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UNC Student Body, 1921

A Thousand Words
By Jock Lauterer

On an overcast winter’s day in 1921, the entire UNC student body gathered for a group portrait in McCorkle Place. The photographer used a special camera that allowed for a 180-degree panoramic view. What is so extraordinary about this image, of course, is how little has changed of the central campus in 91 years. That, and the fact that there are no women or minority students! Be that as it may, notice several guys in their wool WWI outfits. I came by this photograph through the generosity of Anne Sessoms of Chapel Hill, whose father, Leroy Irving Lassiter, is in the picture (see the tiny arrow in the lower left margin, pointed at him on the third row). Anne writes, “My father … graduated in 1924 with a degree in civil engineering at the age of 28. He taught school in a one-room schoolhouse in Northampton County for several years to make money for college before coming here. He also worked in President Chase’s office while a student. Upon graduation he took a job with the water department in Raleigh, where he met my mother, a teacher, at the boarding house where my mother lived and Daddy ate. They married in 1926 and moved to Wilmington, where they lived until he died at the age of 91.”

Do you have an important old photo that you value? Email your photo to jock@email.unc.edu and include the story behind the picture. Because every picture tells a story. And its worth? A thousand words.
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