On May 14, 1956, the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church met in Goldsboro and approved a petition from the people of Rocky Mount to locate a college in their community. In early September, the first trustees established temporary headquarters in the Ricks Hotel. One of the first actions of the Board was to name the institution North Carolina Wesleyan College. The College was officially chartered by the State of North Carolina on October 25, 1956.
Original capital investments totaling approximately $2 million made possible the construction of the main buildings on the 200-acre site donated by the M.C. Braswell heirs of Rocky Mount and four years later 92 students enrolled in the first class at North Carolina Wesleyan College. In 1964, 33 students received their degrees at the College’s first commencement.
Since those early days, more than 13,000 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in the arts and sciences. Alumni from Rocky Mount, neighboring communities, numerous states and several foreign countries affirm Wesleyan’s value as an important resource for higher education in Eastern North Carolina.
North Carolina Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of North Carolina Wesleyan University.
The University is a member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.
Women graduates are eligible for membership in the American Association of University Women.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction grants North Carolina teaching certificates to graduates of North Carolina Wesleyan who have completed the prescribed certification program and who are recommended by the University. The teacher education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The exercise science program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The Office of Adult & Professional Studies offers learning opportunities for adult students who seek career advancement or personal enrichment. The program serves the Rocky Mount area and has additional campuses in Brunswick, Goldsboro, Greenville, Manteo, New Bern, Raleigh-Durham, Washington,Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
Recent years have been especially invigorating ones in the history of the University. Extensive curriculum revisions have been undertaken and facilities upgraded. Majors in health promotion, education, criminal justice and marketing are evidence of North Carolina Wesleyan University’s dedication to serving education’s changing needs.
The general education curriculum of the University is a rigorous and wellrounded approach, including course requirements in ethics, international studies, humanities, religious studies, mathematics, physical and biological sciences, social sciences and exercise science.
In addition to formal coursework, both in the core curriculum and the specialized majors, the University seeks to instill in its students a sense of community responsibility and global perspective.
Beginning with the donation of 200 acres of land on which to build the University, North Carolina Wesleyan has had the opportunity to design and build its campus to a master plan in the uniform architectural style of Georgian-Colonial.
The eastern border of the campus is flanked by a mile-long Jeffersonian serpentine wall. Two tall gatehouses form an entrance at the center of the winding wall and from them a dual-lane drive leads toward the center of the campus. A large commons area, the Southern Bank Green, is located behind the Braswell Administration Building, Pearsall Classroom Building and Gravely Science Building. This open space provides seating and covered tables and serves as an outdoor gathering place for students, staff and faculty.
The Braswell Administration Building, Pearsall Classroom Building and Gravely Science Building complex houses administrative offices, faculty offices, classrooms and science laboratories.
The Hardee’s Student Union Building houses The Blue and Gold Café, University Store, Post Office, Security Office and Career Development & Leadership Program.
The Elizabeth Braswell Pearsall Library is a gathering place on campus that provides print, media and electronic resources to support both academic work and recreational needs. The library collections include over 60,000 print volumes. The library also provides online access to about 46,000 magazines, newspapers and journals; about 255,000 electronic books; about 48,000 educational and documentary streaming videos accessible online. Friendly, qualified and knowledgeable library staff are available and eager to provide help to students, faculty, and staff in the use of technology to find the information they need. The library offers comfortable study space for both independent and collaborative work and includes a Flexible Instruction Lab, a Media Production Lab, and the Writing Center.
The library seats over 350 users and offers over 60 computers - multiple desktops and several circulating laptops that students can use in and outside of the library. In addition to printing, scanning and photocopying documents, Pearsall Library provides 3D printing services that allow students to create objects from 3D files either designed in the computer or scanned from other objects. The library’s hours are - Sundays: 1:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.; Mondays to Thursdays: 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.; Fridays: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; and Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The University has eight traditional residence halls on campus. All rooms are air-conditioned, and have wi-fi. Four of the traditional halls are three-story brick buildings, similar in size and design, which house approximately 120 students each. Rooms are furnished with sinks, two twin beds, two desks and chairs, two dressers and two wardrobes. Rooms are designed to be shared by two students. The four remaining traditional halls are two-story brick buildings that accommodate 40 upperclass students each in 100-square-foot, single-occupancy rooms. Finally, the Villas at Wesleyan townhomes house 80 students in a combination of single and double rooms and are located across from campus on Calloway Drive.
Everett Gymnasium and the adjoining Roger G. and Gaile D. Taylor Center house the Department of Athletics and Exercise Science faculty offices. In 2004, the University completed a $2 million renovation that added the Taylor Center, which features the Athletics Hall of Fame, the Jean Brake Edge Gym and a fitness center. The main gymnasium is the home of Don Scalf Court and with seating for up to 1,200 people provides a great home court advantage for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. The gym proudly displays numerous banners earned by various Bishop athletic squads over the years. The auxiliary gym can be used for a variety of activities including basketball, volleyball and fitness classes. It is connected to a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with free weights and cardiovascular machines.
Competition and practice fields for varsity baseball, lacrosse, soccer and softball are located within the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. Sports Complex adjacent to the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. Fieldhouse with facilities for outdoor sports and coaches’ offices. The football team practices and plays home games on the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. football practice field on campus. In addition, there are campus fields for intramurals, beach volleyball courts, a frisbee golf course, bicycle racks and activities to encourage physical activity for all students.
The Slick Family Foundation Tennis Complex provides 12 lighted hardsurface courts, a field house and seating area for approximately 300 spectators. The complex includes the Thomas A. Betts Pavilion and the six original Vietnam Memorial Courts.
The Leon Russell Chapel includes a flexible-use area covering 1,600 square feet and the Rena Perry Blackburn Prayer Room, which is available for individual or small group meditation. The Chapel also houses the Edna Gladden Hartness Music Library. A courtyard surrounded by a pierced brick wall is adjacent to the building. The University Chaplain has an office in the Chapel and is available to students, staff and faculty for consultation.
The Rufus and Patsy Hartness Student Center has been extensively renovated. The facility offers a recreation area/game room with a 52-inch flat screen TV and other recreational attractions, a lounge for students and the WOW Café. Offices for ROTC, Cheerleading & Dance, Student Government Association, student publications, Campus Activities Board and the Student Entertainment and Activities Team are also located there.
The Gateway Technology Center - Thomas A. Betts, Jr. Education Building opened in May 2006 near the entrance to the campus. The facility provides access to graduate degrees through East Carolina University and North Carolina State University. The two-story facility also provides classroom and office space for the University.
The Health and Wellness Services, located in the Spruill Building, offers basic medical care and referral services by a physician’s assistant for students, as well as houses counseling and accessibility services. North Carolina Wesleyan University requires all of its students to have health insurance coverage and has an insurance provider for students who need coverage.
The Thomas J. Pearsall, Jr. Building serves as the campus Welcome Center, which houses the Office of Admissions and Office of Adult & Professional Studies staff.
The Bellemonte House, located at the rear of campus next to The Dunn Center, serves as office space for the Office of Marketing & Communications and is available for rental space for the public.
A focal point for the arts at North Carolina Wesleyan University is the 48,060-square-foot Charles K. Dunn, Jr. and Ineze D. Dunn Center for the Performing Arts. This beautiful Neo-Georgian style building houses the 1,168-seat Minges Auditorium, with a full working stage with fly loft and fully operational control booth. It also includes the 133-seat Powers Recital Hall, the Carlton Board Room, the spacious Garner Lobby, an acting classroom and two art galleries. The Mims Gallery features an exhibit schedule of regional and international contemporary art. The Civic Gallery features art of the extended Rocky Mount community. In addition to providing a showcase for performing artists, symphonies, dance groups and theatrical companies, The Dunn Center serves as a meeting facility, offering space for conferences, shareholder and employee meetings, retreats, wedding receptions and banquets.
The University strives to provide equal access opportunities, including the establishment and coordination of academic accommodations and auxiliary aids and programs to qualified students in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations should contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services Office located in the Spruill Building for more information. Visitors to campus who have concerns about physical access to campus buildings should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services at 252.985.5369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Carolina Wesleyan University, a private institution affiliated with The United Methodist Church, prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities.
At North Carolina Wesleyan University, we provide students with opportunities to make meaningful connections and learn through innovative teaching approaches. The distinctive Wesleyan experience equips our graduates to make a positive impact on the world.
- Knowledge & Understanding
- Integrity & Accountability
- Patience & Respect
- Kindness & Empathy
Campus and Community
The liberal arts and sciences are the foundation of North Carolina Wesleyan University’s curriculum for all undergraduate degree programs. Students choose from a variety of majors, all of which help prepare students for rewarding personal lives, good citizenship and productive careers. Instruction emphasizes critical thinking, analytical reasoning, reading, writing, speaking, informed decision-making and information skills. The University understands the increasing importance of a global perspective and of helping students learn to function in a complex society. It provides a holistic, learning environment that encourages ethical and spiritual development.
The University provides degree programs and other educational opportunities for residential, commuting and adult students. The traditional program in Rocky Mount for residential and commuting students emphasizes small classes and individual attention. It also encourages student development through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The non-traditional Office of Adult & Professional Studies is designed for students who wish to strengthen their academic background, enhance their professional knowledge and skills and advance their careers. It is tailored to the learning styles and schedules of working adults. Both programs provide student support services to ensure academic success.
The University has a special commitment to the Rocky Mount area and to Eastern North Carolina. Through individual faculty, staff and alumni activity and through its educational and cultural programs, the University promotes the development of the region. The North Carolina Wesleyan University community includes students from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. The University works to create an environment in which students, faculty and staff come together in a dynamic learning community.
Community, Religion and Discourse
Since its founding in 1956 by the United Methodist Church and Rocky Mount leaders, North Carolina Wesleyan University has been affiliated with The United Methodist Church. The Heritage District Superintendent represents the United Methodist Conference on our Board of Trustees and the university has a close working relationship with the Bishop and the Conference’s Board of Institutions, on which the Wesleyan President sits as an ex-officio member. The University embraces its historical association with The United Methodist Church and the inaugural teaching of its founder, John Wesley. The university is unconditionally committed to the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development of its students. We strive to embody the values and principles of The United Methodist Church while welcoming persons with all religious beliefs to our campus. We promote and support the following key principles of a Methodist affiliated university:
- The Place of Religion in Higher Education: We respect and provide for the teaching of religion within the curriculum. Faculty, staff and students have opportunities to explore the place of religious beliefs and practices within all academic disciplines and co-curricular activities. Our general education program requires that students take at least one course in religious studies. In addition, Wesleyan has a popular major and minor in Religious Studies.
- Social Justice: We affirm the basic rights of all persons to equal access to education and to spiritual growth within the university. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or economic status and offer a climate of openness, acceptance and support to enable all persons to participate fully in the life of the university. We seek to create a community of scholarship and learning that facilitates social and academic participation as an inclusive right for all.
- Academic Freedom: We believe that academic freedom is protected for all members of the campus community and that the university should foster a campus environment that allows for the free and reasoned exchange of ideas, while guarding the expression of religious belief on campus. We recognize that excellence in higher education requires an environment that fosters an openness to discourse among faculty, students and staff.
- North Carolina Wesleyan University is open to all persons regardless of their religious beliefs. The university welcomes religious diversity as an opportunity for the broadening of minds and the enrichment of campus discourse. We provide opportunities for personal and private expressions of faith and the meaningful exchange of ideas for all members of the campus community.
The heart of the academic programs at North Carolina Wesleyan is its faculty. Teaching is the principal mission of the University and our faculty members are first and foremost teachers and mentors. While dedicated to teaching, the North Carolina Wesleyan faculty is also engaged in a variety of scholarship in the advancement of knowledge and in the scholarship of teaching. Many have received study grants such as those from Fulbright, Ford, National Endowment for the Humanities, Phi Delta Kappa and the National Science Foundation. Ninety percent of the fulltime faculty have earned a terminal degree. While carrying a full teaching load, members of the faculty write and publish papers and books, create and perform music, consult for business and public agencies and volunteer for a wide variety of community services. They also give unselfishly of themselves in and out of the classroom every day. Their contributions to North Carolina Wesleyan University make it a lively, energetic, thoroughly engaging community.
North Carolina Wesleyan University is committed to the emotional intellectual, physical, social and spiritual growth of its students. An atmosphere of genuine care and close personal relationships is central to the idea of the Christian community and is the goal of campus religious life. The Leon Russell Chapel stands as North Carolina Wesleyan University’s commitment to this integration of the intellect, emotion and spirit. As the center for religious activities, the chapel provides experiences through which students may participate in the life of the church, along with opportunities for personal and private expressions of faith. The Chapel hosts the office of the Campus Chaplain, who is available for consultation to students, staff and faculty.
Consistent with the motto of the university, “Wisdom and courage through Christian education”, NC Wesleyan strives to provide students with a holistic education that enhances their growth spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. While Wesleyan serves students of many religious backgrounds, NC Wesleyan embraces its heritage as a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and endeavors to offer religious life programs reflective of that association.
Worship services, discussion groups, retreats, small group Bible study and service projects are directed by our Chaplain. The churches of Rocky Mount also welcome the participation of students in worship and other programs.
The University’s Commitment to the Region
North Carolina Wesleyan University is firmly committed to serving the region, the northern coastal plain of North Carolina. A key part of that service is to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the region through the Four Sisters Gallery and the gallery’s permanent collection of self-taught art, which features the Lynch Collection of Outsider Art and the Pre-Columbian Art and Artifacts Collection. Wesleyan also offers the Lyceum Program, the Visiting Writers Series and scheduled events at Wesleyan’s The Dunn Center.
The Wesleyan Collection of Pre-Columbian Artifacts is a program that began in 1992. The collection consists of about 90 prehistoric artifacts from Eastern North America, Andean South America, Central America, Mesoamerica, the Southwestern United States, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The collection is housed in the Elizabeth Braswell Pearsall Library. Most of the artifacts were donated to the University by members of the Archaeological Society. The University later was able to double the number of Pre-Columbian artifacts with a loan from a private collector.
The Lyceum Program, through periodic events, provides the University with a sense of community, creates an atmosphere of intellectual stimulation and allows an opportunity for cultural enlightenment. University-wide events include Founder’s Day in October, the Honors Convocation, the Jefferson- Pilot Lectures and various cultural, religious and scholarly events.
The Dunn Center is the focal point for the arts at North Carolina Wesleyan University and throughout the region. The 48,060-square-foot facility is a beautiful Neo-Georgian style building which houses the 1,200- seat Minges Auditorium, with a full working stage with fly loft and fully operational control booth. The Dunn Center also includes the 132-seat Powers Recital Hall, the Carlton Board Room, the spacious Garner Lobby, Bailey Plaza, an acting classroom and two art galleries. The Mims Gallery annually produces a series of art exhibits by nationally recognized and local art professionals from various and diverse populations. The Gravely Gallery features art of the extended Rocky Mount community including children’s art from local schools. In addition to providing a showcase for performing artists, symphonies, dance groups and theatrical companies, The Dunn Center serves as a meeting facility, offering space for conferences, shareholder and employee meetings, retreats, receptions, banquets and other gatherings.