Wofford College

Coordinates: 34°57′32″N 81°56′06″W / 34.959°N 81.935°W / 34.959; -81.935
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Wofford College
MottoIntaminatis fulget honoribus
Motto in English
Untarnished, She Shines with Honor.
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1854; 169 years ago (1854)
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Academic affiliations
Annapolis Group
Endowment$378.8 million (2022)[1]
PresidentNayef Samhat[2]
Academic staff
140 (fall 2021)[3]
Undergraduates1,800 (dec 2020)[3]

34°57′32″N 81°56′06″W / 34.959°N 81.935°W / 34.959; -81.935
CampusSuburban, 175 acres (71 ha)
Colors   Gold & black[4]
Sporting affiliations
Division ISoCon
Main building, built in 1854

Wofford College is a private liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was founded in 1854. The 175-acre (71 ha) campus is a national arboretum and one of the few four-year institutions in the southeastern United States founded before the American Civil War that still operates on its original campus.

Wofford was founded with a bequest of $100,000 from Benjamin Wofford (1780–1850), a Methodist minister and Spartanburg native who sought to create a college for "literary, classical, and scientific education in my native district of Spartanburg."[5] The college's Main Building is the oldest structure on campus and was designed by the noted Charleston architect Edward C. Jones.[6] In 1941, the college was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society, and the Beta of South Carolina chapter was the first at a private college in South Carolina.[7]

Wofford College Historic District[edit]

Wofford College Historic District
Wofford College is located in South Carolina
Wofford College
Wofford College is located in the United States
Wofford College
LocationWofford College campus, Spartanburg, South Carolina
Area30 acres (12 ha)
ArchitectEdward C. Jones
Architectural styleItalianate, Georgian
NRHP reference No.74001879[8]
Added to NRHPDecember 27, 1974

The Wofford College Historic District consists of the Main Building, which was designed by Edward C. Jones in the Italianate style, and six two-story brick residences.[9][10] It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[8] The Wofford campus has been landscaped, developed, and designated as a national arboretum.

Construction of the Main Building began in 1852 and the first classes were held in the fall of 1854. During the Civil War, the endowment was invested in Confederate bonds and other securities, which became worthless by the end of the war.[11]


In February 2021, Jerry Richardson, alumnus and founding owner of Carolina Panthers, donated $150 million to the college's endowment, which exceeds $400 million.[12][13]


Wofford is ranked 69th in U.S. News & World Report's list of the best national liberal arts colleges, a ranking that has improved in the last 10 years.[14][15] In 2010, Forbes ranked it 58th on its inaugural Forbes List of America's 650 Best Colleges.[16] In 2018 Forbes also named Wofford the number one four-year college in South Carolina.


The academic year consists of a four-month fall semester, a one-month January term called the Interim,[17] and a four-month spring semester.


136 full-time faculty teach at the college, 92 percent of whom have earned a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree. The FTE faculty to student ratio is 1:11.[3]

Majors and minors[edit]

Wofford offers academic majors in a variety of areas including 27 majors.[18]

The college also offers pre-professional programs in Teacher Education (secondary certification), Dentistry, Medicine, Law, Ministry, Engineering, and Veterinary Science. The college's Army ROTC program was established in 1919.[19]

Interim program[edit]

The Interim program is designed to provide students with opportunities to gain new experiences outside the realm of traditional academics and allows students to become involved in departments outside their academic majors. Interims generally fall into one of four categories. In the most common type, students enroll in faculty-proposed projects on campus. These projects range from participation in theatre to pottery, knitting and short story writing. Students may elect to enroll in internship projects that are supervised by faculty, but involve working off-campus in legal, medical, dental, congressional, corporate, or non-profit settings. Students may propose independent research projects under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Finally, faculty-led travel projects take groups of students and professors to study in other parts of the United States or in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or Australia. Recent travel projects have included study in England and Ireland, South Africa, Peru, Brazil, Belize, Vietnam, China, and Japan.[17]

International programs[edit]

The college's Office of International Programs helps students select from over 200 study abroad programs in 59 countries. Wofford consistently ranks in the nation's top ten in the Institute of International Education Open Doors Survey, which is based on comparing the number of students earning credits abroad in a given year the number of students in the graduating class. Wofford's 2009 score was 93%, compared to the Lincoln Commission national average of 9% of graduates earning credits abroad.[20] The college has had six Fulbright English Teaching assistantships in the past four years[when?] as well as two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships.[21] In 2012, Rachel Woodlee was selected as Wofford's sixth Rhodes Scholar.


Logo used to represent
Wofford Athletics

The Wofford Terriers compete in NCAA Division I in the Southern Conference. Wofford's colors are old gold and black. The school mascot is the Terrier. In the 2010 NCAA Division I graduation success report, 9 of 13 Wofford teams posted GRS scores of 100, the highest available mark. For the past 16 years, the Carolina Panthers have made their summer training camp home at Wofford. The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas (a high school all-star football game) is played at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium. Boss, a Boston Terrier, is the mascot for Wofford Athletics.

Wofford is represented by 18 men and women's varsity sports. Gibbs Stadium, opened in 1996, is the home field for Terrier football games. The baseball team, 2022 regular season conference champions, plays its home games at Russell C. King Field. Men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams play in the Benjamin Johnson Arena of the Campus Life Building, opened in 1981. The inaugural men's basketball game was played in 3300-seat Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on 10 November 2017. Soccer teams play on Snyder Field, which was the college's football stadium through 1995. Wofford men's basketball has won the Southern Conference Championship and an NCAA bid five times since 2010, and in 2018/19 went a perfect 21–0 in Southern Conference play and won an NCAA tournament game for the first time. Wofford football won the SoCon championship in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Student life[edit]

Wofford offers a self-contained environment (93% of students live on campus). The Village apartment-style housing for the senior class was a 2008 "Dorm of Distinction" as chosen by University Business Magazine.[22] Phase V of The Village, an $11 million project, opened in the fall of 2011. It added 80 beds in loft apartments, bringing the capacity of The Village to 428 students. It also houses The Space in the Mungo Center (formerly The Center for Professional Excellence), specialized classroom spaces, and a dining and market area called the "Grand Galleria."[23]

Student organizations[edit]

Students participate in various service, pre-professional, religious, social, and other student organizations. Student publications at the college date to the first literary magazine, first published in 1889. The student newspaper, the Old Gold and Black, is published every other week, and the yearbook, The Bohemian, is published each spring. Delta Phi Alpha, the national collegiate German honorary society, was founded at Wofford, as was the National Beta Club, an honorary society prominent in American high schools.

In 1941, the college was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society. This was the first chapter at a private college in South Carolina.[7]

Service learning[edit]

Wofford has a variety of student service organizations on campus, including the Bonner Scholars,[24] Twin Towers, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and ONE.[25]

Wofford was included in the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, published by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Washington Monthly compared 23 of 252 Top Liberal Arts Colleges contributions to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). In the magazine's 2010 ratings, Wofford finished 23rd among 252 Top Liberal Arts Colleges and was number 1 in South Carolina. Newsweek identified Wofford as one of the most "service-minded" campuses in the country, ranking the college second in listings released in September 2010. Six recent Wofford graduates have been selected for the Teach For America Corps.[citation needed]

Student government[edit]

The student government rests in the Campus Union, with executive officers and an assembly elected by the student body. Students serve on various campus committees and represent the student body before various committees of the board of trustees.

Student conduct is governed by the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, a document written by an Interim project in 1970–1971. The code is enforced by a judicial commission consisting of elected and appointed members. An honor council enforces the student honor code in academic matters.

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Around half the student body participates in Greek life.


In each of the years from 1901 through 1904, two women graduated from Wofford.[26] In 1964, Wofford became the first private college in South Carolina to desegregate voluntarily with the admission of Albert Gray.[27]






Politics, law, and public service[edit]






  1. ^ As of June 30, 2022. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2022 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY21 to FY22 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 1, 2022. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  2. ^ "President - Wofford College". Wofford.edu. July 1, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Wofford College - Fast Facts". Wofford.edu. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Wofford College Logo Sheet (PDF). November 1, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  5. ^ David Duncan Wallace, History of Wofford College (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1951) pp. 48-56
  6. ^ Wofford: Shining With Untarnished Honor, 1854-2004 (Spartanburg, SC: Hub City Writers Group, 2005), p. 14
  7. ^ a b "Wofford College - Phi Beta Kappa". Wofford.edu. October 22, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "National Register Information System – (#74001879)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Brabham, William H. (August 29, 1974). "Wofford College Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  10. ^ "Wofford College Historic District, Spartanburg County (Spartanburg)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  11. ^ "A History of Wofford, 1854-present". Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  12. ^ "Richardson gives record $150 million to Wofford College Endowment". Wofford College (Press release). Spartanburg, South Carolina. February 24, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  13. ^ Jaschik, Scott (February 25, 2021). "Wofford Receives $150 Million Gift". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  14. ^ "Why Wofford". Wofford.edu. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "Wofford College | Best College | US News". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  16. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes.com.
  17. ^ a b "Interim". Wofford.edu. October 22, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Wofford College - Academics". Wofford.edu. October 22, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  19. ^ David Duncan Wallace, History of Wofford College (Vanderbilt University Press, 1951, p. 212.
  20. ^ "Wofford College - Wofford ranks among leaders in nation for study abroad". Wofford.edu. November 15, 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  21. ^ Wofford Today, Summer 2011
  22. ^ "Wofford housing wins 2nd national award". GoUpstate.com. August 1, 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  23. ^ Shackleford, Lynne P. (October 2, 2011). "Wofford College seniors relish Village as school unveils Phase 5 of housing project". GoUpstate.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  24. ^ "the Bonner Scholars". Wofford.edu. October 22, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  25. ^ "ONE Campus Challenge". One.org. April 23, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  26. ^ "Diversity & Inclusion". Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  27. ^ "First African American Wofford Student Albert W. Gray and First African American Wofford Graduate Douglas Jones Sr. honored with room naming at Wofford". May 24, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  28. ^ "Robert Galloway Men's Doubles Overview". www.itftennis.com. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "Jude Reyes". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2015.

External links[edit]