In 1818

the Philanthropic Society purchased a portrait of alumnus, and War of 1812 hero, Johnston Blakeley

By the mid-twentieth century, these portraits were scattered across the University and state of North Carolina. In the early 1970s, two students at the University of North Carolina, George Blackburn and Roger Kirkman, scoured the campus of UNC reclaiming portraits that belonged to the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies. They saw the need for an organization dedicated to maintaining and restoring these portraits with more permanence than the 4-year student turnover rate. In pursuance of this, they incorporated the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation in 1974 in order to ensure that DiPhi’s portraits received the care and attention they deserved. Since that time, the Foundation has expended its mission to adding further works of art and acting as an unofficial alumni association.

To learn more about the full collection, please review the DiPhi Portrait Index (PDF). We hope to display an online gallery in the coming months.

Help Us Restore North Carolina's History

Our collection contains the only known images of many of North Carolina’s founders. Help us in our mission to preserve and restore them.

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