In the winter of 1899, concerned with the limited offerings of the district school which was supplemented only by summer school work conducted by the church, the Rev. Edgar Tufts took some of the young people of the neighborhood into his study for further instruction. This small group, called the Class of 1900, marks the beginning of Lees-McRae College. Over a hundred years after its founding, Lees-McRae College continues in the vision of the Rev. Tufts, meeting the educational needs of the Southern Appalachian region and beyond. The college continues to fulfill its motto—in the mountains, of the mountains, and for the mountains—while extending educational opportunities and service to diverse populations.
Lees-McRae offers bachelor's degrees from four schools:
- School of Arts & Humanities
- School of Business and Management
- May School of Nursing and Health Sciences
- School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Lees-McRae currently offers four degrees completely online.