Pfeiffer University

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Pfeiffer University
Pfeiffer seal sm.png
Type Private
Established 1885
Affiliation United Methodist Church
President Colleen Perry Keith
Academic staff
51 full-time
Students 1,200
Location Misenheimer, North Carolina, USA
35°29′04″N 80°16′57″W / 35.48444°N 80.28250°W / 35.48444; -80.28250Coordinates: 35°29′04″N 80°16′57″W / 35.48444°N 80.28250°W / 35.48444; -80.28250
Colors Black and Gold
Mascot Pfeiffer Falcons (Freddie Falcon)
Pfeiffer Junior College Historic District
Location US 52, 1.0 mi. N. of jct. with NC 49, Misenheimer, North Carolina
Area 14.5 acres (5.9 ha)
Built 1923 (1923)
Architect Poundtstone, Odis Clay; Bradshaw, Leonidas Sloan, et al.
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference # 99000480[1]
Added to NRHP April 28, 1999

Pfeiffer University is a private university in the village of Misenheimer near Richfield, North Carolina that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.


Pfeiffer originated from a home school operated by Miss Emily Prudden in the late 19th century. The school first began operation on the outskirts of Hudson, North Carolina, on Lick Mountain in Caldwell County, North Carolina. University archivist Jonathan Hutchinson said in 2013, "Our accepted founding date is 1885," referring to the date Prudden's first school began, "but Emily probably started the school in about 1898."[2] The school was called Oberlin, after John Frederick Oberlin, a French priest noted for his social improvement in the Alsace Region of France. The school was later endowed by Mrs. Mary P. Mitchell, and the name was changed to the Mitchell School.

A fire destroyed the school in 1907 and it moved to the nearby town of Lenoir, North Carolina. As that location proved inadequate, the school again relocated in 1910, this time to its current location in Misenheimer. The Mitchell School began awarding high school diplomas in 1913. In 1928 the school began offering junior college classes and was accredited as such in 1934. It was that year that the Pfeiffer family of New York City gave generous financial gifts to the school for construction of new buildings, and it was then that the name Pfeiffer Junior College was used.

During the 1950s the school began offering senior college courses. The four-year Pfeiffer College was accredited in 1960 during the administration of Dr. J. Lem Stokes II, President. Pfeiffer opened a satellite campus in Charlotte, approximately forty miles away, in 1977. In 1996 the college's trustees voted to re-organize to achieve university status, and the current name of Pfeiffer University was adopted.

An outdoor drama entitled "The Legacy of Lick Mountain" relates the beginning of the school, and will be presented in Hudson, N.C. in the summer of 2015.

Pfeiffer Junior College Historic District[edit]

The Pfeiffer Junior College Historic District is a national historic district encompassing 14 contributing buildings and 1 contributing structure on the campus of Pfeiffer University. They include Georgian Revival-style brick academic buildings erected between 1923 and 1948. Notable buildings include the Administration Building (1923, remodeled in 1936), Rowe Hall (1935), Merner Hall (1935), Goode Hall (1935), "Practice Home" (1941-1942), Cline Hall (1935), President's House (1935), Jane Freeman Hall (1937), Henry Pfeiffer Chapel (1941-1942), Delight and Garfield Merner Center (1941-1942), Washington Hall (1941-1942), Mitchell Gymnasium (1948-1950), and the Campus Gates (1935).[3]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[1]

Schools of the University[edit]

  • Division of Business
    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Computer Information Systems
    • Sports Management
    • 3-2: BA & MBA
  • Division of Education
    • Comprehensive Science
    • Elementary Education
    • English
    • Health & Physical
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Social Studies
    • Special Education
  • Division of Arts and Sciences
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Science
    • Mathematics
    • Communication
    • English
    • English: Creative Writing
    • English Education
    • History
    • History: Social Studies
    • Licensure Track
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Human Services
    • Pre-Medical Studies
    • Psychology
    • Religion & Practical Theology
  • Division of Health-Related Programs
    • Exercise Science
    • Nursing
  • Professional Advancement and Degree Completion
    • Business Administration
    • Criminal Justice
    • Health Administration
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Human Relations
  • The Graduate School
    • Business
      • MBA - Master of Business Administration
      • MSL - Master of Science in Leadership
    • Joint Degree
      • MBA/MHA Joint Degree
      • MBA/MSL Joint Degree
      • MHA/MSL Joint Degree
    • Education
      • MSEE - Master of Science in Elementary Education (Charlotte only)
      • MAT-SPED - Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education (Charlotte only)
    • Financial Fraud Investigations
      • FFI - Master of Science in Financial Fraud Investigations (Charlotte only)
    • Health Administration
      • MHA - Master of Health Administration
    • Marriage and Family Therapy
      • MFT - Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (Charlotte and Triangle only)
    • Practical Theology
      • MAPT - Master of Arts in Practical Theology (Charlotte only)
      • Center for Deacon Education

Graduate Studies[edit]

Pfeiffer has 2 graduate campuses. The main graduate campus is located in Charlotte, North Carolina near the SouthPark area. The campus has been in Charlotte for 33 years and currently serves several hundred students. Pfeiffer's Research Triangle Park campus, located in Morrisville, North Carolina, serves graduate students in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.

The graduate degrees offered include master's degrees in business administration, healthcare administration, education, organizational change and leadership, and marriage & family therapy.


U.S. News and World Report[edit]

In the 2010 edition of the U.S. News & World Report, Pfeiffer University was listed as a "selective" school.

MBA Program[edit]

Pfeiffer's MBA program, which has been named one of the top enrolling MBA programs in NC, earned the first-ever American accreditation for its International Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program issued by ACQUIN, the German accreditation agency.


For many years (especially the 1970s), Pfeiffer experienced success as a nationally recognized choral program, mostly under the direction of Dr. Richard Brewer. Later, noteworthy instrumental music programs surfaced under the direction of composer Ed Kiefer and Fulbright Jazz Professor Tom Smith.

MFT Program[edit]

In collaboration with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Pfeiffer University MFT Program is an accredited MFT Graduate School approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).


Main article: Pfeiffer Falcons
Official athletics logo.

Pfeiffer's athletic teams are known as the Falcons. They currently compete in the NCAA's Division II as a member of the Conference Carolinas (formerly the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference), but are transitioning to Division III and will join the D-III USA South Athletic Conference in 2017.[4] Men's teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Women's sports consist of basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

Notable alumni[edit]

Gray Stone Day School[edit]

Gray Stone Day School, named for Gray Stone Inn in Misenheimer,[citation needed] which opened in Fall 2002,[5] is a charter high school, meaning it is a public school but does not receive funding from the state of North Carolina for land or buildings. Previously located in Pfeiffer's Harris Building, its philosophy has been "what better way to prepare for college than on a college campus". Gray Stone began planning for its own facility in 2005. Pfeiffer donated 18 acres of land and groundbreaking took place in April 2010. On January 4, 2011, Gray Stone students moved into a new $7 million, 53,000-square-foot (4,900 m2) building.[6] In 2012 the school opened a new wing of classrooms to accommodate the largest freshman class in school history.[citation needed]

The first students graduated in 2005, and over 96 percent of graduates have gone to college. 440 students from seven counties attend the high school as of 2016, about half of those coming from Stanly County and a fourth from Rowan County.[7]

Gray Stone was recognized by Newsweek as North Carolina's top high school in 2014.[8]

On May 11, 2016, Gray Stone announced a campaign to raise $1.5 million for a 27,000-square-foot (2,500 m2) $3.9 million middle school building to house 375 students, to be located next to the high school.[7]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Shannon Beaman, "Pfeiffer University's first fifty years recalled," Stanly News and Press, October 27, 2013, p. 10A.
  3. ^ Davyd Foard Hood (June 1998). "Pfeiffer University Historic District" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Berea College and Pfeiffer University Set to Join USA South" (Press release). USA South Athletic Conference. May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to Gray Stone Day School". Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Sarah (2011-01-06). "Gray Stone students in new building". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  7. ^ a b Starnes, Ritchie (2014-05-16). "Newsweek recognizes Gray Stone Day as top high school". Stanly News and Press. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  8. ^ Drye, B.J. (2014-09-22). "Newsweek recognizes Gray Stone Day as top high school". Stanly News and Press. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 

External links[edit]