Hatching Hyde Hall

The home of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH), Hyde Hall opened in 2002. It was funded entirely by private gifts; after a generous lead gift from the Hyde Family Foundation (led by UNC-Chapel Hill alumni Barbara ’83 and Pitt ’65), it was named Hyde Hall.

Prior to Hyde Hall’s construction, the IAH worked out of West House, a small building formerly behind Swain Hall. (West House was demolished in 2006.) Discussions for a new home for the Institute began in the mid-to-late 1990s, though construction wouldn’t begin until 2000.

Ruel W. Tyson, founder and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities until 2006, announced the plan for a new building to Fellows of the Institute in a bulletin in 1997:

“As the Institute enters its tenth year, a major change is on the near horizon: a new building, in a new locale, bringing with it a new set of opportunities, and a new set of questions and reflections.”

The idea that there could be available space on McCorkle Place was nearly unbelievable. “We just assumed that every buildable nook and cranny had been built upon,” said Barbara Hyde, who Tyson had recently tapped for the IAH advisory board.

“It felt like a magic moment and an alignment of the stars,” said Hyde.

Now, twenty years on, Hyde Hall is a space for belonging and community for the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

“The kind of collaboration and belonging that are the hallmarks of the Institute should not be limited to one building,” said Institute Director Patricia Parker. “My hope is that the spirit of Hyde Hall will flourish across the campus and beyond. It’s ultimately the people who create the Institute’s community and allow it to thrive.”

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