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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Edward Kidder Graham (1876-1918)

When Edward Kidder Graham became university president in 1914, he made public service central to the university's mission. Born into a family of educators who were devoted to progressive reform, Graham graduated from Carolina in 1898. After earning a master's degree, he returned to Carolina, first as a professor, then as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Although influenza cut his life short in 1918, Graham's passion for students and public service left a deep mark. In 1914 he declared that public service is "the radiating power of a new passion" and urged the university to embrace "the state and all its practical problems" as a legitimate field of study. For many years, he ensured that the university's slogan sent the message: "Write to the University When You Need Help."