Founders Day: Then and Now

Main building at WPU

March 17 is William Peace University’s Founder’s Day, a day in which the university pays homage to both its heritage and the man who started it all. This year’s slogan focused on WPU’s “160 years of success”, as the school was founded in 1857 by William Peace, a Raleigh businessman and outstanding member of the community for whom the school was named after.
The Founder’s Day celebration took place right on the lawn right in front of the Main Building, and all who attended could see the letters 1857 on a large gold balloon outside, along with a large banner showing the school founder’s likeness on the building. A key aspect of the annual celebration was the cutting of the cake, where students, alumni, and faculty, gathered round on the main lawn for the festivities.
Jacob Ennis, this year’s Student Government Association President, was especially pleased with this year’s Founder’s Day turnout.
“This celebration is a great opportunity for members of the Peace family to come together and celebrate our history, so I’m glad everyone could make it out here for it today,” said Ennis.
Past Founder’s Day celebrations have included outdoor games and food, but the most essential aspect of the day is the camaraderie of the Peace family. Understanding the history and having a good time is important, but it’s the feeling of being a part of a family, something bigger than any one person, is what makes the day so special.
Malik Smith, a junior at Peace, has attended the celebration every year since he started attending the school.
“The reason I keep coming back for Founder’s Day is because it’s a fun way to hang out with friends and meet people that have attended this school before me,” said Smith. “We really are just one big, happy family.”
WPU has experienced quite a few changes throughout its  history. From its humble beginnings as an institute educating boys and girls in primary grades and women from high school to college, to an all-girls two-year college, and then all the way to becoming a co-ed four-year university, the school has stood the test of time. These days, it’s the students and reminding celebrations like Founder’s Day that carry on the legacy.
The current students at WPU certainly seem to have a keen interest in the history of their proud institution. Next year, new students will come and this year’s batch of seniors will move on, but Founder’s Day will give all of them a chance to honor this school and show the impact it has had on their lives.

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