PUT A PENNY IN NORM'S PAN
A bronze statue of the 49er Gold Miner, designed by Lorenzo Ghiglieri, sits in the College of Education (COED) and College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) 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 often refer to the statue as “Norm” and are encouraged to put a penny in his pan for good luck. At UNC Charlotte the 49er Miner symbolizes the importance of hard work, perseverance and recognizes the importance of the year 1949 in the university's history. This tradition symbolizes the continuous work of a miner and pays tribute to spreading the riches. The 49er Miner was installed on campus in 1992 but was moved to the CHHS/COED plaza in 2016. Try it yourself!
RUB THE GOLDEN NUGGET
This gold ore located on the steps between the Cone Center and the Barnhardt Student Activities Center (SAC) came from Reed Gold Mine, located not far from the UNC Charlotte campus, the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. In 1799, a 12-year-old boy named Conrad Reed found a 17-pound shiny rock when he went fishing on a farm 26 miles east of Charlotte. This led to the first gold rush in the United States! The Reed Gold Mine still exists to this day and can be visited throughout the year. This large quartz nugget has a gold vein(s) within it. Students are encouraged to rub the gold nugget to give the Charlotte 49ers luck before athletic events!
PARTICIPATE IN THE 49ER RING CEREMONY
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. 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. After graduating, it is tradition that students turn the ring so that the crown faces outward, symbolizing the completion of their degree, their path to the future and their status as an alumnus of UNC Charlotte. Wearing a class ring symbolizes a proud member of Niner Nation.
EXPERIENCE THE STAR QUAD ECHO
The Star Quad lies between the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC) and the J. Murrey Atkins Library. It was designed by engineers to produce a natural echo. Stand in the center and whisper “Go Niners!” to experience it for yourself!
ATTEND GOLD RUSH EVENTS
Gold Rush is UNC Charlotte's program that kicks off the Fall semester and welcomes new and returning students to the campus community. All Gold Rush events are free for students, and are hosted by UNC Charlotte campus departments and student organizations. Gold Rush aims to instill a sense of Niner Pride, teach campus traditions, and expose students to campus resources and opportunities for involvement.
WEAR GREEN WEDNESDAY
Show your Niner Pride every Wednesday by wearing your green UNC Charlotte gear! You never know what luck you might have wearing green on Wednesdays, you might even score more Niner gear! Forget the rest, because Niners are the best!
ATTEND FAMILY WEEKEND
Family Weekend is our largest on-campus program for parents and family members. This event invites parents and families to campus to spend a home football game weekend together with the whole 49er community each fall semester. Not only will parents and families have an opportunity to explore campus and Charlotte, but they will also meet other students, faculty and staff; and show #NinerPride to cheer on the Charlotte 49ers in Jerry Richardson Stadium. You don’t want to miss this experience!
SCROLL THROUGH BOTANICAL GARDENS
Created in 1966, the gardens and greenhouse span over 10 acres in the heart of campus. The gardens also have the greatest variety of plants in Charlotte. Take a stroll through the garden between classes or take a seat on the various benches and gazebos to relax and connect with nature! The co-founders were Bonnie Cone and Dr. Herbert Hechenbleikner in 1966 to serve as a living classroom and resource for the campus and greater Charlotte community.
WEAR GREEN AND WHITE ROBES TO GRADUATION
When UNC Charlotte became part of the UNC System, new University colors were needed to distinct the University 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.
RUN THROUGH THE CHHS RINGS
Legend has it that these rings are lucky, particularly during exams and before big assignment deadlines. Run through them without touching the metal and you may just get a 4.0 at the end of the semester!
SEE THE VIEW FROM THE TOP OF ATKINS LIBRARY
The Atkins Library (commonly known as “Club Atkins” by students) has more than just academic resources! Built in 1963, the Atkins library has comfortable study spaces, group study rooms, books, coffee and more. Get the best view of campus from the 10th floor of the library with large windows showing campus and the Charlotte skyline, as well as access to the university archive collections!
TAKE A SELFIE WITH THE SELF-MADE MAN STATUE
Bobbie Carlyle designed this statue with the vision of a man carving himself out of stone, carving his character and carving his future. This statue is one of the most recognizable statues on campus as reminder to students to never give up on their own personal growth. Students can take a photo with the Self Made Man to honor the work they are each investing into their future.