early student group

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John Sprunt Hill (1869-1961) and Hill Hall

UNC Chapel Hill Facilities Services
North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

John Sprunt Hill was a 1889 university graduate who built a fortune in banking, insurance, and real estate. When the university opened a new library in 1929, Hill helped convert its former home to a building for the music department by furnishing it with a pipe organ and a new auditorium. The university then changed the building’s name from Carnegie Library to Hill Hall. He also donated $5,000 to the library to be used for collecting historical and literary material about North Carolina, an enterprise now known as the North Carolina Collection. During the 1920s, Hill built the Carolina Inn next to the campus and later donated it to the university, stipulating that its profits support the North Carolina Collection.