The campus landscape continues to evolve as UNC’s focus on student support takes the shape of a new building
In 1956, UNC acquired the farm of banker and school trustee J.M.B Petrikin and the University Center came to occupy the spot where Petrikin’s home once stood. Sixty years later, this past October, the UNC landscape and Petrikin Hill began to change again, as ground was broken for the new Campus Commons building just south of the University Center. Located at the heart of UNC, plans for the new building reflect the university’s continuing focus on student support.
J.M.B Petrikin’s farmhouse and now the current site of the University Center. Photo courtesy of UNC Archives
With student services scattered around a growing campus, students don’t always have
a clear path to solutions for challenges they face. Award-winning arts programs lack
adequate space and facilities, leaving music students to rehearse in hallways and
visual arts students competing for limited, hard-to-access locations around campus
to exhibit their work. And for UNC’s 30,000 annual visitors, there is no clear “home
base” where guests can begin to get to know UNC.
Campus Commons will serve as a point of welcome, connection and synergy with students, alumni and community members. It will provide a one-stop, interconnected student support center, will host thousands of prospective students and their families each year, and will house a standing ovation-worthy performance hall and art gallery.
With this last look at the landscape as it has appeared for more than 50 years, we look forward to a new vision for the future.