Catawba College was founded by the German Reformed Church in 1851, and it is the sixth oldest college in North Carolina. Established to train ministers, Catawba now offers co-educational undergraduate and master degrees. Annual enrollment is over 1,300 students, and Catawba has several joint study programs with the Appalachian State, Duke, and Wake Forest Universities.
Region: Piedmont Plateau
Saint Augustine’s College, founded in 1867, was formed due to the need for African American teachers. Earning four-year college status in 1928, Saint Augustine’s College was the first African American college to host radio and television programs. Today, nearly 1,500 students attend the college in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Located in Wake County near the State Capitol building, Peace College was originally founded in 1857. However, the Civil War prevented the first students from studying at the institution until 1872. An all-female college, Peace College continues its Presbyterian tradition. Enrollment is around 700 students each year, offering 10 majors to its students.
Founded in 1941, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was named in honor of Lt. Seymour Johnson. During WWII, the base served as a important training center for bomber pilots, but the camp was closed after the war. Seymour Johnson was reopened in 1956 due to the work of local political leaders, and it has since remained home to the Fourth Tactical Fighter Wing.
A little known Confederate fort that was built in anticipation of Union General George Stoneman’s Raid into Piedmont North Carolina and to protect the North Carolina Railroad Bridge, Fort York is now located adjacent to I-85 in Davidson County and across the Yadkin River from Rowan County.
Located near Mount Gilead, Town Creek Indian Mound is a Pee Dee ceremonial burial ground. It remains the only North Carolina historic site dedicated to Native Americans and is a well-known Mississippian culture landmark.
Recognized as the largest women’s private college in the Southeastern United States, Meredith College was created at the behest of Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Recorder, in the late 1800s. Ten female students graduated as the first class in 1902, and in 1909 the college became known as Meredith College in honor of its original founder. Presently, Meredith enrolls almost 2,000 students and offers 32 majors and four graduate programs.
The Croatan Normal School, forerunner of UNC-Pembroke, was formed by the General Assembly on March 7, 1887, after Native Americans petitioned the legislature for a teaching school in Robeson County. Throughout the 1910s and 1930s, the school started to offer degrees other than education and in 1969 the college’s name was changed to Pembroke State University. Today, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a study body of over 6,900 students.
Originally the Slater Industrial Academy, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has grown from its meager beginnings of 1892. The first class of 25 students studied to become teachers, but today, WSSU offers programs ranging from nursing to English, with a student body of almost 6,500 students. Important locales on Winston-Salem State University’s campus include the sculpture gardens and the Diggs Art Gallery.
Western Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, North Carolina was established in 1889 as a semi-public high school and chartered as Cullowhee Academy in 1891. Founder Robert Lee Madison wanted to create educational opportunities for youths in the surrounding area and to train teachers in expanding education across western North Carolina. As of 2012, the school boasts 9,429 students and 457 full-time faculty members.