Presbyterian College

Presbyterian College (PC) is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in Clinton, South Carolina.

Presbyterian College
Former names
Clinton College
MottoDum Vivimus Servimus
Motto in English
While We Live, We Serve
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Endowment$97.59 million[1]
PresidentBob Staton
ProvostDon Raber
Academic staff
84 full-time
Students1,172 undergraduates, 231 graduates (Fall, 2012)
Location, ,
United States
CampusSmall town
240 acres (97 ha)
ColorsGarnet & Blue[2]
NicknameBlue Hose
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig South


Presbyterian College was founded in 1880 by the Rev. William Plumer Jacobs. He had served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Clinton since 1864, and founded the Thornwell Orphanage. Originally called Clinton College, its first class (including three women) graduated in 1883. In establishing PC, his "tree of knowledge", Jacobs' goal was to educate young people for lives of service to church and society, and thereby be, in his words, "epistles to Christ's honor and glory".[3]

By the time of Jacobs' death in 1917, the college had grown considerably in size and resources, and had six major buildings. Neville Hall, PC's most recognized structure, was constructed in 1907. The tenure of president Davison McDowell Douglas (1911-1926) saw the tripling of the size of the faculty and student body, the construction of four new buildings, and growth in the College's assets from $150,000 to over $1 million.[4] After weathering the storms of the Great Depression and Second World War, Presbyterian has continued expansion on many fronts through the second half of the twentieth century. It became fully co-educational in 1965 (and in so doing dropped its previous motto, "Where Men are Made"). In 1969, it began admitting African-American students.[5]



Presbyterian College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[6] The School of the Liberal Arts confers B.A. and B.S. degrees in 30 courses of study and 9 pre-professional programs including Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Pre-Theology, and Pre-Pharmacy. PC also offers a dual-degree program in Engineering (with Clemson University, Auburn University, Georgia Tech, the University of South Carolina, and Vanderbilt University) and minor fields in an additional 13 disciplines such as Africana Studies, Media Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.[7][8] The liberal arts program has small average class sizes (13-15 students). Beginning in 1991, six Presbyterian College faculty members have been declared Carnegie/CASE South Carolina Professor of the Year Award winners.[6]

PC is one of two South Carolina colleges or universities with a Confucius Institute, which fosters economic connections and cultural interaction between the US and China. Through the institute, Presbyterian participates in a partnership and exchange program with Guizhou University, located in Guiyang, China. The Confucius Institute sponsors cultural events on PC's campus and offers elementary, intermediate, and advanced courses in Mandarin.[9][10][11]

The Religion of SEC Football

Presbyterian offers a one-credit elective Freshman course entitled The Religion of SEC Football.[12] The class is co-taught by PC professors Dr. Michael Nelson and Dr. Terry Barr, who are Arkansas and Alabama fans, respectively.[13] The class has been taught for more than a decade, but gained a lot of media attention in the fall of 2016 after the class appeared as a headline on Reddit. Nelson has spoken on several radio shows on the topic, including one from Fayetteville, AR and one from Columbia, SC. Barr appeared on the Paul Finebaum Show[14] via phone in late August to discuss the details of the course.

The course focuses on the parallels between college football and religion, and how many people strongly prioritize one over the other.


The School of Pharmacy confers Doctorate of Pharmacy degrees (PharmD) and is oriented toward serving the healthcare needs of underdeveloped and economically depressed areas of South Carolina and the greater US. A 54,000 square-foot facility, its doors opened in the fall of 2010 with an inaugural class of 80 students. The School of Pharmacy was fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) in July 2014.[15] Despite its youth, it has accrued multiple awards including a Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) grant from the National Institute of Health, and a Generation Rx Champion Award from the South Carolina Pharmacy Association (SCPhA) for its efforts at raising awareness of prescription drug abuse.[16][17]

Student life

Size and makeup

The 2014 edition of U.S. News and World Report regards Presbyterian College as a "selective" institution that accepted 57.8% of applicants in the fall of 2012. Of PC's 1,172 undergraduates, 44% are male and 56% are female, and 97% live on campus.[18]

Student organizations

Students at PC have many options for extracurricular activities. In addition to intramural athletics, Greek life is an important part of campus life and culture, as around 45% of the student body is affiliated with one of nine fraternities and sororities. For men, there are seven North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) organizations (chapter designation in Greek): Alpha Sigma Phi (ΑΨ), Kappa Alpha Order (ΒΠ), Pi Kappa Alpha (Μ), Pi Kappa Phi (Β), Sigma Nu (ΖΘ), Omega Psi Phi (ΑΔΩ), and Theta Chi (ΒΨ). For women, there are three National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations: Alpha Delta Pi (ΗΞ), Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΕΠ), and Zeta Tau Alpha (ΚΒ). Aside from Greek life, PC offers its students many other social clubs and advocacy organizations like Secular Student Alliance, College Republicans, College Democrats, and Multicultural Student Union.[19] There are also many religious ministries, including the Presbyterian Student Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Campus Outreach. Finally, Presbyterian actively promotes service organizations and opportunities. Many PC students participate in initiatives like Special Olympics, Relay for Life, tutoring local high school and middle school students, and CHAMPS, a mentoring service for local youth.[19][20]

Honor Code

Since 1915 all aspects of life at Presbyterian have been regulated by a student-run honor code.[21] The signing of the honor code is a central fixture of each academic year's opening convocation ceremony and is a requirement for all incoming students, faculty, and coaches. The honor code binds one to "abstain from all deceit," to "neither give nor receive unacknowledged aid in [one's] academic work," to "respect the persons and property of the community" and to "not condone discourteous or dishonest treatment of these by [one's] peers."[22] Suspected violations of the honor code go before the College's honor council, composed of students and faculty, which has the power to sanction, suspend, or dismiss those found guilty.[23]


PC's 240-acre (97 ha) campus covers areas in and around Clinton, SC, providing academic buildings, dining facilities, recreational areas, and athletics venues. The college's 15 townhouses, 11 residence halls, and 9 apartments house nearly all of the undergraduate student body. Six buildings on Presbyterian College's campus (Doyle Hall, Laurens Hall, Jacobs Hall, the President's House, Neville Hall, and the campus bell tower) are part of the Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, Doyle Hall was demolished in July 2014 as part of the renovations for Georgia Hall.


Athletics is very important to PC's life and culture. Around 1/3 of the student body competes as student-athletes [24] and many PC alumni are or were professional coaches at the college level, current women's soccer coach Brian Purcell ('87), former head football coach Harold Nichols ('89), former Vanderbilt basketball head coach Roy Skinner ('52), and Bob Waters ('60), a record-setting head football coach at Western Carolina.

Presbyterian is a member of the Big South Conference of NCAA Division I [25] and fields seventeen varsity teams in eleven sports: football (FCS), men's and women's cross country, volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, women's lacrosse, baseball, and men's and women's wrestling.[26] The College's colors are royal blue and garnet and its teams are known as the Blue Hose. Although PC's mascot Scottie the Scotsman is a medieval Scottish warrior, the Blue Hose name originally referred to the socks worn by the football team in the early 20th century.[27][28] PC's traditional rivals include Wofford College, Furman University, The Citadel, and Newberry College.

The Bronze Derby

Until 2007, PC's fierce rivalry with Newberry College was expressed in the annual Bronze Derby football game, named for the series's trophy, which made its debut in 1947 after a basketball game between the two colleges. After the game, which PC won 51–47, a scuffle broke out between supporters of both colleges and a derby hat was snatched from the head of a PC student. The hat was eventually returned, cast in bronze, and transformed into a symbol of the rivalry. The last installment of the Bronze Derby game was played in November 2006 at Bailey Memorial Stadium in Clinton, where PC defeated Newberry 10-0. The Blue Hose lead the all-time Bronze Derby series, but since Presbyterian's transition to Division I in 2007 the annual clash has been postponed indefinitely.

Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of the college include:


  1. "Sortable Table: College and University Endowments, 2013–14". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  2. Presbyterian College Brand Standards Guide (PDF). 2015-07-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-19. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  3. Nancy Griffith, Presbyterian College (Arcadia: Charleston, Portsmouth, Chicago, San Francisco, 2001), 7.
  4. Nancy Griffith, Presbyterian College (Arcadia: Charleston, Portsmouth, Chicago, San Francisco, 2001), 15.
  5. Griffith (2001), Presbyterian College, pp. 16, 20-21.
  6. "About Presbyterian College".
  7. "catalog 2012-2013" (PDF). pp. 34, 43, 49. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  8. "Academics at Presbyterian College".
  9. "Confucius Institute".
  10. University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Web Developer Network. "Confucius Institutes Around the Globe".
  11. "Confucius Institute of Presbyterian College".
  12. Presbyterian College now offering "Religion of SEC Football" course
  13. Upstate college offers "Religion of SEC Football" course
  14. Presbyterian College Professor Dr. Terry Barr joins the Paul Finebaum show.
  15. "Breaking News: Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy Program is Accredited". Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  16. "PCSP APhA-ASP wins Generation Rx Champion Award". Archived from the original on 2013-08-16.
  17. "School Receives First NIH Grant". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  18. "US". US News and World Report: Education, Colleges, National Liberal Arts Colleges. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  19. "Campus Life at Presbyterian College". Archived from the original on 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  20. "CHAMPS - Communities Helping, Assisting, Mentoring Promising Students". Archived from the original on 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  21. "Blue Book" (PDF). pp. 2 of 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  22. "Campus Life at Presbyterian College". Archived from the original on 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  23. "Blue Book" (PDF). pp. 4, 5, 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  24. "About Presbyterian College".
  25. "Presbyterian".
  26. "Presbyterian College Blue Hose - The Official Athletics Site".
  27. "What's the deal with ... Presbyterian Coll.?".
  28. "About Presbyterian College". Archived from the original on 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  29. "Glen Browder outline resume" (PDF). January 1, 2007. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  30. "PC(USA) - 217th General Assembly (2006) - Atlanta pastor is elected moderator". Presbyterian Church (USA). June 15, 2006. Archived from the original on 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  31. "Collection Title: C. Hugh Holman Papers (#4537) 1930s-1980s". Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Library Special Collections. UNC University Libraries. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  32. Slotnick, Daniel E. (October 30, 2010). "Roy Skinner, Who Recruited First Black Basketball Player in SEC, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  33. "Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary". Retrieved 2012-05-18.

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