Encyclopedia of UNCG History

An online resource for exploring the history of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

May Day queens were typically senior women elected by their class to serve as the mascot for May Day celebrations which were first held in 1904. The first crowning of the May Day queen was in 1929, when the focus of the festival changed from the performances to the individuals attending the school. From 1929 […]

In 1904, the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College (now known as UNCG) held its first May Day celebration. The spring themed festival consisted of plays, musical processions by the Boston Festival Orchestra, and students dancing around flower covered poles, also known as May Poles. The celebration was held annually and grew until it […]

In 1908, the Alumnae Association offered a prize of ten dollars in gold to the person who could write the best song to represent the spirit of the school. There was no response to this call, but in 1910, Laura Weill (later, Laura Weill Cone) wrote the college song, which was first sung at her […]

Until 1909, North Carolina Day was celebrated in October at the school with special events and programs. In 1909, North Carolina Day was dedicated to the memory of founding president Charles Duncan McIver. Alumnae met in locations across the state, and students placed wreaths on his grave at Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro. In 1911, […]

The Class of 1898 began the tradition of having designated class colors by selecting green and white as their class colors. The three classes that followed chose red and white, lavender and white, and blue and white. These became the official colors, and they rotated through the years. The first classes wore hats in their […]

Literary societies were first established at State Normal in 1893. In 1918, the school had grown to such a size that a third group was added, the Dikeans. The Dikean Literary Society was originally comprised of members of each of the other two Societies, and then began to induct its own members by 1919. Its name is […]

The Cornelian Literary Society was established in 1893 as one of the two original campus literary societies. Founded and organized by Alice Green, it was originally known as “G” before being renamed the Cornelian Society. This name honored Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi Twins of Roman legend. Their colors were blue and gold, and […]

The Adelphian Literary Society was one of two original literary societies founded in 1893. Dr. Charles McIver picked Mary Arrington to lead in the organization of the “A” society. She eventually became its first president. It was decided that the colors of the Society would be red and gold and their emblem to be a […]

Beginning in 1893, the State Normal and Industrial School created two Literary Societies, the Adelphian and Cornelian literary societies. All students were inducted into one Society or the other, determined randomly. These groups hosted many of the events on campus, including plays, debates, socials, and dances, as entertainment for the student body. The idea to create […]