Sandhills Community College

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Sandhills Community College'
Sandhills Community College Official Seal.jpg
Motto Learn • Engage • Belong
Type Community college
Established 1963
President John R. Dempsey
Students 4000 curriculum students
Location Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
35°13′16″N 79°24′28″W / 35.2211°N 79.4077°W / 35.2211; -79.4077Coordinates: 35°13′16″N 79°24′28″W / 35.2211°N 79.4077°W / 35.2211; -79.4077
Campus Small town
Colors burgundy, black, gray
Nickname The Flyers
Affiliations NJCAA Division III
Sports men's basketball, men's and women's golf, women's volleyball
Mascot Marty McFlyer

Sandhills Community College is a community college located in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Sandhills was chartered in 1963, and officially opened October 1, 1965. It was the first comprehensive community college authorized and established as the result of legislation passed by the 1963 General Assembly of North Carolina. It is part of the 58-campus North Carolina Community College System.


Sandhills Community College has approximately 4,000 students enrolled in college-credit curriculum courses and over 11,000 students who take continuing education courses annually.


Shortly after the passage of legislation establishing Sandhills Community College, H. Clifton Blue of Aberdeen, NC led a group of prominent Moore County, NC citizens in petitioning the State Board of Education to establish a community college in Moore County. Upon approval of the petition, the citizens of Moore County voted in favor of a one million dollar bond issue for capital construction and a tax levy for the maintenance of college facilities.

The first Board of Trustees meeting occurred on December 4, 1963. Later that month on December 27, Dr. Raymond Stone was named the first president of the college. Sandhills was chartered in 1963.

The buildings were designed by local architects Hayes-Howell and Associates and built on 180 acres donated by Mrs. Mary Luman Meyer. The ground-breaking was in November 1964. Legend has it that Dr. Stone and a few others were having lunch at The Gray Fox in downtown Pinehurst and Stone admired the courtyard of the restaurant (now Theo's Taverna). He requested courtyards be implemented into the design of the college buildings. The palladium windows were said to be inspired by the Boyd House in downtown Southern Pines.

Sandhills Community College officially opened October 1, 1965 with classes being held in nine different temporary locations in the downtown area of Southern Pines. The administrative offices were above Patches Department Store, which is now The Ice Cream Parlor.

The college moved to the current location in September 1966.

Dr. John Dempsey assumed the presidency in 1989 and serves to this date. He is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Moore and Hoke counties. A Vietnam veteran and political scientist by training, he often speaks to civic groups about current affairs and is one of the region’s strongest advocate for education as the means to regional success. Dempsey contributes time and expertise to community, regional and national organizations. Locally, Dr. Dempsey has served, or is currently serving, on the board of Partners in Progress and FirstHealth of the Carolinas, and has chaired the boards of the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club. Dempsey has received many awards in recognition of his dedication to organizations. He was named Man of the Year by the Moore County Community Foundation, was the inaugural recipient of the Moore County United Way’s Cornerstone Award and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pinehurst Civic Group. Dr. Dempsey is first and foremost a patriot, and he was instrumental in the successful launch locally of the Sentinels of Freedom Program, which aids severely injured servicemen and servicewomen.


A Board of Trustees governs the college and is composed of appointees by the governor, the Moore County Board of Commissioners, and the Moore County Board of Education.


Sandhills Community College is located on 150 acres (0.61 km2) of longleaf pine-filled land in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The college moved to its present location from downtown Southern Pines in March 1966.

The Sandhills Community College campus comprises thirteen instructional buildings. Several recent additions to the college campus are Logan Hall, the Dempsey Student Center, Little Hall and Steed Hall. Owens Auditorium was named to honor the many contributions made to Sandhills Community College by Dr. Francis Leroy Owens, Sr. Dr. Owens served on the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees for twenty-two years. Named for Dr. John Dempsey, the current and only the second President of Sandhills, the Dempsey Student Center houses the college bookstore, areas for study, a gymnasium, a fitness center, locker rooms, a game room, a full-service cafeteria, dining areas, and the Ewing Leadership Center. Outside of the Dempsey Student Center is a basketball court, tennis courts, sports fields, a picnic shelter, walking trails and a ropes course. A sand volleyball court is planned.

Computer Technologies, Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and Engineering Technologies are taught in the building named in honor of the college’s long-time board of trustees chair, George W. Little. In Little Hall, the Charles and Jane Wellard Technology Center houses state-of-the-art computer equipment, and culinary and baking classes are conducted in the Peggy Kirk Bell Center for Hospitality and the Culinary Arts.

Steed Hall was dedicated in the fall of 2010 and houses the Landscape Gardening program.

The college is also home to the 32-acre (130,000 m2) Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. Designed and maintained by students in the Landscape Gardening program, the site contains 14 themed gardens, including a whimsical children’s garden and a new Japanese Garden. The largest accessible holly collection on the east coast is found in the Ebersole Holly Garden. A formal English Garden exhibits several smaller gardens, including the Holly Maze, the Fountain Courtyard, the Sunken Garden, the Ceremonial Courtyard, and the Herb Garden.

In addition to the main campus, the Hoke Center located in Raeford provides curriculum, continuing education and basic job skills courses. It is also home to SandHoke Early College High School. Hoke County is the second county Sandhills Community College serves. The college began teaching in Hoke County in 1968 in the Old County Office Building in downtown Raeford. In 2001 Wyatt and Mary Upchurch donated 10 acres of land for the Sandhills Hoke Center. The first building constructed was named in their honor. Since then, Johnson Hall and SandHoke Hall have been constructed.

Basic Skills and Human Resources Development courses are offered at the James H. Garner Center for Community Education in Robbins, NC.

The college dedicated the Larry R. Caddell Public Safety Training Center in 2011. It is located in Carthage and is used to train emergency services personnel. It is also the site of the college's Fire Academy and many workshops each year during the annual Sandhills Emergency Services Seminar.

University Studies program[edit]

Sandhills Community College was the first comprehensive community college in North Carolina to offer a college transfer degree. Students are prepared for transfer to four-year colleges and universities through the University Studies Program.

The University Studies Program Link label is designed for students to earn the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Fine Arts degree and then continue their education as juniors at a university. Students who complete the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science Core Diploma before transferring to the UNC System will have satisfied the general education requirements of the transfer institution. Sandhills also offers Associate in Applied Science degrees that will transfer into university-designated baccalaureate degree programs. On the Sandhills campus, students can also earn selected B.A., B.S., and M.A. degrees from two universities.

All instructors in the Sandhills University Studies Program hold at least a master's degree.

Degree programs[edit]

In addition to the University Studies college transfer program, Sandhills Community College offers 34 two-year Associate in Applied Science degrees (AAS). These programs provide the training necessary to permit entry into increasingly complex and sophisticated employment in business, industry, health, and public service. The AAS degree programs combine a solid foundation in general education with specialized knowledge and skills. Certain programs offer 2+2 transferable agreements with several four-year institutions.

AAS degrees are obtainable in a variety of fields that serve the local and extended community: Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Computers, Business, Engineering Technology, Nursing, Health Sciences, Public Services, Automotive, Landscape Gardening, Golf Course Management, and Cosmetology. Degrees from Sandhills are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[1]

Sandhills continually evaluates the local economy with respect to the training and education local businesses desire from prospective employees. Programs are added and modified if necessary to fulfill these needs.

Diploma and certificate programs[edit]

Students desiring training in specific areas which require a certificate or diploma have many options from which to choose. These can be earned in a shorter span of time. Refer to the Programs & Majors section of the college's website to view all options.

Sandhills was the first community college in the nation to guarantee that each graduate is competent in his or her area of expertise or the college will retrain the student free of charge.

Continuing education[edit]

Continuing education opportunities are offered to residents of Moore and Hoke counties for professional and personal interests. Technology Training, Basic Skills, Creative Living, Online courses and certificate programs, Career Training, Career Development, Public Safety, Customized Training, and the Small Business Center are the divisions of Continuing Education. Classes are held on the main campus in Pinehurst, The Sandhills Hoke Center in Raeford and the Westmoore Center.


The college revived the Athletic program in 2009. It comprises a men's and women's golf team, a women's volleyball team and a men's basketball team. Competition is through Region X of the NJCAA. The teams are the "Flyers."

In June 2014, the Men's Golf Team won the NJCAA Div. III National Championship at Chautauqua Golf Club in upstate New York. Nick Thompson won the individual national champion title in the same tournament, with Ediz Kemaloglu winning third place and Cody Roberts finishing eighth.[2]

The Men's Basketball Team won the NJCAA Div. III National Championship title in 2012 as Sophomore Daquain Towns earned National Tournament MVP honors. Fellow Sophomore Markell Lotharp became the second Flyer to garner NJCAA All-American honors as well as earning a trip to the 2012 NJCAA All-Star game is Las Vegas, NV. Head Coach Mike Apple earned numerous national coach of the year honors (NJCAA, NABC) and was selected as NJCAA All-Star game coach.

Golfer Chris Horne received the Region X Player of the Year award in 2009 and 2010. Basketball player Germann Bostic was named the Region X Player of the Year in 2010. Women's volleyball finished 7th in the NJCAA in 2010 with Flyers sophomore Miranda Love earning All-American honors and Coach Alicia Riggan was named Region X and District Coach of the year.

SandHoke Early College High School[edit]

SandHoke Early College High School is a partnership between the Hoke County School System and Sandhills Community College. At the conclusion of the five-year plan of study, graduates will receive a high school diploma from Hoke County Schools and an Associate in Arts degree from Sandhills Community College. "The mission of SandHoke Early College High School is to provide a smaller, more personalized learning community that will prepare all students for a challenging program of study by developing academic rigor, providing relevant coursework and building student/community relationships." In addition to completing courses required by Hoke County Schools for the high school diploma, students will also complete the required plan of study for the Associate in Arts degree.

Admission to SandHoke Early College High School begins when Hoke County middle school students are in the eighth grade. Students and their parents will complete an application form with Hoke County Schools.


Sandhills Community College is located in southern Moore County and is a popular retirement area. The region is noted for world-renowned golf courses, a large medical industry, a thriving equestrian community, luxurious resorts and spas, unique pottery trails and exceptional antiquing. Upscale restaurants and high-end boutique shopping abound.


  1. ^ Accreditation
  2. ^ Bergmann, Charlie. "No Doubt: Flyers Claim National Title in Men's Golf". Woronoff. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  • [1]. Retrieved on October 6, 2008.

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