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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Zebulon B. Vance (1830-1894) and Vance Hall

Vance Hall was completed in 1912, along with its companions, Pettigrew Hall and Battle Hall. It was designed as a student residence but now contains offices. The university named it for Zebulon B. Vance, a prominent North Carolina governor and U.S. Senator. Born near Asheville, North Carolina, Vance came to UNC in 1851 to study law. He became close to President David Swain but left after one year to begin a career in politics. He was serving in the U.S. Congress when North Carolina left the Union in 1861. Vance resigned from Congress as the Civil War began, and entered Confederate service as a regimental colonel. Earning a reputation for heroics and independent thinking, he left the army in 1862 and served for the rest of the war as governor of North Carolina. During the conflict, Vance criticized Confederate leadership and spoke out for the state against what he perceived to be neglect by central authorities. In 1876, he was elected governor again and then served in the U.S. Senate from 1878 to 1894.