Guilford College

Guilford College is a private liberal arts college in Greensboro, North Carolina.[5] Guilford has both traditional students and students who attend its Center for Continuing Education (CCE). Founded in 1837 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Guilford's program offerings include such majors as Peace and Conflict Studies and Community and Justice Studies, both rooted in the college's history as a Quaker institution.

Guilford College
Guilford College emblem (full).svg
MottoI am striving for wisdom and virtue.[1]
Typeprivate liberal arts college
Established1837; 184 years ago (1837)
Endowment$72.9 million (2020)[3]
PresidentJim Hood (interim)
Academic staff
CampusSuburban, 340 acres (1.37 km²)
SportsNCAA Division IIIODAC
ColorsCrimson and Gray
Guilford College
Brick walkway through Guilford College
Guilford College is located in North Carolina
Guilford College
Nearest cityGreensboro, North Carolina
Coordinates36°5′43″N 79°53′19″W / 36.09528°N 79.88861°W / 36.09528; -79.88861Coordinates: 36°5′43″N 79°53′19″W / 36.09528°N 79.88861°W / 36.09528; -79.88861
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Classical Revival, Late Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No.90000855 [4]
01000676 (decrease)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 21, 1990
Boundary decreaseJune 27, 2001


Guilford College is the only Quaker-founded college in the southeastern United States.[6] Opening in 1837 as New Garden Boarding School, the institution became a four-year liberal arts college in 1888.[7] Levi Coffin, a well-known abolitionist, Quaker, and political dissenter grew up on the land, which is now considered a historical site.[7] The woods of New Garden, which still exist on campus today, were used as a meeting point for the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, run by Coffin.[7]

Budget, enrollment, size of facultyEdit

After much-criticized layoffs by President Jane K. Fernandes of 47 staff members in July 2020 as well as the announcement that the college would not fill 34 open staff positions,[8] together with Fernandes' stated intent to step down as President effective July 31, 2021, the Guilford Board of Trustees indicated that Fernandes would be on sabbatical during 2020-2021, and that effective August 1, 2020, Carol Moore was being appointed interim president.[9] In September 2020, as a response to limited finances, Moore began a "Program Prioritization" process that would lead to a significant reduction in the number of majors offered once approved.[10] The college announced in November 2020 that it would likely discontinue 19 out of its 42 majors and cut 16 tenured professors.[8] In November 2020, as a response to the “Program Prioritization”, the faculty voted no confidence in Moore and the Board of Trustees' leadership.[1] This was the first no-confidence vote in the college’s 183-year history. Moore subsequently left the college, and Jim Hood was selected as the new interim President at the end of February 2021.[11]

In early 2021, the college announced that it was putting a pause on the November 2020 layoff plans. It announced a significant fundraising effort and indicated that it would not re-open the layoff question until after the spring semester.[12] As of late March, 2021, the fundraising plan was slightly ahead of schedule.[13]

As of fall 2020, Guilford's enrollment was 1,429 students. Enrollment levels fell each of the eleven years through 2020.[12]


Guilford competes as an NCAA Division III as an Old Dominion Athletic Conference member.[14] The school has won five national championships, including the NAIA men's basketball championship in 1973, the 1981 NAIA women's tennis title and the 1989 (NAIA), 2002 and 2005 (NCAA Division III) men's golf titles.

Campus eventsEdit

Bryan Series. In the past decade, Guilford's Bryan Series[14] has brought many notable speakers to the campus and city for an annual public lecture series. Past speakers have included Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Ken Burns, Mary Robinson, David McCullough, and Toni Morrison. The 2008–09 Bryan Series lecturers were Khaled Hosseini, Christiane Amanpour and James Rubin, Salman Rushdie, and Anna Quindlen. The 2009–10 lecturers were Garry Trudeau, Paul Krugman, Anna Deavere Smith, David Gregory, and Yo-Yo Ma.[15]

Eastern Music Festival (EMF). Every summer, the college hosts the five-week-long Eastern Music Festival (EMF), where both professional and student musicians come together for seminars and public performances. Each year, EMF features more than 70 concerts and music-related events on- and off-campus.

Serendipity. The largest campus-wide event of the year is "Serendipity", held annually in the spring. It began in 1972 as a replacement to the somewhat antiquated May Day festivities, and has featured games, musical performances, and "general mayhem." During its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the weekend festival was attended by Guilford students and alumni, as well as thousands of students from other local institutions in the Triad area. Musical acts who have played this event include: Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Hootie and the Blowfish, Common, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Luscious Jackson, The Violent Femmes, Man Man, The Village People and The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Despite the fact that Serendipity is considered by alum to be a hallmark of the Guilford experience, as of December 2014, its future remains uncertain.[16] Following concerns expressed by the interim Dean of Students Jenn Agor about music festival culture, school officials have begun to discuss to possibility of discontinuing the tradition. This has led to a sizable student backlash.[16] The dispute over Serendipity is indicative of the tensions between the very liberal student body and its more conservative administration.[16]

WTH?! Con This event has occurred annually since 2001. Major guests include a host of webcomic creators and wrock bands. The 2018 event attracted around 300 attendees. Peak attendance has been around 500 people.[17] The most recent con was held the weekend of March 15, 2019.[18]

Notable alumniEdit

Notable facultyEdit

  • David Hammond, notable director, was a Theater Studies Professor at Guilford.
  • Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, wife of Guilford President L. L. Hobbs, raised funds for women's education.
  • David Newton, American sculpture artist worked as a Guilford art professor.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Photographic image" (PJPG). Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Quaker Colleges, Universities and Study Centers". Archived from the original on December 14, 2012.
  3. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Mission and Core Values – Guilford College". Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  6. ^ "Who We Are". Guilford College. March 27, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 21, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b Newsom, John (November 12, 2020). "Guilford College to make deep cuts to its academic majors and faculty". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "Guilford President replaced by interim". Friends Journal, August 24, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "Guilford College Program Prioritization". Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  11. ^ Newsom, John (February 23, 2021). "Guilford College names its second new president in less than a year". News & Record. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Newsom, John (January 6, 2021). "Amid pressure from alumni, Guilford College trustees reverse plans to slash academic majors and faculty jobs". News & Record. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "Ahead of schedule: Guilford College hits first fundraising goal almost two weeks early". John Newsom, News&Record (Greensboro, NC), March 19, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Guilford College". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  15. ^ "Garry Trudeau, Paul Krugman, Yo-Yo Ma Among Bryan Series Speakers in 2009–10". April 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c Fried, Landon. "The Guilfordian : Serendipity weekend in danger". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  17. ^ Lindberg, Alex. "The Guilfordian : What the hell?! It's What the Hell Con". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  18. ^ Ettinger, Savi (March 21, 2019). "New leaders keep quirky legacy alive at Guilford's WTHell?! Con". The NC Triad's altweekly. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "COBLE, Howard, (1931 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  20. ^ "Montana Governor Joseph Moore Dixon". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  21. ^ "John Hamlin Folger". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  22. ^ Stoesen, Alexander R. (1987). Guilford College: On the Strength of 150 Years. Greensboro, N.C.: Walnut Circle Press. p. 21.
  23. ^ "Sam Venuto". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  24. ^ "Tony Womack". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.

External linksEdit