Stillman College

Stillman College is a private Presbyterian and historically black liberal arts college in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It awards the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 17 disciplines/majors housed within three academic schools (Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, and Education). The college has an average enrollment of 650 students and is accredited by The Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges[2]

Stillman College
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
PresidentCynthia Warrick, Ph.D
Students615 (Fall 2018)
Location, ,
United States

33°11′53″N 87°35′7″W
Campus105-acre (0.42 km2)
ColorsNavy Blue and Vegas Gold
NicknameTigers / Lady Tigers[1]


Stillman College, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875,[3] held its first classes in 1876 and was chartered as a legal corporation by the State of Alabama in 1895. At that time, the name was changed from Tuscaloosa Institute to Stillman Institute. The institute was a concept initiated by the Reverend Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, "for the training of colored men for the ministry".[4] The mandate for the Institution expanded over the years and it acquired its present campus tract of over 100 acres (0.40 km2). A junior and senior high school was organized and the Institute established a junior college program, which was accredited in 1937. In addition, between 1930 and 1946, it operated a hospital and nurse training school.

Under the administration of Dr. Samuel Burney Hay (1948–1965), the school sought to expand into a senior liberal arts institution and in 1948 the name was officially changed to Stillman College. The following year, Stillman expanded into a four-year college and graduated its first baccalaureate class in 1951. The College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1953.[2] Under Dr. Hay, seven new buildings were constructed: a gymnasium, a library, an administration-classroom building, two women's residence halls, a prayer chapel, and a student center.

When John Rice became the Dean of Students at Stillman College in 1966, he lived on campus with his wife and daughter, Condoleezza Rice, who later served as the 66th United States Secretary of State.[5]

Dr. Harold N. Stinson (1967–1980) was the first African American to assume the presidency. Under his dynamic leadership, new programs designed to improve educational quality were instituted, and the physical plant was expanded with the addition of two men's residence halls, faculty apartments, a maintenance building, and a mathematics-science center. Snedecor Hall, Batchelor Building, and Birthright Auditorium were renovated.

Constance M. Rizzi (1974–1978) was the 1st non-black graduate of Stillman College in 1978. Recruited out of Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley, West Virginia by Samuel Merriweather, she was also the 1st non-black cheerleader; the 1st non-black Associate Editor of the campus newspaper, "The Tiger's Paw;" and one of the original founders of the Stillman College Dance Team (CADA) under the direction of Dr. Betty Smith. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Under the leadership of the College's fourth president, Dr. Cordell Wynn (1982–1997), the appearance of the campus improved dramatically; Winsborough and John Knox Halls were renovated; and the Marie Lundy Wynn Hall and Johnson/Robinson Student Health Center were erected. The enrollment grew beyond 1,000 students; the endowment increased significantly; and the educational program was broadened to include the Stillman Management Institute and a community-service component.

On July 1, 1997, Dr. Ernest McNealey (1997–2013) was named the fifth president. During his tenure, Stillman garnered national attention in the areas of technology, athletics and scholarly pursuits. One of the leaders in wireless computing, the College received the National Innovation in Technology Award by Apple Computers and continues to be on the cusp of technological innovations in higher education. The College's football program and marching band were revitalized and the College experienced its largest enrollment in the history of the institution. Dr. McNealey infused new life into the academic component by strengthening the curriculum, and attracting a highly qualified faculty, improving admissions standards, and enhancing the value of a Stillman education with the addition of guaranteed outcome programs. In 2004 the College received its first-ever ranking among top tier schools in U.S. News & World Report. During Dr. McNealey's tenure, four new structures were erected (School of Education building, Wynn Fine Arts Center, Roulhac Residence Hall, and the stadium with accompanying playing fields, buildings, and a NCAA regulation track). The sense of place was further manifested in the construction of the Thomas E. Lyle Band Center and NCAA regulation tennis complex.

On June 26, 2014 at a press conference in Birthright Alumni Hall, Stillman Board of Trustees named interim president Dr. Peter E. Millet the sixth president of the school. In August 2014, Stillman was awarded a donation of $2 million by an unknown donor to help with the long term stability of the college. On December 29, 2014 President Dr. Peter E. Millet announced via school email that tutition for the small liberal arts school would be reduced from $22,500 to $17,500 in an effort to boost enrollment and make college more affordable. On January 1, 2015, Stillman became a smoke-free campus in an effort to keep with its theme of promoting a healthier lifestyle. In December 2015, Stillman cut its current sports from 12 to 2. Currently, Stillman has four intercollegiate sports teams, Men's and Women's Basketball, Baseball, and Softball.

On December 14, 2016 Stillman College Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Warrick as the new Interim President for Stillman College. She took office on January 3, 2017. On April 24, 2017 Dr. Cynthia Warrick (2017-) was named the seventh president and the first female president of Stillman College. Dr. Warrick is a native of San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Howard University with the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, and completed the Masters of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Doctorate in Environmental Science & Public Policy from George Mason University. With over 20 years of service in higher education through the faculty ranks, administrative and executive positions, Dr. Warrick's focus is on connecting students and the College to opportunities that advance academic excellence, degree completion, admissions into graduate and professional schools and fruitful careers.

Student activities


The college's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Tigers and Lady Tigers, compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) in Division I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[6] The college currently fields four varsity athletic teams, including: men's and women's basketball, baseball, and softball. Beginning in Fall 2018, the College will be adding Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field.

Recent Athletic accomplishments include:

  • Men's Basketball - In 2018 the Men's Basketball Team was the NAIA A.I.I Conference Champs. Losing in the opening round of the National Tournament, the men finished the season with a record o 27-5, losing only one game at home. The Tigers swept the conference awards with the Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and a 1st Team Honorable mention. 2006 and 2016 SIAC Championship;[7] In the 2009–10 season, 1 year removed from taking over a 1–27 team, head coach Michael Grant led the men's basketball team to the school's first ever appearance in the National Top 25 rankings.
  • Women's Basketball - In 2018, the Lady Tigers were the NAIA A.I.I. Conference Champ Runner Ups. The Lady Tigers lost in the opening round of the National Tournament and finished with a 19-12 record.
  • Baseball - In 2018, the Tigers finished their season with a record of 19-22; 2007–2008 SIAC Championships; 2007 Division II National Championship
  • Softball - The 2018 Lady Tigers Softball team finished with a record of 18-18, an impressive record considering the installation of a new coach in December and a 0-8 start to the season.

Performance Arts (Band/Choir)


Stillman College's band program was started in 1955.[8] The band has had many leaders, including:

  • Dr. Paul Meacham (1957–62) -- the first full-time director
  • Mr. Moses Geoffrey (1962), Dr. Joe Boyer (1963–69)
  • Mr. Karl Anthony Huff (1974-1977)
  • Dr. Roosevelt Shelton (1978–88)
  • Dr. David Legette (1989–90)
  • Mr. Selwyn Reed (1991–94)
  • Dr. Dyan Ryans (1995-2000)
  • famed bandsman Dr. Thomas E. Lyle (2000-2004)
  • co-directors Mr. Charles Cooper & Mr. Miguel Bonds (2005)
  • Mr. Joseph Evans (2006–07)
  • Mr. Robert Williams (2007–11)
  • Mr. Robert Nickerson (2012–13)
  • Prof. Derrick K. Yates (2013 - 2017)
  • Current Director of Bands Prof. Edward "PJ" Howard

The "Pride of the South", also known as the "Blue Pride" Marching Tiger Band (BPMT), includes a concert band, and jazz band.

With an average membership of 120, the "Blue Pride" Marching Tiger Band is a historically black college musical show unit that is organized during the fall football season. Membership is open to all qualified students enrolled at the College, regardless of their major field.

In February 2010, Stillman College dedicated a brand new facility, the Thomas Lyle Band Center, named in honor of former band director Thomas Lyle,[9] in conjunction with the Wynn Fine Arts Center. In the fall of 2013, the "Blue Pride" Marching Tiger Band participated in the Annual Turkey Day Classic against Alabama State University.[10] The marching band is represented in the Xbox 360 game Black College Football: BCFX: The Xperience playing selections of Sing a Song and Word Up.

The band offers two honor and service organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi, Kappa Omicron Chapter & Tau Beta Sigma, Theta Chi Chapter.


The Stillman College Concert Choir, under the direction of Jocqueline K. Richardson, is a choral ensemble of students, both music and non-music majors. The choir's repertoire consists of a variety of sacred and secular choral literature from the Renaissance to the contemporary periods in music history. The concert choir performs at college events, local and regional churches and special events throughout the academic year and serves as an ambassador of Stillman College.

Fraternities & Sororities

Seven of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Stillman College. These organizations are:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ Delta Sigma ΔΣ
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Epsilon Nu EN
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Epsilon Eta EH
Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ Epsilon Epsilon EE
Omega Psi Phi ΩΨΦ Rho Gamma ΡΓ
Phi Beta Sigma ΦΒΣ Gamma Chi ΓΧ
Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ Epsilon Gamma ΕΓ
Sigma Gamma Rho ΣΓΡ Eta Kappa ΗΚ
Iota Phi Theta ΙΦΘ Interest Colony

National Honor Societies

Beta Kappa Chi (Science)

Other Organizations

  • Campus Queens Association
  • Stillman Ambassadors
  • Chancellor Social Club (1943)
  • Chancellorette Social Club (1959)
  • Beta Phi Beta Brotherhood (1971)
  • F.B.I. Incorporated (1985)
  • Gamma Delta Iota (1992)
  • Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Omega Alpha Chapter (1992)
  • Intelligent Black Women (1992)
  • Golden Heart Club (1998)
  • Tau Beta Sigma (2000)
  • Kappa Kappa Psi (2000)
  • Phi Beta Lambda
  • The National Society of Leadership and Success (2011).
  • Virtuous Elite (2015)
  • Stripes (2017)
  • Roar Tv (2018)
  • Kurl Friends (2018)

Miss Stillman/ Campus Queens Associations

Miss Stillman College serves as an official Hostess of the college. After winning a pageant style competition during her Junior year, Miss Stillman is usually present at collegiate student functions and on other occasions when appropriate, as an official representative of students. During her tenure, she presides over the Campus Queens/Kings Association (CQA) -- which includes other elected campus queens and sweethearts—and works collaboratively with the Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President for External Affairs in coordinating the Stillman Ambassadors—the official student recruitment and hospitality club. She participates in the West Alabama Christmas Parade, and other activities and programs upon request.

Residential Life

There are four dorms in use. On campus there are two male dorms: Knox, and Wynn, and two female dorms: Hay and Roulhac. It is recommended that freshman students reside on campus. Campus Evolution Village is off-campus housing managed by Stillman. Single bedrooms in a 4-bedroom suite with kitchen, washer/dryer, and living area is a short drive from campus with shuttle bus service.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Teddy Keaton 1999 Head Football Coach at Allen University, & former Head Football Coach at Stillman College
Jeff Henderson 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist - Long Jump, Rio (2016)
Steve W. Brown 1992 Comedian
Jermaine "FunnyMaine" Johnson 2003 Comedian & Talk-show Host
Timothy "Bolo Da Producer" Mingo 2004 Grammy Award Winning Music Producer
Junior Galette 2010 NFL Defensive End/Linebacker, Washington Redskins
Sammie Lee Hill 2009 NFL Free Agent; Defensive Tackle.
Brian Witherspoon 2008 former NFL cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars Detroit Lions, New York Giants
Gilbert Johnson 1922 One of the first African Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps; Sergeant Major
Willie Williams 1971 Lt Gen Willie Williams served as the Director of the Marine Corps Staff at Marine Corps Headquarters from July 2009 until his retirement in July 2013. He was one of only four African-American Marines to wear the rank of three-star general.
Sean Toney 1994 Health Scientist with the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta, GA
Dr. Roderick George 1994 International Opera Singer, Professor of Music and Department Head of Vocal Studies at University of Montevallo
Ruth Bolden 1952 Civil Rights Worker and Library Founder in west Tuscaloosa, AL.
Clarence Bell 1971 Retired Judge
Eligah Clark 1963 Retired Judge
Dr. Bruce Crawford 1979 Vice President for Instructional Services at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, AL
Devarieste Curry 1971 Founding Attorney of The Curry Law Firm, PLLC in Washington, DC
Al Denson 1971 Retired President and CEO of Birmingham Airport Authority
Dr. Evelyn Jenkins-Gunn 1962 Retired Board Certified Educator
Dr. Trudier Harris 1969 First Tenured African-American faculty member at William and Mary's; Distinguished Research Professor of English at the University of Alabama; Author of nearly two dozen books.
Melissia Davis 1980 Retired Government Staff Representative for US Senator Richard Shelby.
Keisha Lowther, M.D. 1998 Board Certified in Family Medicine; Co-Founder of Generations Primary Care.
Belinda Rhodes, D.D.S. 2001 Dentist and Co-Founder of Rhodes & Rhodes Family Dentistry
Melinda Rhodes, D.D.S. 2001 Dentist and Co-Founder of Rhodes & Rhodes Family Dentistry
Aundrea Self 1996 Anchor and Reporter for WCBI News in Mississippi
Dr. Haywood Strickland 1960 Retired President of Wiley College
Joseph Roulhac 1936 Ohio's first African-American Judge; Roulhac Residence Hall name in his honor. (Deceased)
Dr. Lena Prewitt 1954 NASA Trailblazer and First African-American Female Professor appointed at the University of Alabama
Marvin F. Thomas 1977 Bishop of the 2nd Episcopal District of the C.M.E. Church
Eddie G. Gaines, MD 1978 Physician of Internal Medicine
Dr. Eddie B. Thomas 1962 Retired Distinguished Educator
Dr. Herman D. Hughes 1959 Retired Distinguished Educator
Tommy Woods 1963 Retired Principal
Dr. Barbara Spencer 1964 Retired Superintendent
Dennis Driver 1975 Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Theravance Biopharma
Michael Figures 1969 Alabama State Senator from 1978-1996; One of the first three African Americans to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law (Deceased)
Ethel Fairley 1963 Retired Teacher
Dr. James V. Wright 1972 Distinguished Educator
Dr. George Rutherford 1963 Outstanding Principal
Dr. Woodrow Parker 1963 Distinguished Educator
Dr. Eddie Johnson 1967 Retired Deputy State Superintendent of Education for the State of Alabama
Dr. Richard Ashe 1963 Distinguished Educator
Gloria Dennard 1967 Retired Teacher
Dr. James D. Anderson 1966 Dean of the College of Education, the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Education; and affiliate Professor of History at University of Illinois
Mack Jones, MD 1964 Surgeon, Obstetrician, and Gynecologist in Atlanta, GA; husband of Vivian Malone Jones (Deceased)
Shalyn Smith 2013 University of Alabama Law Graduate; Assistant Regional Counsel at the US Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Kendra Royston 2013 University of Alabama at Birmingham PhD Graduate; Breast Cancer Research Scientist at University of Chicago
Dr. Ruth Washington 1988 Dean of Sciences, Professor of Biology at Wiley College

See also


  1. " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  2. "Commission on Colleges". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  3. " - History and Mission". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  4. Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 4. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  5. Horton, Ebony (December 6, 2004). "Stillman College educators recall Rice's ties to town". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved January 1, 2018. Rice moved from Titusville, near Birmingham, to Tuscaloosa in 1966 when her father, John Rice, became the dean of students at Stillman. The family resided on campus in a brick home behind Hay Residence Hall, while Rice, then 11, attended what is now Central High School.
  6. " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  7. "Stillman captures SIAC basketball tournament title". SIAC. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  8. "stillmanbands". stillmanbands. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  9. Writer, Ashley Boyd Staff. "Stillman's new band center named for former director". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  10. " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
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