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Founded by the Reverend Peter Doub in 1833, Greensboro Female College was chartered in 1838 under the United Methodist Church. The college opened in 1846, becoming the first chartered college for women in North Carolina and the third institution of its type in the U.S. It was the mission of Greensboro Female College to produce wholesome women with strong character and faith. In 1863 fire destroyed the main building of the college and, for the next decade, classes were held in Kittrell, Louisburg, and Warrenton. Greensboro Female College continued to survive and opened its doors again in 1873 in a new building.
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In 1903 trustees had decided to close the college and sell its assets. That same year, Lucy H. Robertson became the president of the college and the first female president of a college in North Carolina. Robertson and alumnae Nannie Lee Smith raised $25,000 to keep the college in operation. With the help of other alumnae and loyal supporters and friends, the college was able to overcome the financial crisis. The name of the school changed to Greensboro College for Women in 1912, and the fist bachelor’s degrees were offered in 1913. The name again changed in 1919 to Greensboro College and enrollment increased to 400 students by the centennial celebration in 1938.
In 1941 lightning struck the main building and caused another major fire, this time partially destroying the structure. The building was restored and continues to be used for the college’s primary administrative center. In 1954 Greensboro College became one of the first women’s colleges in the nation to be coeducational with the addition of a men’s residence hall, completed in 1961. The school joined with Guilford College and Bennett College as the third link to the Greensboro Tri-College Consortium in 1968.
William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1964)
William S. Powell, ed., Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006)
Samuel Bryant Turrentine, A Romance of Education (1946)
Greensboro College website: http://www.greensborocollege.edu