Thomas W. Harris (1839-1888)
Before the Civil War, North Carolina students had to seek medical training outside the state. In 1879, President Kemp Battle and the trustees expanded the university's service mission by organizing a two-year medical education program to prepare students to transfer to four-year schools. They arranged for a local physician, Dr. Thomas Harris, to teach courses independent of the official curriculum and supported solely by students' tuition. The regular faculty offered the program's basic science courses.