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This Day in the History of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


January 9, 1793
Willie Jones and William R. Davie, both of whom were early university supporters, published a "plea for donation" to the new university in the "North Carolina Journal," a newspaper published in Halifax, North Carolina.
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July 19, 1793
The Board of Trustees signed an agreement with James Patterson, contracting for the construction of the University's first building, which is now known as "Old East." The cornerstone for this structure was laid during a Masonic ceremony on October 12, 1793.
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August 10, 1793
A committee selected by the Board of Trustees met at New Hope Chapel Hill and laid out sites for the university buildings, offices, avenues, ornamental grounds and the adjacent village.
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August 19, 1793
Elisha Mitchell was born in Washington, Connecticut. An 1813 gradate of Yale University, he arrived in Chapel Hill in 1818 to assume duties as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. While in Chapel Hill, Mitchell also served the University as chaplain, bursar, and accountant.
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October 12, 1793
In a Masonic ceremony led by William R. Davie, the cornerstone of East Building (now called "Old East") was laid. Old East is the oldest public university building in the nation. Around one hundred years later, October 12 was officially declared to be University Day, and the campus continues to celebrate this day with official ceremonies.
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