On October 1, 1856, Benjamin S. Hedrick, a chemistry professor, became the only faculty member in the history of the university to be dismissed because of his political beliefs.
Hedrick openly supported Republican candidate John C. Fremont for the presidency of the United States. He was subsequently attacked in the Raleigh press, causing substantial scandal and embarrassment to the University.
Fremont, a noted explorer of the west, had noted abolitionist views, making him a man of distrust to many voters, especially in the South.
Carolina today prides itself on welcoming students and faculty from every walk of life regardless of race, gender, sexuality, political or social beliefs, and other factors. We’re a very accepting and inclusive place that listens to and understands new and different ideas.
However, there was a time when Carolina was not as open to different ideas and was more concerned with conforming to conventional societal norms.