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Oral History Interview with Bonnie E. Cone, January 7, 1986. Interview C-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Bonnie Cone offers a candid portrait of what it was like to be a single career woman in the South during the first half of the twentieth century. Cone describes her educational experiences as a child and as a student at Coker College, a women's school. Among the experiences she discusses are her early days as a math teacher in South Carolina and North Carolina and her role as an instructor to Navy officer candidates at Duke University during World War II. Following the war, Cone returned to Charlotte, North Carolina, to continue her career as a teacher but soon became involved in the effort to establish a college in Charlotte. Cone worked at the forefront of this movement, helping to push through tax legislation for that purpose. She served as the director of Charlotte College in the late 1940s and 1950s. In 1964, when Charlotte College became the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she was made temporary acting chancellor. Her colleagues later believed that, despite her pivotal role in the establishment of the university, the position was not made permanent because she was a woman. Cone, however, did not hold this view.
    Excerpts
  • Family connections and growing up in a small southern village
  • A southern woman's education from elementary school to college
  • Regulating female teachers' social activities
  • Family obligations present an obstacle to attending graduate school
  • Teaching navy V-12 officer candidates at Duke during WWII
  • A single career woman in the South: a counterpoint to predominant images of women and domesticity
  • Consequences of the lack of a university in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Establishment of a community college in Charlotte and its racial implications in the early 1950s
  • Garnering community support for Charlotte College
  • Charlotte College becomes UNC-Charlotte
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Southern Women Trailblazers Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • Charlotte College--Administration
  • Women college administrators--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.