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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Kemp P. Battle (1831-1919) and Battle Hall

As president from 1876 to 1891, Kemp P. Battle led the revival of the university following Reconstruction. In 1912, the university named a new residence hall on McCorkle Place for him. Son of a faculty member and valedictorian of his 1849 graduating class at Carolina, Battle became a successful attorney and businessman. After the university closed in 1871, Battle led a campaign to reopen it under conservative leadership. The effort succeeded in 1875, and the next year Battle became the new president. He began to modernize the campus by hiring faculty with doctorates, reforming the classical curriculum, and expanding the library and the science laboratories. He left office in 1891 to write a history of the university.