Webber International University, St. Andrews Presbyterian College Announce Plans to Merge
Webber International University, Babson Park, Florida, and St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, North Carolina announced today a plan that will create a comprehensive university with two residential, instructional locations—one on Webber’s main campus in Florida and the other on St. Andrews’ main campus in North Carolina. When implemented, the plan calls for St. Andrews to become part of Webber University, with Webber incorporating St. Andrews’ academic and administrative operations with its own while maintaining the use of both campuses and institutional names. A Memorandum of Understanding has been approved by the schools’ trustees and signed by the Presidents on January 21, 2011. The plan requires approvals from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the U.S. Department of Education, and state regulatory authorities.
Paul Baldasare ‘77, President of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, voiced his enthusiasm for the new structure. “If implemented, the plan will ensure that St. Andrews students retain the benefit of regional accreditation by SACS and eligibility for NCAA Division II membership beyond May 31, 2011. It will also provide many new academic opportunities for students at both Webber and St. Andrews. I look forward to working with members of the Webber International University community.”
Dr. Keith Wade, the President of Webber International University, said, “The inclusion of St. Andrews as part of Webber is a logical and cost-effective way to achieve our shared strategic goals, and broaden the scope and depth of the two academic programs. And I am confident that the students at Webber and St. Andrews will benefit greatly from the additional programs and educational opportunities that will become available to them.” Dr. Wade is an alumnus of St. Andrews, class of 1987.
Webber International University was established in 1927. It is a co-educational, independent, non-profit university offering both undergraduate and graduate programs of study with a strong focus on business. St. Andrews Presbyterian College was formed through the 1958 merger of two colleges, Flora Macdonald College and Presbyterian Junior College for Men. St. Andrews offers the baccalaureate degree in 14 liberal arts and sciences majors.
The plan developed when the two presidents undertook discussions in the Fall that expanded later to include other officials of both institutions. Discussion ranged over many areas, especially focusing on mission, strategic priorities, and academic programs. As conversations continued, it became increasingly apparent that the plan would benefit both educational communities in numerous ways.
In addition to a shared educational philosophy focused on student success and the practical application of classroom knowledge, the merger will advance the strategic priorities of both educational communities which share an interest in expanding the scope of the educational opportunities available to their students, providing a broader range and mix of pre-professional and selected liberal arts and sciences courses of study, and adding comprehensive online / distance education opportunities. Furthermore, the merger will mean that development in all of these areas will be achieved in a very efficient and cost-effective manner in both communities.
Webber and St. Andrews believe that this plan responds creatively, efficiently and effectively to the challenges of today’s educational and professional environments, for the long-term benefit of the students as they take their place in an increasingly competitive and demanding professional world.
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.