Bowman Gray Memorial Pool Print Box 8 Folder 0206: Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s: Scan 2 Filename: P0004_0206_0002.tif

The entrance to Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

In 1951, Harvey E. Beech, a UNC law student, received his swimming card for the pools at Carolina, as did the other incoming students. Less than three weeks later he was asked to return it, as it was given to him “by mistake.” The university had realized he was never even supposed to gain access to UNC´s pools. The reason he was never supposed to receive a swimming card at all was simple – he was an African-American student.[1]

In the year this incident occurred, 1951, Bowman Gray Memorial Pool was one of two pools at the University of North Carolina, with Kessing Outdoor Pool the other. The history of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool is rich; there is much to tell about the building and many generations of students who were seeking pleasure and recreation in the water, about members of the swim team who were training and competing there; their stories of joy and success are probably well known at UNC. Nevertheless, the story of students like Harvey Beech and the pool´s segregation is most likely one of the unheard stories of campus, which makes it even more important to remember this other aspect of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool.

The Building

When Bowman Gray Memorial pool opened in 1938 as part of the new Woolen Gymnasium, UNC students had waited for a pool on campus for over a decade, since UNC´s first pool, Bynum Gymnasium pool closed in 1924.[2] The planning for UNC´s oldest existing pool started in 1936, while the actual construction began in April 1937. J.A. Jones Construction Company of Charlotte secured the contracts from the state Public Works Administration (PWA) authorities to build the complex of the new gym and the pool, later named after Bowman Gray, Sr.[3]. The PWA supported public universities in financing new construction projects on their campuses. UNC was granted a fund for the “construction of a physical education building and a women´s dormitory,” which would include the construction of the pool.[4] The building complex, which is located on South Road, was supposed to cost $441,000, of which the university had to raise $225,500 (or 55%) itself, with the PWA funds covering the remainder of the total sum.

In 1937, the Daily Tar Heel reported about the plans for the pool:

box 8 Folder 0206: Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s: Scan 3 Filename: P0004_0206_17598.tif

Sketch of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

“A lobby and vestibule will overlook the pool, and two stairways will lead to the pool level. There will be eight racing lanes 165 feet long.

The locker and shower rooms of the gymnasium will connect with the pool. The roof will be largely of glass to let in sunshine, and surrounding the glass skylighting there will be on the roof a terrace to be used for sun baths or promenade.

The gymnasium and the building housing the pool will both be constructed of colonial brick, trimmed in limestone. […] extensive studies of the newer gymnasiums and the best practical physical education plans have been combined with the most modern ideas to produce a modern and efficient building.”[5]


Over 165 feet long and 65 feet wide, the pool was estimated to be “one of the largest indoor pools in the country.”[6] Luxurious features like a “special air-conditioning system to eliminate the cumulative damp air,” and “a heating system which [allowed for] swimming all winter,” made the pool extraordinarily modern. The pool was eagerly anticipated by the UNC community and was expected to enhance UNC´s reputation.[7] When the pool finally opened in March 1938 with a large banquet and a dedication ceremony, it was, perhaps, not the largest pool in the country, but certainly the largest indoor swimming pool south of Philadelphia.[8]


Bowman Gray, Sr.

The dedication ceremony revealed the donors of the new pool, as well as its future name: it would be named after UNC alumnus Bowman Gray, Sr. as his family donated a large sum after his death in 1935. His two sons, both UNC alumni as well, and his wife wanted to honor the late Bowman Gray, Sr., with the donation that covered a large part of the cost of the building.[9]

Bowman Gray, Sr. was born May 1, 1874 to James Alexander and Aurelia Bowman Gray, in Winston, North Carolina. After attending local schools, he studied at the University of North Carolina from 1890 to 1891. Upon graduation, he took a position as a clerk in the Wachovia National bank, which was co-founded by his father James Alexander Gray.[10]

In 1895, Bowman Gray joined the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a sales man. His time with Reynolds Tobacco became his greatest success story: Responsible for the state of Georgia, he was a remarkable good sales man, and soon was promoted to Eastern Sales Manager, stationed in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1912, he received the promotion to vice-president and director of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, followed by the promotion to president in 1924. In 1931, he became chairman of the board, a position he held until his death. Under his leadership, Reynolds Tobacco Company rose to become the largest tobacco manufacturing plant. At the time of his death in 1935, Gray´s holdings in the Reynolds company were valued at $12 million.[11]

Bowman Gray was married to Nathalie Fontaine Lyons, a native of Asheville. Together, they had two sons, Bowman, Jr., and Gordon. Gordon Gray (1909-1982) would become president of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1950 to 1955.[12] Bowman Gray, Jr. (1907-1969) would take over Reynolds Tobacco Company and extend its range even further.[13]

Bowman Gray, Sr. was known for his philanthropy, mainly to hospitals and orphanages. As a Methodist, he donated the property for building the Centenary Methodist Church in Winston-Salem. Additionally, he is famous for creating a benevolence fund, which enabled the establishment of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest College in Winston-Salem.[14]

Bowman Gray, Sr. died of a heart attack in 1935 while on a cruise on the steamship Kungsholm, off the coast of Norway and was buried at sea off North Cape, above the Arctic Circle. [15]

To honor their father and late husband, the sons and widow of Bowman Gray, Sr. donated a major sum to the pool. Being philanthropists themselves, the sons donated funds for the Bowman Gray Swimming Pool, which was then named in honor of their father.[16]

There are no direct indications why the family donated to this specific athletic building on campus, but as the university was required to partially fund the building, one can assume that it seemed reasonable for the family who wanted to donate anyway, to support this new and expensive building project with a generous donation, as this was where the money was needed.


“The Pride of Carolina” Box 8, folder 0206: Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s: Scan 5

Swimmers in Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives


Instructions for students, faculty and staff on how to proceed in the new pool – The Daily Tar Heel April 20,1938 [click to enlarge]

Students of UNC took the first official plunge in the “Pride of Carolina” on April 15th, 1938. Students were required to have passed physical examinations, in order to receive their swimming privilege card, which then allowed them to enter the pool. Swimming, at that time, was still often segregated along gender lines; however, UNC offered gender-integrated swimming. Although male students were the first to experience the new pool in 45-minute slots on opening day, the pool opened in the evening for “mixed swimming.” The university provided baskets with towels, a lock and swimming trunks for each student and students received these items after showing their swimming privilege card.[17] 

However, equipping all the students with swimming material and maintaining a large building was expensive as well, and the $400,000 building did still require funds for upkeep. For this reason, the university decided to raise student fees by $5 per person, beginning the semester following the pool opening in order to render “services at the Gymnasium in terms of uniforms furnished to each student, towels, laundry of these, sanitation, inspection service, and swimming instruction in connection with the pool.”[18]

pool schedule 1938

Schedule, The Daily Tar Heel, September 16,1938






Student Athletes

Although Bowman Gray Memorial Pool was largely built for recreational swimming, it was also supposed to serve as a training ground for athletes.  In the fall of 1938, the University extended its athletic program by creating a varsity swimming team. As the team was created during the years when swimming as a competitive sport slowly gained popularity, the team members were not expected to be experienced swimmers. “Anyone who can float is welcome,” said Coach Dick Jamerson.[19]  It was not long, however, before UNC´s first head coach, Jamerson, built a successful team that competed both regionally and nationally.[20]

Over the years Bowman Gray Memorial Pool saw numerous successful swimmers come and go. Many competed for UNC and helped establish the “Blue Dolphins” or “Mermen” as a reputable team in U.S College swimming & diving. A few swimmers were even world-ranked:

One of the first very successful female swimmers was Elizabeth Prince Nufer, who competed for the Carolina Dolphins in the early 1940s and brought home multiple national titles.[21]

Folder 0150: Swimming, 1930-1979: Scan 17 Filename: P0004_0150_17381.tif

Elizabeth Prince Nufer (middle) with other members of the swimming team and Coach Willis Casey (back, left) in front of Bowman Gray Memorial plaque, approximately 1945. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

Folder 0150: Swimming, 1930-1979: Scan 17 Filename: P0004_0150_17381.tif

Elizabeth Prince Nufer and Coach Willis Casey, 1945. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives











Thompson Mann won a gold medal during his time at Carolina, at the 1964 Olympics in the 4X100m medley relay team in the backstroke leg.[22] Sue Walsh competed on the U.S. Olympic team in 1980, just before arriving at UNC and also won numerous AIAW/NCAA national championships for Carolina.[23] She narrowly missed a second appearance at the Olympics during her senior year in 1984.[24]


“Thompson Mann – Carolina´s Gold Medalist” The Daily Tar Heel, October 20, 1964 [click to enlarge]









All of these swimmers practiced and competed in Bowman Gray Memorial Pool during their time at Carolina.


Training of Naval Pilots at Bowman Gray Memorial Pool

October 5,, Image: Black and White Film Box 01, Swimming October 5, 1942, Sheet Film 0024: Swimming, 5 October 1942: Scan 1 Filename: P0027_0024_0001.tif

Naval Cadets in Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, October 5, 1942. Image: North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

Not only was the pool a site of recreation and competition, but Bowman Gray Memorial pool was also a training site for naval troops during the Second World War.[25] University-President Frank P. Graham, who was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration, influenced the U.S. Navy´s decision to establish UNC Chapel Hill as one of the newly authorized preflight centers for the training of naval pilots in the 1940s.[26] The project was commissioned on May 23, 1942 and agreements required the university to house, feed, and host a training program for 1,875 Navy preflight cadets. In order to accommodate all the new Navy cadets, it was necessary for the school to build or renovate numerous dorms, a new athletic field and additions to Woolen Gym.[27] One of the newly build facilities was Kessing Pool, UNC´s outdoor pool, which opened in 1943.[28]

The Navy´s use of campus facilities “brought the war directly to UNC,” visible through a sizable wave of expansion.[29] It became the “largest and most widely known wartime development” at UNC and the program was expected to send up to 7,500 naval aviation cadets to UNC annually for “a program of physical conditioning and indoctrination.”[30] The role of UNC on the cadet´s “indoctrination” speaks for the university´s importance in war culture. It goes beyond providing facilities and rather actively shapes and prepares a generation of students for war. This is a fascinating and important topic that I nevertheless are not going to pursue any further, as it is not entirely relevant for the building.

The new Naval and pre-flight students attended different classes at UNC that were intended to prepare them for their job. Besides specific classes, such as “Principles of Flying,” or “seamanship”, their schedule consisted of math and physics, communications and languages. Furthermore, the curriculum included multiple sports like football, soccer, boxing and swimming.[31] The importance of UNC´s pools for the training can be seen in an excerpt from the curriculum:


This course places special emphasis on swimming under battle conditions. Fundamentals of strokes, underwater swimming, life saving and distance swimming are stressed. How to stay afloat for an indefinite period of time under varying conditions, and also keeping a shipmate afloat until rescue party arrives. Methods for boarding and abandoning ship are also taught.

10-80 minute periods.”[32]

Black and White Film Box 01 Sheet Film P0027/0124 (digitized 1 scans) Swimming, circa 1942 Black-and-white sheet film negatives 1 image

Training in the pool, circa 1942, Image: North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

A Silenced History?

Segregated Waters


Folder 0206: Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 1930s: Scan 4 Filename: P0004_0206_0004.tif

Students enjoying their time in the water – leisure time that was not open to every student at UNC [picture approximately 1930s] Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

UNC´s history of segregation and racial exclusion is one of the chapters the school yet has to reappraise. Until 1951, African-American students were not admitted to the University at all, and after the first black students were admitted into graduate law school that year, they and their successors faced discrimination and inequalities, as well as threats.[33] Moreover, it was a long time from the de jure desegregation that came with the admission of African-American students to the de facto integration of the school that allowed African-American students to fully participate in campus life.

Harvey E. Beech was among the first four African-American students at UNC Chapel Hill, when they enrolled in the North Carolina School of Law. Beech´s story is ultimately connected to the swimming pools at UNC due to the discrimination he experienced there. Mistaken for a Brazilian, he was given a swimming privilege card after the mandatory physical examination, like almost every other new student at UNC. After the officials at UNC realized the mistake, he was asked to return it: “They said they thought you were from Brazil, that´s why you got a card.” His response to this: “That´s a damn shame. To be a native son.”[34] Merely the fact that he was African-American allowed for systemic discrimination and exclusion. Beech still seemed to be bitter and sad when he talked about what happened at UNC in the 1950s, during an oral history interview in 1996. His emotions are more than understandable, as his stories express how it was worth nothing to be a US-born citizen, if you were black. Beech would have had a better chance to get into the pool, if he was a foreign student, as he was told. In the end, Beech refused to return his swimming pool pass. Nevertheless, he was not included, not welcome at the pool. He was taunted, and simply ignored as a black student at UNC.[35]

African-American students faced experiences of overt racism and discrimination like this all over the country, and they were part of many university experiences of African-Americans in the 1950s. Recreational spaces were highly segregated, and even more so in swimming pools, which are a space of intimacy and “nakedness.” Fear of diseases, carried through the medium of water and stereotypes about a lack of hygiene among black people induced great fear in whites. Historically, mixed gendered swimming was not unusual in the 1930s-1950s, but stereotypes dating back to the time of slavery about African-American men as brutal sexual predators, as well as fear of miscegenation led to the argument that black men could not be allowed to swim with white women. Whites feared they would be unable to maintain the white dominated social order if integrated swimming and racial mixing was allowed.[36]

Campus pools proved no different and there was a huge opposition at UNC to “admitting Negroes to campus.”[37] Allowing close physical contact in a swimming pool and using the same water was unimaginable for many whites and posed a significant threat to their understanding of the social order.

More than abstract stories or simple examples in the broader narrative about segregation and racism in the US South, stories like Harvey Beech´s case are ultimately tied into our campus history, our daily surroundings and our school´s environment. Harvey E. Beech´s story is connected to Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, as well as Kessing Outdoor Pool. Despite being a law student at UNC Chapel Hill, Beech was not treated as a full member of the school´s community and was refused the same rights as others due to his skin color.

“It´s integrated now”

Coincidentally, Gordon Gray, Bowman Gray Sr.´s son, was UNC´s president during the struggle over school desegregation. Whether Gordon Gray actually supported desegregation is difficult to determine. However, his official statement was that “the university could follow no other course” than to allow black students on campus after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling and increasing applications from black students seeking admission to UNC.[38] The first African-American students admitted to UNC were the previously named law students Beech and McKissick, as well as Lee, and Lassiter. To further admit additional undergraduate students of color was the source of great debate. In the end, L.P. McLendon phrased it that way: “It was not a question of what the university would like to do, but what it had to do.” Therefore, after admitting the first black students, the university “reluctantly” accepted desegregation.[39] Therefore, the admission of black undergraduates to UNC in 1955 is another landmark sign of the official end of segregation at UNC, as the school then was officially open to all kinds of students.[40]

These debates illustrate that there was still much debate even after the de jure desegregation of the university, and de facto integration was more of a gradual process. One indicator of the reluctant acceptance of de facto integration of all campus facilities can be observed in the Forms Supplied by Chancellor R.B. House in Response to President Gray´s Request Summer 1954, which states that the newly accepted “Negro students have been furnished dormitory accommodation where they were requested as well as all regular student educational facilities such as athletics, the gymnasium, etc.”[41] Nevertheless, “mixed social occasions on University property are prohibited by a regulation of the Board of Trustees.”[42] The letter to the president officially stated that black students were allowed to use all educational facilities on campus, but it does address de-facto segregation and harassment black students would potentially face, if they wanted to enter said facilities or participate in social occasions.


Floyd McKissick, Announcement in The Daily Tar Heel of McKissick giving a talk at UNC, The Daily Tar Heel, January 14, 1962

Unfortunately, the letter to the president does not directly mention the pools, so it is unclear whether they were included into the list of facilities, African-American students were allowed to use, or if pools were excluded as “mixed social occasions” due to close contact in the water, or if it was assumed that black students were excluded from using the pool anyway.


Even though UNC officially decided to admit African-American students and therefore officially desegregated, one must not forget that legal desegregation does not indicate whether black students were accepted on campus through daily interactions. Most students of color still faced harassment, threats, and exclusion on a daily basis.[43]

Floyd B. McKissick Sr., one of Harvey Beeche´s fellow Law Students, also admitted in 1951, reported about this daily harassment, black students had to face, if they wanted to use certain campus facilities. McKissick also was important for the “unofficial” integration of the pools. He told the story of his role in the integration of the pool as follows:



“There were some incidents of some of the kids went to the swimming pool to swim and they wouldn’t let them in, and I told them this pool was going to get integrated today, and I just went on and jumped into the pool. After I jumped into the pool, I walked on out and nobody said anything to me and I said nothing to anybody else. I said, “It’s integrated now.” And that was it. No one ever said anything to me about it or anything. I got soaking wet but it was so hot that day that I got dry. But that was about all that occurred.” [44]


While this story is not about the official integration of the pool, and the university records do not indicate an official integration date, the fact that McKissick did not face consequences for jumping into the pool indicates the growing resistance to upholding segregation of the pool.  Unfortunately, McKissick did not tell us whether the young African-American students managed to get into the pool after he left, or if jumping into the water was a merely symbolic act that did not change the reality of segregation.


Daily Tar Heel article, February 2, 1976 on the topic of integration on campus “25 years of integration: toward racial equality?” The article mentions the experiences of Harvey Beech and Floyd McKissick

The_Daily_Tar_Heel_Mon__Feb_2__1976_ (1)

Part II


Note: The fact that Floyd McKissick talked about the pool on a hot day, indicated that he likely was integrating Kessing Outdoor Pool that day, and not Bowman Gray Memorial Pool. Since Kessing Pool was built in 1943, the history of the pools during segregation, as well as their integration efforts were ultimately connected, and often cannot be distinguished. McKissick´s story is nevertheless equally important for Bowman Gray Pool, as it speaks to the larger efforts behind the desegregation of the pools at UNC.



Notes on the Material

Much more could be said of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool and its history transcends this narrative. The Daily Tar Heel is one of the most helpful and interesting sources for exploring the pool´s history. The campus-newspaper covered all major and many minor events including the first announcement of the construction of a new pool, athletic successes and failures, time schedules, first aid trainings, repairs and closures, as well as the very special and rare incident that involved a deer in the pool building.[45]

However, for reasons unknown, the newspaper did not cover the integration of the pools in the 1950s, or mention anything related to African-American students and the pools until almost 25 years later.[46] Nevertheless, the Daily Tar Heel was very active in covering the broader story of UNC´s desegregation and struggles of African-Americans on campus, which lead to the impression that the pools themselves did not play a major role in the mindset of students when it came to desegregation. Whether this was related to other major events (e.g. denying African-American students the access to UNC football games), if there were too few incidents, or if Floyd McKissick´s integration happened too quietly and Harvey Beech´s experience was largely private cannot be determined. However, this does not lower the importance of the Daily Tar Heel as a source for the history of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool.

For those interested in the history of the Navy and the pre-flight program at UNC, the College of War Training Records will be most useful. The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives provide an extensive collection of images in their United States Navy Pre-Flight School Photographic Collection.

For major decisions on campus, whether to build a new building, establish a pre-flight school, or open the university to students of color, the papers of the respective chancellors, as well as the Board of Trustees Records are great sources. The Department of Athletics Records are an especially helpful source, if one is interested in swimming as a sport at UNC, as well as physical education.

For more information on Floyd McKissick´s civil rights activism the Floyd McKissick Papers, 1940-1980 will be highly interesting. There is also a limited collection of Harvey E. Beech Papers, 1939-2004 that might be of interest to some.

Troubled Waters…

Bowman Gray Memorial Pool is an example of a campus building that is connected to great successes, competitions, fond memories of play and recreation, but nevertheless, it is indispensably connected to a history of exclusion and racial discrimination. Unfortunately, the history of pool segregation and desegregation on campus is barely mentioned in archival materials. The homepage of the Black&Blue Campus-Tour also indicates no stop at the pools to educate today´s visitors and students about the pools´ segregated history. The pools are just one tiny part in the larger picture about segregation and integration, however, due to the special environment of water, hygiene and “nakedness” (meaning short swimsuits and wet bodies), swimming pools in general were among those facilities where segregation lasted the longest.

It is important to bring the discussions of race and swimming pools to a broader audience, as many black students were directly affected by segregation and the fact that all are welcome in the pools today is often taken for granted. Additionally, it is important to acknowledge that legal desegregation did not always grant African-Americans access to previously segregated facilities. In addition, hindrances often abounded after legal desegregation ended. Even after legal integration granted black UNC students the same rights as white students, it was a gradual (and still ongoing) process over many years before African-American students were able to act out their rights through access to campus facilities and participate in more fully campus life.


… and Lasting Memories

The building structure of the pool has not only witnessed change, but also experienced it. Since 1938, Bowman Gray Memorial pool underwent multiple major and minor modifications and renovations. In the 1970s, the pool underwent renovation to “remove a portion of the dividing wall in existing pool and installing a movable section.”[47] Thanks to this alteration, today, the pool offers six twenty-five meter lanes, six twenty-five yard lanes and two fifty meter lanes.[48]

In 2010, the building underwent extensive renovations that re-grouted the entire inside of the pool, in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the NFPA Fire and Life Safety codes. During this time, locker rooms were upgraded, and a sprinkler system and a lift for people with disabilities were installed.[49]

Folder 0150: Swimming, 1930-1979: Scan 7 Filename: P0004_0150_17376.tif, back: Folder 0150: Swimming, 1930-1979: Scan 8 Filename: P0004_0150_17376_verso.tif

Throwback to Bowman Gray Memorial Pool´s days as a site of swimming competitions, here the NCCA Swimming Meet, Spring 1949. Image: The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

The Olympic sized pool, holding about 250,000 gallons of water,[50] is used today for recreational swimming and is open for full-time UNC Chapel Hill undergraduate and graduate students.[51] The UNC swim team also still uses the pool, however merely for practice. The pool served as a facility for student competitions for 48 seasons of intercollegiate swimming and diving competition, but was replaced by the Koury Natatorium in 1986.[52]

The future of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool is unclear, as repairs have to be made frequently and – according to a survey – students would prefer more recreational aspects of the pool, that go beyond a mere natatorium. There are thoughts about replacing the pool and questions whether it still is profitable, or if the necessary repairs exceed the university´s budget. [53]

Bowman Gray Memorial pool´s history, however, is closely linked to many events at UNC that are of major historic significance, as well as to very individual memories, whether they are splendid or painful. Director of Aquatics Catherine Ayers has noted on behalf of keeping the historic Bowman Gray Memorial Pool open, “Personally, I think there’s something to be said about keeping the history. Our University is so old and has so much to tell, so many stories, and this is part of that because it’s lasted this long.”[54]

[by Maria Matthes]


[1] Anita Foye, “Emotional Memories of the Overt Racism at UNC during Desegregation,”Oral History Interview with Harvey E. Beech, September 25, 1996, [Southern Oral History Program Collection (4007)] (accessed: April 24, 2017).

[2] “Back Flip,” The Daily Tar Heel, February 14,1937.

[3] “Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Executive Committee of the University of North Carolina, held on the 6th day of November, 1936.”  [Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records, 1932-1972 (Collection Number 40002) Volume 1: File: July 11,1932 – July 8, 1938] Wilson Special Collections, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “Gym Bids,” The Daily Tar Heel, March 24, 1937.

[6] “New Gymnasium Foundation Being Dug Out Rapidly,” The Daily Tar Heel, April 20, 1937.

[7] “New Gymnasium Gives Hill Appearance Of Boom Town,” The Daily Tar Heel, September 17, 1937.

[8] Charles Barrett, “Gymnasium, Pool Donors Revealed: Mrs. Gray, Sons Give Money For Physical Plant,” The Daily Tar Heel, March 26, 1938.

[9] Ibid.

[10] William S. Powell, “Gray, Bowman,” NCpedia, accessed April 24, 2017,

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Bowman Gray, Sr. and Bowman Gray Swimming Pool,” The Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History, accessed April 24, 2017,

[13] „Tobacco: The Controversial Princess,“ TIME Magazine. Vol 75, no. 15. April 11, 1960. p. 104-112.

[14] William S. Powell, “Gray, Bowman,” NCpedia, accessed April 24, 2017,

[15]  Ibid.

[16]  “Bowman Gray and Kessing Pools and Koury Natatorium,” The Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History, accessed April 24, 2017 “Bowman Gray, Sr. and Bowman Gray Swimming Pool,” The Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History, accessed April 24, 2017

[17] Charles Barrett, “Coeds Will Take First Official Dip In Pool Today,” The Daily Tar Heel, April 15, 1938.

[18] “New Health Program Causes Fee Increase: Woolen Gym Called “Financial Problem Child”” The Daily Tar Heel, September 18, 1938.

[19] “Swimmers Wanted Tuesday For New Varsity Squad,” The Daily Tar Heel, October 8, 1938.

[20] “Koury Natatorium,” Goheels: Official Site of Carolina Athletics, accessed April 24, 2017,

[21] “Prince Nufer Takes Two Championships,” The Daily Tar Heel, February 13, 1945, page 3.

[22] Matt Ferenchick, “Recounting UNC´s gold medal history,” Tar Heel Alumni News: SB Nation Tar Heel Blog, published August 5, 2016, accessed April 24, 2017,

[23] “Sue Walsh,” The Rams Club, accessed April 24, 2017,

[24] Zoya Johnson, “My Carolina Experience: Sue Walsh,” Goheels: Official Site of Carolina Athletics, published June 1, 2015, accessed April 24, 2017,

[25] Sophia Edelman. “Bowman Gray Memorial Pool´s history isn´t forgotten,” The Daily Tar Heel. May 2, 2016. (accessed April 24, 2017).

[26] Wiliam D. Snider, Light on the Hill: a History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 228.

[27] Ibid. 228.

[28] Entry on Bowman Gray and Kessing Pools and Koury Natatorium

[29] Wiliam D. Snider, Light on the Hill: a History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 228.

[30] “A University Goes to War” May 18, 1942, p 3. In [College for War Training of the University of North Carolina Records, 1940-1945. (Collection Nr. 40074), Box 1 June 1940-February 1943. Folder May 1942.] Wilson Special Collections, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill

[31] Letter from R.B. House to Hobbs, Carroll, Johnson, Bradshaw, August 6, 1943. In: [Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Robert Burton House Records, 1917-1957 (bulk 1940-1957). (Collection Nr. 40019),Box 3, Folder “National Defense: World War II: Navy Pre-Flight School (V-5), 1942-1947.] Wilson Special Collections, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Bruce Kalk, “Difficulties of becoming the first black student at UNC,” Oral History Interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., May 31, 1989, [Southern Oral History Program Collection (4007)]  (accessed: April 24, 2017). For further information on the history of segregation and integration at UNC, see “Desegregation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” UNC University Library Guide, accessed April 24, 2017, 

[34] Anita Foye, “Emotional Memories of the Overt Racism at UNC during Desegregation,”Oral History Interview with Harvey E. Beech, September 25, 1996, [Southern Oral History Program Collection (4007)] (accessed: April 24, 2017).

[35] “Harvey Beech ´52 Never Liked Being First” in Carolina Alumni Review. August 10, 2015.

[36] Jeff Wiltse. Contested Waters: A History of Swimming Pools in America. Chapel Hill: North Carolina Press, 2007. 4-5. For more information of segregated recreation, see Victoria Wolcott. Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. And on swimming pools in specific: Jeff Wiltse. Contested Waters: A History of Swimming Pools in America.

[37] Quote Daily Tar Heel Letter to editor

[38] Snider, Light on the Hill, 246.

[39] Ibid. 247.

[40] Tom Breen, “University of North Carolina Celebrates 1955 Racial Integration Milestone,” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, September 21, 2010, (accessed April 24, 2017).

[41] “Forms Supplied by Chancellor R.B. House in Response to President Gray´s Request Summer 1954,” (page 4) in [Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Robert Burton House Records, 1917-1957 (Collection 40019) , folder Int. General 1952-54], Wilson Special Collections Library, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Bruce Kalk, “Difficulties of becoming the first black student at UNC,” Oral History Interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., May 31, 1989, [Southern Oral History Program Collection (4007)]  (accessed: April 24, 2017)

[44] Ibid.

[45] Barron Northrup/ Rachel Jones/ Sarah Vassello, “Rogue, swimming deer breaks into ‘Doe-man’ Gray Memorial Pool” The Daily Tar Heel, November 13, 2016. (accessed April 24, 2017).

[46] Jim Roberts, “25 years of integration: toward racial equality?” The Daily Tar Heel, Feb 2, 1976. Page 1.

[47] “Letter from Selwyn P. Bryant of JMD contractors, inc. to the University of North Carolina concerning “Swimming Pool Remodeling”, December 17, 1976.” in [Department of Athletics Records (Collection Number 40093), File: Swimming Pool Remodeling, 1976-1977] Wilson Special Collections, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

[48] UNC Unveils Renovated Bowman Gray Memorial Indoor Pool,” Design Curial, October 21, 2010, (accessed Aril 24, 2017).

[49] Ibid.

[50] “Koury Natatorium,” Goheels: Official Site of Carolina Athletics, accessed April 24, 2017, .

[51] UNC Unveils Renovated Bowman Gray Memorial Indoor Pool,” Design Curial, October 21, 2010, (accessed Aril 24, 2017).

[52] “Koury Natatorium Interactive Tour,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accessed April 24, 2017, .

[53] Sophia Edelman. “Bowman Gray Memorial Pool´s history isn´t forgotten,” The Daily Tar Heel. May 2, 2016. (accessed April 24, 2017).

[54] Ibid.