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Classroom building renamed in honor of Henry and Shirley Frye

The Fryes, who met while undergraduates at N.C. A&T, graduated from the university in 1953 and married in 1956.


North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University celebrated the formal renaming of its Academic Classroom Building for trailblazing alumni Henry E. and Shirley T. Frye.

The Fryes, who met while undergraduates at N.C. A&T, graduated from the university in 1953 and married in 1956.

Last week, the Fryes, along with their friends and family, joined faculty, staff, and students for a dedication ceremony where the new building signage was unveiled, followed by a plated luncheon last week.

“As we celebrate Frye Hall, we are celebrating more than just the Fryes,” said then Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “We are also celebrating what their name and their legacy means in terms of excellence, and our commitment to embracing their excellence, their legacy and their social justice at our university.”

Newly named Frye Hall is one of six buildings on campus designed by the architectural firm of the late Phil Freelon, a nationally recognized figure in the architecture community who led the design team for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Classes from numerous academic disciplines, degree programs and colleges are held in Frye Hall, where the university’s Honors College is based. Frye Hall  is adjacent to the Deese Clock Tower and Proctor Hall, another Freelon-designed structure that houses the College of Education.

“It is in the classrooms of what is now Frye Hall where I have learned to merge my interests and my passions while remaining passionate and committed to pursuing and advocating for social justice,” said Honors College student Ahmad Blair. “Whether we are ROTC cadets training across the country, Honors scholars representing some of the best and brightest minds in the world or future educators geared to inspire the next generation of change-makers, my peers and I are touched by the impact of the Frye legacy.”

“We have used our God-given talents trying to do all that we can do to make a difference,” said Shirley Frye. “We are awed, grateful, thankful and humbled that the university thought that we were worthy of this building being called Henry and Shirley Frye Hall.”

Henry Frye, a social justice pioneer, holds the distinction of being the first African American Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. His exemplary career in law and public service has been marked by a steadfast commitment to justice, equality and the advancement of civil rights. He graduated from A&T with highest honors, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and air science.

Likewise, Shirley Frye is an accomplished educator and community advocate who has devoted her life to enhancing educational opportunities and supporting the local community. Her unwavering dedication to service and education has made her a cherished figure among the Greensboro community and beyond. She earned her B.S. in education and English with high honors from A&T.

Frye Hall stands as a testament to the couple’s enduring example, symbolizing excellence, integrity and service to others. It will serve as a hub of academic achievement and innovation, fostering the next generation of leaders who will carry forward the Fryes’ spirit at A&T.

“I made the right decision coming to A&T as a student in 1949. A&T has been good to me,” said Henry Frye. “The university was and still is a great institution that knows what it needs to do and gets the work done.”