On Jan. 30, 2020, the College of Charleston will hold its first-ever CofC Day to launch a yearlong celebration for the College’s 250th anniversary. The date is tied to Jan. 30, 1770, when South Carolina Lieutenant Governor William Bull recommended to the colony’s General Assembly the establishment of a college in Charleston.
Here are some other facts from our 250 years in history:
1. On March 19, 1785, the College of Charleston became chartered, which drew little attention from the press.
2. On Jan. 6, 1806, the College of Charleston’s English and grammar schools were opened under President George Buist. Freshmen and sophomores learned reading, writing and arithmetic while juniors and seniors learned English grammar, geography and the higher branches of arithmetic.
3. On Jan. 12, 1828, the cornerstone for the College of Charleston’s iconic Randolph Hall was laid.
4. On Jan. 24, 1852, the College of Charleston opened its first natural history museum. Louis Agassiz, a well-known scientist, pronounced the museum’s collections superior to all others in the United States except for those of the Academy of Natural History in Philadelphia.
5. In 1855, Towell Library was constructed. It was later named after Edward Emerson Towell, class of 1934, a former professor, dean and acting president.
6. On Aug. 3, 1918, women were first admitted to the College. By 1921, a women’s basketball team and Co-Ed Club had been established, giving female students more visibility on campus and within student life.
7. In 1967, along with professors and alumni, President Walter Raleigh Coppedge persuaded the trustees to sign the Compliance with the Civil Rights Act, and the College of Charleston’s first black students were admitted.
8. In 1970, the College of Charleston Maroons became the Cougars. The new sports team name honored the cougars, which once roamed in the wilds of the Lowcountry.
9. On Jan. 12, 2005, the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library opened only a week after the staff had begun moving 4,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 30,000 rare books and a half million books in the general collection, along with hundreds of computers and 60 staff offices.
10. On Jan. 11, 2008, the Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston hosted Illinois Senator Barack Obama for a rally on Cistern Yard where he received the official endorsement for president by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee. The event featured a crowd of more than 4,000.
Follow the College of Charleston on Twitter for more facts throughout the year.