday, Sept. 14, and a talk by best-selling mystery writer Sharyn McCrumb on Friday, Sept. 15.

  20. Thursday, September 14, 2017

    6-9 p.m. on the University Quad

    Farm-to-Table Dinner

    UNC Asheville’s annual Farm-to-Table Dinner on the Quad features music, local food, and more, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets will be available at sustainability.unca.edu in the first week of August.

  21. Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    ***Due to Hurricane Irma, the Founders Day keynote lecture with David Brooks has been rescheduled to October 12, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Kimmel Arena in the Wilma M. Sherrill Center.*** 

    David Brooks - SOLD OUT

    UNC Asheville celebrates Founders Day with a keynote lecture by David Brooks, New York Times columnist and a leading analyst of American culture and politics. This ticketed event is free to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

    This event is supported by The David and Lin Brown Visionary Lecture Series and The Van Winkle Law Firm Public Policy Lectures.

    Visit events.unca.edu/event/david-brooks for details.

  22. Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Highsmith Union Grotto

    *Due to weather, this event has been moved indoors from the Quad to the Highsmith Union Grotto.

    Founders Day Celebration

    UNC Asheville invites the community to celebrate with us as we kick off Founders Week. We'll have a photo booth, great food (including ice cream from The Hop and cupcakes decorated for our 90th anniversary), and fun!

  23. Monday, August 21, 2017

    First Day of Classes 

    Bulldogs begin the fall 2017 semester.

    1-3 p.m., University Quad

    The Great American Solar Eclipse

    The campus community is invited to gather on the Quad from 1-3 p.m. for special solar eclipse activities, festivities, and refreshments. Learn more at lookoutobservatory.unca.edu.

  24. Friday, August 18, 2017

    9 a.m.-1 p.m., Residence Halls

    Move-In Day

    UNC Asheville welcomes its newest Bulldogs to campus. Faculty, staff and volunteers help incoming freshmen move into their residence halls.


    Time TBD, Kimmel Arena in the Sherrill Center


    The university formally kicks off the fall 2017 semester. This traditional academic event officially welcomes our incoming freshmen. As students walk to the Quad, they give Rocky the Bulldog statue a pat on the head for good luck, a ritual they repeat upon graduation.


    Time TBD, University Quad


    Following Convocation, students, faculty and staff head over to the Quad for a picnic and an evening of fun activities, games, prizes, and give-aways.


UNC Asheville Celebrates 90 Years in 2017-18

UNC Asheville, North Carolina’s designated public liberal arts university, celebrates 90 years of educational excellence in 2017-18. Its history includes deep roots in the region, having been established as Buncombe County Junior College and growing into one of the founding institutions of North Carolina’s community college system. Today, UNC Asheville is a four-year baccalaureate university that leads the state and nation in the public liberal arts.

Learn More

Then and Now

Explore UNC Asheville’s history through the creative vision of student photographer Emmanuel Figaro ’18, who searched the archives to investigate the changing face of UNC Asheville throughout the past 90 years.

Learn More

The 1920s

Ninety years ago, a little more than 80 students from the towns and rural communities surrounding Asheville would gather in the basement of the Biltmore High School building to take classes from Asheville’s first college. The little school was Buncombe County Junior College, which would one day become UNC Asheville.

Learn More

The 1930s

Any new college faces a host of struggles during its first few years: finding the right faculty, determining the best ways to serve the students, developing a strong curriculum, even settling in the perfect location for the school all present unique challenges as a young university finds its way. UNC Asheville, or Biltmore Junior College, as it was known then, faced all of these challenges in its early years, compounded by the economic crisis facing the entire country—the Great Depression.

Learn More

The Forgotten Flyers of Biltmore College (1940s)

Would a new world war engulf the United States? The newspapers were rife with predictions, bombings and battles. Armed conflict was underway among Russia and Finland; Japan and China; Germany and France; Germany and England.

If war came, what would happen to the college?

Learn More

The College in the Sky (1950s)

Overlook Castle, otherwise known as Seely’s Castle, is iconic. Completed around 1919 by Fred Loring Seely for his private residence, the castle has been home a number of people and institutions including the predecessor to UNC Asheville: Asheville-Biltmore College.

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Rocky through the Ages

UNC Asheville has always been the Bulldogs, but our mascot has had many names and faces. Take a look at our slideshow to see how Rocky has changed over the years.

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The 1960s

In the 1960s, UNC Asheville was a-changin’. With a move to a new campus, the then-Asheville-Biltmore College began to take shape into the UNC Asheville we know today.

Learn More


See where our alumni are now, and share your own story with us!

Share Your Story

The Hagedorns '12

Sociology major Annelise DeJong Hagedorn '12 and environmental studies major Jake Hagedorn '12 founded the Brevard Tiny House Company at the beginning of 2013. Now the Hagedorns not only build tiny homes, they live in one.

Runda Alamour '16

Campus Compact award-winner and 2015 Newman Civic Fellow Runda Alamour ’16 takes service into the community through teaching. As an English teacher in Buncombe County schools, she empowers students to “be leaders in seeking out answers for themselves."

Derek Allen ’93

Now an attorney at Ward and Smith P.A., in Asheville, Derek Allen '93 has made a name for himself, and his firm, specializing in the city’s favorite frothy beverage: beer. His firm represents some of the biggest players in the craft beer scene, including New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada.

Dee James '73

Professor of English, Director of the First-Year Writing Program, and winner of the 2016 Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award, Dee James has been a faculty member since 1987 and has co-led international travel experiences to Ghana, taught in the Africana Studies, Arts and Ideas, and Humanities programs, and played an essential role in helping students master effective writing.

George Etheredge '16

Art alum George Etheredge '16 has had his photojournalism essays and photograph series published in several online and print publications, and his prints have also been featured in Looking at Appalachia, a national traveling exhibit. He regularly freelances for the New York Times, and his work has appeared on the front page.

Jesse Goldman '16

Political science major Jesse Goldman is the founder of Slack-Librium—an educational slackline organization that focuses on “building community and instilling positive cultural change through instructional slackline and mindfulness workshops at schools, festivals, camps and events across the country.”

Check out UNC Asheville's upcoming events throughout the year! events.unca.edu