Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

College of Charleston

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all 53

Profiles

  • Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument (1781 - 1855)
    He is known as one of the first American-born professional architects. He studied with the English-trained American architect Benjamin H. Latrobe and later worked in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia,...
  • Maj. Gen. (USA) John Charles Frémont, "The Pathfinder" (1813 - 1890)
    John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), was an American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of president of the U.S., and the first...
  • Hon. Julius Waties Waring (1880 - 1968)
    Julius Waties Waring (July 27, 1880 – January 11, 1968) was a United States federal judge who played an important role in the early legal battles of the American Civil Rights Movement. Biographical n...
  • Joseph Ioor Waring, Jr. (1897 - 1977)
    Pediatrician, medical historian. Waring was born in Charleston on September 4, 1897, the son of Joseph Ioor Waring and Emma Taber. He attended Porter Military Academy, graduating in 1912, followed by...
  • Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830 - 1886)
    Paul Hamilton Hayne (January 1, 1830 – July 6, 1886) was a nineteenth century Southern American poet, critic, and editor. Biography Paul Hamilton Hayne was born in Charleston, South Carolina ...

Wikipedia

The College of Charleston (informally known as CofC or The College) 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.Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher education in South Carolina. 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 Reverend (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 Saint 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).

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. 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 facilities expanded from fewer than ten 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.

Alumni

Staff

Alumni