University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a School of Many Firsts


There are many reasons for those both locally and across the country to think of the number one, or “firsts” when it comes to the University of North Carolina. Some will immediately think, UNC? Number One? Then their very next thought will be of a packed Dean Smith Center. They think of the perennial powerhouse, Tar Heels basketball program. You can’t argue the decorated sports program and storied history in Chapel Hill. But UNC is not only historically on top of the sports “standings.” In actuality, it is equally or more decorated fo academics.

When you began searching to relocate to North Carolina, obviously many factors would weigh into choosing a final destination. For those with young families, a quality education looms large in your decision-making process. Thus, finding an area not only with quality schools, but one near strong continuing education options is essential. The decision to move into a new home in Fuquay Varina at the South Lakes community certainly puts you near quality schools for both the formative and college years of your child’s life.

Your move to Fuquay-Varina’s South Lakes new home community puts you in the perfect location for all of the educational opportunities you seek for your children. Once they are “college ready,” the campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC) is only a 45-minute drive to Chapel Hill. UNC is one of the entire country’s most decorated and respected universities. With numerous accredited fields of study, the possibilities are endless for your child at UNC. Not only does the school offer said areas of study, but as told above, in many cases they were the first to even do so.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: A Campus and Classrooms Filled with “Firsts”

As touched on above, the University of North Carolina is not only known to be one of the states’ finest schools, but it is consistently ranked among the tops in the entire U.S. We will specifically look at the national recognition and accolades UNC has garnered as we move along in this post. But “first,” let’s get back to all of the universities’ “firsts,” of which there are quite a few.

To begin with on our “firsts,” the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established as the first public university in the United States in 1789. This was accomplished when an act was drawn up and approved by William Richardson Davie. Then just four years later (1793) Davie and fellow university trustees laid the cornerstone for the campus’ first building. The next “first” at UNC was the students arriving on campus in 1795. Subsequently, UNC would then become the first (and only at the time) public university awarding degrees. In actuality, they are the only public school to award degrees at all in the 18th century.

From “Firsts” to Diverse: A History of UNC’s Array of Study Programs

While the programs to follow may or may not have been “firsts” nationally, it will give you an idea of just how long and successful these programs have been at UNC. In 1845, the University of North Carolina’s highly acclaimed School of Law opens. This was followed by other graduate programs at the Chapel Hill campus in 1876 and summer courses for teachers in 1877. 

The school’s medical and pharmaceutical programs, which have garnered worldwide praise were introduced in 1879. A huge step into the future was made by UNC in 1915, when school officials decided to broaden its “mission.” This planned expansion of programs would include research and public service programs of study. 

In 1922, as a result of its innovation in creating research and graduate programs, UNC becomes a part of the Association of American Universities. Then in 1931, they establish a “consolidated” university, with cooperation between not only UNC-Chapel Hill, but also NC State in Raleigh, and the Woman’s College at Greensboro. this would prove an early precursor to their founding of the UNC system in 1972. This sees 16 state colleges and universities from across the state join together under a president and board of governors.

Graduate and Undergrad Programs and Areas of Study Introduced at the University of North Carolina

  • School of Education (1915)
  • UNC School of Commerce, now Kenan-Flagler Business School (1919)
  • School of Public Welfare (later became School of Social Work) (1920)
  • School of Library Science (later became the School of Information and Library Science) (1931)
  • Institute of Government (later became the School of Government) (1931)
  • School of Public Health (later became Gillings School of Global Public Health (1936)
  • Division of Health Affairs (1949)
  • School of Dentistry (1949)
  • UNC School of Journalism, now the School of Media and Journalism (1950)
  • School of Nursing (1950)

From the Past to the Present, UNC is Historically Ranks Among Top U.S. Colleges

So, in choosing Fuquay Varina as your home you are surely at a convenient distance from the University of North Carolina. (under 40 miles) Likewise, we assume your child has obviously considered or selected the school. Don’t take our word for it that this is a great decision, though. The annual “Best Colleges” analysis by the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings speak volumes for the school and its student’s success rate.

In the U.S News and World Report’s most recent rankings, research was complete on 399 American universities. UNC places in the Top 30 nationwide overall. Additinaly, the school is in the Top 5 nationally for “Top Public Schools.” As if these accolades from the most respected annual college ranking publication is not enough, there is much more.

The University of North Carolina ranks no less than nine of its specific areas of study in the Top 10 nationally. These programs are, accounting, business, finance, management, marketing, entrepreneurship, logistics, operation management, and international business. In case all this sounds expensive, no worries, UNC is also top ten in the country for “Best Value Schools.”

Champions in the Classroom and on the Playing Fields at UNC

Now we will again refer back to earlier in our post and our “play” off of the number of “firsts” for the UNC basketball program. It would be surprising if you have a child looking at UNC that was not familiar with their basketball success. Both legendary coach, Dean Smith, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan attended UNC. In more recent years, Hall of fame coach, Roy Williams, is loved across the region for his leadership of the team.. 

UNC basketball can boast countless “Final Four” appearances and National Championships, and the most-watched rivalry in NCAA history. (With Duke University, located in Durham, NC) The University of North Carolina basketball program is “flag bearer,” for the school’s athletics. But the school’s football, baseball, men and women’s soccer, softball, and countless other athletic teams are top contenders annually. (Atlantic Coast Conference/ ACC)

Your child becoming a “Tar Heel” is setting them up for their own successes moving along in life. Thankfully, your choice for a new home in Fuquay Varina at South Lakes allows for you to enjoy that too.

For more on UNC, visit their official website at Go to the South Lakes website for information on available homes and all other info. .