Tift College

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State Offices South at Tift College Tift College Forsyth 3.JPG
State Offices South at Tift College
Monroe Hall Monroe Hall, Tift College Forsyth.JPG
Monroe Hall

Tift College was a private liberal arts women's college located in Forsyth, Georgia. Founded in 1849, the college ceased operations in 1987, after being merged with Mercer University in nearby Macon, Georgia.

Private schools, also known to many as independent schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments. Children who attend private schools may be there because they are dissatisfied with public schools in their area. They may be selected for their academic prowess, or prowess in other fields, or sometimes their religious background. Private schools retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students for tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public (government) funding; at some private schools students may be able to get a scholarship, lowering this tuition fee, dependent on a student's talents or abilities, need for financial aid, or tax credit scholarships that might be available. Some private schools are associated with a particular religion, such as Judaism, Roman Catholicism, or Lutheranism. For the past century, roughly one in 10 U.S families has chosen to enroll their children in private school.

Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum." Generally, a full-time, four-year course of study at a liberal arts college leads students to earning Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and on rare occasion Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degrees.

Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that only admit female students. They are often liberal arts colleges. There were approximately 34 active women's colleges in the United States in the fall of 2018, down from a peak of 281 such colleges in the 1960s.


The campus facilities have been adapted for use as the headquarters of the Georgia Department of Corrections. The facility is known as State Offices South at Tift College (SOSTC). [1] The 275-acre (1.11 km2) campus is 20 miles north of Macon.

Campus land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated

A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a college campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls, student centers or dining halls, and park-like settings.

Macon, Georgia Consolidated city–county in Georgia, United States

Macon, officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."


Tift College was founded in 1849 as the Forsyth Female Collegiate Institute. It was renamed Monroe College in 1857 and as Bessie Tift College in 1907 in honor of an alumna. In 1898, it became affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. The name was shortened to Tift College in 1956.

The Georgia Baptist Convention is an autonomous association of Baptist churches in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is one of the state conventions associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Formed in 1822, it was one of the original nine state conventions to send delegates to the first Southern Baptist Convention, organized in 1845.

Tift College merged with Mercer University in Macon, Georgia in 1986. Mercer and the Tift College Alumnae Association joined together to form a partnership to preserve the legacy of Tift College. In 1987 the college was closed by Mercer. The Mercer University Board of Trustees voted to change the name of its School of Education to the Tift College of Education to carry on the educational legacy of Tift College.

Mercer University Private university in Macon, Georgia

Mercer University is a private university with its main campus in Macon, Georgia. It is the oldest private university in Georgia and enrolls more than 8,600 students in 12 colleges and schools: liberal arts, business, engineering, education, music, continuing and professional studies, law, theology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and health professions. Mercer is a member of the Georgia Research Alliance and has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest collegiate honors society.

Over the years, Mercer has continued to maintain the heritage, identity and ideals of Tift College, most notably through the Tift College Scholars Program. The program honors a select group of young women at Mercer with scholarships and inclusion in one of the university's most distinguished scholastic organizations.

In 2006, the governor announced plans to use the Forsyth campus for the headquarters of the Georgia Department of Corrections. [2] After renovation of buildings for this purpose, the move took place in 2010. [3]

Georgia Department of Corrections

The Georgia Department of Corrections is an agency of the U.S. state of Georgia operating state prisons. The agency is headquartered in Forsyth, in the former campus of Tift College.

Legacy and honors

See also

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  1. "tift_directions.pdf." (Archive) Georgia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 6, 2014.
  2. "Governor Announces Relocation of Corrections Headquarters to Forsyth" Archived 2006-09-24 at the Wayback Machine ., Press release, Georgia State Office of the Governor; Accessed June 10, 2006
  3. Morgan, Carly. "Forsyth Prepares for Dept. of Corrections Arrival." WMAZ . November 2009. Retrieved on December 7, 2009.

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33°2′10″N83°56′0″W / 33.03611°N 83.93333°W / 33.03611; -83.93333