|McIver (left) and Edwin Alderman|
One of the reasons that McIver was such a portly person was his insatiable appetite for rich food. It was well known amongst the students and faculty that he loved to eat and particularly enjoyed meal time. It was said that he knew all of the head waiters in all of the good hotel restaurants across North Carolina. One of his favorite foods was watermelon which he sometimes bought by the wagon load and kept readily available to eat.
Along with his eating habits, McIver was known to be a humorous and jovial fellow with an uncanny talent for telling a joke and entertaining crowds with his speeches. This pleasant personality would also be evident in his commitment to connect with students and faculty at the school. Many recall that McIver had an exemplary ability to remember people’s names, faces, and past events. To aid his memory, he often carried a notepad with a list of all of the students. McIver would make an effort throughout the year to meet every student to learn their name and more about them. His biggest worry was not knowing each student well enough to talk with their parents.
Despite his typically friendly nature, McIver could also exemplify a very stern and strict demeanor, especially regarding discipline and order among the students. One student described her experience of being summoned to McIver’s office for taking an extra day away from school over the holiday break. She felt like she had her “heart in her throat” as she was "reprimanded severally for disobeying rules" despite her pleas. McIver ordered her to write fifty copies of the "contract" they were required to sign upon entering the college as punishment.