New Events Highlight WPU Founder’s Day Celebration, March 15, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

William Peace University is proud to celebrate 161 years of success as part of its Founder’s Day celebration on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

This year’s events mark a new era in celebrating our founder, William Peace, as the University will host a “Porch Talk” and inaugural “Founder’s Walk”, where University officials, alumni, students, faculty and staff, and community members will embark on a 20-minute walk to Mr. Peace’s gravesite at Raleigh City Cemetery, honoring the late Raleigh businessman and church elder. Mr. Peace’s gravesite was recently renovated and restored by Raleigh City Cemetery Preservation Inc., and persevered as a historical landmark. In addition to the Founder’s Walk, the University will host live music on Main Lawn, as well as local food trucks.

We are also celebrating Founder’s Day by making it a Day of Giving for the University. As we celebrate our past, make an investment in our future by making a gift to the University. In honor of our founding year, we are encouraging gifts of $18.57, $185.70, $1857.00 and etc. Make a gift and invite two others to follow your lead.

Give Now

2018 Founder’s day Events

  • Porch Talk and Founder’s Walk
    2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

WPU will kick off the festivities with the first ever Peace Porch Talk on the institutions history featuring Dr. Wade Newhouse, Program Director of Theatre and Assistant Professor of English and Reverend R. Lee Carter, William C. Bennett Chaplain. Following this unique historical presentation the University will honor their founder, William Peace and his lasting legacy with a Founder’s Walk through downtown Raleigh to the City Cemetery of Raleigh and return to the campus. The Founder’s Walk will feature a presentation of the long-term restoration project of William Peace’s gravesite located at City Cemetery of Raleigh (17 S. East Street, Raleigh, NC 27601). The first 100 participants to check-in for the walk will receive a commemorative t-shirt.

  • Concert on the Lawn
    5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Gather with friends and family and bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets to listen to a live concert on William Peace University’s Main Lawn from 5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. featuring The Retro Band, a nine piece band playing music from all generations. Admission to the concert is free. Food trucks will be on site to purchase a number of delicious options for dinner.

All events are open to the community; however, registration is required.

Register for Founder’s Walk

Register for Concert on the Lawn

Our History

The Institution was founded in 1857 as Peace Institute, offering education for boys and girls in primary grades and to women from high school to college. The institution then moved to exclusively offering two-year degrees for women. In 1995, Peace introduced Bachelor’s degrees and in 2012 welcomed male students for the first time. WPU is now home to approximately 1,000 students and offers nearly 30 majors, and dozens of minors, and concentrations.

Over its 161-year history, WPU has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of students, and has already awarded nearly 2,000 baccalaureate degrees to its outstanding graduates since the late 1990’s.

“I am excited to expand our Founder’s Day programming into a true community event that enables us to honor our past, celebrate our present, and generate excitement about our future. Founder’s Day is a great way for us all to affirm our belief in Peace. The University proudly stands today because of the vision of one man and the efforts of thousands who have gone before us to bring this idea to life. We now have the privilege of carrying that vision forward.”
Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of WPU

WILLIAM PEACE, OUR FOUNDER

William Peace founded Peace Institute in 1857

WPU is named in honor of its founder, William Peace

Our founding benefactor was an outstanding citizen of Raleigh, a dedicated church member, a successful businessman, and a generous supporter of worthy causes. He was a respected merchant who owned the mercantile firm ‘J&W Peace” with his brother, Joseph, and was also a graduate of the second class at the University of North Carolina.

In 1816, William Peace helped found and organize the First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh, where he was also elected an Elder. In 1857 and at the age of 84, Mr. Peace donated $10,000 and eight acres of land on which to establish the Peace Institute. The school would offer education for boys and girls in primary grades and for women from high school through college. Later it would be known as Peace College, and now today, the institution bears our founder’s name: William Peace University.

Though William Peace did not live to see the opening of the school, he left a living legacy in the grounds we walk upon. The University remains on it original campus, has retained affiliation with the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and today boasts more than 11,000 living alumni, countless faculty, staff, and supporters, all of whom have crossed the pathways of Peace during their lifetime.

GraveSite Restoration Numbers + Facts

The Peace Plot restoration was completed on Saturday, June 24, 2017 by donors & friends of Raleigh City Cemeteries Preservation

Mr. Peace’s gravesite was recently renovated and restored by Raleigh City Cemetery Preservation Inc.

  • Work was completed in phases, totaling 10 years
  • Work was performed by Dean Ruedrich, restoration specialist, and his team
  • Missing marble pieces were ordered and shipped from Italy
  • Fence pieces were made by OK Foundry in Richmond, VA
  • Welder work was completed by Douglas McDonald
  • In 2009, Peace Anthropology and Archaeology students collected and stored fragments of historic Peace family monuments and stone walls in Raleigh City Cemetery
  • Project was completed June 24, 2017
  • Cost: $90,000
  • Funds were made possibly by donors and friends of Raleigh City Cemetery Preservation Inc., including William Peace University

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 

 

Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.

Visitors

Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.

Counselors

Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.

Alumni

Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.

Donate

Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.

Parents

Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Commencement
Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students

Readmission

If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 

Veteran/Military

Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.

About

WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting

History

Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.

Leadership

William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU

Athletics

Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.

Academics

WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 

Admissions

Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.