Hinton James Day

The University’s doors officially opened Jan. 15, 1795, but Carolina did not welcome its first student until Feb. 12. Hinton James Day is celebrated every Feb. 12 to commemorate the man who walked 170 miles from Wilmington in pursuit of his education. Although James found himself to be the only student for some time, more students eventually joined him on campus. James graduated from Carolina in 1798; he is noted for having founded the Dialectic Society, which remains active on campus today. James’ legacy lives on with our annual celebration and the South Campus residence hall named in his honor.


This past year on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017  we welcomed Hinton James back to campus for a day of fun activities celebrating the day he first set foot on campus. Activities included:

BoJos at HoJo
Kick off Hinton James Day with Hinton at his namesake residence hall. We’ll have Bojangles biscuits and photo opportunities for the residents of HoJo starting at 7:30 a.m., Feb. 13.

Meet and Greet with Hinton James
Not a resident of HoJo? Don’t despair. Stop by the Pit between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to say hello and have your photo taken with Carolina’s first student. We will also have information about Carolina’s Firsts – in addition to our very first student.

Hinton James Theme Dinner
Walking all the way to main campus from Hinton James Residence Hall leaves one famished. See what Hinton James would have enjoyed for dinner during his time at UNC. We’ll have a very themed out dinner at Chase Dining Hall, including several selections that would have been popular during Hinton’s time. Don’t worry, Chase Dining Hall will still serve your usual favorites, too.