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



Marker Text:

     In September 1955 a steering committee, appointed by the mayor of Fayetteville, took the initiative to establish a college in that city. At the time the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina had just announced plans to locate what became St. Andrews College in Laurinburg. As a consequence the Methodist Church accepted the Fayetteville citizens’ offer of a 600-acre tract and $2 million to establish a school. The school received its charter from the state on November 1, 1956. Fayetteville attorney and future governor Terry Sanford was elected the first chairman of the board of trustees. The following year L. Stacy Weaver was chosen as the first president. The first class of 88 students was admitted on September 16, 1960.
     The campus includes a grouping of contemporary buildings; the architectural plan, created by Stevens and Wilkinson of Atlanta, earned a national citation for creativity and unity of design. After a successful start, declining enrollment dipped the size of the student body to 684 in 1975. In 1978 the school began offering two-year associate degrees in addition to four-year degrees. In 1993 trustees recommended that the college borrow funds to build additional residence halls over the next five years to accommodate 300 new resident students. The trustees further recommended that the college undertake a major capital campaign of at least ten million dollars for increasing the endowment and constructing a library addition, a new academic building, and a science building. In 2001 the school had a record enrollment of 2,143, and inaugurated the first graduate program, a Master of Medical Science (Physician Assistant Studies) program. In 2006 trustees voted to change the name of the school from Methodist College to Methodist University.

Methodist College website:
Methodist College Bulletin, 1964-66
William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1964)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

Methodist College

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