SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus is pleased to open its brand new campus stores this fall. Beacon’s Nest, the new campus spirit store, recently opened on both North and South Campus.

North Campus Beacon's NestAfter more than 17 years of having an on-campus bookstore/campus store model, the College completed a proposal process to find the next generation model that would best fit Rowan-Cabarrus today and in the near future.

“Our number one concern was to reduce costs for our students. The price of textbooks has continued to go up across the country, and we wanted to do what we could to combat that,” said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Our second priority was to bring a different atmosphere to the campus space, to give students a place to study and hang out.”

To address the issues around the cost of textbooks, the College has made a number of changes. The largest of those was to move to an online bookstore format this year through a partnership with Akademos.

“We have long wanted to take the College’s branded gear to a different place and this gave us the perfect opportunity. I love seeing students wearing the t-shirts and hoodies on campus. You can tell they love it,” said Allison Robinson, director of graphics at Rowan-Cabarrus, who co-led the creation of Beacon’s Nest. “Students are invited to come and lounge in the space, whether making a purchase or not.”

The new branded materials are helping to build a sense of pride and a more collegiate atmosphere.

South Campus Beacon's Nest“We really listened to our students,” said Autumn Kinnaird, payroll analyst at the College, who co-led the creation of Beacon’s Nest. “The students asked for a coffee house feel, and we achieved that by purchasing many items second hand. In addition, we have tried to be as sustainable as possible, such as the coffee packets being recycled, wooden stir sticks instead of plastic, and paper cups instead of Styrofoam.”

One of the big benefits of the College running the store is that Rowan-Cabarrus can keep the prices low.

“We are thrilled about the new spirit stores and invite you to campus to enjoy coffee and meet our faculty, staff and students,” said Natasha Lipscomb, executive director of student success. “A complaint we used to hear from students was that the costs in the store were previously too high for items like backpacks and school gear. The College keeps the markup in Beacon’s Nest very low in order to provide a great service to students.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for spring semester, which begins on January 7, 2019.