The Scots were sticklers for lessons learned. Legend has it that when the first settlers surged inland from Cape Fear, a sign was posted which read, “The best land lies 100 miles west of here.” Those who could read naturally wound up in Scotland County.
The first schools were established near Duncan McFarland’s Laurel Hill community, and before the Civil War, all of them were private. Laurinburg High School dates to 1850, while the public school system was not established until 1899. It’s important to realize that during much of the county’s history, the countryside was dotted with small school houses.
More recently, our educational climate has been influenced by St. Andrews Universtiy, a private liberal arts college. St. Andrews actually began in 1896 as Flora McDonald College, merging with nearby Presbyterian Junior College to form the present institution in 1961. The Scottish Heritage Center and St. Andrews Pipe Band attest to the college’s lineage. St. Andrews is also known for its renowned equestrian program.
Our educational heritage also leans heavily on two other institutions, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Richmond Community College in Hamlet. (Also, see our separate section on Laurinburg Institute.)
Click here for St. Andrews University
Click here for Richmond Community College