Chowan University Logo

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Chowan University is a private Baptist university in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. It is affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (Southern Baptist Convention). It is the second-oldest Baptist school in North Carolina. The university offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in 70 academic disciplines and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university enrolls about 1,000 students.

Chowan was founded by Godwin Cotton Moore in 1848 as Chowan Baptist Female Institute, a four-year women's college. It traces its roots to the Hertford Academy. The McDowell Columns building, which houses the administrative offices of the college, was constructed in 1851. Between 1850 and 1867, the school changed names to the Chowan Female Collegiate Institute, then switched back to the Chowan Baptist Female Institute.

The school was renamed Chowan College in 1910 when it began awarding baccalaureate degrees, and began admitting male students in 1931. Financial strain from the effects of the Great Depression forced the school to become a two-year institution in 1937. In 1992, the college returned to four-year status when it admitted a junior class. The college's board of trustees elected to officially change the name to Chowan University on April 6, 2006, and the change in status took place on September 1, 2006.

The school takes its name from the Chowanoke tribe of indigenous people who previously inhabited the land on which Murfreesboro and Chowan University stand.

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