“A Complex and Baffling Age”:

Charles J. Holden

in The New Southern University

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780813134383
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813135960 | DOI:
“A Complex and Baffling Age”:

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This chapter offers a brief introduction to Frank Porter Graham's presidency at the UNC. Enormously popular and relentlessly positive, Graham remains a university legend. A native North Carolinian, his 1931 inaugural address reasserted the university's aspirations to be a beacon of academic freedom for the state and the south. The address also revealed Graham's insights into the challenges facing the university as well as academic freedom itself. In addition to acknowledging the worsening conditions of the Great Depression, Graham saw a world still troubled by violence and prejudice. The world, as he saw it, needed the fruits of academic freedom more than ever. A well-known liberal, his presidency also signaled a new day for southern progressives. Graham's liberalism and his tireless defense of academic freedom enabled critics to not bother with the distinctions between the two.

Keywords: liberalism; academic freedom; Graham; progressivism; North Carolina; Great Depression

Chapter.  4139 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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