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UNC Chancellor Robert House - One of a Kind

By Bill Anthony UNC Class of 1965 (all photos provided by Charly Mann)

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Comments:

Bill A      11:10 PM Mon 8/17/2015

Just revisited this article I wrote and Charly posted in late 2011. I likely don't write as well today; fun to revisit something created a few years ago. Glad that chapelhillmemories.com is still hanging in there!
 

Bill A      3:53 PM Wed 12/21/2011

Jake,
Thanks for the memory of joining Chancellor House in Lenoir Hall for coffee and conversation. I'm a bit jealous, having not taken advantage of that opportunity. Oh, I seem to recall seeing him visiting with friends - but felt a bit inadequate to do more than slow my pace by the table, trying to catch a few memorable and repeatable words here and there.
Your lobster story reminds me me of a saying about bullfrogs - if they had wings, a bit less bottom-bumping would take place. Merry Christmas to lobsters and frogs around the world!
 

jake mills      6:07 PM Mon 12/19/2011

After I reurned to teach at my alma mater UNC after graduate school elsewhere I frequently joined the recently retired Chancellor House for coffee in Lenoir Hall, where he regularly met in the mornings with other UNC personnel to reminisce about old days at UNC. I remember that he once observed, concerning the biology course that he took long ago under professor "Froggy" Wilson at UNC, that all he learned was that if a lobster could ever get himself organized he'd be a pretty good thing.
 

Bill A      4:20 PM Mon 6/13/2011

Ah, the JCL convention. Perhaps my first walk on the wild side, such as it was, during sophomore year of high school. Yep, do recall the Chancellor knocking out a tune or two in Memorial Hall. A real staple of his repertoire. Our Latin teacher who served as one of the event chaperones was fondly known as Roman Head!

The prank you mentioned as attributed to Chancellor House is a hoot; whether factually accurate or not, quite in character for a man who certainly was that - and so much more. Thanks for remembering and sharing, "vwilenny". The legend continues to grow!
 

vwlinney      7:07 PM Fri 6/10/2011

I first encountered Chancellor House at the Junior Classical League convention at UNC when I was in high school Latin. To have this man play his harmonica for us in Memorial Hall is one of my "life savor" moments. I beam now thinking about his address and concert for the assembled Latin students.

My husband was a grad student in Classics. There is an anecdote that circulated that House once filled the pockets of winter coats with silverware at a faculty party. As guests were leaving for the night, forks, knives and spoons clattered to the floor of the foyer of the host.
 

Bill A      10:50 AM Wed 6/8/2011

Appreciate the thoughts, David. You are so right about effective teachers, at what ever level they operate. While there are undoubtedly a few out there who dishonor the profession by their actions or lack thereof, the vast majority are highly skilled and dedicated to their students and the profession. And, more often than not, they thrive on interaction with others.
 

David      8:03 PM Tue 6/7/2011

Well, I didn't go to Chapel Hill, and even I feel I missed out by not knowing Chancellor House. A good teacher is worth his weight in gold, that I believe. You've done a very convincing job of assigning this title to this man.

Thanks for sharing the stories...

dlh
 

Bill A      6:36 PM Mon 6/6/2011

He was certainly a class act, Linda. I have several similar memories of encounters with any number of notable people on the streets of Chapel Hill. A couple of former or governors-to-be, writers, athletes, etc. One of my favorite memories as a bus boy at the NC Cafeteria involves carrying Kay Kaiser's tray from time to time and receiving a 25 cent tip. Good stuff in those days.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!
 

Linda Clark      6:00 PM Mon 6/6/2011

I only knew Chancelor House as a little girl in the mid 1960's. He was a jovial, grandfatherly gentleman who often said hello to me as he walked down Franklin Street.
 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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