Urban Revitalization

For the city of Charlotte and its business community, the JWU campus has already begun to fulfill its promise by providing what had been a missing piece in the development of downtown Charlotte.

As it is at all JWU campuses, community service is an integral part of student life on the Charlotte Campus. All students are required to participate in at least 10 hours of community service work, and the Charlotte Campus works with 25 to 30 partner organizations on a regular basis.

The Charlotte Campus story began in the early 1980s, when JWU established culinary programs for the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, VA, and Charleston, SC. After our contracts with the Navy were completed, JWU moved its facilities in both cities to leased space and opened up the programs to the general public.

By the late 1990s, JWU had started offering hospitality degrees in both cities, and enrollment had risen to 830 in Norfolk and 1,500 in Charleston. By this time, the university had outgrown its leased space in both cities and began a search for new locations in each city that would allow the university to expand and upgrade its facilities.

A new opportunity arose when Center City Partners, a group of business and civic leaders, proposed that JWU establish a new campus in downtown Charlotte. The campus would help enliven what was then a largely 9-to-5 business district. After hearing what JWU would require to consider the proposal, the Charlotte delegation proposed a new campus on a six-acre site, and pledged to raise $40 million in private and public funds to support the endeavor.

In June of 2002, JWU announced its plan to develop the new $110 million campus in downtown Charlotte and to consolidate its Norfolk and Charleston operations at the site. Our newest campus welcomed its first entering class in the fall of 2004 with an enrollment of 1,104 students and quickly grew to 2,493 students by the fall of 2006.

During 2004 and 2005, JWU invested more than $62 million on related campus construction in Mecklenburg County. Today, the campus includes a 145,000 square-foot Academic Center, two residence halls housing 734 students and the 187-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Charlotte - Gateway Village.

JWU in Charlotte

Though it's our newest campus, JWU’s impact on the city of Charlotte has been measurable and significant. read more