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



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     In September 1924, the Methodist Protestant Church and the city of High Point opened High Point College. The process of getting to that point, however, had started years earlier. The Methodist Protestant Church, part of today’s United Methodist Church, began offering higher education opportunities in North Carolina during the nineteenth century. Its first venture was sponsorship of Yadkin College in Davidson County. Yadkin College failed in 1895 because of its isolated location but, at the turn of the century, the Reverend Joseph McCulloh began working to make the vision of a church-related college a reality. It was not until the Methodist Church’s 1921 annual conference that delegates voted to proceed with sponsoring another college. Soon after, the city of High Point offered the church 60 acres of land and $100,000 to build the school. When classes began in 1924 at High Point College, the three building campus accommodated nine faculty members and 122 students.

     The Great Depression took its toll on the young college. Students occasionally paid their tuition in livestock and vegetables and the faculty’s salaries went unpaid for several years. To reduce its debts, the college filed for bankruptcy in 1934 and reorganized. The college’s circumstances improved and, by the end of the decade, the campus boasted a new library, gymnasium, and athletic facility. During World War II, the facilities were used as a training center for the U.S. Army Air Force. The college saw tremendous growth during its post war years, primarily due to the G.I. Bill, with its enrollment more than tripling. In 1951, the college received full regional accreditation for all of its programs.

     On October 9, 1991, the Board of Trustees changed the college’s name to High Point University. Today the university has thirty-two buildings, 150 faculty members, and over 3000 students enrolled in its programs. Its mission stands today as it did in the words of its founders in 1924 as “to help us to appreciate and to love our own, to know our needs and opportunities, and to make ourselves more efficient servants of Christ."

William R. Locke, No Easy Task: The First Fifty Years of High Point College (1975)
Richard B. McCaslin, Remembered by thy Blessings: High Point University, The College Years, 1924-1991 (1995)
History of High Point University Website:
William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1964)

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north carolina highway historical marker program

High Point University

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