Two hundred and eighteen years ago today, UNC’s first student finished his trek from Wilmington to Chapel Hill — which he completed on foot.
Today, the University celebrates Hinton James Day with events hosted by the General Alumni Association.
C. Hawkins, manager of student engagement for the alumni association, said he hopes today will provide students with an appreciation for Hinton James and the University’s history.
UNC’S FIRST STUDENT
Hinton James’ legacy is celebrated annually on campus, and a residence hall is named after him.
- He served three terms in the state legislature and spent time as mayor of Wilmington.
- He was one of seven in UNC’s first graduating class.
- James died in 1847 and was buried alongside two of his three wives.
“It’s significant because it shows how old the University is and the great traditions we have,” he said.
“The walk he took from Wilmington to Chapel Hill shows how dedicated he was to attend UNC — he knew it was a special place before anyone else.”