The Normal and Collegiate Institute, Asheville
Under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Lawrence, the generous donation of land by the Pease family, and the support of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, the Normal and Collegiate Institute was born in 1892. Located between the city of Asheville and Biltmore Forest, the college was directed by the Woman’s Board and initially had fourteen faculty. It went through several changes of name and eventually became a consortia of schools, called the Asheville Normal and Associated Schools, including the Normal, the Farm School, Home School, and Pease House. Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, is a descendent of this woman's school and UNCA's early roots are also tied to the efforts of these early educators.
By 1918 the school had graduated some five-hundred and seventy women.
The motto of “Service” was the guiding force for many of the
school’s graduates. Service for the school meant work with the people
of western North Carolina
and the Appalachian region to “stimulate them to higher ideals”
through faith. As the
1922 Highlander yearbook says, “Faith is the substance of things
hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” The commitment to service
can be seen in the school’s work with the YWCA, with the Presbyterian
Board of Home Missions outreach efforts and the many individual efforts
by students and graduates to contribute to the community of Asheville
and to the western region. The Normal and Collegiate Institute was one of many
women’s schools that flourished in western North Carolina in the late
nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Not all had the
service mission of the Institute. Most were typical “finishing”
schools. The Grove Park School on Edgemont Road in North Asheville was
an example of such finishing schools.
Source: Vertical File, Books.