The History of Brevard College
Learn in Order to Serve
Brevard College is named for Ephraim Brevard, patriot and signer of the Mecklenberg Resolves in 1775—a document that some historians believe was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence. The college has roots in three institutions: Weaver College, a two and four-year school, which was founded in Buncombe County in 1853; Rutherford College, which was founded as the Owl Hollow School in 1853; and Brevard Institute, a high school inaugurated in 1895. Due to the economic depression of the 1930s, all three schools closed their doors with a plan to merge as a single coeducational Methodist Junior college. Doors reopened as Brevard College, at the current campus location, in 1934 with a class of 394 and 24 faculty.
Brevard College experiential education origins can be traced back to the first year of the institution, and the original school motto, “Labor, Learn, Live.” Under the leadership of Brevard’s first president, Eugene Coltrane, the college operated its own farm and garden. Students divided their time between farm chores, vocational classes like home economics and agriculture, and liberal arts studies such as science and art.
Throughout the past 80 years, Brevard College has evolved while still adhering to its core values and mission. In the early 1960s, the element of service was solidified as a core value in the college’s new seal and current motto, “Cognosce Ut Prosis” (Learn in order that you might serve).
Today, Brevard College is known for its adherence to their founding belief that education is more than just memorization from a book. Brevard’s unique approach to academics through experiential education produces students that are not just prepared to succeed in the workforce—they’re prepared for a lifetime of self-improvement and higher learning.