High Point University

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.

High Point University
Former names
High Point College (1924–1991)
MottoNil Sine Numine (Latin)
Motto in English
Nothing Without Divine Guidance
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Endowment$60.8 million (2018)[1]
PresidentNido Qubein[2]
ProvostDennis Carroll
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

35.9741251°N 79.9954946°W / 35.9741251; -79.9954946
380 acres
ColorsPurple and white
AthleticsNCAA Division IBig South Conference
MascotProwler the Panther


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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

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.[7] 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,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Since taking office in 2005, President Nido Qubein added campus buildings and creating student amenities such as concierge services, an on-campus steak house, free carwashes, and an icecream truck.[11] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[11] 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.[11]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[14]

On September 14, 2014, the university celebrated its 90th anniversary.[15] As part of the commemoration, 90 facts about the university were featured in the News and Record on High Point University's Founders Day.[16] 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 [17] 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).


In 2015, High Point University had a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and a student retention rate of 76.5%.[18] 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 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

Student life

High Point University is a residential campus by design, with 19 residence halls in total. In 2019, The Princeton Review ranked High Point University #5 in the nation for Best College Dorm Rooms.[22] 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.

Greek life

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 Alpha, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Nu.[23]

Many Greek students are University Ambassadors, Resident Assistants, Peer Mentors, Campus Activity Team members, and Presidential Scholars.

Honor societies

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

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.

97% of HPU students are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

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.[28]

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).[29]

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.[30]

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 located 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, generously donated $1 million to the construction of the new facility.[31] 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.

Dan Hauser serves as HPU athletic director. He has held the post since 2014.

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.[32]

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.[33]


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  2. "Office of the President: High Point University". www.highpoint.edu. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. , High Point University
  4. "High Point University". Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  5. Sizemore, F. J., ed. The Buildings and the Builders of a City: High Point, North Carolina. High Point: Hall Printing Company, 1947. p. 318-319
  6. Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. to 1980, A.D. Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980. p. 233
  7. Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. To 1980, A.D." Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980. p. 235
  8. https://web.archive.org/web/20040928204703/http://www.high-point.net/edc/2002annrpt.pdf%7C High Point Economic Development Corporation Website
  9. "Rhino Times - June 19, 2014". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
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  11. "BubbleU: High Point University", Bloomberg Businessweek, April 19, 2012
  12. "Financial Responsibility Composite Scores". Retrieved August 15, 2015.
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  15. "Page Not Found - HP® Official Site". Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
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  27. 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.
  28. High Point University Panthers - Club Sports at HPU. Highpointpanthers.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
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  31. Staff, Web (February 7, 2017). "High Point University to name new basketball court after Tubby Smith". Fox 8. Fox 8. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
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