Barber–Scotia College

Coordinates: 35°24′23″N 80°35′9″W / 35.40639°N 80.58583°W / 35.40639; -80.58583
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barber–Scotia College
MottoLumen Veritas et Utilitas
Motto in English
Knowledge, Truth, and Service
TypePrivate unaccredited historically black college
Established1867; 157 years ago (1867)
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
PresidentChris Rey
Location, ,
United States
Colors   Royal blue and gray
Sporting affiliations
MascotSaber-tooth tiger
Barber–Scotia College
Barber–Scotia College is located in North Carolina
Barber–Scotia College
Barber–Scotia College is located in the United States
Barber–Scotia College
Location145 Cabarrus Ave. West, Concord, North Carolina
Coordinates35°24′23″N 80°35′9″W / 35.40639°N 80.58583°W / 35.40639; -80.58583
ArchitectAhrens, F. W.
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Second Empire, Italianate
NRHP reference No.85000378 [2]
Added to NRHPFebruary 28, 1985

Barber–Scotia College is a private unaccredited historically black college in Concord, North Carolina. It began as a seminary in 1867 before becoming a college in 1916. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Scotia Seminary[edit]

Scotia Seminary and President A. W. Verner, c. 1910

Barber–Scotia began as a female seminary in 1867.[3] Scotia Seminary was founded by the Reverend Luke Dorland[4] and chartered in 1870. A project by the Presbyterian Church to prepare young African American southern women (the daughters of former slaves) for careers as social workers and teachers, it was the coordinate women's school for Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University).[5]

It was the first historically black female institution of higher education established after the American Civil War. The Charlotte Observer, in an interview with Janet Magaldi, president of Piedmont Preservation Foundation, stated, "Scotia Seminary was one of the first black institutions built after the Civil War. For the first time, it gave black women an alternative to becoming domestic servants or field hands."[6]

Scotia Seminary was modeled after Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College) and was referred to as "The Mount Holyoke of the South".[7][8][9][10] The seminary offered grammar, science, and domestic arts. In 1908 it had 19 teachers and 291 students. From its founding in 1867 to 1908 it had enrolled 2,900 students, with 604 having graduated from the grammar department and 109 from the normal department.[9] Faith Hall, built in 1891, was the first dormitory at Scotia Seminary. It is listed in National Register of Historic Places and "is one of only four 19th-century institutional buildings left in Cabarrus County." It was closed by the college during the 1970s due to lack of funds for its maintenance.[6]

Luke Dorland 1867–1885
D.J. Satterfield 1885–1908
A.W. Verner 1908–1922
T.R. Lewis 1922–1929
Myron J. Croker 1929–1932
Leland S. Cozart 1932–1964
Lionel H. Newsom 1964–1966
Jerome L. Gresham 1966–1974
Mable Parker McLean 1974–1988
Tyrone L. Burkette 1988–1989
Lionel H. Newsom (interim) 1989–1990
Gus T. Ridgel (interim) 1990
Joel 0. Nwagbaraocha 1990–1994
Asa T. Spaulding Jr. 1994
Mable Parker McLean 1994–1996
Sammie W. Potts 1996–2004
Leon Howard (interim) 2004
Gloria Bromell Tinubu 2004–2006
Mable Parker McLean (interim) 2006
Carl Flamer 2006–2008
David Olah 2008–2015
Yvonne Tracey (interim)[1] 2015-2016
David Olah 2016–2019
Melvin I. Douglass 2019–2022
Tracey Flemmings (interim) 2022–2023
Chris V. Rey 2023–Present


It was renamed to Scotia Women's College in 1916. [12] In 1930, the seminary was merged with another female institution, Barber Memorial College, which was founded in 1896 in Anniston, Alabama by Margaret M. Barber as a memorial to her husband.[13][14] This merger created Barber–Scotia Junior College for women.[15]

The school granted its first bachelor's degree in 1945, and became a four-year women's college in 1946. In 1954, Barber–Scotia College became a coeducational institution and received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Today, the college maintains close ties to the Presbyterian Church.[11]


On June 24, 2004, one week after appointing its new president, Gloria Bromell Tinubu, the college learned that it had lost its accreditation which meant that students became ineligible for federal aid and that many employees would be laid off.[16][17] It lost its accreditation due to what the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said was a failure to comply with SACS Principles and Philosophy of Accreditation (Integrity), as the school "awarded degrees to nearly 30 students in the adult program who SACS determined hadn't fulfilled the proper requirements".[17]

Sammie Potts resigned her presidency in February when it became public. As over 90% of the students at Barber–Scotia received some sort of federal financial aid, when the campus lost accreditation and was therefore no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid for its students, under the Department of Education enrollment then dropped from 600 students in 2004 to 91 students in 2005 and on-campus housing was closed down.[18]

During her tenure President Gloria Bromell Tinubu led a strategic planning effort to change the college from a four-year liberal arts program to a college of entrepreneurship and business, and established partnerships with accredited colleges and top-tiered universities.[18] She would later leave the college when the new Board leadership decided to pursue religious studies instead. Former President and alumna Mable Parker McLean was hired as president on an interim basis.[18][19] In February 2006 a committee of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to continue the denomination's financial support for Barber–Scotia, noting that its physical facilities were "substantial and well-secured" and that the school was undertaking serious planning for the future.[20] In May 2006, it was reported that Barber–Scotia would rent space on its campus to St. Augustine's College to use for an adult-education program: "Under the terms of the deal, St. Augustine's will pay Barber–Scotia for the space for its Gateway degree program starting this fall."[21]

McLean was replaced by President David Olah who accepted the position without payment and the college re-opened with a limited number of students.[22] During this time, the "previous attempts to revive the college [which] have centered on an entrepreneurial or business curriculum" were formally abandoned "in favor of focusing more on religious studies". Flamer also worked to eliminate debt and worked with alumni and the community to save the college.[23] Olah left in 2015, to be replaced by Yvonne Tracey,[24] who departed at the end of 2015.


Barber–Scotia had an enrollment of 120 full-time students. The college offered the following four degree programs: Bachelor of Arts in Business, Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management and a Bachelor of Science in Bio-Energy. Each academic discipline has several fields of concentration. The school closed for the Spring Semester of the 2015–2016 academic year to restructure and implement its new strategic plan.[25]

In September 2016, the newly elected Board of Trustees hired David Olah as president to once again lead the college. Twelve students enrolled, as Barber-Scotia reopened its doors for the fall semester. The college anticipated receiving more than 150 students in the coming semesters.[26]

Rice Access Financial published a request for qualifications, with a deadline for submissions of December 20, 2017 for "developers that had interest in working with the college for possible development opportunities". In February 2018 the Independent Tribune said the college was being sold and a school might be built there. In a response, trustees said that while the college still couldn't offer federal financial aid yet, several programs were still offered which trained students for jobs.[27] President Olah said that while the college owed millions, it was not for sale. He said degrees were offered through the North Carolina Department of Education in religious studies, renewable energy, business entrepreneurship and sports management, and projected enrollment was 100 to 115.[28]

Barber Memorial Seminary in Anniston, Alabama, c. 1910

On March 16, 2019, the college's alumni association held a meeting about the college's future. At that time, the Independent Tribune claimed the college was holding no classes.[29] Melvin Isadore Douglass became the college's president in April 2019, and an official inauguration was planned in January 2020.[30] According to the Independent Tribune, most of the college's 45 students were taking classes online.[31]

In January 2020 the Barber-Scotia Property Task Force started working on plans for what to do with the campus. After meetings with community leaders, it was determined possible uses for campus buildings as of September 2020 included a school, a museum, and a business center. Because the gym was in good shape with a pool that could be used, an aquatics center was another possibility. Faith Hall, Graves Hall and Leland S. Cozart House were on the National Register of Historic Places and would likely be preserved, but some of those buildings were in such bad shape no one could go inside.[32]

In February 2021, the city and the college made a formal agreement to work together.[33]

Douglass and Chairwoman Karen M. Soares, with the aid of Congresswoman Alma Adams, were able to get a 21-year, estimated, $12 million loan forgiven. This program was administered by the Department of Education's HBCU Capital Finance Program. The program provided low-cost capital to finance improvements to the infrastructure of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.[34]

The Association for Biblical Higher Education said the college had inquired about accreditation but as of July 2021 had not started the process, which would take eight to ten years.[35]

A community survey received a strong response, and studies were planned for renovating and reusing the buildings. A partnership with Cabarrus County Schools was considered. After lack of cooperation from college leaders, the agreement with the city ended in November 2021.[36]

According to a February 1, 2022 press release, Douglass and Soares resigned. Tracey Flemmings was named interim president, and Roberta Pinckney became chair.[37]

An August 2022 article in the Independent Tribune said, "seven of the 15 buildings are deemed unoccupiable", that six others needed violations to be corrected, and that the college had awarded no degrees in 18 years. The article said that none of the college's leaders lived in the county, and that the college claimed to have 24 students who would be studying entrepreneurship, religion, and renewable energy in September 2022. The article also said college leaders announced a partnership with the unaccredited, for-profit Medcerts for health services training online. The Cabarrus County tax assessor was determining whether the college still qualified as a nonprofit; if not, land and buildings worth almost $12 million could be sold.[36]

As of December 2022 The Charlotte Observer reported four students were taking classes, all online,[38] and in 2023, the college held a graduation ceremony for four online students.[39] An investigation by WSOC-TV revealed that Cabarrus County was considering ending the college's tax exemption.[38]

In a March 16, 2023 news release, the city announced that a task force formed in 2017 to help the college was disbanding. The task force accused the college of not cooperating.[40]

A July 6, 2023 news release stated that trustees appointed Chris V. Rey, former mayor of Spring Lake, North Carolina, to succeed Flemmings as president.[41]


Barber–Scotia College's athletic programs were known as the Mighty Sabers, and were members of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) until 2015. Barber–Scotia formerly competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily in the now-defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) until the end of the 2004–2005 season, during the time the school lost its accreditation and could no longer field athletics teams. B-SC currently fields men's and women's basketball teams, and a baseball team.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

Scotia Seminary[edit]

Barber–Scotia College[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "With 4 students enrolled, this North Carolina HBCU bets on its 5-year comeback plan". The Charlotte Observer. December 3, 2022. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Barber-Scotia College | NCpedia". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "Our Heritage". Archived from the original on January 26, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  5. ^ "Part of a Tour Through the Carolinas". Cornell University. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Gross, Leslie (May 9, 1999), Faith Hall: A Landmark in Need of Friends, The Charlotte Observer, pp. 3K
  7. ^ Hunter, Jane (2003). How Young Ladies Became Girls: The Victorian Origins of American Girlhood (p. 180). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09263-6. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  8. ^ "Scotia Seminary". African American Registry. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Scotia Seminary, Concord N.C." State Library of North Carolina. 1908. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  10. ^ Steiger, Ernst (1878). Steiger's Educational Directory for 1878, p. 63. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  11. ^ a b "Official website". Barber–Scotia College. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  12. ^ "Barber–Scotia College". May 2012.
  13. ^ Thomas McAdory Owen; Marie Bankhead Owen (1921). History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  14. ^ Keiser, Albert (1952). College Names, p. 173. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  15. ^ Townsend, Barbara (1999). Two-Year Colleges for Women and Minorities. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-8153-3173-5. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  16. ^ Powell, Tracie (August 26, 2004). "In not so good company: another HBCU loses its accreditation, but with new leadership Barber–Scotia College is meeting its challenges head on". Black Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  17. ^ a b Silverstein, Evan (July 24, 2004). "Barber–Scotia College loses accreditation". Presbyterian News Service. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  18. ^ a b c Silverstein, Evan (November 14, 2005). "Barber–Scotia president resigns". Presbyterian News Service. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  19. ^ Walker, Marlon (December 29, 2005). "Down, but not out: Barber–Scotia is without accreditation, students and staff, but the college's president believes there are brighter days ahead". Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  20. ^ Walker, Marlon (February 9, 2006). "Committee backs continued support for beleaguered". PCUSA NEWS. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  21. ^ "Barber–Scotia plans partnership". The News & Observer. May 1, 2006. Retrieved August 12, 2008.[dead link]
  22. ^ Silverstein, Evan (July 17, 2006). "Barber–Scotia College plans to reopen this Fall". Presbyterian News Service. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  23. ^ Vick, Justin (July 22, 2007). "Restoring relationships". Independent Tribune. Retrieved August 13, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Plemmons, Mark (September 9, 2015). "Barber-Scotia fall semester opens with new leader, new hope".
  25. ^ Weeks, Erin (January 4, 2016). "Barber-Scotia closed for spring, hopes to reopen in the fall". Independent Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  26. ^ "Barber-Scotia reopens with 12 students". Independent Tribune. October 2, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  27. ^ "Good things happening at Barber-Scotia". Independent Tribune. February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Olah, David (March 2, 2018). "Barber-Scotia president answers newspaper's questions". Independent Tribune. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  29. ^ Plemmons, Mark (March 12, 2019). "Meeting to 'save Barber-Scotia College' Saturday". Independent Tribune. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Plemmons, Mark (January 10, 2020). "Friday Five: Barber-Scotia hosting inauguration". Independent Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  31. ^ Plemmons, Mark (January 24, 2020). "Friday Five: Red flags, political footballs and a big weekend". Independent Tribune. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  32. ^ Young, Victoria (September 30, 2020). "Concord seeks input on Barber-Scotia's future". Independent Tribune. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  33. ^ Young, Victoria (February 16, 2021). "Concord and Barber-Scotia collaborate on future for college". Independent Tribune. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  34. ^ Fisher, Royal B. (March 31, 2021). "Barber-Scotia College's Multimillion-Dollar Debt Forgiven". The County News p. 68. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  35. ^ Young, Victoria (August 5, 2021). "Barber-Scotia College is at best about a decade away from accreditation". Independent Tribune. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  36. ^ a b McKenzie, J.C. (August 19, 2022). "Barber-Scotia College: Past, present and future". Independent Tribune. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  37. ^ Young, Victoria (February 3, 2022). "Barber-Scotia College president, chairwoman hand in resignations". Independent Tribune. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Cabarrus tax office questions Barber-Scotia's tax exemption". Independent Tribune. December 9, 2022.
  39. ^ Plemmons, Mark (August 3, 2023). "Barber-Scotia awards four degrees at graduation". Independent Tribune.
  40. ^ Simmons, DJ (March 16, 2023). "A task force wanted to help a financially ailing HBCU in North Carolina. It was disbanded". The Charlotte Observer.
  41. ^ Benjamin, Terry; Vernon-Sparks, Lisa (July 7, 2023). "Unaccredited, financially ailing, this North Carolina HBCU taps a former mayor to lead it". The Charlotte Observer.
  42. ^ Wilson, Linda D. "Annie Walker Blackwell". Alexander Street Documents. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  43. ^ a b "African American World: Mary Mcleod Bethune". PBS. Archived from the original on September 22, 2005. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  44. ^ “First Colored woman to pass….” The Kansas BlackMan, August 17, 1894, p. 1
  45. ^ Hine, Darlene Clark. Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-construction of American History, p. 151.
  46. ^ “Prominent Colored Woman died Mon” The Charlotte News, June 27, 1911, p. 12
  47. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Addie Whiteman Dickerson | Alexander Street, part of Clarivate". Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  48. ^ Daniel Smith Lamb: A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir of the Medical Department of Howard University (Washington, 1900), 181
  49. ^ Wilson, Emily Herring (September 1992). Hope and Dignity: Older Black Women of the South. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-56639-017-0.
  50. ^ Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth (1996). Gender and Jim Crow : women and the politics of white supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920. Internet Archive. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-2287-6.
  51. ^ "Women in Aviation and Space History - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum". Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  52. ^ "MMBH Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Bateman, M.D. Bio". Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  53. ^ a b "Katie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018) | Union Presbyterian Seminary". Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  54. ^ "In the Life Archive (ITLA) miscellaneous collections". The New York Public Library Archives & Manuscripts. February 22, 1999. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

External links[edit]