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.
Subject: Colleges and Universities
Located in the western mountains of North Carolina in Boone, Appalachian State University was once a school dedicated to prepare teachers. Appalachian, or then Watagua Academy, was formed by the Dougherty brothers in 1899. Appalachian experienced great growth by the 1940s, and it was inducted into the University of North Carolina school system in the 1970s. Appalachian State University currently enrolls over 17,000 students, offering over 140 undergraduate and graduate programs.
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.
Established by the Baptist Association of North Carolina out of a need for schools in the Piedmont region, Wingate University was founded in 1896. Wingate College grew but experienced tough financial times during the Great Depression. However, concerned Baptists and dedicated professors helped Wingate survive. The school became a university in 1995, with a student body of about 2,500 students today.
Established in the aftermath of World War 2 as a temporary junior college for veterans, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has become the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte area and the fourth largest university in the state of North Carolina. As of 2012, UNC Charlotte maintains a total enrollment of 25,063 students and a faculty and staff of 3,000.
Located in Hickory, North Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in 1891 as Highland Academy by four Lutheran ministers. Since its inception the school has grown to a student body of 1,900 students, and Lenoir-Rhyne continues its affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Located in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University was founded in 1834 and ranks 25th overall among national universities. Distinguished for its small size, and student faculty ratio of 11:1, the school boasts a total enrollment of 7, 070 students and offers programs in liberal arts as well as graduate and professional education.
Located in the western mountains of Buncombe County, North Carolina, UNC-Asheville remains the only distinctly labeled liberal arts university in the state. Asheville-Buncombe College, the precursor to the modern university, dates back to the late 1920s. After a significant increase in local and state funding during the late 1950s, UNC-Asheville relocated to its present location, and its student population greatly increased. Today, nearly 3,700 students attend the university.
Formally known as Trinity College during the mid-nineteenth century with support from the Methodist Church, Duke University has become one of the leading private research universities in the world. The school moved to Durham in 1887 and as of 2012, Duke boasts 13, 457 students from over 55 countries and 2,877 faculty.
Located in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University (ECU) was originally a teacher’s training college. ECU has developed into the third largest university in the University of North Carolina Higher Education System, with over 20,000 students. Notable alumni include Sandra Bullock (actress), Kelly King (CEO of BB&T), and James Maynard (founder of Golden Corral Restaurants).