College of Charleston

Last updated
College of Charleston
CoCharleston seal.png
MottoSapientia Ipsa Libertas
Ædes Mores Juraque Curat
Motto in English
Wisdom Itself Is Liberty.
She Cares for Her Temples, Customs and Rights.
Type Public university
Established1770;252 years ago (1770)
Academic affiliations
ORAU, Sea-grant, Space-grant
Endowment $135.9 million [1]
President Andrew Hsu
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 10,488
Postgraduates 1,454
Location, ,
United States
Colors Maroon and white
Nickname Cougars
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ICAA
Mascot Cougar
College of Charleston.svg
College of Charleston
USA South Carolina location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
LocationGlebe, George, St. Philip and Green streets, Charleston, South Carolina
Area4 acres (1.6 ha) [3]
Architect Edward B. White; George E. Walker
Architectural styleEarly Republic
NRHP reference No. 71000748
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 11, 1971 [4]
Designated NHLNovember 11, 1971 [5]

The College of Charleston (CofC or Charleston) is a public university in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, it is the oldest university in South Carolina, the 13th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and the oldest municipal college in the country. The founders of the institution include three future signers of the Declaration of Independence (Thomas Heyward Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge), and three future signers of the United States Constitution (Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and John Rutledge).



The College of Charleston was founded in 1770, making it the 13th-oldest institution of higher education and oldest municipal college in the United States. [6] [7] The General Assembly of South Carolina granted the college a charter in March 1785. The original structure, located at the site of what is now Randolph Hall, was similar to a military barracks in structure. The college opened in 1790 and held its first commencement in 1794. A second charter was issued in 1791 asserting that the college would not descriminate based on religion. In 1837, the city of Charleston assumed control. The first president of the college was Reverend Robert Smith who served from 1790 until 1797. [8]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report [9] 8
Master's university
Washington Monthly [10] 302
Forbes [11] 323
THE / WSJ [12] 501–600

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


The College of Charleston's main campus in downtown Charleston includes 156 buildings, a mix of modern and historic buildings constructed from 1770 to 2009. The average building is more than 100 years old. Twenty buildings are under historic, protective easements. The College of Charleston downtown campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Outside of downtown Charleston, the campus includes the Grice Marine Lab on James Island, the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center and the Patriots Point Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant and the 881-acre (357 ha) Stono Preserve. [13]

In 2017, Travel + Leisure magazine named it "America's Most Beautiful College Campus." [14]

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is a public natural history museum located on the campus. The museum has more than 30,000 vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. The collection's focus is on the paleontology of North American mammals, and specifically the South Carolina Lowcountry. [15]


Listed on the Register of Historic Places

Randolph Hall is the institution's main academic building

The William Blacklock House

Building Photos

Bully Pulpit Series

The Bully Pulpit Series is hosted jointly by the College of Charleston's Departments of Political Science and Communication. The series welcomes presidential candidates from the two major political parties to the campus. 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.[ citation needed ] Major candidates that appeared during the 2008 Presidential primaries included Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, President Barack Obama and Senator John Edwards. During that season, the series was sponsored by the Allstate Insurance Company and attendance on the Bully Pulpit events drew over 6,000 attendees. [16] During the 2016 Presidential primaries, the major candidates who participated in the series included Senator Lindsey Graham and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley. [ citation needed ]The series hosted a slew of candidates during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. The candidates who appeared were: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Representative Beto O'Rourke, Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Bernie Sanders, former vice president and eventual president Joe Biden, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard. [17]


The institution's 19 varsity sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association and are known as the Cougars. The Cougars compete at a variety of athletics facilities in the Charleston area, including the TD Arena (formerly the Carolina First Arena), [18] the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Complex, Johnson Center Squash Courts, Patriots Point Athletic Complex and the Links at Stono Ferry. College of Charleston athletics are supported by the College of Charleston Athletic Club, [19] which was established in 1974. During the 1970–71 school year, College of Charleston students voted to change the nickname 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 current mascot. [20] Oliver Marmol, the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals is a former College of Charleston baseball player.

Greek life

Greek life has been active on campus for 120 years. In 2017, four fraternities were shut down by the college for alcohol, drugs and a sexual assault. [21]

Notable alumni

Related Research Articles

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  1. College of Charleston Foundation 2021 (Report).
  2. "Color Palette - College of Charleston". Archived from the original on 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  3. 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.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying four photos, exterior and interior, from 1970  (1.43 MB)
  4. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  5. "College of Charleston". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  6. "A Brief History of the College - College of Charleston". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  7. 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
  8. Ileana Strauch and Katina Strauch,The College History Series - College of Charleston(Arcadia Publishing:Library of Congress Catalog Card: 00-106473) 2000 p6.
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  10. "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly . Retrieved August 31, 2020.
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  12. "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education . Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  13. Behre, Robert. "Nixing Dixie: College of Charleston renames its plantation 'Stono Preserve'". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  14. "College of Charleston, America's Most Beautiful College Campus, in Photos | Travel + Leisure".
  15. "Digging into the Past". Azalea Summer 2015. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  16. The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  17. "The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston". Archived from the original on 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  18. Whetzel, Melissa (2011-08-23). "College, TD Bank Sign Naming Agreement for Arena - College of Charleston News : College of Charleston News". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  19. "College of Charleston Athletic Fund". Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  20. "College of Charleston To Join Colonial Athletic Association, 11/30/2012". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  21. Pan, Deanna (2017-07-02). "A fourth College of Charleston fraternity has shut down due to misconduct". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2020-07-31.

Coordinates: 32°47′3″N79°56′17″W / 32.78417°N 79.93806°W / 32.78417; -79.93806