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Traditions and Spirit

The Niner Spirit

The Niner Spirit

A bronze statue of the 49er Gold Miner sits in front of the Reese Administration Building near the front of the UNC Charlotte campus. 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.

The nickname, the 49ers, 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 at Chapel Hill, would have died in 1949 had Bonnie Cone and her supporters not convinced the NC Legislature that Charlotte needed a permanent college. Charlotte College was established that year.

Charlotte also has a rich gold mining history - nearby Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States - with the Charlotte area gold rush preceding the one in California by a number of years. It is fortuitous that the University campus is located on NC Highway 49.

Alma Mater

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.



Norm the Niner

Norm The Niner

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. 

As a member of the spirit squad, Norm the Niner travels with the cheerleaders to away athletics events, to many events around the university and often makes appearances around Charlotte and the surrounding region.


To learn more about other UNC Charlotte traditions, visit