UNC Charlotte Campus Traditions

Gold Miner Statue

49er Gold Miner Statue

A bronze statue of the 49er Gold Miner sits in the College of Education and College of Health and Human Services Plaza. The statue recalls the region’s history as a gold mining center and symbolizes the pioneering spirit and determination that has led to UNC Charlotte’s dramatic growth. Students toss pennies in the miner's pan for good luck.


Green and White

When UNC Charlotte became part of the UNC System, new University colors were needed that were distinct from Charlotte College. A committee considered the colors of the other existing campuses and noticed that white was a unifying color for the other three campuses, while green would be unique to Charlotte and distinct from red at N.C. State, gold at Greensboro, and blue at Chapel Hill.

In 2017, graduating students wore green commencement robes for the first time.



The "49ers" nickname was chosen in recognition of the importance of the year 1949 in the history of the University.

UNC Charlotte, which began as an off-campus center of the University of North Carolina, would have ceased to exist in 1949 had Bonnie Cone and her supporters not convinced the N.C. Legislature that Charlotte needed a permanent institution of higher learning. Charlotte College was established that year, with the nickname “Owls” in an homage to the College’s beginnings as a night school.

It is fortuitous that the University campus is located on N.C. Highway 49 and that Charlotte has a rich gold mining history, but neither are the inspiration for the nickname.


Alma Mater

Hail University! To you we sing our praise.
May Charlotte's light dispel the night, illumine all our days.
In Carolina’s crown the brightest gem we see.
Without your power our finest hour would hold no victory.
So let us love your life and cherish your great name.
To aid your cause up hold your laws and your enduring fame.

Listen to the Alma Mater sung by the UNC Charlotte Choirs.

Marching Band

Fight Song

Hail, Charlotte 49ers, proud as we can be
We stand to fight for the green and white,
Til We win the Victory (Go Niners!)
We pledge our trust in you,
And wave your colors high
The loyal Niner Nation cheers,
Forever! We'll Fight-Fight-Fight!

The fight song music was composed by former music faculty member Dr. Harry Bulow in 2001.  It replaced one which belonged to the University of Texas at Austin, entitled "Texas Fight," which had been used since the late 1960's. The new fight song was played for five years before Dr. Laurence Marks, UNC Charlotte's director of bands, composed a set of lyrics in 2006.  Minor changes suggested by the campus administration, Athletics, and students were accepted by Marks and submitted for final approval by the Chancellor and the 49ers Fight Song, reflected above, was born.

Listen to the Fight Song played by the UNC Charlotte Marching Band.

Norm the Mascot


A miner was chosen as our mascot as a nod to Reed Gold Mine in nearby Concord, the site of the first documented gold find in the United States in 1799. He was named Norm through popular student vote shortly after he was made our mascot. Norm is rarely seen without his trusty pick-axe and never takes his slouch hat off.

Gold Nugget

Gold Nugget

This gold ore located on the steps between the Cone Center and the SAC came from Reed Gold Mine, not far from the UNC Charlotte campus, the site of the first documented gold find in the United States in 1799. Rub the Nugget for good luck!

Class Ring

UNC Charlotte Rings

The official UNC Charlotte ring is available to undergraduate students who have completed 60 credit hours at UNC Charlotte, graduate students who have achieved candidacy and alumni. After you graduate, turn it so that the crown faces outward, symbolizing the completion of your degree, your path to the future and your status as an alumnus or alumna of UNC Charlotte. Wearing your class ring tells others that you are a proud member of Niner Nation.

Upon receiving their Ring, students dip the ring into Norm’s miner pan allowing the water to christen their ring and bond them further to UNC Charlotte and its roots.

Bonnie Cone

Bonnie Cone

Bonnie E. Cone, the founder of UNC Charlotte, served the institution from its earliest days in 1946. Beginning as a teacher that year, she became director of the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina in 1947. She persuaded the legislature to keep the institution alive in 1949 when it was scheduled to close, resulting in the establishment of Charlotte College, which she served as president.

The college became a four-year, state-supported institution in 1965. Cone then served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs until her official retirement.

Bonnie Cone died March 8, 2003. In spring 2004, she was interred in Van Landingham Glen on the campus she loved and to which she dedicated her life.

Star Quad echo

Star Quad Echo

The Star Quad between the Student Activity Center and the J. Murray Atkins Library produces a natural echo. Stand in the center and whisper “Go Niners!”

Bell Ringing

Bell Ringing

The UNC Charlotte bell, which for many years hung in the belfry of the old Elizabeth School at East Fifth Street and Travis Avenue in Charlotte, was given to Charlotte College in 1960 to be rung on ceremonial occasions.