Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, was founded as New Garden Boarding School by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1837. In 1888, the school transitioned to a four-year college. Guilford is North Carolina’s fourth-oldest degree-granting higher education institution and the oldest coeducational college in the South. Women and men have been in the student body and on faculty since the institution opened. Today, Guilford is an independent liberal arts college educating a diverse student body of 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

“Guilford College is a leading small, liberal arts college in one of North Carolina’s larger cities, which presents many opportunities for our students to gain real-world experience,” said President Kyle Farmbry. “In turn, the College aims to be a resource of and for the wider community as is the case with urban campuses across the country. We believe our goals and mission align quite well with those of CUMU.”

Core values 

Guilford maintains its historic commitment to Quaker values, which influence its customs, curriculum and daily operations. The College’s seven Core Values, derived from Quaker tenets, are community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship.

Anchor mission goal

Guilford College is undertaking a strategic planning process, Envisioning Guilford College 2027, under the leadership of President Kyle Farmbry. One of their five plan priorities, “cultivating partnerships to support attainment of our mission,” includes an anchor mission vision. Guilford aims to connect its institutional resources, students and alumni to meet challenges that intersect with its mission and purpose.

Goals include developing an anchor institution focus, developing a concrete and strategic partnership strategy and growing infrastructure for attracting external resources.

A commitment to community

Helping others and developing leadership skills are essential parts of a Guilford student’s experience. Since the early 1990s the College has been actively committed to service learning for students, first with a Bonner Scholars program and now, a Bonner Leaders program. In partnership with a number of community organizations, Guilford makes a tangible impact with and for residents of the surrounding area.

Smarter justice

Guilford’s Wiser Justice Program delivers liberal arts courses taught by Guilford instructors to incarcerated women and men. The five-semester program provides students with an opportunity to receive 30 college credits and take a certification exam and preparatory course both for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Peer Support Specialist (PSSP).

A network to freedom

In the 1800s in the New Garden community, where Guilford is located, enslaved Africans escaped to a wooded area that is part of the current College campus where they were assisted in their flight to freedom by way of the Underground Railroad. The campus is one of a few colleges listed as a National Historic District by the U.S. Department of the Interior and is part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

“Joining CUMU is important to Guilford College as it builds out anchor institution strategies as part of our new strategic plan,” Farmbry said. “We look forward to learning from and contributing to our fellow members in urban and metropolitan areas across the country.”

Join us in welcoming Guilford College to the CUMU membership!