Bonnie Cone was born on this date in 1907. Forty-two years later, in 1949, three years after becoming a part-time teacher at, and later director of, the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina, a job she poured her heart and soul into, she was the driving force behind the Charlotte Center’s transformation to Charlotte College, which later became the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
That’s why the number “49″ holds so much significance to students, alumni, and fans. Not because of the area’s gold mining past, not because of Highway 49 that runs right in front of the university’s main entrance, but because of “Miss Bonnie”‘s efforts that led to the events of that year. One of the college’s early benefactors? Henry Fowler, the founder of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Charlotte. His granddaughter? Dale Halton, the name of which every Charlotte 49ers fan should recognize right away.
Bonnie Cone died on March 8, 2003 at the age of 95, but her legacy lives on. Happy birthday, Bonnie Cone. Without you, there probably would have been no UNC Charlotte, and no Charlotte 49ers.
By the way, UNCC has a page set up that speaks of her legacy at the university.