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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Joseph Caldwell (1773-1835) and Caldwell Hall

Joseph Caldwell (1773-1835) Caldwell Hall, dedicated 1912

Born in New Jersey of a Presbyterian family, Caldwell was only twenty-three when he came to UNC to teach mathematics. He was president of the university from 1804 until 1812 and again from 1816 until 1835, and was instrumental in bringing needed resources to campus. On a trip to Europe in 1824, he purchased books and scientific instruments for the university. During his presidency, he often went out on fund-raising trips to keep the university open. He maintained the classical curriculum and was remembered for his seriousness, discipline, and piety. The university built Caldwell Hall to house the medical school and included in it laboratories, lecture rooms, and basement facilities for animals. It now holds classrooms and offices.