Warren Wilson College (WWC) is a private liberal arts college based in Swannanoa, North Carolina. WWC is known for its program, which incorporates science, work and service. The system requires every student to complete the required course of study, internship and on-campus jobs, and perform community service. Warren Wilson is one of the few colleges in the United States that needs students to work for an employer to graduate and is one of the nine colleges in the Consortium of Work Colleges.
The college is exceptional for its surrounding environment. The campus comprises a 275-acre (1,11 km2) working farm, a market garden, and a 2,53-km2 (625-acre) maintained forest with 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails. Warren Wilson College is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Warren Wilson College has been through many changes before becoming what it is today. The house, located along the Swannanoa River, was purchased by the Women’s Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in 1893. Christians were worried that many Americans in isolated areas did not receive proper education and decided to set up church-supported schools in impoverished areas. On November 30, 1894, the Asheville Farm School officially opened 420 acres, with 25 students attending. The first three grades in elementary education were provided by a professional staff of three.
The school graduated its first high school class in 1923. The first post-secondary services providing vocational training started in 1936. In 1942, Asheville Farm School joined Dorland-Bell College in Hot Springs, North Carolina, to become a coed secondary school. It was named Warren H. Wilson Vocational Junior College and Associated Schools, after Warren H. Wilson, former superintendent of the Church and Country Life Department of the Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church was established at the school in 1925, so that students and teachers would no longer have to travel three miles to Riceville; it was also called Wilson.
After World War II, the public education system in North Carolina improved dramatically and the need for high school declined, with the last high school graduation in 1957. In 1952, the college became one of the first in the South to disintegrate when Alma Shippy, an African American from Swannanoa, North Carolina, was invited to attend. Sunderland dorm residents voted 54-1 to allow Shippy to become a student and stay in their dorms.
In contrast to its original student population of underprivileged mountain youth, Warren Wilson is now enrolling students of many different geographical and socio-economic backgrounds. Warren Wilson College was a junior college until 1967, when it became a four-year college with six majors. In 1972, the National Board of Missions passed the property to the Board of Directors of the University. The eighth president, Dr. Lynn Morton, is the first female president in college history. She is a North Carolina native, formerly a professor and vice president of academic affairs at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You will find this school in the beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, along with these other must-see places of interest:
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (Asheville)
- Black Mountain College (Black Mountain: 1933–1957)
- Shaw University College of Adult and Professional Education or C.A.P.E.
- Brevard College (Brevard)
- Lenoir-Rhyne University – Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville (Asheville)
- Mars Hill University (Mars Hill)
- Montreat College (Montreat)
- The University of North Carolina at Asheville (Asheville)
- Warren Wilson College
And of course, after visiting this amazing school, stop by Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary – Asheville CBD Store on Hendersonville Road in Asheville!