north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Citizens of Rocky Mount in the spring of 1956 offered the United Methodist Church approximately $2 million in cash and pledges, along with a site and continuing annual support, to erect, operate, and support a senior college in their community. Chartered on October 25 of that year, the school was led by a board of trustees headed by W. Jasper Smith, a native of Bethel, North Carolina, who had served as a Methodist conference lay leader. A capital campaign led to further pledges totaling $4 million for construction. The Braswell family donated a 200 acre tract.

     Selected to construct the college in a Colonial Revival style was the firm of Lashmit, James, Brown, and Pollock of Winston-Salem. Plans were drawn for facilities to accommodate 600 dormitory students and 200 day students. Construction began in June 1958. The following year, the Reverend Thomas A. Collins of Raleigh became the school’s first president. Also in 1959, contracts were let for other campus buildings. The first freshmen enrolled in September 1960. In May 1964 the school graduated its first class of seniors.

     In recent years, a multi-campus adult degree program has developed in Raleigh-Durham, Goldsboro and Rocky Mount. Over the course of its history North Carolina Wesleyan College has graduated about 7,000 students.

North Carolina Wesleyan College website:
North Carolina Wesleyan College Alumni Directory (1989)
North Carolina Wesleyan College Bulletin (November 1966)

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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources