UNCG 125th

Celebrating 125 years of opportunity and excellence

Symbols & Traditions

Although the past 125 years have brought growth and change, UNCG shows respect for the past through its symbols and traditions. When students walk by the statue of Dr. Charles Duncan McIver on College Avenue or hear the University Bell at commencement, they are reminded that they are a part of something greater. An online exhibit of photos and stories about the founding and earliest years of UNCG is available from University Archives.



North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School

Established in 1891, “State Normal” opened its doors in 1892.


North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College

The change from “School” to “College” took place in 1897.


North Carolina College for Women

The institution received its third name in 1919.


Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina

The name changed again in 1932, and the “WC” nickname was born.


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

When the decision was made to go coed in 1963, the name changed to what it is today.


B&W luminairesLuminaires leading to EUC


Since 1969, on Reading Day each December, student groups light campus pathways with luminaires.

Vacc Bell Tower

Vacc Bell Tower & Plaza

The lighting of the Vacc Bell Tower and Plaza is a holiday tradition that began in 2014.

Laura Weill

College Song

The original alma mater’s lyrics were written by Laura Weill, Class of 1910.

Daisy Chain Ceremony

This festive graduation tradition began in 1900.

Mayday celebration

May Day Celebration

Students perform in the 1916 May Day festivities based on Renaissance England, where the first day of May signaled winter’s end. Celebrations included decorating the Maypole and crowning the queen.

Students sitting on painted Rawk

Painting the Rawk

The iconic message board was donated by Alpha Phi Omega in 1973.

UNCG clock tower

Walking Around the Clock Tower

According to campus legend, students who walk underneath the clock tower won’t graduate on time. Most students don’t take any chances.

Class Jackets

19511951 class jacket
19701970 class jacket
19351935 class jacket
19361936 class jacket
19521952 class jacket
19451945 class jacket


McIver statue

Charles Duncan McIver

A duplicate of this impressive bronze sculpture stands in front of the State Capitol in Raleigh.

Statue of Minerva

Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom

The statue of Minerva, a longtime university symbol, was a gift from the Class of 1953.

Spartan statue

The Spartan

A gift from Irwin “Ike” Belk, the imposing Spartan stands guard near the soccer and softball stadiums.


University Bell

University Bell

The University Bell is rung at the conclusion of ceremonial occasions. It rang out at the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School on October 5, 1892. Electric bells were installed forty years later. The Bell hung in the Anniversary Plaza from 1967 to 1987, when it was removed for restoration commissioned by the Class of 1940.

University Seal

The University Seal features Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom, and was first used in 1894 on diplomas of the State Normal and Industrial School. The Seal went through several variations, reaching its current design and official status in 1963.


University Flag

The University Flag bears the traditional university colors of gold, white, and navy blue. Gold and white were the original university colors and first used in the commencement ceremony of 1894. Navy blue became the third official color in 1987. The University Seal appears on both sides of the flag.


University Mace

The University Mace is a ceremonial insignia of the University. Made of sterling silver, it bears academic motifs depicting the history of the institution and is carried by the Faculty Marshal on official occasions. The Mace was presented by the Class of 1926.

UNCG Class Ring

Class Ring

In 1935, students of the Woman’s College formed a ring committee to standardize the design, and the class ring has changed little in the years since. The official ring is considered a bond between classes.