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An Introduction to Foust Park

The picturesque Foust Park along Spring Garden Street has been part of the campus since it first opened in 1892. Originally, it was called “Front Campus,” but came to be known as Foust Park when Main Building was re-named Foust Building, in honor of Julius Isaac Foust, president of the college from 1906 to 1934 and the longest serving administrator in the campus’s history.

In the early years, Foust Park was the site of May Day festivities, summer concerts, and the all-important Class Day Daisy Chain Celebration. On that day, the soon-to-be graduates, wearing white dresses, walked through a tremendous garland of daisies and ivy, picked and woven together by the junior class, or “sister class.” It was a significant and memorable tradition that always took place in Foust Park.

The same swath of land is now graced by Earth Day festivities, Science Everywhere tents, and Employee Field Day, but most of all, it’s a place where students find quiet moments between classes to catch up on studying, talk with friends, or simply take in the beauty and peacefulness that surrounds them. That has not changed since the founding of the State Normal and Industrial School.

Foust Park is home to more than 75 unique trees and shrubs: Water Oak, Japanese Maple, Flowering Dogwood, and Pecan trees mingle with Willow Oaks, Purple-leaf Mimosas, Persimmons, and the Sweetheart Tree. The “Graduate Walk,” made of bricks engraved with alumni names and class years, takes pedestrians through the middle of the scenic park.

In Foust Park there are also several vestiges from the early and mid-twentieth century classes of the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College and Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina.

Read the following stories of classes from 1917, 1922, and 1957, with details drawn from University Archives scrapbooks that compiled campus experiences, accomplishments, and life wisdom. And the next time you visit the UNCG campus, take a walk through Foust Park to look for the gifts these classes placed there to honor their time spent on our beautiful campus.

Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, Donor Relations


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor