High Point University

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High Point University
High Point University seal.png
Former names
High Point College (1924–1991)
MottoNil Sine Numine (Latin)
Motto in English
Nothing Without Divine Guidance
Endowment$65 million[1]
PresidentNido Qubein
Academic staff
Location, ,

35°58′27″N 79°59′44″W / 35.9741251°N 79.9954946°W / 35.9741251; -79.9954946Coordinates: 35°58′27″N 79°59′44″W / 35.9741251°N 79.9954946°W / 35.9741251; -79.9954946
380 acres
ColorsPurple and white
AthleticsNCAA Division IBig South
Sports16 varsity sports
MascotProwler the Panther
High Point University logo.png

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.


Roberts Hall at High Point University
Atlas sculpture at High Point University. Artist, Jon Hair
Cottrell Hall at High Point University

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.[4] Shortly afterwards 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.[5] 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 its doors 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.

High Point University presidents
Nido R. QubeinJacob C. Martinson, Jr.Charles R. LuchtWendell M. PattonDennis H. CookeGideon I. HumphreysRobert M. Andrews

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 reorganization in an effort to reduce its indebtedness.[6] Subsequent reorganization enabled the college to move forward with business and renewed expansion.

On October 9, 1991, under the guidance of President Dr. 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,[7] and by 2004 the university's endowment increased to $40 million. When Jacob C. Martinson, Jr. stepped down as president in 2005, he was the longest serving United Methodist college president in the country.

In 2005, the university was only 92 acres and landlocked with a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,450. The university's operating budget was only $35 million with approximately 100 faculty members.[8] 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.[9]

The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, April 19, 2016 noted Nido R Qubein is the third highest donor university president in the country from 2006-2016. He committed $10 million to High Point University.[10] 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, High Point University has spent $1.2 billion on four new schools plus facilities, faculty and student services.[11]

Ashley Furniture Industries Chairman Ron Wanek donated $10 million to High Point University in 2013 after visiting HPU's President Dr. Nido R. Qubein. Wanek's gift to the university is the 10th contribution of $10 million or more that Qubein has received during his tenure.[11]

On September 14, 2014, the university celebrated its 90th anniversary.[12] As part of the commemoration, 90 facts about the university were featured in the News and Record on High Point University's Founders Day.[13] On January 3, 2015, Nido R. Qubein celebrated his 10th anniversary as president of High Point University.

In April 2016, High Point University announced plans to invest $160 million in new building projects [14] 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 twenty minutes from campus. East of the university are Raleigh (11/2 hours away) and the Atlantic Ocean (31/2 hours away); south of the university are Charlotte (11/2 hours away) and Atlanta, Georgia (5 hours away); west of the university are the Appalachian Mountains (2 hours away) and north is Washington, D.C. (5 hours away).


Main campus at High Point University

In 2015, High Point University had a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and a student retention rate of 76.5%.[15] The average class size is fewer than 20 students and no teacher assistants instruct classes.

High Point University offers day and evening undergraduate degree programs (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) and evening graduate degree programs (Master of Education in Elementary Education, Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Organization, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Sports Studies). A doctoral degree in Educational Leadership began in the fall of 2012.


In 2015, High Point University was ranked #1 in the annual U.S. News & World Report Regional Colleges South rankings.[16] In the 2016 rankings released HPU ranks #1 Best Regional College in the South for the fourth consecutive year and #1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South.[17]

In the Forbes Magazine listing, "America's Top Colleges," High Point University was ranked 559th nationwide out of 650.[18]


Schools at High Point include the David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Art & Design, Earl N. Phillips School of Business, Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, Stout School of Education, Congdon School of Health Sciences, Webb School of Engineering, Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, and Norcross Graduate School.

David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences[edit]

Majors housed in the College of Arts and Sciences include Actuarial Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, English, French, History, Human Relations, International Relations, Mathematical Economics, Mathematics, Music, Profit Leadership Management, Physics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology and Anthropology, Spanish and Theater. Beginning in the fall of 2010 almost all courses in the College of Arts and Sciences became four credit courses.

In recent years, the sciences at High Point University have made significant updates. Congdon Hall has added new office suites, classrooms and study spaces. The science departments have invested a quarter of a million dollars in new equipment to support scientific research and education on campus, including a $77,186 Institutional Development Grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) to purchase additional equipment for the cell culture lab.

The physics department was recently added as a member of the Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS) Consortium, which operates four small telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. In spring of 2015, High Point University physics students also had their proposal accepted to NASA's Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams program (Micro-g NExT)[19]

Stout School of Education[edit]

The Stout School of Education opened in August 2012. The building is 31,000-square-foot and includes smart boards, a children's book library, math and science touch screen games, a methods lab designed to look and feel like a real elementary school classroom, a Mac lab, and psychology research booths. Students have the option of majoring in Elementary Education, Health and PE, Middle Grades Education or Special Education. There is also a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and a Doctoral Degree Program in Educational Leadership.

On March 27, 2017 High Point University announced that the School of Education would be renamed to the Stout School of Education in recognition of Robert and Maggie Stout.[20]

Earl N. Phillips School of Business[edit]

The Earl N. Phillips School of Business (PSB) is a vibrant, growing school of business with academic majors including Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, International Business, Marketing and Sales. Minors include Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Commerce, Marketing and Sales. The Philips School of Business hosts the Business Plan Competition and offers students many opportunities for internships, to hear from guest speakers, and experiential learning.

School of Art and Design[edit]

The School of Art and Design includes academic majors in Graphic Design, Interior Design, Studio Art and Visual Merchandising Design. Minors include Art History, Graphic Design, Furnishings and Product Marketing, Photography, Studio Art and Visual Merchandising Design. The Interior Design program is part of the Knabusch-Shoemaker International School of Home Furnishings and Interior Design and has two computer-assisted design (CAD) labs, a library and gallery to exhibit student work. The Interior Design Program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Congdon School of Health Sciences[edit]

The new HPU School of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy are currently two of the university's biggest illustrations of ongoing expansion. HPU has invested $80 million into a 170,000-square-foot building to house both programs.[11]

In 2016, High Point University received the largest National Institute of Health grant in university history. The grant will fund research to find ways to prevent ACL tears, which are most likely to occur in young female athletes.

Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy[edit]

High Point University is investing $100 million in a new, state-of-the-art facility built to house the School of Pharmacy and School of Health Science. The 65,000 square foot school is designed with the latest technology, retail pharmacy space, assessment suites, classrooms and teaching & research labs. The development of the School of Pharmacy is a part of High Point University's ten year, $1.2 billion investment in academic programs and facilities. The School of Pharmacy will accept its first professional class in 2016. By design, High Point University will have the smallest pharmacy class size in North Carolina (80) with a low student to faculty ratio (9:1).

Currently the School of Pharmacy is seeking accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

In 2012 Ronald Ragan accepted the position of professor and founding dean of the School of Pharmacy at High Point University. He is responsible for the design and development of the new School of Pharmacy, including accreditation of the program and construction of a new pharmacy building. Ragan was recruited from the University of Kansas.[21] In addition to Ragan, the School of Pharmacy boasts notable faculty members Peter Gal - associate dean for academic affairs,[22] Earle Lingle - associate dean for student and professional affairs,[23] Dr. Scott Hemby - chair of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences,[24] and Dr. Joy Greene - assistant dean for experiential education.[25]

High Point University's School of Pharmacy was recently featured in US Airways Magazine[26] and Our State Magazine.[27]

Nido R. Qubein School of Communication[edit]

The Nido Qubein School of Communication features two high definition television production studios, a multi-track audio recording studio, editing suites, computer labs and a high-definition surround sound theatre-screening room.

High Point University currently offers five concentrations including Electronic Media Production (Developing Audio and Video Productions), Game and Interactive Media Design, Journalism (Converged Broadcast, Online, and Print), Media and Popular Culture Studies (History, Criticism, and Analysis), Sport Communication Strategic Communication (Health Communication, Social Media, Advertising, and Public Relations). In the fall of 2015, the school will offer three new communication majors: a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Sport Communication (Reporting, Broadcast Performance, and Multimedia Production), a Bachelor of Arts in Documentary Media and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Sport & Event Management (Marketing and Promotions, Community Relations, Facility and Operations, Compliance, Ticketing, and Development).

Annually, the top sixteen incoming communication majors are granted membership into High Point University's Media Fellows Program. The Media Fellows Program application is available to students who plan to major in Journalism, Electronic Media, Strategic Communication, Games and Interactive Design or Media and Popular Culture Studies.

High Point University also offers a five-year B.A. to M.A. degree in strategic communication with specializations in either health communication or public relations. Students begin graduate courses in their senior year with courses counting toward both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. They then spend one additional year taking graduate courses and earn a master's degree.

Communication majors have landed full-time positions and internships at companies such as National Air and Space Museum, Walt Disney World, Office Depot, Procter & Gamble, Seventeen magazine and many more.

In March 2015, High Point University announced that former Today Show director and producer Joe Michaels would be joining the Nido Qubein School of Communication as an artist-in-residence. Joe Michaels is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning director and a two-time Directors Guild of America Honoree. Other notable faculty in the School of Communication include Charisse McGhee-Lazarou, former vice president of Primetime Programming at NBC. David Neal, a 34-time Emmy Award-winning producer and Fox's World Cup Coordinator serves on the Nido Qubein School of Communication advisory board.

In October 2016, High Point University's event management program in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication received international recognition as the best event management bachelor's degree and accepted the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Gold Award at the 61st Annual International Festivals & Events Association Convention on September 28 in Tucson, Arizona. The Pinnacle Awards recognize the quality, excellence, creativity and achievements of the festival and event industry, including the top bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in event management education.[28]

Norcross Graduate School[edit]

Norcross Graduate School at High Point University houses BA to MA/M.Ed programs (for undergraduate students only), Masters programs and Doctorate programs. BA to MA/M.Ed programs include Elementary Education (BA to M.Ed), Strategic Communication (BA to MA) and Special Education (BA to M.Ed). Masters programs include Business Administration (MBA), Education (M.Ed), Education (M.A.T), Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) and Strategic Communication (MA). The Masters of Athletic Training (MSAT) is to come in 2017. Doctorate programs include Educational Leadership (Ed. D.), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Norcorss Graduate School also offers an add-on educational license for Educational Administration.

Academic programs[edit]

Bonner Leader Program[edit]

The Bonner Leader Program is a part of a nationwide network of 70+ colleges and universities affiliated with and guided by the Bonner Leader Foundation. The Bonner Leader Program at High Point University began during the 2013-2014 academic year. The program is composed of six juniors and seniors and two service learning faculty. The Bonner Leader Program is a four-year responsibility. Students commit to 5–7 hours of community service each week, culminating in over 200 hours of community service during each academic year.

HPU Poll/Survey Research Center[edit]

The Survey Research Center began at High Point University in March 2010. HPU Poll surveys people in North Carolina and other states about public affairs issues and reports the results as a public service. Since 2010, members of the HPU Poll have asked questions about approval of public officials in North Carolina and current political issues such as the economy, health care, education, and the threat of terrorism. For each High Point University Poll, the Survey Research Center staff posts press releases, summary memos that give details about survey methods and content, and presentations that highlight a selection of survey questions. HPU's Survey Research Center also supports faculty and student collaboration by managing and consulting on student-faculty research projects.

The Survey Research Center is based in the Nido Qubein School of Communication.

Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab[edit]

The High Point University Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab opened in November 2012 and contains a 3D motion analysis system for documenting how the body responds during individual movements using sensors, high-speed motion capture cameras, and force plates. Exercise science is now the third largest major on campus with Biology ranking number 5.

Media Fellows Program[edit]

Each year 40 incoming communication majors are granted membership into High Point University's Media Fellows Program through the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication. Media Fellows live in a living-learning community their freshman year and have options to travel abroad. During their college career, Media Fellows also participate in summer internships at national media companies, participate in seminars related to their major and produce a Capstone project during their senior year.

Pre-professional Programs[edit]

Pre-professional studies are also offered, leading to medical, dental, pharmacy, or physician assistant school, engineering, forestry school, law school, theological seminary, or other professional training.

Physician Assistant Program[edit]

In June 2015, High Point University welcomed its first class of students enrolled in the physician assistant program. Only 20 students were selected from a pool of 800 applicants and they will graduate in 2017.[29] The program will begin each summer and will span 27 months over 7 continuous semesters. In 2017, the program will be housed in HPU's new of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy building. The program then will be able to expand to 35 students.

The course of study is divided into a 15-month didactic phase and a 12-month clinical phase. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the High Point University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by High Point University. Students will spend their first year largely in the classroom. In the second year, students will complete clinical work at High Point Regional Hospital, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, area Cornerstone Health Care offices and other group and private practices around the area.

High Point is the ninth North Carolina college to offer a physician assistant program. Two others are in the works, including one at UNC-Chapel Hill.[30] HPU's Physician Assistant program features a state of the art simulation lab featuring iStan, a high fidelity mannequin that can communicate, sweat, bleed, and respond to treatments.[31] Aside from the clinical simulation lab, the space also includes three real-life patient examination rooms, a traditional classroom, and a clinical skills lab.[32]

On June 7, 2015, the students participated in the traditional "white coat" ceremony to mark the beginning of their training.[33]


In 2005, traditional undergraduate enrollment was 1,450. In 2013, High Point University welcomed 4,000 students to campus, an increase by 176 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.[34]

Student life[edit]

High Point University is a residential campus by design, with 19 residence halls in total. In 2015 Business Insider ranked High Point University #4 in the nation for best residence halls.[35] All High Point University students are required to reside on campus until they have reached senior status, unless they commute from their parent's permanent address.

High Point University has 14 dining locations on campus including 5 restaurants, Chick-fil-A, Subway, 3 convenience stores and 2 Starbucks. In November 2015 High Point University made Business Insider's list of the 20 colleges with the best dining halls.[36]

Greek life[edit]

There are currently 17 Greek organizations on campus governed by the following councils:

Panhellenic Council (NPC) - Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Kappa Delta, Phi Mu, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Tau Alpha.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Zeta Phi Beta, Lambda Pi Chi

Interfraternity Council (IFC) - Pi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Nu.[37]

Many Greek students are University Ambassadors, Resident Assistants, Peer Mentors, Campus Activity Team members, and Presidential Scholars. Students at High Point University cannot become members of a Greek organization on campus until they have completed at least one semester. Recruitment begins in October and November and ends in January. Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA.

Honor societies[edit]

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. The mission of Alpha Lambda Delta is to encourage superior academic achievement, to promote intelligent living and a high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals in society.

Career and professional development[edit]

The Office of Career and Professional Development at High Point University helps students explore their career interests, identify their strengths, and develop a plan that will prepare them for life after graduation. As a part of the Four Year Career Plan, HPU Career advisors help students with freshman career planning, establishing a LinkedIn profile, updating resumes, creating an effective cover letter, applying for graduate school and applying for internships and jobs. The Office of Career and Professional Development also offers an externship course aimed at second semester freshmen and sophomores seeking career-based experience and skill development.

Students who have utilized the Office of Career and Professional Development have landed internships at regional, national, and global organizations such as Ashley Furniture, CBS, CNN, Hearst Magazines, Living Social, Michael Kors, Microsoft, NASA, Vineyard Vines, Good Housekeeping, Paramount Studios, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and more.

Community Enrichment Series[edit]

Students are provided with Access to Innovators, which has brought scores of world-renowned thought-leaders and speakers to campus, including Mitch Albom, Steve Forbes, Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, John C. Maxwell, Thomas Friedman, Ken Dychtwald, and CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown (journalist). Guest speakers are selected to provide students and the community the opportunity to understand diverse viewpoints, positions and backgrounds. Recently, Marc Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix.[38] and Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter.[39] While Marc was on campus he took part in a question-and-answer session titled "A Discussion with High Point University President Nido Qubein" and spent time in the Belk Entrepreneurship Center to review High Point University students' business concepts. Biz also took part in a discussion with President Nido Qubein and spent time with communication and entrepreneurship students.

The Cultural Enrichment Series was named the Community Enrichment Series in 2014. Guests to campus in the 2014-2015 year included Dutch artist Theo Jansen, digital art pioneer Barbara Nessim, sports television announcer Bob Rathbun,[40] Navy Seal Rob O'Neill,[41] pianist Marvin Blickenstaff, and artist Mariyah Sultan.[42] These events are open to students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community.

High Point University also offers students the chance to expand their movie repertoire with the Faculty Film Series, which features faculty-selected films to be shown on campus in the Extraordinaire Cinema and Qubein Screening Room. Films included in the series connect with specific courses being taught on campus during the semester.

In November 2017, High Point University partnered with Radiate.com, to bring a new leadership and life skills development tool to its students. This subscriber-based website, founded by Betty Liu, offers Q&A interviews with some of the world's most successful and dynamic leaders. HPU is working with Radiate as the first college to provide complimentary access to this site for all students, faculty, and staff.

Access to innovators[edit]

High Point University brings CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and global influencers to campus to work with and mentor students. Current "in residence" influencers:[43]

Innovator in Residence - Steve Wozniak, Apple Computer Co-founder

Entrepreneur in Residence - Marc Randolph, Netflix Co-founder

Media Entrepreneur in Residence - Betty Liu, Bloomberg TV anchor and founder of Radiate

Broadcaster in Residence - Joe Michaels, director of NBC's The Today Show

Global Artist in Residence - Karen Jacobsen, The "GPS Girl" female Australian voice of original Siri

Corporate Educator in Residence - Scott McKain, Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Sales and Customer Service Expert.

Journalist in Residence - Byron Pitts, American journalist and author working for ABC_News Nightline

Sales Professional in Residence - Larry Quinn, Chair of HPU's Department of Marketing and Sales

Sports Executive in Residence - Cynt Marshall, Dallas Mavericks Chief Executive Officer

Sports Reporter in Residence - Bob Ryan, Retired sports columnist for The Boston Globe

Most recently, High Point University announced that Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. computer, has taken on a new role as High Point University's Innovator in Residence.[44] Through an ongoing partnership, Wozniak will connect with HPU students and visited campus on March 23, 2016. The partnership with Wozniak stems from High Point University's focus on providing access to innovators for students.[45]

Special guest speakers[edit]

In recent years, the school has brought high-profile speakers to campus for commencement, including former President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, televangelist pioneer the Rev. Robert Schuller, Queen Noor of Jordan, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, astronaut and children's book author Buzz Aldrin, Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, the former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple.

Colin L. Powell was selected as the 2014 Commencement speaker. Prior to his appearance on campus, Colin Powell gained the university and city of High Point national publicity. The news network CNN ranked High Point University and Colin Powell's address as fifth in the country for a segment titled "2014's Big-Name College Commencement Speakers."[46] The morning of commencement, ABC News streamed the entirety of High Point University's graduation ceremony live on their news website. Additionally, The Huffington Post featured a video of Powell's commencement speech citing key pieces of advice he shared with the High Point University Class of 2014 on May 3.[47]

In August 2014, High Point University announced that the distinguished journalist Tom Brokaw, best known as the anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News,[48] would be the 2015 commencement speaker. Before the commencement weekend, he made USA Today's list of 'Most Prominent College Graduation Speakers of 2015'.[49] The Huffington Post highlighted Brokaw's speech[50] which urged High Point University graduates to be a new generation that sees past race, gender and superficial lines that divide.

In May 2016, Condoleezza Rice, 66th Secretary of State, served as the Commencement speaker.[51] High Point University President Nido Qubein believes that "Secretary Rice has served this country in measurable ways through her work in our nation's capital, in free enterprise, in academia and in efforts to improve education for children. She embodies the American spirit and its core values, which we proudly celebrate on our campus." [52] Condoleezza Rice joined President Nido Qubein in a question-and-answer session on Friday, May 6 and addressed the Class of 2016 at High Point University's Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2016.[53]

In August 2016, High Point University announced that journalist and television news anchor Wolf Blitzer of CNN's The Situation Room will serve as the 2017 Commencement Speaker.

Throughout the years, other special guests have included former President Bill Clinton, social and political analyst Armstrong Williams, baseball hall of fame recipient Cal Ripken Jr., author Chris Gardner, Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Azzi, former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove, Grammy award-winning singer Lee Greenwood, physician Patch Adams, and best-selling author Stedman Graham. Local speakers include North Carolina governor Pat McCrory and Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. Speakers have also included Tony award-winning composer Charles Strouse and Steve Harvey.

HPU welcomed chancellor of UNC Chapel Hill, Carol Folt who was interviewed by president Nido Qubein for UNCTV. HPU also welcomed Stanford University professor, TED speaker and author, Carol Dweck, who was interviewed by President Qubein on her research and book "Mindset" which focuses on the idea of Growth Mindset.

In February 2017, Apple Co-Founder and HPU Innovator in Residence, Steve Wozniak, was welcomed back to campus to speak with students, faculty, staff and members of the community about a variety of topics.[54]

National Board of Advisors[edit]

The National Board of Advisors is composed of Fortune 500 CEOs and thought leaders who have impacted the United States of America and the world in significant ways.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Community involvement[edit]

In 2011, students in the High Point University School of Education partnered with The Montlieu Academy of Technology in High Point to allow students the opportunity to use iPads in the classroom. The iPads given to the school were funded by High Point University, Businesses for Excellence in Education, the William B. Millis Fund of the High Point Community Foundation and the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation.

In 2014, an article in The High Point Enterprise stated that the iPads donated to Montlieu Academy had positive results.[58]

In 2015 High Point University President Nido Qubein announced that HPU would make the lead gift of $100,000 for a local YMCA Splash Park. The Splash Park will give children in the High Point community a place to stay cool and healthy over the summer. In 2016, the Charl Chavis YMCA in High Point hosted the grand opening of the Splash Park where HPU dedicated the park in honor of Carlvena Foster, executive director of the YMCA and a High Point University alumna.[59]

High Point University and High Point Regional Hospital announced in February 2016 that they have "partnered the creation of the Community Rehabilitation Clinic- a clinic to treat the insured and the uninsured populations with a variety of physical therapy and rehabilitation needs."

In the summer of 2016, HPU graduate Brandon Holder spoke as part of TedxGreensboro about finding his passion and developing a solar-powered water purification system to help bring water to developing nations. His organization is called "Water the World: Live Locally. Give Globally."

In late September 2016, The HPU Department of Physics hosted their third annual "HPUniverse Day" which invites local children and their families to campus for activities focused on science, astronomy, space exploration and more. In 2016, nearly 1,000 people attended the event/ Giving children the opportunity to enjoy science but also consider it as a field of work someday is part of the event's goal, according to lead organizer Dr. Brad Barlow, assistant professor of astrophysics.[60]

For the sixth consecutive year, High Point University hosted its annual Community Christmas Celebration, welcoming more than 20,000 community members and their families. Visitors experience music, entertainment, falling snow, meeting Santa, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, train rides, food and drinks, thousands of lights and beautiful holiday decorations. This event is free of charge to the community.[61]


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.[62] 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.[63]

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.

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.[64]

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).[65]

In May 2009, former University of North Carolina captain Scott Cherry was named head coach of men's basketball.

High Point University broke ground on a 31,500 square-foot facility in 2013. The facility will house a 120-seat academic center as well as athletic training rooms. The newest building on campus will also include new locker rooms and lounges for men's and women's lacrosse and soccer teams, as well as offices for coaches and support staff members.

In May 2014, High Point University announced the appointment of Dan Hauser as the new athletic director, effective July 1, 2014. Hauser has spent the last eight years as senior associate athletic director at Ohio University. He previously served as director of marketing at Wake Forest University.

In July 2016, The Big South announced the 2015-2016 Presidential Honor Roll, where High Point University Athletics had the highest percentage of 3.0 GPAs.[66]

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 is to begin in 2018 and it is projected to open in 2020.[67]

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, generously donated $1 million to the construction of the new facility.[68]

Publications and media[edit]

  • 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

In May 2013, HPU graduates Collin Smith and Ernest Greene were featured on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, and Fox & Friends Christmas Special. Smith was a three-sport athlete in high school before a car accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. Greene was a member of Smith's church when the accident occurred and volunteered his time throughout Smith's college career to help him get ready for school and take notes during his classes. Smith graduated in 2013 and Greene received an honorary degree during the Commencement Ceremony.

In Fall 2013, High Point University President Nido R. Qubein made a live appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box to discuss the American Dream and the importance of a holistic education.

Sechrest Gallery[edit]

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.[69]


Since taking office in 2005, President Nido Qubein has been adding campus buildings and creating student amenities such as concierge services, an on-campus steak house, free carwashes, and an icecream truck.[70] 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.[70] 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.[71] 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.[70] 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 marketing dollars with a public relations firm headed by the president's daughter. The college's claims to a growing reputation in higher education were challenged as being based more on high-end student amenities and marketing strategy than on solid academics.[70]


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External links[edit]