Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Carroll, Dudley Dewitt

by Sterling Stoudemire, 1979

28 July 1885–30 Nov. 1971

Dudley Dewitt Carroll. Image courtesy of the Digital North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.Dudley Dewitt Carroll, college professor and dean, was born in the Mizpah community of Stokes County, the son of Dewitt Valentine Carroll and Sallie Ann Lewis. He was educated at the Mountain View Institute, Guilford College (A.B., 1907), Haverford College (A.B., 1908), and Columbia University (A.M., 1916).

Dean Carroll, as he was known to almost everyone, was vitally involved in academic and public affairs for a span of almost half a century. He began his career as principal of Mountain View Institute (1908–9); then he was instructor in social sciences at Guilford College (1909–11), dean of Guilford College (1912–14), and assistant professor of economics at Hunter College (1915–18).

Carroll taught in the summer session at The University of North Carolina in 1917, and one of his students, Lenoir Chambers (later editor of the Greensboro Daily News and the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and Pulitzer Prize winner), brought him to the attention of President Edward Kidder Graham. Graham offered Carroll a position, but because he was under contract to Hunter College for the following year, Carroll could not accept until the fall of 1918; then he was appointed professor of economics. The following year he became dean of the School of Commerce (later Business Administration), a position he held for thirty-one years. During his service in Chapel Hill, Carroll was at one time or another a member of almost every faculty committee, as well as the Chancellor's Advisory Committee. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and in 1955 was named Kenan Professor of Economics and elected Chairman of the faculty, the highest honor his colleagues could bestow upon him. The trustees named the main building of the School of Business Administration Carroll Hall. Few persons have exerted stronger influence upon the faculty and students of The University of North Carolina than Carroll over his long tenure. His approach was always Dudley Dewitt Caroll. Image courtesy of UNC obtain results and to reduce to a minimum or avoid totally the red tape too often found in academic communities.

In 1938, when it was obvious that developments in Europe would lead to the greatest holocaust the world had known, Carroll, Dorothy Thompson, and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise advocated and got an open door policy for oppressed minorities who wished to seek refuge in the United States. When the Selective Service System was instituted, Carroll was named chairman of the Orange County Draft Board, even though he was a devout Quaker.

After the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, when Orange County voted wet, Carroll was named chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of Orange County. It was the general feeling that this board was perhaps the best managed in the state and that Carroll, who never had a drink of whiskey, saw to it that alcohol would not be abused and that the profits from the system would be channeled without delay to the public schools.

Carroll's public service did not end with the control of alcohol and the management of conscription, both distasteful to his Quaker principles. An important figure in business affairs of Chapel Hill and the county, he was director of the Orange County Building and Loan Association from 1920 to 1950 and chairman of its board of directors from 1937 to 1950. He was active in the Society of Friends and was instrumental in developing a flourishing society in Chapel Hill; he acquired property for the society and directed the construction of the meeting house. He was a trustee of Guilford College from 1918 to 1946 and chairman of its board from 1933 to 1946. He retired from the university faculty in 1960.

Carroll, on 27 June 1918, married Eleanore Dixon Elliott. They had four children: Dudley DeWitt, Jr., Marshall Elliott, Eleanor Hillyard Carroll Roberts, and Donald Cary. A memorial service for Carroll was held in the Friends Meeting House, 11 Dec. 1971.


Chapel Hill Weekly, 27 Sept. 1940, 28 May 1953, 15 June 1969, 1 Dec. 1971.

Charlotte Observer, 5 Feb. 1950.

Minutes of the Faculty of The University of North Carolina, vol. 25 (Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Raleigh News and Observer, 10 Aug. 1940, 25 Oct. 1944, 8 Dec. 1950.

University of North Carolina Alumni Review, May 1940.

Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1956).

Additional Resources:

Dudley DeWitt Carroll. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Faculty Council. Dudley Dewitt Carroll Memorial Committee:

Dudley DeWitt Carroll (1885-1971) and Carroll Hall in the Carolina Story:

Image Credits:

Dudley Dewitt Carroll. Image courtesy of the Digital North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives. Available from (accessed June 11, 2013).

Dudley Dewitt Caroll. Image courtesy of UNC Libraries. Available from (accessed June 12, 2013).