Mars Hill College to Become Mars Hill University - WSPA.com

Mars Hill College to Become Mars Hill University

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MARS HILL, N.C. -

Mars Hill College is changing its name.

Starting in August, the school will be known as Mars Hill University. School officials say the college has increased enrollment and expanded its educational offerings, setting up the move to university status.

"We believe that changing the designation from college to university is one that positions the institution to be recognized for what we really are," President Dan Lunsford said.

Mars Hill established its first graduate program in the summer of 2011, handing out the first diplomas in that program this past May. Future master's programs are currently under consideration as well. The school is also expanding its traditional program, adding a criminal justice major for the first time. Other new majors, including a bachelor's degree in nursing, are currently in the planning stages.

"Mars Hill is transitioning to university to reflect a more comprehensive academic program, but we remain committed to the traditional mission of the institution. All those components that we have believed in for a very long time as the mission of the institution are still alive and well at Mars Hill, but the vision is growing and expanding for a changing world," said Lunsford.

The name will change officially on August 15th, and is the second name change in the 157-year history of Mars Hill. It was known as the French Broad Baptist Institute when it was first established in 1856.

The school plans to host a name change celebration on August 26th, after students return for the new school year.

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