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Belmont Abbey
Motto Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus
Motto in English That in all things God may be glorified
Established April 21, 1876
Type Private liberal arts college
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (Benedictine)
Endowment $8,365,676 (2011)[1]
President Dr. William K. Thierfelder
Students 1,706 (2014)[2]
Location Belmont, North Carolina, USA
Campus 650 acres (2.6 km²)
Colors Crimson and cream
Athletics NCAA Division IIConference Carolinas
Nickname Crusaders
Mascot Crusader
Affiliations ACCU
Website BelmontAbbeyCollege.edu
Logo of Belmont Abbey College
Belmont Abbey Historic District
Site of college in U.S. state of North Carolina
Location 100 Belmont--Mt. Holly Rd. (NC 2093, E side), Belmont, North Carolina
Area 37.5 acres (15.2 ha)
Built 1876
Architectural style Other, Gothic Revival, American Benedictine
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 93000584[3]
Added to NRHP July 14, 1993

Belmont Abbey College is a private liberal-arts Catholic college located in Belmont, North Carolina, USA, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Uptown Charlotte. It was founded in 1876 by the Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and the Order of Saint Benedict. It is endorsed by the The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

Offering an undergraduate education, the college enrolls students from diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.[4]


St. Benedict

Belmont Abbey College was founded in 1876 as St. Mary's College by Benedictine monks from Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania. Father Jeremiah O'Connell purchased Caldwell farm and donated the land to the Benedictines, hoping the community would found a Catholic educational institution in the Carolinas. On April 21, 1876, Father Herman Wolfe, from St. Vincent's, arrived with two students to take possession of the property and begin classes. In 1878, the college held its first commencement exercises. Katharine Drexel, a benefactor of the monastery and college, visited Belmont Abbey in 1904. The present name of the college was adopted in 1913. In 1967 John Oetgen, college president and Benedictine priest, conferred an honorary degree on the Protestant evangelist Billy Graham, marking what was at the time seen as a bold ecumenical gesture.[5] Originally a college for young men, Belmont Abbey became a coeducational institution in 1972.[6] In 1987, Sacred Heart College for women merged with the Abbey, and its campus began to host a variety of Abbey classes and programs.[7]

The Belmont Abbey Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.[3] It encompasses 14 contributing buildings, 3 contributing sites, 1 contributing structure, and 1 contributing object (a statue of Saint Benedict (1924)). It includes at its heart the separately listed Belmont Abbey Cathedral. Other contributing buildings include the Brothers' Building (1893, 1897, 1904), Old Science (1893), Jubilee Hall (1897), The Monastery (1880, 1891, and 1894), the College Building (or Stowe Hall, 1886, 1888, 1898), Saint Leo Hall (1907), and The Haid (1929).[8]


Maurus Hall is centrally located on campus and houses a student lounge, grill, and the Holy Grounds coffee shop. Across from Maurus Hall is the Haid, which serves as a student and community theater. The Haid was originally built as a gymnasium. The Abbey Players now perform there. Along Abbey Lane, towards the far end of the campus, are the Vincent Abbot Taylor Library and the William Gaston Science Hall. Administrative offices are located in Robert Stowe Hall, with classrooms on the second and third floors. St. Leo's Hall, built in the American Benedictine style, houses the Campus Book Store and Catholic Shop on the first floor. Professorial offices are located in St. Leo's Hall, and Grace Auditorium is located on the third floor.

The quad is located between the Poellath and O'Connell residence halls, both constructed in the early 1960s. Raphael Arthur Hall, constructed in 1967, offers students individual rooms and sits on the hill above Poellath, near Campus Police. The St. Joseph's Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, dedicated in 2008, is across from Campus Police. Wheeler Athletic Center, completed in 1970, is located behind Poellath Hall. At the back of the campus are the four Cuthbert Allen Apartment buildings, built in 1989. The newly rentivated Student Commons, located next to the new cafeteria, houses the campus mailroom, snack machines, a lounge area, and Student Life offices. The Lourdes Grotto, an official pilgrimage shrine, is situated behind O'Connell Hall.

Mary Help of Christians Abbey Basilica[edit]

The Lourdes Grotto

The Abbey Church, the most prominent building on the college's campus, was completed in 1894 under the supervision of Abbot Leo Haid. Drexel made significant donations to the completion of the structure, which served as North Carolina's first and only cathedral prior to the erection of the Diocese of Raleigh in 1924. The church is constructed in the gothic-revival style out of brick and granite, built in the shape of a Latin cross. The towers of the church, named Ora (the taller) and Labora (the smaller), can be seen from most of the college campus. The taller of the two towers holds bells which ring to signal the celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The monastic community continues to hold daily services which are open to the student body and the public. Following the Second Vatican Council, the interior of the Abbey Church was renovated in a modernist style in order to facilitate the liturgical reforms of the era. In 1975, Belmont Abbey lost its territorial status and cathedral rank to the newly created Diocese of Charlotte. In 1998 Pope John Paul II named the Abbey Church a minor basilica in recognition of the historic and aesthetic significance of the structure.[9]

Sacred Heart Campus[edit]

The Sisters of Mercy of Belmont reside at Sacred Heart Campus, in downtown Belmont. In the early 1900s the sisters began a finishing school for girls that eventually became Sacred Heart College. Sacred Heart College closed in 1987, and the campus is now owned by Belmont Abbey; classes are offered at Sacred Heart for both traditional and adult degree students. Belmont Abbey continues to offer alumnae services to graduates from Sacred Heart College.[7]


Plans were proposed by the President of the college in 2008 to construct a new residence hall on campus in order to facilitate increased enrollment.[10] In the Fall of 2012, construction began on two new residence halls to open in the Fall of 2013.

In the Summer of 2011, construction began on a state-of-the-art integrated cafeteria. The construction was complete in time for the new cafeteria to open to the student body beginning in the Fall of 2012.


Reminder of the college's Aristotelian commitment

The Abbey is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the American Medical Association.[11] More than 80 percent of the faculty at Belmont Abbey hold doctoral degrees in their subjects. After completing a core curriculum, students declare a major and concentrate within their chosen areas of study.[12]

The college's First Year Symposium, required for incoming freshmen, seeks to acclimate new students to college life. Taught by professors from various fields, this course explains the theories of a liberal education and introduces students to the Rule of St. Benedict and the Catholic intellectual tradition.[13]

Chapel at Sacred Heart

Rankings and reputation[edit]

In 2006 the Abbey was ranked as one of the best colleges in the Southeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. The Abbey was likewise ranked first in North Carolina – and second in the Southeast – for class size by the U.S. News & World Report.[14]

Scholarship opportunities[edit]


Belmont Abbey Crusaders athletic logo

The Belmont Abbey Crusaders participate in the NCAA's Division II program. The Crusaders are members of Conference Carolinas. Men's and women's lacrosse, women's golf. Men's and women's tennis and men's and women's track and field have been added for the 2009 season. Al McGuire coached Basketball for the Crusaders from 1957 to 1964. During his tenure the team had 5 post-season tournament appearances.

In 2009, the Crusaders Baseball team reached the NCAA Division II World Series, at the USA Baseball Training Complex located in Cary, North Carolina. The Crusaders were ranked 6th in their respective regional tournament and went on to win four straight against nationally ranked teams to capture their first regional championship. The Crusaders fell to eventual National Champions Lynn University after winning two in a row. The Crusaders finished the season ranked 3rd in the Nation.

In 2012, Women's Volleyball, Women's Soccer, and Men's Basketball all won the NCAA Division II Conference Carolina title.

Student life[edit]

The Student Commons overlooking Pat's bridge

Organizations and Greek Life[edit]

The Abbey has over 40 student organizations, an active Student Government Association, and many Greek organizations belonging to the college's Greek Council. Kappa Sigma and Sigma Alpha are the only active fraternities on campus, while active sororities are: Tau Kappa Delta, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Pi, and Delta Psi Theta.[15] Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Tau Kappa Epsilon still have inactive national fraternity chapters.

Abbey Players[edit]

The Haid containing the student theater

Belmont Abbey has a theatre department. The Abbey Players of Belmont Abbey College were founded in 1883, and have been a part of campus life for over a century. At present, the theatre produces six shows a year, representing a wide repertoire of drama, comedy and musicals. Participation in the Abbey Players is open to any interested member of the Belmont Abbey College community, and students, faculty, staff and monks regularly appear together. In addition, it functions as the Belmont Community Theatre, which brings in theatre artists from the surrounding Metrolina area.


The new campus cafeteria (Built in the summer of 2012) is located on the residential side of campus, next to the Walter Coggins Student Commons. Maurus Hall contains a grill and Holy Grounds coffee shop.


Incoming freshmen are required to live in either Poellath or O’Connell; two-story single-sex residence halls. Beginning in the Fall of 2013, the students will have the option to live in the new residence halls currently being built (2012). Raphael Arthur Hall provides residents the choice to live in individual rooms. In addition to the three residence halls on campus, upperclassmen are eligible to live in either one of the four on campus Cuthbert Allen apartment buildings or the Cloisters, off-campus apartments in nearby Mount Holly, North Carolina.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable events[edit]

Faculty health care coverage controversy[edit]

In 2007 the college’s administration removed healthcare coverage for “abortion, contraception, and voluntary sterilization” after discovering that these were covered by the college’s healthcare policy. Eight faculty members responded by filing complaints to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Women's Law Center. The latter threatened a lawsuit on behalf of the eight faculty members, several of whom are lifelong Catholics.

The college’s administration have received statements of support from Catholic news sources and other organizations, and the administration has stated that they have no intention of reinstating those portions of the healthcare plan that are contrary to the Catholic identity of the college.[17]

After the student newspaper, The Crusader, published an article in May 2008 pointing out that the Abbey profits from the sale of contraceptives at two stores on its land, the Abbot responded by stating that: “"[They] are preponderantly good operations, i.e. 99 percent or more of their business is not problematic, and the employment generation and economic stimulation they provide for the community of Belmont are worth tolerating a small amount of evil. The Abbey is not willing to lease to them because they sell contraceptives, but despite it." [18]

Lawsuit against the Obama Administration over its contraceptive health care coverage mandate[edit]

According to a November 11, 2011 online news story by Patricia L. Guilfoyle of Catholic News Service,: "Belmont Abbey College is suing the federal government over a new regulation that requires employer health insurance plans to provide free coverage of contraceptives and sterilization, even if it may be contrary to their religious beliefs."[19]

Objection to a local No-Kill shelter[edit]

According to a June 20th, 2013 online news story by the Associated Press, Belmont Abbey College objected to the rezoning of a nearby 6 acre piece of land that would have been used for a no-kill shelter.[20]


  1. ^ "Belmont Abbey's Endowment". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  2. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/belmont-abbey-college-2910/student-life
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://www.gastongazette.com/articles/belmont-38887-president-abbey.html
  6. ^ [2] Belmont Abbey History
  7. ^ a b http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/gbnf/shc.html
  8. ^ Reverend Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B. (October 1992). "Belmont Abbey Historic District" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-11-01. 
  9. ^ [3] catholic-hierarchy.org
  10. ^ [4] Article in the Crusader
  11. ^ [5] Accreditation
  12. ^ [6] Academic programs
  13. ^ [7] FYS
  14. ^ [8] Link to News Releases
  15. ^ [9]
  16. ^ [10]
  17. ^ LifeSiteNews.com. "Belmont Abbey College Removes Employee Benefits for Abortion, Sterilization and Contraception", LifeSiteNews.com, May 7, 2008.
  18. ^ Wentowski, Ray. "Belmont Abbey Removes Contraception Coverage from Employee Healthcare, Benefits from Contraceptive Sales on Abbey Land", abbeycrusader.com, May 7, 2008.
  19. ^ http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104431.htm
  20. ^ http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/No-no-kill-animal-shelter-in-Gaston-County-212311601.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°15′34″N 81°02′27″W / 35.2595756°N 81.0409625°W / 35.2595756; -81.0409625

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_Abbey_College — Please support Wikipedia.
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27634 videos foundNext > 

2111 news items

Gaston Gazette

Gaston Gazette
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:56:15 -0800

Was $29,000 a fair price for a year of education at Belmont Abbey College? The liberal arts school's president didn't think so. Dr. Bill Thierfelder scoffed at the tuition cost when he became president of the private, nonprofit Catholic college in 2004 ...

Gaston Gazette

Gaston Gazette
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:54:53 -0800

BELMONT -- Belmont Abbey College's Wheeler Center will be the site next week of the first annual "McGuire Classic" in honor of the 50th anniversary of the final year of legendary former Crusaders coach Al McGuire. McGuire coached the Crusaders men's ...
Gaston Gazette
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:48:45 -0800

BELMONT – First-year Belmont Abbey College basketball coach Martin Unger knew his team would be young and inexperienced before the season began. After all, the Crusaders had the fewest numbers of returning players at the school in 20 years.
Gaston Gazette
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:00:00 -0800

Because of it, there was more noise than usual at Belmont Abbey College's Wheeler Center. Unfortunately for the home team, the result was the same as it has been throughout the season as the Crusaders fell to 0-10 on the year following a 93-65 loss to St.
Gaston Gazette
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 03:03:45 -0800

While much has been said of late about the rising cost of a college education and the burden of student debt, Belmont Abbey is doing something about it. At $29,000, the price tag for a year at the Abbey seemed too high to President Bill Thierfelder, so ...

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:15:00 -0800

Students welcomed: Belmont Abbey College hosted Gaston County Schools Day on Dec. 17. Students from seven middle schools – Bessemer City, Cramerton, Grier, Holbrook, Mount Holly, Southwest and York Chester – enjoyed an educational pep rally, ...

Mesabi Daily News

Mesabi Daily News
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:45:00 -0800

Seitz — who is also a good basketball and softball player — is taking her offensive baseline style of play to Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., next year. She recently signed a letter of intent. A couple of years ago she visited a few schools ...

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:04:50 -0800

Heying, who is from Richmond, earned a bachelor's degree from Belmont Abbey College and a master's in business from St. Cloud State University. He has been vice president of commercial lending at Sentry for the past six years. Since Reinhart started at ...

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