The institution that is now William Carey University, had its earliest origins in Poplarville, Mississippi, when the noted educator W. I. Thames opened Pearl River Boarding School in 1892. As did many institutions of its day, Pearl River Boarding School offered elementary, preparatory and some college work.
Operating for decades as Mississippi Woman's College, the institution was renamed in honor of the founder of modern missions in 1954 when the school became coeducational.
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