College of Charleston

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College of Charleston
Collegeseal.gif
MottoSapientia ipsa Libertas
Ædes Mores Juraque Curat
Motto in English"Knowledge itself is liberty."
[This] shrine cares for traditions and laws
Established1770
TypePublic university
Space grant colleges
Sea grant colleges
Endowment$60 million[1]
PresidentDr. P. George Benson
Admin. staff836
Undergraduates9,866
Postgraduates1,454
LocationCharleston, South Carolina, United States
Campus52 acres (21 ha)
ColorsMaroon and White         
MascotCougar
Websitewww.cofc.edu
CoCwordmark.svg
 
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College of Charleston
Collegeseal.gif
MottoSapientia ipsa Libertas
Ædes Mores Juraque Curat
Motto in English"Knowledge itself is liberty."
[This] shrine cares for traditions and laws
Established1770
TypePublic university
Space grant colleges
Sea grant colleges
Endowment$60 million[1]
PresidentDr. P. George Benson
Admin. staff836
Undergraduates9,866
Postgraduates1,454
LocationCharleston, South Carolina, United States
Campus52 acres (21 ha)
ColorsMaroon and White         
MascotCougar
Websitewww.cofc.edu
CoCwordmark.svg

The College of Charleston (informally known as C of C or CofC) is a public, sea-grant and space-grant university located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The College was founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, making it the oldest college or university in South Carolina, the 13th oldest institution of higher learning[2] in the United States and the oldest municipal college in the country.[3] The founders of the College include three future signers[4] of the Declaration of Independence (Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton and Thomas Heyward) and three future signers[4] of the United States Constitution (John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney). It is said that the College was founded to, "encourage and institute youth in the several branches of liberal education." The College is in company with the Colonial Colleges as one of the oldest schools[2] in the United States. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

History[edit]

Randolph Hall is the main academic building on the College of Charleston campus and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
College of Charleston Complex:Randolph Hall, Towell Library and Porters Lodge
LocationGlebe, George, St. Philip and Green streets, Charleston, South Carolina
Area4 acres (1.6 ha)[5]
Built1827
ArchitectEdward B. White; George E. Walker; Et al.
Architectural styleEarly Republic, Other
Governing bodyPrivate
NRHP Reference #71000748
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 11, 1971[6]
Designated NHLNovember 11, 1971[7]

Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher education in South Carolina, and the 13th oldest in the United States. During the colonial period, wealthy families sent their sons abroad or to universities in Middle Atlantic and Northern colonies for higher education. By the mid-18th century, many leading citizens supported the idea of establishing an institution of higher learning within the state. On January 30, 1770, Lieutenant Governor William Bull recommended to the colony’s general assembly the establishment of a provincial college. However, internal disagreements, political rivalries and the American Revolution delayed its progress. After the war, South Carolinians returned their attention to establishing a college.

On March 19, 1785, the College of Charleston was chartered to “encourage and institute youth in the several branches of liberal education.” The Act of the statehouse provided for three colleges simultaneously: one in Charleston, one in Winnsboro and one in Cambridge.[8] The Act also granted the College almost 9 acres (3.6 ha) of land bounded by present-day Calhoun, St. Philip, Coming and George streets; three-fourths of the land was soon sold to pay debts, but the College is still centered in that section of Charleston.[9] Only the College of Charleston continues today as a college.

The College was rechartered in 1791 because of questions about the 1785 Act, and the trustees hired Rev. (later Bishop) Robert Smith as the first president of the College, and the first classes were held at his home on Glebe Street (the current home of the College of Charleston president). Robert Smith served as the College's first president. Educated in England, he was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church and relocated to Charleston, where he served as rector of St. Philip’s Church. During the American Revolution, he supported the Patriot cause and even served as a soldier during the siege of the city. He later became the first Episcopal bishop of South Carolina. He relocated the school to a brick range which had been constructed for use as quarters for soldiers during the Revolutionary War.[9]

Dr. Smith continued as the president until 1797. It was during his term (1794) that the school graduated its first class with the degree of A.B., a class which consisted of six students. The oldest of the students was only 18, and the work for a degree was considered so easy that one of its first graduates said that "the whole thing was absurd."[9]

Upon the resignation of Dr. Smith in 1797, the school became sporadic and eventually closed completely in 1811. It was revived in 1824 with the hiring of Rev. Jasper Adams from Brown University for a salary of $2500.[10] Rev. Adams' plans for enlarging the school met opposition both locally and from the General Assembly which found his plans antagonistic to the interest of the South Carolina College (today known as the University of South Carolina).

Rev. Adams left the school in 1826, and the future of the College appeared bleak. In 1837, however, the City of Charleston decided that it would be in the city's interest to have a "home college." In 1837, the city council took over control of the school and assumed the responsibility for its finances and for electing its trustees.[11] As such, it became the nation’s first municipal college.[12] The city provided funds, for example, in 1850 to enlarge the main academic building (Randolph Hall), to construct Porters Lodge and to fence in the Cistern Yard, the block that is still the core of the campus. It remained a municipal college until the 1950s, when the College again became a private institution as a way to avoid racial integration.

Several of the College’s founders played key roles in the American Revolution and in the creation of the new republic. Three were signers of the Declaration of Independence and another three were framers of the U.S. Constitution. Other founders were past, present and future federal and state lawmakers[13] and judges,[13] state governors, diplomats and Charleston councilmen and mayors.

During the Civil War, many students and faculty left to serve the Confederacy. Despite dwindling student numbers and a long-running siege of the city by Federal troops, there was no suspension of classes until December 19, 1864, two months before the city was evacuated.

In 1864, Charleston was in ruins following federal bombardment of the city due to the Civil War. The future of The College was in doubt due to a lack of funds and the destruction of many buildings. Ephraim M. Baynard of Edisto Island gave $161,200 to save the College of Charleston. The Ephraim M. Baynard plaque in Harrison Randolph Hall at the College of Charleston commemorates this gift, without which it may have been impossible to continue. Classes resumed on February 1, 1866, and over the next four decades, the College weathered several financial crises, Reconstruction, hurricanes and the devastating earthquake of 1886. Until the 20th century, students who attended the College were primarily Charlestonians.

Harrison Randolph (president, 1897–1945) changed that by building residence halls and creating scholarships to attract students from other parts of the state. Under President Randolph, women were admitted to the College and the enrollment increased from just 68 students in 1905 to more than 400 in 1935. For many institutions of higher education across the South, integration took place in the late 1960s. For the College, the first black students enrolled in 1967.

The enrollment remained at about 500 until the College became a state institution in 1970. During Theodore Stern’s presidency (1968–1979), the number of students increased to about 5,000 and the physical facilities expanded from fewer than 10 buildings to more than 100. Between 1979 and 2001, the enrollment continued to increase, climbing to more than 10,000, and attracting students from across the country and around the world.

The College of Charleston Complex: Main Building, Library and Gate Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and further declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.[5][7] According to a description by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, "The historic campus of the College of Charleston contains three structures, the Main Building, the Library and Gate Lodge, situated in an attractive setting of evergreen oaks, that achieve a certain degree of unity by means of the prevailing Pompeian red coloring of their stuccoed walls."[14] Randolph Hall, the main building, was designed by William Strickland, was built in 1828-29 and was revised in 1850 by the work of Edward Brickell White which added "six giant Roman Ionic pillars" and otherwise developed a more "grandiose" vision. The Gate Lodge, designed by White and now known as Porters Lodge, was built in 1852 in a matching Roman Revival style. The Towell Library was designed by George E. Walker and was built in 1854-1856.[5]

Under the leadership of President Lee Higdon (2001–2006), the College embarked on an ambitious, multi-year plan designed to enhance the overall student experience, increase the faculty and student support staff and upgrade and expand facilities. The College renovated many historic structures and opened several new buildings, including two new residence halls, the Beatty Center (School of Business and Economics), new facilities for the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance [4] and the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library. The building boom continues today, with the new TD Arena on Meeting Street, the John Kresse Arena sports complex, the Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, a new science center, a new research and residence facility at the Grice Marine Laboratory (at Fort Johnson on James Island), and the first phase of construction at the Dixie Plantation site, the former home of John Henry Dick in St. Paul's Parish.

Recently, under the presidency of P. George Benson (2007–present), the College of Charleston embarked on a new strategic planning process designed to ensure the College retains its traditions in the liberal arts and sciences while responding to the needs of its evolving student population with cutting-edge academic programming and state-of-the-art facilities.

College of Charleston today[edit]

Although existing as a small, private liberal arts college for much of its early history, the College of Charleston is today a public university with a combined graduate/undergraduate enrollment of over 11,000. The College retains its liberal arts heritage through its core curriculum, which includes a heavy emphasis on languages, literature, history, sciences and the arts.

The College of Charleston consists of six academic schools, as well as the Honors College and the Graduate School.

Athletics[edit]

The College's 22 varsity sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference and are known as the Cougars. The Cougars compete at a variety of athletic facilities in Charleston, including the TD Arena (f/k/a the Carolina First Arena)[16] , the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Complex, Johnson Center Squash Courts, Patriots Point Athletic Complex, the Stern Center Pool and the Links at Stono Ferry. College of Charleston Athletics are supported by the Cougar Club, which was established in 1974. During the 1970-71 school year, College of Charleston students voted to change the school mascot from the Maroons to the Cougars, in honor of a cougar that had recently arrived at the Charles Towne Landing zoo. Clyde the Cougar is the College's current mascot. In late 2012 it was announced that the College would change conferences and join the Colonial Athletic Association, with the move to be completed by Fall 2013.[17]

Campus[edit]

The College of Charleston’s main campus in downtown Charleston includes 11 residence halls, 19 historic homes, five fraternity houses and eight sorority houses.

Outside of downtown Charleston, the College campus includes the Grice Marine Lab on James Island, the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center and the Patriots Point Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant, the North Campus in North Charleston and the 862-acre (349 ha) Dixie Plantation on the Stono River.

The College of Charleston campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, the Avery Institute, which is now the home to the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and the William Blacklock House are also listed individually on the register.

College of Charleston and the media[edit]

Due to the historic look and beauty of the campus, many movies and television shows have been filmed at the College of Charleston, including General Hospital, North and South, The View, Cold Mountain, The Patriot, White Squall, Wife Swap, O, The Notebook, Dear John, and Mandie. The most popular scene location is Randolph Hall. In 2008, productions shooting on campus thus far include the television show Army Wives and feature film, The New Daughter, starring Kevin Costner.

In 2004, the first televised debate between U.S. Senate candidates Jim DeMint and Inez Tenenbaum was filmed in Alumni Hall. ABC TV's The View and CNN's Crossfire also took up residence on the College of Charleston Cistern Yard before the South Carolina presidential primary in 2000. John Kerry officially endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Cistern Yard in 2008.

"The Bully Pulpit Series: Reflections on Presidential Communication” is a series hosted by the College of Charleston and its Department of Communication that welcomes presidential candidates from the two major political parties to the College of Charleston campus to discuss the importance of presidential communication. Candidates speak with students and Charleston community members on such topics as the frequency of press conferences, the candidate’s relationship with journalists and the power of the president to persuade. Major candidates appearing in the 2007-2008 series have included Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, President Barack Obama and Senator John Edwards. Sponsored by the Allstate Insurance Company, the series has drawn over 6000 attendees and received national and international media coverage.[18]

The English Department at the College of Charleston publishes Crazyhorse, a national literary magazine.

Greek Life[edit]

Greek Life has been active on campus for 120 years. There are 10 active IFC fraternities, 9 active Panhellenic sororities, (Fall of 2012 Phi Kappa Tau joined the campus) and 7 NPHC fraternities and sororities on campus. The College of Charleston is home to the Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, founded in 1904 at the College. The Alpha chapter house is located on Coming Street adjacent to the College's campus.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]

Actors and Actresses

Athletes

Artists and Architects

Politicians

Writers

Other notable alumni

References[edit]

  1. ^ College of Charleston Foundation. Financial Statements, 30 June 2012 and 2011. [1]
  2. ^ a b Colonial Colleges
  3. ^ Municipal college; Easterby, J.H. (1935)"Appendix I: Charters and Other Documents in A History of the College of Charleston, pp. 252. USA: The Scribner Press
  4. ^ a b Library of Congress [2]
  5. ^ a b c Staff, National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings (August 1971). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: College of Charleston Complex: Main Building, Library and Gate Lodge (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22  and Accompanying four photos, exterior and interior, from 1970 PDF (1.43 MB)
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  7. ^ a b "College of Charleston". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  8. ^ Colyer Meriwether (1889). History of Higher Education in South Carolina. Government Printing Office. p. 56. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Colyer Meriwether (1889). History of Higher Education in South Carolina. Government Printing Office. p. 57. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2009. 
  10. ^ Colyer Meriwether (1889). History of Higher Education in South Carolina. Government Printing Office. p. 58. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2009. 
  11. ^ Colyer Meriwether (1889). History of Higher Education in South Carolina. Government Printing Office. p. 62. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2009. 
  12. ^ Municipal college; Easterby, J.H.(1935)"Appendix I: Charters and Other Documents in A History of the College of Charleston," pp. 252. USA: The Scribner Press
  13. ^ a b Easterby, J.H. (1935) "The Beginning of Instruction" and "Appendix II: Register of Officers and Students" in A History of the College of Charleston, pp. 20-22 and pp. 258-264. USA: The Scribner Press
  14. ^ "College of Charleston, Charleston County (includes 19 photos)". National Register Properties in South Carolina listing. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  15. ^ "Mission". Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. 
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ College of Charleston To Join Colonial Athletic Association, 11/30/2012
  18. ^ The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston
  19. ^ http://spinner.cofc.edu/~greeklife/index.html?referrer=webcluster&
  20. ^ "NBA/ABA Players who attended College of Charleston". databaseSports.com. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  21. ^ Ernest Everett Blevins, Documentation of the Architecture of Samuel Lapham and the Firm of Simons & Lapham, Thesis for Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, Georgia, 2001.
  22. ^ http://alumni.cofc.edu/?pid=641

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°47′3″N 79°56′17″W / 32.78417°N 79.93806°W / 32.78417; -79.93806