The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC, North Carolina, or simply Carolina) is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. The university is the oldest in, and flagship of, the University of North Carolina system. First enrolling students in 1795, UNC is the oldest public university in the United States and is one of the original eight schools known as a Public Ivy.
UNC’s sprawling and landscaped 729-acre campus is dominated by two central quads: Polk Place and McCorkle Place. Polk Place is named after North Carolina native and university alumnus President James K. Polk, and McCorkle Place is named in honor of Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, the original author of the bill requesting the university’s charter.
Adjacent to Polk Place is a sunken brick courtyard known as the Pit where students will gather, often engaging in lively debate with speakers such as the Pit Preacher. The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, located in the heart of campus, tolls the quarter-hour. In 1999, UNC was one of sixteen recipients of the American Society of Landscape Architects Medallion Awards and was identified as one of 50 college or university “works of art” by T.A. Gaines in his book The Campus as a Work of Art.
The NCAA refers to UNC as “University of North Carolina” for athletics. As of fall 2008, the university had won 34 NCAA team championships in six different sports, eighth all-time. These include nineteen NCAA championships in women’s soccer, five in women’s field hockey, four in men’s lacrosse, four in men’s basketball, one in women’s basketball, and one in men’s soccer. Other recent successes include three consecutive College World Series appearances by the baseball team from 2006 to 2008. In 1994, the university’s athletic programs won the Sears Directors Cup “all-sports national championship” awarded for cumulative performance in NCAA competition.
Consensus collegiate national athletes of the year from North Carolina include Rachel Dawson in field hockey; Phil Ford, Tyler Hansbrough, Antawn Jamison, and Michael Jordan in men’s basketball; and Mia Hamm (twice), Shannon Higgins, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini in women’s soccer.
The South’s Oldest Rivalry between North Carolina and its first opponent, the University of Virginia, was prominent throughout the 1970s. September 2008 saw the 117th meeting in football between the two teams. The bitterness of this rivalry has been superseded by somewhat less historical in-state competition with Duke University, North Carolina State University, and Wake Forest University. North Carolina’s rivalry with Duke is particularly intense in basketball. For several decades, both teams have been frequent contenders for the national championship, and, located just eight miles apart, the students and fans of the two schools are focused in their mutual disdain. content via wiki