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The Tar HeelThursday, July 20, 198931
The oldest state university building is located on
the UNC campus.
Old East's cornerstone was laid Oct 12, 1793, and
nearly two centuries later its date is honored as Uni
versity Day, a celebration in which professors don the
traditional caps and long gowns of scholars.
In the late 1700s, both the residential and instruc
tional life of the University was centered in Old East.
Students would erect huts in the "forest" beside it and
in the unfinished shell of the South Building to escape
their fellow men. When the weather was too bad for
students to study in their huts, it was considered a
valid excuse for unprepared lessons.
Old East has been honored by the National Historic
Society as a national landmark for possessing "excep
tional value in commemorating the history of the United
Today, the structure operates as a male dormitory.
Recently, University administrators decided to turn
Old East into offices but reversed their decision after
students and alumni protested the break in tradition.
Tar Heel file photo
Located between the Old Well and East Franklin
Street at the University's north entrance is a well
known Civil War monument nicknamed Silent Sam.
Sam was erected in 1913 by the N.C. Division of
the United Daughters of the Confederacy to memorial
ize the 321 alumni of the University who died in the
Civil War, as well as the 1,062 who entered the Con
federate Army. Canadian sculptor John Wilson cre
ated him for $7,500, using Harold Langlojyof Boston
as a model. -
The legend surrounding Sam says his gun is sup
posed to fire every time a virgin walks by. Sam's gun,
however, has been silent for as long as anyone can
On the base of the monument, a young woman
touches the shoulder of a young gentleman to call him
from letters to arms.
In the spring of 1986, Sam temporarily deserted his
post. He was taken to Cincinnati, Ohio, for an $8,200
restoration to remove the effects of the weather and
the tannic acid from trees and car exhaust from Fran
klin Street. His original bronze color had turned to
But now Sam's back and better than ever. His
restorers say he'll stay a bright coppery color for sev
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Tar HeelAndrew Herman