Spartan Survival Guide

The Elliott University Center (EUC) has been literally and symbolically identified as UNCG's center since it opened in 1953. It is a familiar home base for students, faculty and staff; a meeting place for activities, events, and ceremonies; and a greeting place for campus visitors. Located at a key pedestrian crossroads on campus, the EUC is convenient for most of the UNCG community at some time every day.

EUC Food Court[]

See main article: The EUC Food Court

History of the EUC[]

On November 19, 1941, Governor J. Melville Broughton announced the first major gift to The Woman's College (now UNCG). This gift, in commemoration of the school's fiftieth anniversary, was a contribution in the amount of $50,000 from Greensboro's Cone Family (Mrs. Julius Cone, Mrs. Caesar Cone and her three sons, Herman, Benjamin and Caesar II). The funds were to be used, according to the Cones, toward construction of a Student Center, "the most pressing single need of the college."

The funds would also have to be matched. Funds were allocated for the project by the Council of State, and the Works Progress Administration promised help. Priorities on steel and World War II delayed Construction for more than a decade. Elliott Hall, named after Harriet Wiseman Elliott, opened its doors to the campus on March 1, 1953. Harriet Elliott came to the State Normal (now UNCG) in 1913 as a faculty member in the Department of History and Political Science. In 1953 she became Dean of Women and had a dream for “a place under one roof where the education gained in the classroom could be extended and coordinated with the “extracurricular”.

In the fall of 1968, an extension of the student center was opened to provide more facilities for the expanding University. In the spring of 1974, the building name was officially changed to the Harriet Elliott University Center.

In August 2001, a new two-story addition opened which houses the UNCG Bookstore and a food court. In January 2003, the original building reopened after undergoing an extensive two-year renovation. In January of 2006 the EUC/Library Connector opened connecting the Jackson Library, which serves as the academic heart of the campus with the Elliott University Center, the social center of the campus.

  • Namesake

Harriet Wiseman Elliott (1884-1947) Harriet Elliott came to the campus in 1913 as a member of the faculty to teach history and political science. Her enthusiasm and interest in current events and in the women's suffrage movement was such that her students' interest was aroused. Miss Elliott maintained her legal residence in Illinois, where she could vote.

Active in both state and national affairs, Miss Elliott brought many major speakers to the campus, and she encouraged organization of suffrage groups.

When Miss Elliott was appointed Dean of Women in 1935, she continued teaching. In this capacity, she was able to bring "responsible freedom" to the students, through a Student Government Association and many other campus organizations which began forming. She also identified the need for a facility which would accommodate the new organizations and provide space for social and cultural programs the students were asking for. Believing that continuous education should be provided through coordination of academics and the "extra-curricular," she wished for a place where such could be under one roof. The students supported Dean Elliott's dream.

In 1941, money was appropriated for the construction of a student union. However, Dean Elliott did not live to see its completion. She died in 1947, after having served in Washington, DC under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and having returned to the campus after World War II to serve as Dean of Women.

Harriet Elliott's influence is perpetuated through the Harriet Elliott Lecture Series and through the building which bears her name.

The Elliott University Center is a testimony to Miss Elliott's philosophy: "PEOPLE, NOT SYSTEMS, ARE IMPORTANT."

  • EUC Room Names

Many campus buildings (and many rooms within those buildings) bear the name of some individuals who contributed to the growth of the school and who we feel you should remember. Many of the rooms in the Elliott University Center are also dedicated in honor of such persons.


Lula Martin Mciver (1864-1944)

Wife of Charles D. McIver (the school's founder and first President). Mrs. McIver was an advocate of women's rights and urged her husband to concentrate on education for women, helping him plan, organize and construct the State Normal and Industrial School.


James Y. Joyner (1862-1954)

Dr. Joyner taught English at the State Normal and Industrial School from 1893-1902. He contributed a great deal to education in his native state, North Carolina. In 1902, he was appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction. During his term a compulsory attendance law was passed, a system of teacher certification established, and a vocational education program begun.


Mary Settle Sharpe (1863-1944)

Mrs. Sharpe joined the faculty of the State Normal and Industrial School in 1896, specializing in reading and speech. She served as advisor to writers, debaters, dramatists, as well as chair of the Faculty Committee on entertainment. She became the first woman to be nominated by a political party for public office in North Carolina, when she was nominated for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1920.


The Cone Family (Mrs. Caesar Cone and her sons Herman, Ben, and Caesar II; and Mrs. Julius Cone)

This group of the Greensboro Cone family donated the initial funds in 1941 for construction of a student union building, which eventually became known as Elliott University Center. The entire Cone family has, throughout the years, been great benefactors of the University and the City of Greensboro.


Philander Priestly (P.P.) Claxton (1862-1957)

Mr. Claxton joined the Department of Pedagogy (Education) at the State Normal and Industrial School in 1893 and became department head two years later. He added both graduate work and correspondence courses to the curriculum and assisted in establishment of the training school for teachers. He later served as United States Commissioner of Education under President Taft.


Edwin A. Alderman (1861-1931)

An ardent advocate of higher education for women, Dr. Alderman was the first professor chosen for the State Normal and Industrial School. Dr. Alderman became President of UNC-Chapel Hill in 1896, President of Tulane University in 1900, and President of the University of Virginia in 1904. He also was a lifetime friend of President Woodrow Wilson and delivered the formal oration at the memorial ceremony for Wilson before Congress in 1924.


Louise Brevard Alexander (1887-1978) In 1920, Miss Alexander was admitted to the bar and became Greensboro's first female lawyer. She also served as Clerk of Municipal Court and was a Juvenile Court Judge. She was influential in the campaign for women's suffrage. She was the first recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award for distinguished teaching. Miss Alexander taught at The Woman's College from 1936 to 1957.


Sue May Kirkland (1843-1914)

Miss Kirkland was the State Normal and Industrial School's first "lady principal." She lived on the premises in an apartment in Spencer Hall. Students receiving visitors had to have them "cleared" by Miss Kirkland beforehand.


Charles Wiley Phillips (1898-1989)

Mr. Phillips was a beloved member of the Greensboro area for many years. He taught at The Woman's College, and then served as Public Relations Director until his retirement in 1962. Mr. Phillips served in the State House of Representatives for some years following his retirement from The Woman's College.


Dr. D.W.C. Benbow

In the attempt to find a suitable location for Dr. McIver's State Normal and Industrial School, the Board of Directors visited areas whose citizens had expressed interest in "housing" the institution. The Board stayed at Dr. Benbow's house on Asheboro Street while in Greensboro and received an offer of $25,000 from local citizens. When Thomasville, Durham, and Graham heard of the offer, they countered with offers of $30,000 each to have the school located in their areas. The matter was closed, however, when Dr. Benbow announced that Greensboro would not only offer $30,000 but also a site.


Katherine Henrietta Taylor (1909-1994)

Miss Taylor graduated from the NCCW in 1928. At the outbreak of World War II, she and several other women faculty members left their positions to serve the country by joining the WAVES. Upon Dean Elliott's death, Katherine Taylor was appointed Dean of Women (1948-1955). She served as Dean of Students from 1955 through 1964 when Woman's College became coeducational and her title was changed to Dean of Student Services and Director of Elliott Hall. She retained that title until her retirement in 1972.


Frances Cottrell Ferguson (1918-1978)

Wife of former Chancellor James S. Ferguson, Mrs. Ferguson was a very valuable member of the Greensboro and University communities after moving to UNCG from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962. She was active with many community and University-based groups and her scholarly interests were in the fields of Russian and American literature.


Mary Dail

Mary Dail of Snow Hill, NC. was the first student to register at the State Normal and Industrial School in October 1892. Hers was the first check registered in the treasurer's book. Miss Dail later explained, "Dr. McIver said, 'Now Mary, when the doors open, I expect you to be there.' I took him at his word, you see, and was the first to register." At the end of that day there were 198 students registered.

  • Minerva

Roman Goddess of Wisdom Charles Duncan McIver, founder of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG), decided Minerva, goddess of Wisdom and Women's Arts, would be a good symbol for the school. Beginning with the first diploma in 1893, the head of Minerva has appeared on every diploma awarded by this institution. The image of Minerva is also on the University Mace, designed in 1968.

An old statue of Minerva, a gift of the Class of 1907, stood in the entrance hall of the Students' Building. The Students' Building, located on College Avenue, was razed in 1950. By 1965, the Minerva statue was placed in Elliott Hall on the occasion of the Greensboro Club Garden Show, she had already lost one forearm and her spear. Over time, the original plaster statue of Minerva became damaged beyond repair.

a New Vision In 2003, upon the occasion of their 50th class reunion, the Class of 1953 commissioned artist James Barnhill to create a new Minerva statue to be located in the east courtyard of the renovated Elliott University Center. The bronze sculpture is approximately nine feet high. She sits atop a six-foot limestone pedestal to welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors to the Elliott University Center. The sculpture depicts Minerva with one hand beckoning and the other outstretched summoning and encouraging learners.