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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Flora Macdonald College

See Also: North Carolina Women's Colleges

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

Flora MacDonald CollegeFlora Macdonald College in Red Springs originated in 1896 as Red Springs Seminary, a Presbyterian school that was the successor to Floral College (1841-78). In 1903 the college was renamed Southern Presbyterian College and Conservatory of Music, and in 1915 it became Flora MacDonald College-named for the popular Scottish heroine who lived in the Carolina colony for five years beginning in 1774.

In 1952 the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina authorized a study of seven of the Presbyterian colleges under its jurisdiction and decided to merge Flora Macdonald College with Peace and Presbyterian Junior College to form one coeducational, four-year college to be located at Laurinburg. Chartered in 1958, St. Andrews Presbyterian College opened in September 1961. On 26 Oct. 1961, the Flora MacDonald property was sold to the Red Springs Development Corporation for $50,000.


William Richard Bracey, "A History of Flora MacDonald College" (M.A. thesis, Appalachian State University, 1962).

William S. Powell, North Carolina: The Story of a Special Kind of Place (1987).

Dorothy M. Quynn, "Flora MacDonald in History," NCHR 18 (1941).

Additional Resource:

"Flora Macdonald College." N.C. Highway Historical Marker I-24, N.C. Office of Archives & History.

Image Credit:

"Flora MacDonald College." Photo courtesy of the St. Andrews Presbyterian College website. Available from # (accessed May 2, 2012).



I attended Flora Macdonald College i year (1951-1952) My uncle paid the fees. I questioned his secretary in 1952 to check his info and let me know what he paid for me to go to FMC that school year. When working I saved $10.00 a week until I had enough to pay it back to him.- which I did, but he would not accept it. Could you tell me the fee of school that 51/52 year. I would appreciate it very much



Thanks for commenting. I suggest you contact the university library at St. Andrew's University to see if they have that information available.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


Regarding the deceased children who were re-interred in the grounds, I believe that they were children of another Flora, nee Nicolson of Scorrybreac. She was related to the Mother-in-law of Flora of Kingsburgh and was the wife of Soirle MacDonald from the neighbouring plantation on Townsend fork of Cheeks Creek. It seems that only their eldest daughter, Mary, survived to go to Nova Scota, from New York, at the end of the war. Soirle of Sartle/Sarthill served with the Highland Regiment, & later the British Legion, but escaped capture at the Battle of Widow Moore's Creek bridge, unlike Flora of Kingsburgh's husband.


I have come across a year book class of 1925. Would anyone be interested in receiving it.

Please email me if interested
Thank you


Tonia - The Flora Macdonald Campus would love to have the 1925 yearbook you mention as an addition to our archive. You may send it to Flora Macdonald Legacy Foundation 200 North College Street Red Springs, NC 28377. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Many thanks!


Under the resources for this page you have listed Flora Macdonald Academy along with a link to their site. Flora Macdonald Academy is now Highlander Academy. HA occupies the Flora Macdonald campus and their website contains much historical information about Flora Macdonald - both the woman and the school. Please update the listing to reflect this new name and web address. Is there any way to get this NCpeida listing expanded? I am the curator of the Flora Macdonald campus and have a wealth of information to share about the history of this institution. Many thanks!


Thanks for letting us know. I have notified NCpedia staff so they can make changes.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


Question: What is the correct spelling? Flora macdonald or Flora MacDonald? Was the spelling changed after the 1950s? I am proofing/editing some notes written by Dr. Amy Le Vesconte, one of our chemistry professors who also had taught at your college 1952-1956 and 1957-1958. Betty Sue Beebe, Museum Curator, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas


Dear Betty Sue,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and taking time to share your question. The text of your post is included below.

I have consulted two sources to consider the most accurate spelling of Flora Macdonald College.

The first is the college yearbook for Flora Macdonald College, The White Heather.  Many years of the yearbook are available on Internet Archive.  I note that the yearbooks appear to consistently spell the name of the college “Flora Macdonald College” with the lowercase “d”, going back into the 1920s.  Here is a link to the collection on Internet Archive:

The second is the website for St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC.  St. Andrews traces its history to Flora Macdonald College and its merger with Presbyterian Junior College in Maxton, N.C.  The “History” page on the St. Andrews website spells the name as “Macdonald.”  If you have additional questions, I might suggest the Detamble Library at St. Andrews --  Librarians should be able to help you more with the history of the school.

I hope this helps! 

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

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