Queens University of Charlotte is a co-educational, master's level university that has served Charlotte and the southeast for more than 150 years. The University prides itself on a strong foundation of an outstanding and committed faculty, innovative curricula, creative programs and a Presbyterian heritage.
Founded in 1857 as the Charlotte Female Institute, the school was originally at College and 9th streets. From 1891-1896, it was called the Seminary for Girls. In 1896, the Concord and Mecklenburg Presbyteries chartered the Presbyterian Female College. The seminary merged with this new college. In 1912, anticipating the move to the present campus in the Myers Park neighborhood, the school became Queens College.
The name Queens College was adopted for three reasons: at the request of the Alumnae Association to disarm prejudice in deference to other Presbyterian colleges which claimed an equal right to the denominational name; to commemorate Queen's Museum, a classical school established in Charlotte in 1771; and to honor Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg. In the aftermath of World War II, Queens admitted its first male students. A co-educational Evening College was established in 1948 that provided instruction for adults. It was the forerunner of the New College, which was inaugurated in 1979 as an undergraduate evening program designed for working adults. In 1995, New College was renamed the Pauline Lewis Hayworth College.
In 1979, the traditional undergraduate liberal arts college at Queens was renamed the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). It began admitting resident males in 1987 when Queens went co-ed.
In 1989, CAS adopted the innovative Foundations of Liberal Learning program, which is now known as the Core Program in Liberal Arts and is required of all first-year students. The four-course program encourages robust class discussions, helping students develop stronger critical thinking skills, explore ethics and morality, learn to articulate their values and ideas, and become responsible global citizens. This shared experience builds community at Queens, and alumni often say Core became a key component to their personal development.
The International Experience Program, now known as the John Belk International Program, was established in 1989. Juniors and seniors participate in a variety of study programs that range from study tours, language programs, a month-long environmental studies program in Yap in Micronesia or a summer-long foreign internship, to semester-long study abroad exchanges in Hong Kong or Ireland. Since its inception, the program has received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report. Queens recently ranked no. 2 in the country for its "percentage of students who travel abroad" (2009) with close to 90 percent participation. In 2008, the program added study tours to Vietnam and South Africa.
The McColl School of Business, named after Bank of America chairman Hugh McColl, Jr., was established in 1993. The School achieved AACSB Accreditation in 2007, the highest level given to business schools. Only five percent of business schools globally, and 20 percent of American schools, have earned this level of accreditation.
In 1996, the Internship and Career Development Program, also nationally recognized, began requiring a minimum of six credit hours for all students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program has been recognized in the past by U.S. News & World Report as one of the leading internship programs in the country; it boasts 100 percent participation from the University's student body.
Queens' first master's degree program, the Master of Business Administration, launched in 1980. Since then, Queens has added the Master of Education (1983); the Executive Master of Business (1990); the Master of Arts in Teaching (1992); the Master of Science in Nursing (1998); the Master of Arts in Organizational and Strategic Communication (1999); the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (2001); the Master of Science in Organization Development (2008) and Master of School Administration (2008).
With the additional master's degree programs, Queens achieved a university level rank in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the U.S. News & World Report. The Board of Trustees voted in the Spring of 2002 to recognize Queens' true university status and changed the institutional name from "Queens College" to "Queens University of Charlotte." The change became official on June 1, 2002.
The University obtained the former Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing to form the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens in 2004. One of the most popular majors at Queens, the program produces the third largest number of new registered nurses among higher education institutions in North Carolina.
Queens continues to expand its footprint beyond its 30-acre Myers Park campus. In 2006, the University officially opened its 65-acre Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park, a planned $15 million project that is a partnership between Mecklenburg County and the University. When it is completed in 2011, the facility will provide Charlotte with a long-awaited recreational facility that will serve senior citizens, people with disabilities and Queens' student-athletes.
Central to the success of the Queens is its high-quality faculty. The end of 2007 was a special time in the University's history as it became the only higher educational institution in North Carolina to boast five different N.C. Professors of the Year. Dr. Reed Perkins, chair of the environmental science department, was the 2007 recipient, the fifth Queens professor in 14 years to receive this distinguished award.
In 2008, Queens opened a new School of Education that became the fifth primary unit on its Myers Park campus. The school focuses on undergraduate education and boasts an array of innovative graduate programs, including a Teaching Fellows Program and a Public Education Research Institute.
As Queens builds upon the momentum generated from its Sesquicentennial celebration in 2007, it looks ahead to the future, building on its past success to become one of the finest comprehensive universities in the Southeast.
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