The Auditorium, with the Girls' Dormitory in the background, 1922.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection)
In 1923, the North Carolina State Legislature appropriated funds for the purchase and operations of the school, and the school was renamed the "Durham State Normal School." By 1925, it was renamed the "North Carolina College for Negroes" with a focus on liberal arts education and preparation of teachers and principals for secondary schools.
The inclusion into the UNC system provided the funds to significantly upgrade the facilities on campus, authorized by the General Assembly in 1927. Per NCCU's official history, the support of Governor Angus McClean was an important factor in the appropriation, and the financial support of Benjamin Duke and "contributions of the citizens of Durham" allowed the facilities expansion to move forward.
Initially, this was done while retaining some of the original structures on campus; notably the Boys' Dormitory, the Auditorium, and the original Girls' Dormitory were retained, while new masonry structures designed by architects Atwood and Nash, replaced the Administration Building and Dining Hall, and provided a new Gymnasium and Girls' Dormitory.
The old auditorium was the longest surviving of the original campus buildings; it was torn down in 1956 for the Biology Building.