Founded in 1969, The Friends of UNC Charlotte was an organization which had as its’ stated purpose “to interpret and disseminate information about UNC Charlotte to the community at large, to bring the university ideas and opinions from the Charlotte community, and to participate in special projects.”
Membership to the Friends of UNC Charlotte was open to all interested persons who acknowledge their interest by the payment of annual dues of $2.00. This fee was used to pay for such expenses as the publishing of the quarterly newsletter, Friendly Facts of UNC Charlotte, for postage, and for routine office expenses.
At least two meetings, usually luncheons, were held each year on the campus. A noted outside speaker presented topics of general interest, and in addition such business as the election of officers and the adoption of special projects took place. Musical presentations by UNC Charlotte students were always highlights of the luncheons. Special meetings, such as book reviews, seminars on the estate planning, and informative sessions on tax legislation were planned for interested members of the Friends throughout the year.
When the Friends of UNC Charlotte organization was founded, the first Board of Directors decided to write other institutions of higher learning to inquire about the existence of other types of friends groups and learn the nature of their scope and purpose.
It was somewhat surprising to discover that there were many “Friends of the Library” organizations and many alumni groups with special projects, but none, among the many contacted, featured a wide spectrum of interest in and involvement with the total program of their institutions.
The Friends of UNC Charlotte decided to embark on the latter course developing their program of support for the university. Committees of the Friends provided active assistance in such varied areas as library acquisitions, memorial gifts, campus beautification, hosting foreign students, and providing a closer link between the university and the community.
The Library Committee secured funds for the purchase of needed volumes, and helped in the acquisition of volumes for browsing areas and the Rare Book collection. The Memorial Gifts Committee provided assistance in the channeling of gifts to specific areas of the donor’s choosing. The Beautification Committee worked closely with university planners and solicited help from individuals and local garden clubs to make significant contributions to landscaping efforts at UNC Charlotte. Foreign Student Hosting provided a link between foreign students and the community by making arrangements for visits in the homes of interested citizens. Resources Unlimited acted to create a closer relationship between the University and the community by providing speakers and resource personnel from the University for meetings of civic and church organizations.
In 1999, Virginia Duckworth Bufkin and the Board of the Friends established The Friends Scholarship in the Office of Adult Students and Evening Services to benefit adult and non-traditional students. After funding the two Friends Scholarships on campus, the Friends of UNC Charlotte dissolved the organization.
Information provided by the UNC Charlotte archives.