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A History Dating from 1857

Long before we were Queens University of Charlotte, we were the Charlotte Female Institute. The year was 1857, the year of our founding in downtown Charlotte. Since then, much has changed. Our school is now co-ed. We offer master’s degrees. We’re located in Myers Park, just three short miles from our original location. And Charlotte has changed around us – it’s become one of the country’s fastest-growing cities.

Model T's in front of McEwen

Although we’ve grown, we still offer an intimate campus where high-caliber faculty can have mentoring relationships with students. In addition to expanding academic offerings, we continue to offer an ever-evolving curriculum that empowers every student to succeed. We embrace our increasingly diverse student body, maintaining a close-knit community that unites us as Royals.

Evolution of Name, Mission & Student Body

Queens started as the Charlotte Female Institute (1857-1891). Then we became the Seminary for Girls (1891-1896), then the Presbyterian Female College (1896-1912). In 1912, we became Queens College and moved to our beautiful Myers Park campus.

In 1930, Queens linked to the Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina through a merger with Chicora College. With that partnership, we adopted Chicora’s motto: “Non ministrari sed ministrare” (“Not to be served, but to serve”). Though the schools are no longer joined, the motto continues at Queens. The spirit of service continues in the actions of students, faculty, staff and alumni who live this motto and make it our institutional mission.

In the 1940s, we began our journey to become co-ed. Shortly after World War II men could attend Queens College, but not live on campus. In 1948, Queens opened a co-ed evening college. Then, in 1987, we became fully co-ed college. In 2002, after nearly a century and a half of growth and change, we became who we are today: Queens University of Charlotte.

1976 Students around original Queens sign

Colleges & Schools

While our curriculum evolves continually, ensuring that our students have the latest skills, it’s rooted in a strong liberal arts approach. The result is an education that’s innovative, yet timeless.

During the past twenty-five years, we have expanded our expertise and offerings to educate the next generation of leaders. In 1993, we established the McColl School of Business to join the original undergrad program, known as the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, we merged the nursing program with Presbyterian Hospital’s program to create the Presbyterian School of Nursing. In 2007, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education. In 2008, we opened the School of Communication, later named the James L. Knight School of Communication. In 2010, we met a growing demand for options in the field of healthcare by creating the Andrew Blair College of Health.

From Brick and Ivy to Online

Queens launched its first online degree in 2008, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing for existing RNs, known as the RN to BSN. Five years later, we introduced several online master’s degrees, including the Master of Arts in Communication, the Master of Science in Nursing, the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, and the Master of Business Administration.

A Tradition of Looking Forward

Over the past century and a half, we’ve carefully created a sense of intentional balance. Queens is where big city meets small school. Where self-discovery occurs amid selfless service. Where our curricula evolve to teach the latest skills while respecting our timeless liberal arts core. We’ve created a unique learning environment that doesn’t ask students to choose between these ideals and interests. We invite them to be both, be more – and in so doing, to leave their own mark on our history.

Queens sign in front of Gambrell

Taskforce on the History of Slavery and Its Legacies

The Queens institutional values cannot be embodied without understanding, sharing, and representing its history. In early March 2020, Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo commissioned a task force consisting of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to examine and report on the university’s historical relationship to slavery and its legacies. This course of action was prompted when library staff members shared concerns about a documented history of slavery connections to the Charlotte Female Institute. The task force’s recommendations were to join the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium and for Queens to make an ongoing commitment to the work of understanding, sharing, and growing from the knowledge of the institution’s past to inform and shape the university’s present and future. Learn more on the Queens Taskforce on the History of Slavery and Its Legacies webpage.