Pfeiffer University News
On this day in Pfeiffer history-Emily Prudden was born in 1832
- Published on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 ( 9:25 am )
Emily Prudden, the founder of what is now Pfeiffer University, was born June 13, 1832 in Orange, Conn. She was in her fifties before she would start what would become her life's calling. After learning of the lack of schools in the South, she moved first to Kentucky then further south and started helping in various Home Schools in North and South Carolina. She would go on to found at least fifteen schools in North and South Carolina. For many of the schools she founded, Emily Prudden would establish it, get it running with students, one or two teachers, a budget (usually around $200-$300 a year) and then sell it to a religious organization.
In Pfeiffer's case it was sold on June 8, 1903 to the Woman's Missionary Home Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, North. Prudden originally named the school Oberlin Home and School reportedly in memory of John Oberlin, whose service as a minister and social pioneer in rural France, inspired her. When it was sold to the Woman's Missionary Home Society the name was changed to Mitchell Home School which later became Mitchell Junior College in 1928 and finally Pfeiffer Junior College in 1935.
In 1991, a historical marker near Blowing Rock, N.C. was dedicated to Emily Prudden and the schools she founded.
Emily Prudden died on December 25, 1917 in Hickory, N.C. and is buried at Orange Cemetery in Orange, Conn.