High Point University
|High Point College (1924–1991)|
|Motto||Nil Sine Numine (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Nothing Without Divine Guidance|
|United Methodist Church|
|Endowment||$76.2 million (2020)|
|Colors||Purple and white|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – Big South Conference|
|Mascot||Prowler the Panther|
High Point University is a private liberal arts university in High Point, North Carolina. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded as High Point College in 1924, it became High Point University in October 1991. HPU offers 47 undergraduate majors, 51 undergraduate minors and 12 graduate-degree majors.
In the mid-19th century, the Methodist Protestant Church, which is now part of the United Methodist Church, became active in educational pursuits in North Carolina. In 1921, after some years of consideration, the statewide governing body of the Methodist Protestant Church voted to establish a college. Shortly afterward, the church accepted an offer from the citizens of High Point to contribute 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land and $100,000 to the project, placing the new school in the city of High Point. The campus was designed by R. E. Mitchell of Washington, D.C., assisted by Herbert Hunter of High Point, in the English Renaissance style. The school was founded in 1924 as High Point College, a joint venture between the Methodist Protestant Church and the citizens of High Point, and officially opened on September 14, 1924. When the college opened, the campus consisted of three buildings, attended by nine faculty members, with a student enrollment of 122.
The steadfast growth that characterized the birth of the college ended abruptly with the Great Depression. This period was difficult for the college in 1932–33, as faculty salaries were cut and expenses were sometimes bartered. Despite a $50,000 fund-raising campaign, the college declared bankruptcy on June 15, 1934 and reorganized in an effort to reduce its indebtedness. Subsequent reorganization enabled the college to move forward with business and renewed expansion.
On October 9, 1991, under the guidance of President Jacob C. Martinson, Jr. and the board of trustees, High Point College changed its name to High Point University to reflect post-graduate degree programs. Coinciding with the offering of graduate studies, every building on the campus was renovated and new ones were constructed with a campus quadrangle added to replace a former city street that bisected the campus, and by 2004 the university's endowment increased to $40 million. When Martinson stepped down as president in 2005, he was the longest serving United Methodist college president in the country.
In 2005, the university was 92 acres and landlocked with an undergraduate enrollment of 1,450. Its operating budget was $35 million with approximately 100 faculty members. Since Dr. Nido R. Qubein became president of High Point University in 2005 the growth of the university has had significant impact on the city, region and the state of North Carolina. Qubein is the fourth highest paid college president, paid $2.9 million a year, in the United States.
Since taking office in 2005, Qubein added campus buildings and created student amenities such as concierge services, an on-campus steak house, free carwashes, an ice cream truck, and even an ice skating rink. In early 2012 Businessweek reported that about $700 million in new building and campus upgrades was financed by heavy borrowing and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the school's bonds to junk status in 2009 due to the school's position as one of the most heavily leveraged colleges in the country. The U.S. Department of Education's "financial responsibility" score for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal year has High Point University scoring the highest possible score of 3, putting the university ahead of Elon University, Duke University, and Davidson College. Businessweek responded by inviting the school to make financial documents available to support any challenges to the article's accuracy, but none were offered in response. In addition to questioning debt levels, Businessweek challenged whether the school's relationships with its lenders and vendors were at an appropriate arm's length, citing in particular that the school spends large amounts on marketing with a public relations firm headed by Qubein's daughter. The college's claims to a growing reputation in higher education were challenged as based more on high-end student amenities and marketing strategy than on academics.
The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac of April 19, 2016, noted that Qubein was the third highest-donor university president in the country from 2006 to 2016. He committed $10 million to High Point University. Donations from alumni, parents and supporters of HPU total about $214 million since 2006. In 2010, the university announced plans to invest about $2.1 billion in overall growth in the next decade. To date, HPU has spent $1.2 billion on four new schools plus facilities, faculty and student services.
Ashley Furniture Industries Chairman Ron Wanek donated $10 million to HPU in 2013 after visiting Qubein. Wanek's gift to the university is the 10th contribution of $10 million or more that Qubein has received during his tenure.
On September 14, 2014, HPU celebrated its 90th anniversary. As part of the commemoration, 90 facts about the university were featured in the News and Record on HPU's Founders Day. On January 3, 2015, Qubein celebrated his 10th anniversary as president of High Point University.
In April 2016, HPU announced plans to invest $160 million in new building projects  including a 5,000-seat arena and conference center, undergraduate science center and residence hall.
Together, Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, along with the surrounding suburbs and townships, form the Piedmont Triad region, an area with a population over 1.5 million. Of that number, approximately 108,285 live in High Point. Both Greensboro and Winston-Salem are 20 minutes from campus. East of the university are Raleigh (11/2 hours away) and the Atlantic Ocean (31/2 hours away); south are Charlotte (11/2 hours away) and Atlanta, Georgia (5 hours away); west are the Appalachian Mountains (2 hours away); and north is Washington, D.C. (5 hours away).
High Point University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 and a student retention rate of 76.5%. The average class size is fewer than 18 students and no teacher assistants instruct classes.
HPU offers day and evening undergraduate degree programs (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) and graduate degree programs (Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education, Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Organization, Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Strategic Communication, Master of Science in Athletic Training, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Doctor of Pharmacy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy). A doctoral degree in Educational Leadership began in the fall of 2012.
In 2019, the annual U.S. News & World Report ranked HPU as #1 Best Regional College in the South for the seventh consecutive year and #1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South for the fourth consecutive year.
HPU has been named to "The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition" by The Princeton Review for academic programming and positive feedback from students, parents, and higher education leaders throughout the United States. The Princeton Review Rankings also named HPU to the list of the nation's top 20 Best-Run Colleges (No. 19) for the second consecutive year and Best College Dorm Rooms (No. 5). In 2019, HPU was also named to the list of Most Beautiful Campuses (No. 18) and received recognition as a great school for Business/Finance and Communication majors.
Schools at High Point include the David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences, Stout School of Education, Earl N. Phillips School of Business, Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, School of Art & Design, Webb School of Engineering, the Wanek School of Natural Sciences, Congdon School of Health Sciences, Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, and Norcross Graduate School.
In 2005, traditional undergraduate enrollment was 1,450. In 2018, High Point University welcomed 4,545 students to campus, an increase by 213 percent. Based on data gathered from the incoming class of 2012, approximately 8,200 applications were reviewed. There was a 54% acceptance rate, with 1,333 enrolling. 78% of the freshmen class applied Early Decision or Early Action. For the class of 2017, the mid-range SAT scores for high school seniors applying to the university was 1000 to 1200. The mean SAT range for Critical Reading and Math was 1100 and the mean ACT Composite score for entering freshmen was 24. The average GPA on a 4.0 scale was a 3.3 un-weighted. 80% of the class was made up of students who were from states outside of North Carolina, and the class represented 41 states and 20 countries.
In the class of 2014, there were 54 students who received the titles of either National Merit Scholars, valedictorians, salutatorians or high school student government presidents. 307 students had Advanced Placement Courses from high school, earning over 1272 credit hours in 23 different subjects. Several students earned the distinction of Eagle Scout or Gold Award recipient during high school, and there were 15 languages spoken fluently among the class. The top ten states represented by the class were North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Ohio and Florida. The class is 74% Caucasian, 6% African American, 3% Hispanic or Latin American, 1% Asian or Asian-American, and 16% Other.
High Point University is a residential campus, with 19 residence halls in total. In 2019, The Princeton Review ranked High Point University #5 in the nation for Best College Dorm Rooms. All High Point University students are required to reside on campus until senior year, unless they commute from their parent's permanent address.
There are currently 17 Greek organizations on campus governed by the following councils:
Honor societies at High Point University include the Order of the Lighted Lamp, Alpha Chi (both recognize academic achievement), Alpha Delta Omega (Human Relations), Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish), Pi Delta Phi (French), Phi Sigma Iota (Foreign Language), Lambda Pi Eta (Communications), Alpha Sigma Lambda (Adult Learners), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Kappa Delta Pi (Education), Delta Mu Delta (Business), Psi Chi (Psychology), Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice), Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society), and Alpha Lambda Delta.
In April 2015, 254 students were inducted into High Point University's newest honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta. Alpha Lambda Delta's mission is to encourage superior academic achievement, promote intelligent living and a high standard of learning, and assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals in society.
- Cody Allen - Former Major League Baseball pitcher. Drafted in the 23rd Round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft
- Dick Culler – Former Major League Baseball player
- Austin Dillon – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
- Donna Fargo – Grammy-winning country music singer/songwriter
- John Gillespie - Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
- Issa Konare – PBL Basketball player for the Vermont Frost Heaves and plays for Senegal's national team
- Gene Littles – Former ABA basketball player and NBA coach
- Jack Lucas – Youngest United States Marine Corps veteran to receive the Medal of Honor
- Robert "50" Martin – Professional basketball player for the Atlanta Vision; former And1 streetballer
- Robert R. Merhige, Jr. - federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia who is known for his ruling on desegregation in the 1970s.
- Jonathan Miller - West Virginia House of Delegates
- Taylor Milne – Canadian Olympian in the 1500 metres
- Nido R. Qubein - Seventh president of High Point University, businessman, motivational speaker, author
- Arizona Reid – Professional basketball player in the Israeli National League
- Andre Scrubb - Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros
- Jaime Schultz - Baseball player
- Tubby Smith – College basketball coach and assistant coach of the 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team
- Francisco Laguna Correa - writer, ethnographer, cultural critic, teacher
The High Point Panthers include HPU's 16 athletic teams that compete at the NCAA Division I level, mostly in the Big South Conference. HPU's 16 varsity sports are baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's indoor track & field, men's and women's outdoor track & field and women's volleyball. In recent years, HPU has won nine Big South Conference Championships, produced 10 Conference Players of the Year; and more than 130 HPU athletes have received Big South All-Academic Honors.
The 2010–11 season was the most successful since High Point University joined NCAA Division I in 1999–2000. In the fall, the women's soccer team and women's volleyball team won Big South Tournaments and the men's soccer team won the Big South regular season. In the spring, the women's lacrosse team won the National Lacrosse Conference tournament and set a record for wins by a first-year program, with 15.
The 2010-2011 women's lacrosse team success led to other accomplishments in 2013. The women's lacrosse assistant coach Lauren Norris was selected to coach the 2013 Israel National Lacrosse Team in the 2013 FIL Women's World Cup.
In the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft, the Columbus Crew picked High Point University senior midfielder Shawn Sloan.
In 2016, Christine Rickert of the High Point University women's track and field team qualified to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Rickert placed 12th in the javelin throw, just nine places away from a spot on the Olympic Team. She remains the Big South Conference Record Holder in javelin with a throw of 52.47m (172–2 ft).
High Point University also fields the following sports at the club level: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rowing, running, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, women's field hockey, softball, ultimate frisbee, equestrian and ice hockey.
In the fall of 2013, the High Point University field hockey team qualified for the national tournament in Virginia Beach with a 6-2-0 season. The club equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).
Donations to High Point University's Athletic Department have exceeded $30 million. The primary athletics facilities at High Point University are the Millis Center (basketball, volleyball), Williard Stadium (baseball) and the Witcher Athletic Center at Vert Stadium (track, soccer, lacrosse).
In spring 2018, HPU announced the hire of hiring of Hall of Famer and NCAA Championship Winning coach Orlando 'Tubby' Smith as the Panthers' head coach for men's basketball. Smith, who becomes the 12th head men's basketball coach in HPU history, joins the Panthers after serving as the head coach at Memphis for two seasons. An all-conference standout for High Point College from 1969–73, Smith coached Kentucky to the 1998 national championship and is one of two head coaches to guide five different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech).
At the beginning of 2017, High Point University announced plans for a new basketball arena and conference center to be built on campus. The facility will be named for High Point University president, Dr. Nido R. Qubein and his wife, Mariana Qubein. Construction began in 2018 and it is projected to open in 2020.
The facility will include:
• 4,500 arena seats: Features include suites, locker rooms, staff offices, concession stands, a merchandising area, media suite, film room, press conference room, weight room, athletic training room, hospitality area, high tech audio and video equipment, ticket office and practice gym
• 2,500 conference center seats
• A small, executive hotel will be adjacent to the conference center to support a proposed hospitality management program and accommodate a growing number of requests by organizations who specifically want to tour the campus and experience HPU's unique educational environment and culture.
It was also announced in early 2017 that the basketball court in the new arena will be named for High Point men's head coach and High Point University alumnus Tubby Smith. Orlando "Tubby" Smith and his wife, Donna Smith, donated $1 million to the construction of the new facility. The Arena, Conference Center and Hotel will become the home of HPU's men's and women's basketball programs, as well as a venue for major events, speakers, concerts, entertainment, academic symposia, and recreational activities. The arena is scheduled for completion in early 2021, ready for the 2020-21 season. It will seat 4,500 spectators.
Dan Hauser serves as HPU athletic director. He has held the post since 2014.
Publications and media
- High Point University Magazine, for alumni
- The Apogee, the literary magazine
- Black Script
- Campus Chronicle, rated one of the Top 20 campus newspapers in the United States by the American Scholastic Press Association
- HPU Radio, student produced and broadcast via Hpuradio.com
- Zenith, yearbook
- "HPU Sports Link", Broadcasts HPU athletics live online
A permanent collection of original works donated to the university by High Point Alumnus Darrell L. Sechrest. Among others, the permanent collection includes works by Christian Dietrich, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Allesandro Gherardini, El Greco, George Harvey, Emile Louis Picault, Elsie Popkin, and Antonio Zucchi and Angelica Kauffman. The gallery is housed within the Hayworth Fine Arts Center.
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- High Point University Panthers - High Point leads Sasser Cup standings after fall. Highpointpanthers.com (2010-12-01). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- High Point University Panthers - HPU women's lacrosse finishes season with loss to No. 2 UNC. Highpointpanthers.com (2011-05-06). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
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