Skip to main content
Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History


Langston Hughes and local bookstore owner Tony Buttitta, Chapel Hill, 1932

Graham spurred considerable controversy as university president. In 1932, philosopher Bertrand Russell and poet Langston Hughes both spoke at Chapel Hill and provoked a storm of criticism. In 1933, Graham overturned the medical school's quota system for Jewish applicants, prompting its dean to resign. When police arrested a university graduate during the 1934 General Textile Strike, Graham offered to post bond for him. Graham's opponents attacked him again because the young man was a socialist.