College of Charleston | South Carolina Public Radio


"C" is for College of Charleston. Although plans for a college at Charleston had been discussed throughout the eighteenth century, it was not until 1785 that the legislature authorized the creation of a college “in or near the city of Charleston.” In 1837, it became the first publicly funded city college in the country. Support was meager and enrollment declined. President Harrison Randolph’s long tenure (1897-1941) effectively established a new college. Money was raised and dormitories constructed. In 1949, by agreement of city, county, and school officials, the college returned to private status to avoid racial integration. Shaky finances led to negotiations in 1970 that transferred the college to the state of South Carolina. As a state-supported institution, the size of the faculty and student body of the College of Charleston increased dramatically.

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