Carolina University 2020 End-of-Year Newsletter

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Carolina University President Dr. Charles Petitt recently released the following 2020 Year End Newsletter to update friends of the university on the recent name change, status of the historic $10 million 2020 Vision Campaign, why 2020 has been the best year ever for CU and more. Read why your gift now can help CU cross the finish line with the Vision 2020 Campaign and continue the incredible momentum at the university.

Exciting New Name Reflects Mergers

On June 24, 2020 Piedmont International University changed its name to Carolina University to reflect the exciting changes and unprecedented growth of a University that is both historically rich and brand new at the same time. The new name is compelling for several reasons. First, Carolina University just beautifully rolls off the tongue, and the more you say it, the sweeter it sounds. Second, it is a big, powerful, bold name that feels truly aspirational. It is not a name to grow out of but a name that the University is growing into with unparalleled enrollment growth and numerous new degree programs. Third, “Carolina” plays very well for marketing and recruiting across the United States and around the world. Our market research across the United States and in several other countries on multiple continents yielded the same results. “Carolina” and “North Carolina” evoke affirmative connotations, especially regarding quality higher education which to many is synonymous with North Carolina. That is why over twenty colleges and universities include “Carolina” in their names. Of all the names that PIU tested over an entire year, Carolina University was the only one that unanimously resonated in every single market.

For Carolina University, 2020 has been the best year ever. Read these articles to see why we have been saying that.

Charles W. Petitt, President

Also, having a neutral name better enables us to tell the powerful story of how seven Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries came together to create one strong university. To read more about the history and legacy of each school, visit Agreements reached during each merger resulted in six of those schools having their names honored in significant ways for the future. During the CU name change process, a deeply important question arose about how best to honor Piedmont International University, which had been the surviving entity in each of the mergers. The PIU Board answered that question by creating the Piedmont Divinity School to honor Piedmont’s historic name and heritage of training ministers and teaching Bible and theology. Many Piedmont alumni will appreciate the continuation of the name and original mission and will be happy to hear of expanded Bible/Ministry training in more languages and countries than ever before.

Putting Students, Faculty, and Staff First During COVID-19

Carolina University was blessed with a healthy and successful fall semester on campus. With the help of the campus nurse and a very diligent cleaning force of students, we have managed to mitigate all COVID-19 cases. Our protocols for cleaning, social distancing and masking combined with the CU family’s careful attention to health and safety guidelines have kept us from the crisis many other universities face. By posting a dashboard on our website that monitors all COVID-19 results daily, the entire CU family can track details in real time.

Exciting Athletic News

With 189 eligible student athletes competing (a record number), and the close contact they have in each sport, the university was again blessed to stay healthy and play at the top of our division throughout the fall which culminated in the opportunity to participate in regional and national competitions. CU hosted the Southern Regional Championship in Women’s Soccer in November. Our undefeated and defending southern regional champion Men’s Soccer Team and our  Women’s Soccer Team are both headed to compete in national championship tournaments this year.

Recently, our volleyball ladies defeated the two-time defending NCCAA National Champions in our own Williams Gymnasium! All three of these fall programs went to Nationals last year. Our Men’s Basketball team got off to a fast start with an undefeated 4-0 record including a win over defending Appalachian Conference Champion (12th ranked NAIA) Montreat College at Montreat. We play NCAA Division I powerhouses Appalachian State and James Madison University in December! Finally, we are most proud of our athlete’s academic achievement this past year with 13 Academic All-Americans and a 72% retention rate. Our goal is to continue to improve on both of these.

CarolinaU = CareerU

One of the Fastest Growing Universities in America

Carolina University’s overall enrollment saw double-digit growth from fall 2019 to fall 2020 whereas universities in the US experienced double-digit declines. Specifically, new student enrollment increased about 60%, making CU one of  the fastest growing universities in the country. This would have been stunning growth in a year with everything going great for higher education, but 2020 was anything but great across the sector. CU experienced unparalleled enrollment growth during the middle of a name change, national civil unrest, a highly contentious election cycle, and at the exact time when colleges across the country were experiencing unprecedented enrollment declines due to COVID-19.  

This explosive growth is based on CU becoming known as an outstanding place to prepare for successful careers in dynamic fields with unlimited potential for the future. All fifteen of the new programs the University recently rolled out and others that we will launch in the near future are in fields that will enjoy double digit job growth over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Go to to see details.

CU has students currently enrolled from 33 states and 40 countries.

As we consider these opportunities, we are addressing the age old question, “Does a person really need a college degree to succeed in the modern economy?” This is not an idle question – students and parents are asking if college is worth it as many employers no longer require college degrees. CU has embraced this challenge by creating degree programs that match actual skills needs so there is no doubt about the value of our degrees. These include new programs in data science, information systems, counseling, nursing, public health, esports, and business analytics. And we bolstered our MBA with concentrations in high demand areas such as supply chain management to leverage the advantages of our location and surrounding economy. We also created a new Master of Financial Planning degree to educate leaders in an area projected to see job growth as a whole generation of financial planning professionals approach retirement. We also substantially rejuvenated all our degree programs to make them fit the future of work – equipping all students with the competencies needed for the 4th industrial revolution. This includes training them in writing, math, and digital literacy so that they are well prepared for the rapid changes of the future.

CU offers these programs with curricula for the modern world and highly credentialed faculty, but at a fraction of the price of the bloated universities of yesteryear. More and more savvy students and their families are looking for alternatives to exorbitant tuition and deep indebtedness that will hamper the launch of a successful career and slow the pursuit of an abundant life. Quality, career-focused education at an affordable price will provide a career head start for CU alumni. The value proposition created by combining the highest quality education with true affordability makes it easy to understand why so many are attracted to Carolina University. New students are applying in record numbers, and others are transferring from reputable universities like NC State, Purdue, UCLA, CUNY and the University of Minnesota. 

The growth is happening across all facets of the University representing both traditional, on-campus students and online, non-traditional adult learners from across the country and around the world. Undergraduate and graduate students of all ages enjoy the huge advantage of cutting-edge flexibility and agility via classes that are offered on-campus, online, or through an integrated approach.

CarolinaU = ChristU

Christ-Centered is the Heart of Our Mission

The official Carolina University Mission Statement says, “A Christ-centered University committed to exceptional teaching, scholarly research, creative innovation, and professional collaboration.” Our distinctive education is provided in a Christ-centered culture. Carolina University was formed in 2020 as a result of combining seven Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries. The common threads woven into the DNA of each of those schools were a love for God and others and a passion to know Jesus Christ personally and follow His virtuous life example and teachings. 

Those goals are exemplified in every facet of our university, including and especially the deep love and respect demonstrated across racial and cultural lines.This is fitting, because CU is one of the most racially diverse universities in America with a demographic makeup that mirrors all of the peoples of our nation. Our desire is that every student and graduate will love God, love others, live virtuously, and enjoy successful careers and abundant lives while making a real difference in this world by living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2020 Vision Campaign

In 2017 “The 2020 Vision Campaign” was launched as a bold and unprecedented challenge to raise $10 million dollars by 2020 to bolster every facet of the University and help us continue to become known as the place where career-focused education is both excellent and affordable. With God’s blessings and help from friends like you, we have raised $9.6 million dollars toward this goal. We are so close to the finish line, but we need your help to complete the race victoriously. Would you consider giving a generous gift toward the last $400,000 we need by the end of December? We need five people to give $20,000 each, ten to give $10,000 each, ten to give $5,000 each, fifty to give $1,000 each, two hundred to give $250 each and five hundred to give $100 each. Of course, gifts of any size will be deeply appreciated. Many faculty and staff have committed to sacrificially giving, and we ask you to consider joining us. 

Together we can make it happen!

As one of the ways to express our appreciation for your generosity, with a gift of $100 you will receive an “I Support CU” T-shirt, with a gift of $500 or more you will receive a zip up Athletic CU Jacket, and with a gift of $1,000 or more you will also join others on the CU Donor Board. Visit the CU website for more information. To make a secure gift online, please visit us at All gifts are tax deductible and deeply appreciated.

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