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 University. The College was officially chartered by the State of North Carolina on October 25, 1956.
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 University. In 1964, 33 students received their degrees at the College’s first Commencement.
Since those early days, nearly 15,000 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.
The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate 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 College is a member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the National Association of Colleges and Universities Business Officers and the American Council on Education. 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 College. The teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
The Adult & Professional Studies programs offer 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, Durham, Goldsboro, Greenville, Manteo, New Bern, Raleigh, Washington, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
The Alma Mater
We honor faith that seeks life whole,
Whose hearts and minds unite in soul,
Whose freedom teaches self-control, A gift which we inherit.
Confirmed in these unrivaled years. Of learning, laughter, and of tears,
Of yearning hope amid our fears, We praise thee for thy spirit.
Wesleyan, our Alma Mater, Now we join with voices raised;
May thy name be blessed in singing, And by grateful lives be praised.