The University of North Carolina at Greensboro began its story in 1891, when it was founded as the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School. It was originally conceived as a school to train women educators, under the concept that training women would educate their children and ultimately raise the level of education and literacy in the state. This was important to North Carolina, which was still seeking to establish itself during the period of Reconstruction following the United States Civil War.
Charles Duncan McIver, a graduate of The University of North Carolina and a local educator, was one of the greatest proponents of women's education. His crusade would ultimately lead him to become the principal founder and first President of the Normal School in Greensboro. As time passed, the School slowly began to grow, attracting women from surrounding communities. Even though transportation was limited to train and (more frequently) horse and buggy, students still traveled from far away to receive an education at the School. The years before the turn of the 20th century were not without hardship, and the Normal saw its first real test in 1899 in the form of a typhoid epidemic. Fortunately, the School survived and continued to flourish into the next century.
- 1892 - The North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School officially opened
- 1897 - The State Normal Magazine, later known as the Coraddi, was first published
- 1897 - The name of the School was changed to the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College