Lenoir–Rhyne University

Coordinates: 35°44′25″N 81°19′32″W / 35.7402349°N 81.3255013°W / 35.7402349; -81.3255013
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Lenoir–Rhyne University
Former name
Highland Academy (1891)
Lenoir College (1891–1928)
Lenoir–Rhyne College (1928–2008)[1]
Mottoἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς (Greek)
Motto in English
The truth shall set you free
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Academic affiliations
Endowment$116 million
Students2,405 (fall 2021)[2]
United States
CampusMultiple campuses, 107 acres (43 ha)
Colors Red & black
Sporting affiliations
MascotJoe Bear

Lenoir–Rhyne University is a private Lutheran university in Hickory, North Carolina. It was founded in 1891 and is affiliated with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's and master's degrees. Overall, Lenoir–Rhyne University has over 50 undergraduate majors and nearly 30 graduate programs. The university has campuses in Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia, South Carolina.[3]


Lenoir–Rhyne fields 20 intercollegiate teams and competes in National Collegiate Athletics Association Division II (NCAA Division II) as a member of the South Atlantic Conference. The school nickname is the Bears; its mascots are Joe and Josie Bear.

The school's swimming programs compete in the Bluegrass Mountain Swimming Conference and the men's lacrosse program was a member of the Deep South Lacrosse Conference until the conference dissolved in 2013.[4] The men's and women's track & field and women's lacrosse teams compete as NCAA Division II Independents.

Moretz Sports Athletic Complex

Prior to competing in the NCAA, the university was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The LRU football team won the NAIA National Championship in 1960 and made three trips to the title game in four years. In 2013 the Lenoir Rhyne football team made it to the 2013 NCAA Division II Football Championship game. In 1980, the Bears' women's basketball team reached the NAIA Final Four while the men's basketball squad made it to the NAIA Elite Eight in 1992.

Recently, the Lenoir–Rhyne softball team has seen six straight trips to the NCAA Division II Playoffs, and reached the Southeast Region Finals in 2010 and 2011. Also, the Bears' women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 2010 after the program's most successful season to date. The LRU men's and women's basketball teams have both reached Division II NCAA postseason play several times in the 2000s, with the Bear women hosting the Southeast Region Tournament in 2009. In 2023, the LR Men’s Lacrosse team won the Division II National Championship. They defeated Mercyhurst University by a score of 20-5. This is the first NCAA team championship win in the schools 125 years.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]

There are over 60 student clubs and organization on campus.

Undergraduate students are required to live on campus for their first three years.[5] The university designates Morgan Hall, Isenhour Hall, and half of Fritz-Conrad Hall exclusively for freshman students. Upperclassmen housing includes Hickory House, Price Village, and Fourth Street apartments. In 2007 Lenoir-Rhyne built the Living Learning Center which provides upscale living and classroom space. Students who are part of the Lenoir-Rhyne Honors Academy or Greek Life may choose to live in designated on campus houses.[6]

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Fraternity & Sorority Life
Iota Phi Theta Interest Group
Kappa Alpha Psi Mu Upsilon colony
Omega Psi Phi Alpha Delta Psi chapter
Pi Kappa Phi Epsilon Rho chapter
Theta Xi Kappa Omicron chapter
Delta Zeta Zeta Xi chapter
Kappa Delta Gamma Chi chapter
Zeta Phi Beta Theta Tau chapter[7]
Zeta Tau Alpha Delta Omicron chapter

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "History & Traditions". lr.edu. Lenoir-Rhyne University. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  2. ^ "College Navigator - Lenoir-Rhyne University".
  3. ^ "Undergraduate & Graduate Programs in North Carolina | Lenoir-Rhyne". www.lr.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  4. ^ Staff (January 28, 2011). "Lenoir–Rhyne Lacrosse Set for Inaugural Season in 2011". LaxPower.com Lacrosse News. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Lenoir-Rhyne University. "Student Life". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Living-Learning Center - TEMPLATE: New Client Site (Custom)". Archived from the original on 2016-08-27.
  7. ^ "Theta Tau". Theta Tau Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  8. ^ Frank Ray Barger, Sr.. NCHSAA. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  9. ^ Lindsay Deal Stats. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved Aug 15, 2020.
  10. ^ Elizabeth K. Dillon, Judge. Bloomberg. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  11. ^ Dayberry, John. (Jan 26, 2015). Names and Faces: Hickory native takes office. Hickory Daily Record. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  12. ^ Don Padgett Stats. Baseball-Reference.
  13. ^ Elwood "Buck" Perry. lrbears.com. Retrieved Aug 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Buz Phillips Stats. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved Aug 15, 2020.
  15. ^ Dick Smith Stats. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved Aug 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Herm Starrette Stats. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved Aug 15, 2020.

External links[edit]

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35°44′25″N 81°19′32″W / 35.7402349°N 81.3255013°W / 35.7402349; -81.3255013