UNC-Charlotte campus

A view of the UNC-Charlotte campus looking north toward North Tryon Street. The buildings that make up the Charlotte Research Institute stand in the background.

The retirement date of UNC-Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois is fast approaching — he'll leave June 30 — and I'm starting to see some evidence that North Carolina's third-largest state university is giving him a farewell tour.

To wit: a recent photo slideshow of some of the bricks-and-mortar highlights of Dubois' 15-year tenure at UNCC.

In a decade and a half, UNCC says it spent $1 billion to add more than 5 million square feet worth of new and refurbished space to its campus. If you're trying to picture 5 million square feet, it's a little bigger than all the shops and stores at four Friendly Centers.

The list of new UNCC projects includes a health and human services building, a student union, the Center City building downtown (er, Uptown), a football stadium (and a football team), a dorm for its Levine Scholars and Honors College students, an undergraduate admissions center and a student rec center. A science building and a hotel/conference center facility are under construction.

Perhaps more remarkable: UNCC's enrollment has grown by 44 percent in 15 years. By next fall or the fall after, UNCC should pass UNC-Chapel Hill to become the UNC System's second-largest campus.

My cynical journalistic self is reluctant to buy into any higher ed hype, but "remarkable" might indeed be the best word to use to describe the past 15 years at UNCC.

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