Loy worked closely with UNC Charlotte's founder, Bonnie Cone on the development of the university beginning in 1964. He led the Department of Philosophy and Religion, then established and chaired the Department of Religious Studies when it split off from philosophy beginning in 1972. He served as president of the UNC Charlotte faculty, as founder and director of the campus Office of Religious Affairs, and as faculty advisor to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. The Loy H. Witherspoon Lectures in Religious Studies were established at UNC Charlotte in 1984 to honor him for his tenure of distinguished service. He retired in 1994 after 30 years of service to UNC Charlotte and its predecessor, Charlotte College. He was granted status of professor emeritus of Philosophy and Religious Studies and continued to be active in university life until his death. Born in Catawba, North Carolina in 1930, Dr. Witherspoon graduated from Duke University with a BA and a BD degree, and from Boston University with a PhD in the New Testament. Witherspoon was an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. (excerpt from J. Murrey Atkins Goldmine Collection - link opens in new browser window)
For an in-depth, informative piece on Dr. Witherspoon's enduring legacy at the University, see the article, "Who is Loy H. Witherspoon?" starting on page 16 of the 2013 second quarter edition of UNC Charlotte Magazine.
Listen to the wonderful J. Murrey Atkins Library special collection of Interviews with Loy H. Witherspoon.
See also a list of The Witherspoon Lectures Series through the years on our website.
Painting by Jamie Lee McMahon