Ever since the cornerstone of the nation’s first public university building was laid in 1793, the legacy of slavery has been inextricable from the history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At an event celebrating the university’s 225th birthday on Friday, Chancellor Carol L. Folt apologized for that history.
“I offer our university’s deepest apology for the profound injustices of slavery, our full acknowledgment of the strength of enslaved peoples in the face of their suffering, and our respect and indebtedness to them,” Dr. Folt said in a speech for the University Day celebration at Memorial Hall.
She said that U.N.C. had a unique place in history as the nation’s oldest public university, adding that “our apology must lead to purposeful action and it has to build upon the great efforts and sacrifices of so many across the years who fought so hard for much of what we value about Carolina today.”