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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Presbyterian Junior College for Men

by Henry A. McKinnon Jr., 2006

Carolina College, NC Historical Marker I-27. Image courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives. The Presbyterian Junior College for Men was established in 1927 by the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina and Fayetteville Presbytery. In 1928 the trustees acquired the campus and properties of Carolina College for Women in Maxton, and the school was opened on 11 Sept. 1929 with 84 students. The first president was R. A. McLeod, former superintendent of Elise Academy in Elise (now Robbins). McLeod died in 1932. He was succeeded by R. G. Matheson Jr., and later by Cary Adams. By rigid economy and local support, the school survived the Great Depression, and a strong curriculum in business training was established.

In 1938 Louis C. LaMotte became president and served for the next 23 years. A challenge gift of $20,000 in 1939 by W. H. Belk of Charlotte and R. L. McLeod of Maxton, and matching funds from the synod, placed the school on a sound financial basis, and it continued to grow. In 1939 the Civil Aeronautics Authority established a Civilian Pilot Training Program at the school, which later became part of the War Training Service as World War II approached. This brought students from across the United States to the school. Elise Academy was merged with Presbyterian Junior College in 1940.

The college reached its peak enrollment of 503 students in the years immediately following World War II. It continued to operate until 1961, when it and Flora MacDonald College were merged into the newly created St. Andrews's College at Laurinburg by the Synod of North Carolina. Carolina Military Academy operated on the campus from 1962 to 1969, and the main building burned in 1973.


Maud Thomas, Away Down Home: A History of Robeson County, North Carolina (1982).

Additional Resources:

St. Andrew's Presbyterian College: #

Carolina College, NC Historical Marker:

Image Credit:

Carolina College, NC Historical Marker I-27. Image courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives. Available from (accessed June 8, 2012).


Origin - location: 



Have been attempting to find the origin of OUR high school fight song for several years. This school's song was identical to ours! Does anyone know how or when it was adopted. Ours came with band director in 1933. Thanks.

Larry Blyly Hartford, MI


Hi Larry,

I have checked our resources and have not been able to locate an answer to your question.  You may want to contact the library at the college to see if they have any additional information.  Here is a link to that library:

Thanks for your comments.

Carla Morris, Government and Heritage Library


My late father, John Calhoun Birmingham (Sr.), graduated from Presbyterian Junior College for Men (PJC) in 1934. I have his diploma. On that diploma are the names of four officers of the College, including the name of the president at that time, R.G. Matheson Jr., as noted in the article above. I can read the names of two of the other officers, specifically E. Hervey Evans (Chairman, Board of Trustees) and O[?]. W. Ferrene (Dean of Students). The fourth name, the Dean of the College, is hard to decipher. It is C.R. Th???ter. It looks like Theurter. Can anyone help me interpret that name? Thank you.


Dean Ferrene mentioned in your comment from last year was Otto W. Ferrene. He was still with the school when I finished there in 1953. Sorry I am so late in responding to your posting. Joe Elliott, Cary NC


My grandfather taught at PCJ in the late 20s and early 30s...I think he left in 1934 (the year my mom was born in December). He was C.R. Hunter. He may have been Dean. He was later the Superintendent of Education in Marlboro County, SC, for 21 years; 1948-1969. If you can scan the signature, I can see if it might be his signature.


Corrections: St. Andrews Presbyterian College (no apostrophe) was the correct name of the institution. It is now St. Andrews University. Website is
Flora Macdonald College is always spelled with a lower case d.

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