North Carolina-Flora McDonald-September 20

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-September 20

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

In Robeson County there used to exist a school under the name Flora McDonald College which became Flora McDonald Academy and today it is Highlander Academy.


Flora Macdonald College in Red Springs originated in 1896 as Red Springs Seminary, a Presbyterian school that was the successor to Floral College (1841-78). In 1903 the college was renamed Southern Presbyterian College and Conservatory of Music, and in 1915 it became Flora MacDonald College.


In 1952 the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina authorized a study of seven of the Presbyterian colleges under its jurisdiction and decided to merge Flora Macdonald College with Peace and Presbyterian Junior College to form one coeducational, four-year college to be located at Laurinburg, NC called St. Andrews College.

From 1964 through 1974 the Flora Macdonald campus was occupied by Vardell Hall, a girls preparatory school and junior college. Since 1974 the campus has been home to Flora Macdonald Academy (formerly Robeson Country Day School) a Pre-K – 12 private preparatory school.

On the evening of March 28, 1984 Red Springs was struck by a series of tornados that devastated the town.  Flora MacDonald Academy did not escape and the buildings sustained serious damage. Thousands of trees were felled in the gardens, which have never fully recovered.from that storm.


In 2015 on the campus that hosted Flora McDonald College a new school called Highlander Academy opened.




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