Priceless Gem Tours

The Visitors’ Center offers tours in the “Priceless Gem Series,” which takes its name from a line in the UNC alma mater “Hark the Sound,” at 3 p.m. on selected Fridays. Tours start from the UNC Visitors’ Center, located inside Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 250 E. Franklin St., and typically last 60 to 90 minutes. All tours are free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary, but in the case of inclement weather, please call 919-962-1630.

University experts lead these distinctive walking tours on various topics.

Here is the Spring 2014 schedule:

  • Feb. 21: The Black and Blue Tour shows off UNC’s historical landmarks in context of UNC’s racial history. The tour is led by Tim McMillan, adjunct assistant professor in the African and Afro-American studies department.
  • March 28: Water tour by Missy Julian Fox, director of the UNC Visitors’ Center. This tour explores the past, present and future of water on Carolina’s campus. Water in Our World is the University’s multi-year campus-wide theme.
  • April 4: The Dynamic Decade tour with Jonathan Howes and David R. Godschalk, authors of the book by the same name as the tour. From 2001 to 2011, Carolina grew by six million square feet of new construction, while another million square feet of historic buildings were renovated at the same time. The tour guides will share their perspective, knowledge and research about what went into the planning and development on campus during that “dynamic decade.”
  • April 11: The Noble Grove with Tom Bythell, UNC campus forest manager, and Jill Coleman, UNC landscape artist. This tour will explore the beauty, history and future of Carolina’s heritage trees.
  • April 25: Springtime in Coker Arboretum led by natural science educator Grant Parkin of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Experience the tranquil, serene and natural magic of the arboretum and a glorious Carolina spring in our “Southern Part of Heaven.”

UNC Visitors’ Center contact: Missy Julian Fox, (919) 962-1630,