Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Least Likely to Succeed?

"Umstead -- Laziest" from the 1920 Yackety Yack.Most of the yearbooks in the North Carolina College and University Yearbooks collection have sections for senior (or other) class superlatives. These are the folks voted to categories like “Hardest Worker” or “Most Likely to Succeed.” These are for the most part positive distinctions, with the exception of the 1920 Yackety Yack from the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), which included awards for “Ugliest” (Otto Bryant) and “Laziest” (Luke Umstead).

Unfortunately for Bryant and Umstead, the class of 1920 looks to have been pretty prescient in some of its selections. The pick for “Best Business Man” was Ben Cone, who would become an executive at the Cone Mills Corporation and serve a term as mayor of Greensboro, while the pick for “Best Writer” was Thomas Wolfe, who would go on to write Look Homeward, Angel and You Can’t Go Home Again.

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