About the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

The Friday Center is UNC-Chapel Hill’s center for continuing education, serving the varied needs of adult learners through credit and noncredit course offerings and the operation of a continuing education conference facility.

Continuing Education at UNC-Chapel Hill

Conference CenterChartered on December 11, 1789, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first state university in America. It opened its doors in 1795 with two professors and 41 students. Today, the University is a thriving institution with more than 24,000 students and 2,600 faculty members. It is consistently ranked among the great institutions of higher education in the nation. Its 13 colleges and schools provide instruction in more than 100 fields, offering 84 bachelor’s, 165 master’s, 106 doctoral, and four professional degrees.

Continuing education at The University of North Carolina was organized formally in 1913 when a Bureau of Extension was established to facilitate the University’s efforts to reach out to North Carolina citizens. Since that time, continuing education has become a significant activity in a number of schools and departments and continues to be the primary function of The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

The Friday Center offers a wide range of educational programs and services that substantially broaden the population of persons throughout the state that the University is able to serve.

The Friday Center’s programs and services fall into three main categories:

The Conference Center

UNC-Chapel Hill’s premier facility for educational functions conducted by University departments and other organizations.

Professional Development and Enrichment Programs

Noncredit educational activities for the adult learner.

Credit Programs for Part-time Students

Flexible learning opportunities for part-time students to earn academic credit.

The Friday Center also administers a correctional education program for inmates, providing on-site study and correspondence instruction to incarcerated learners throughout North Carolina.

The administrative offices for all of the Friday Center’s units are housed in the conference center, which is located a short distance from the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

William and Ida Friday

The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education is named in honor of two North Carolinians who have devoted their lives to enhancing and improving the lives of their fellow citizens through their work in education, the arts, and public health.

William C. Friday served as president of the University of North Carolina for thirty years.

A painter and sculptor, Mrs. Friday has promoted the arts through her work with a number of North Carolina arts organizations.

The Fridays were both honored in 1981 with the North Carolina Public Service Award, the highest award given by the University. In 2004, Governor Mike Easley and the North Carolina Legislature honored Mr. and Mrs. Friday with the Long Leaf Pine Award for their service to the state. Mr. and Mrs. Friday are both graduates of UNC-Chapel Hill, where Mr. Friday earned a degree in law and Mrs. Friday earned a master’s degree in public health.