Lenoir–Rhyne University

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Lenoir–Rhyne University
Lenoir-Rhyne University seal.png
Motto ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς (Greek)
Motto in English
The truth shall set you free
Established 1891
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment $98 million[1]
Academic staff
189 (fulltime & part-time)
Administrative staff
Students 2,283
Undergraduates 1,581 (2014–15)
Location Hickory, North Carolina, United States
Athletics NCAA Division IISAC
Nickname Bears
Website http://www.lr.edu/

Lenoir–Rhyne University is a co-educational, private liberal arts university founded in 1891 and located in Hickory, North Carolina, USA. The university is affiliated with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In 2013, additional campuses were added. A graduate school in downtown Asheville, NC and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC bring the total student population in all 3 campuses to 3,000 and faculty to 300.

In 2014-15, Lenoir–Rhyne enrolled approximately 2,283 students of whom 1,581 were undergraduate with a gender distribution of 35.6 percent male students and 64.4 percent female students. 44 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 56 percent of students live off campus.[2] Lenoir–Rhyne University participates in Division II NCAA athletics.

Students and faculty[edit]

Lenoir–Rhyne University enrolls approximately 2,280 students (2014–15) of which over 700 are graduate students and of which approximately 14% of whom are minorities. 76% of faculty hold doctoral degrees.

The student-faculty ratio at Lenoir–Rhyne University is 11:1, and the school has 60.9 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Lenoir–Rhyne University include: Business, management, marketing, and related support services; Education; Health professions and related clinical sciences; Psychology; and Social sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 69.5 percent.

The university offers 50 different undergraduate majors and 19 master's degree programs including Athletic Training, M.S. Business Administration, M.B.A. Christian Ministry, M.A.C.M. Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling, M.A. Community College Administration, M.A. Divinity, M.Div. Leadership, M.A. Liberal Studies, M.A. Master of Public Health, M.P.H. Nursing, M.S. Online Teaching and Instructional Design, M.S. Occupational Therapy, M.S. Religious Studies, M.A. Religion, M.A.R. Sacred Theology, S.T.M. Sustainability Studies, M.S. Physician Assistant Studies, M.S. Teaching, M.A. Writing, M.A.


Main article: Lenoir–Rhyne Bears

Lenoir–Rhyne fields 20 intercollegiate teams and competes in National Collegiate Athletics Division II (NCAA Division II) as a member of the South Atlantic Conference. The school nickname is the Bears; its mascots are Joe and Josie Bear.

The school's swimming programs compete in the Bluegrass Mountain Swimming Conference and the men's lacrosse program was a member of the Deep South Lacrosse Conference until the conference dissolved in 2013.[3] The men's and women's track & field and women's lacrosse teams compete as NCAA Division II Independents.

Prior to competing in the NCAA, the university was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The L–R football team won the NAIA National Championship in 1960 and made three trips to the title game in four years. In 2013 the Lenoir Rhyne football team made it to the 2013 NCAA Division II Football Championship game. In 1980, the Bears' women's basketball team reached the NAIA Final Four while the men's basketball squad made it to the NAIA Elite Eight in 1992.

Recently, the Lenoir–Rhyne softball team has seen six straight trips to the NCAA Division II Playoffs, and reached the Southeast Region Finals in 2010 and 2011. Also the Bears' women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 2010 after the program's most successful season to date. The L–R men's and women's basketball teams have both reached Division II NCAA postseason play several times in the 2000s, with the Bear women hosting the Southeast Region Tournament in 2009.

Student organizations[edit]

There are over 100 student clubs and organizations on campus. Club sports teams are popular among students and have received national recognition in recent years.



Notable alumni[edit]


  • Dr. Robert Anderson Yoder (1891–1901)
  • Robert L. Fritz (1901–1920)
  • Dr. J.C. Perry (1920–1925)
  • H. Brent Schaeffer (1926–1934)
  • Dr. Pleasant Edgar (P.E.) Monroe (1934–1949)
  • Dr. Voigt R. Cromer (1949–1967)
  • Dr. Raymond M. Bost (1967–1976)
  • Albert Anderson (1977–1982)
  • Albert Allran (1982–1984) interim
  • Dr. John E. Trainer, Jr. (1984–1994)
  • Dr. Ryan A. LaHurd (1994–2002)
  • Dr. Wayne B. Powell (2002–present)


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/lenoir-rhyne-university-2941.  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |work= (help);
  3. ^ Staff (January 28, 2011). "Lenoir–Rhyne Lacrosse Set for Inaugural Season in 2011". LaxPower.com Lacrosse News. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "North Carolina". Chapter Map. Sigma Kappa Sorority. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Theta Tau". Theta Tau Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°44′25″N 81°19′32″W / 35.7402349°N 81.3255013°W / 35.7402349; -81.3255013