My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: Methodist University
Location: Fayetteville NC
Many spiritual books tells us that the way to deal with disappointment is to preserve. In 1955 a group of citizens in Fayetteville NC were lobbying hard for the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina to select their city as the site for a new 4 year Presbyterian affiliated college to be built in Eastern NC. The Synod selected Laurinburg NC for St. Andrews College and Fayetteville NC leaders decided they would continue to perisist.
St. Andrews University today is shown below. The campus has endured some tough times over the past 60 years and has an enrollment of around 500.
So what did Fayetteville, NC do with their disappointment. The mayor of Fayetteville at that time appointed the “Fayetteville College Steering Committee” to attempt to bring a Methodist college to town. His perseverance and vision paid off. Today Methodist University is a vibrant campus with over 2400 students.
The steps to get the university to Fayetteville involved creating a Fayetteville (later Methodist) College Foundation to secure pledges of land and money. During 1956, Fayetteville attorney Terry Sanford and other foundation leaders met with Bishop Paul Garber of the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church and formally invited them to establish a four-year, coeducational college in Fayetteville. Terry Sanford would go on to become Governor and US Senator along with two times making a bid to become President of the US.
The group pledged 600 acres of land, $2 million for initial construction of the campus, $50,000 annually for sustaining funds, and city utilities as well as police and fire protection for the site. Bishop Garber’s Long Range Planning Committee voted to accept the Fayetteville group’s offer and a similar offer from Rocky Mount; the committee also proposed to move Louisburg College to Rocky Mount and convert it into a four-year college.
In September 1960, Methodist College opened for business with 88 full-time students, 12 faculty members and four buildings: the Classroom Building, the Student Union, the Science Building, and the Boiler Plant.
Today the campus covers 600 plus acres that includes 51 buildings, an 18 hole golf course, football/track facility, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, and an amphitheater.