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Gena Luke
Professor Raymond
UWRT 1101
17 July 2015
The Life and Legacy of Bonnie Cone
Students knew Bonnie Cone as a powerful female figure and motivator all across
the nation. Bonnie inspired thousands of students through vigorous speeches and
activities with her hands-on approach to education. Bonnies message was that students
should never give up on an education no matter the circumstance; several of these
businessmen that Bonnie took under her wing are currently known as Bonnies Boys.
(About Bonnie) The major inspirational figure known as Bonnie Cone made several
positive contributions to society. As a child Bonnie knew that she wanted to be a teacher.
Bonnie Cone was raised on a farm in Lodge, South Carolina, a small town of
about 200 people. She was the youngest child of four. Her father Charles Cone was a
farmer and businessman who instilled the morals and values of hard work within her.
(About Bonnie) An interesting fact about Bonnie was the fact that on her farm as a child,
she used to play teacher by simulating teaching baby chickens during her spare time.
Reflecting back on that memory she says I taught every little animal around in those
fantastic years (About Bonnie). This in essence aided in her leadership skills and got her
used to teaching to an actual audience. Another one of Bonnies hobbies was playing the
piano. Bonnie was taught how to play by her neighbor, which became one her primary
talents that eventually transitioned into her assuming a leading role in the piano class. Let
us now transition into the later years of Bonnies life, into the education aspect.

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Bonnie Cone attended the prestigious Duke University located in Durham, North
Carolina and Cooker College. (Knowles) After receiving her undergraduate degree, Cone
used Duke as a stepping-stone into furthering her education and receiving her masters
degree in mathematics in 1941. (Knowles) In addition to her scholarly contributions
within the classroom, her excellence was commonly recognized. For example her
exceptional math skills resulted in the mathematics chairman at Duke to personally invite
her to teach the navy V-12 program during World War II. (Knowles) Furthermore, with
the support and financing of some of her friends and colleagues that she acquired through
school, Ms. Cone was able to convert the Charlotte Center into what became formally
known as Charlotte College.
Charlotte College though seemed to be a great contribution to society, eventually
became a burden due to financial constraints and lack of elite support. (Knowles)
Knowles furthers this statement by adding:
There was never enough money to assure Charlotte College's permanence. Every
time a major crisis arose, Ms. Cone, with her amazing ability to make small gifts
seem large, would find a benefactor willing to rescue the Institution. In 1954,
when the outlook for Charlotte College seemed especially bleak, she led a
campaign in which city voters approved a two-cent property tax to support the
Institution. (Knowles 2)
Bonnie Cone was a woman of great excellence who strived to accommodate the needs of
others through her various leadership characteristics. After being accepted as a member
into the North Carolina Community College System, this required its own Board of
Trustees as well as the support of State Officials to ensure the survival of the educational

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institution. After receiving the necessary financial support to sustain the already
struggling institution, Cone finally managed to ensure its success. Cone made several
political contributions as well as provide insight as to what it is to be a female who
eventually worked to attain her lifelong dreams. Although there were obstacles that Cone
encountered, such as the inability to properly finance the institution or the traveling from
Chapel Hill to Raleigh to consistently battle with State Officials, Cone found a way to
establish this great University.
In conclusion, after researching the many great things Bonnie Cone was able to
achieve, what a recent survey conducted by freshman UNC Charlotte students revealed
turned out to be quite shocking. Over seventy percent of the surveyed students turned out
to be uneducated about Bonnie. When asked, if they knew the whereabouts as to the
burial and gravesite of Bonnie Cone, they were incorrect and failed to acknowledge the
fact that her body was buried on the very campus in which they attend school. Another
question that stumped the constituents of the survey was weather or not Bonnie was the
founder of the institution; numerous students within the survey answered incorrectly.

Works Cited
"About Bonnie E. Cone." About Bonnie E. Cone | Cone University Center | UNC
Charlotte. UNCC, n.d. Web. 19 July 2015.

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"Bonnie E. Cone: Voices from the Archive." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 19
July 2015.

Knowles, J. Wesley. "UNC Charlotte Inspired By The Remarkable Vision Of A..." UNC
Charlotte Inspired By The Remarkable Vision Of A... UNC Charlotte Public Relations, 29
June 2010. Web. 19 July 2015.