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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Howard W. Odum (1884-1954)

In 1919, the state legislature required every county to organize a public welfare office and to employ a superintendent to manage it. The following year, President Harry Chase hired sociologist Howard Odum to launch a training program for this new system, which he named the School of Public Welfare. The school's mission was to offer instruction on social problems, to prepare students for careers in social work, and to publish its research findings. In 1950, the trustees renamed it the School of Social Work. The school stressed field research and worked closely with public and nonprofit agencies.