City: Columbia, SC
Student Population: 25,000-30,000
South Carolina College, est. 1801
The Palmetto State established South Carolina College — the precursor to the University of South Carolina — on Dec. 19, 1801, as part of an effort to unite South Carolinians in the wake of the American Revolution. South Carolina's leaders saw the new college as a way to promote "the good order and harmony" of the state.
The founding of South Carolina College was also a part of the Southern public college movement spurred by Thomas Jefferson. Within 20 years of one another, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia established state-supported colleges.
In the antebellum era, the Palmetto State generously supported South Carolina College. The institution featured a cosmopolitan faculty, including such noted European scholars as Francis Lieber and Thomas Cooper, as well as renowned American scholars John and Joseph LeConte. Offering a traditional classical curriculum, South Carolina College became one of the most influential colleges in the South before 1861, earning a reputation as the training ground for South Carolina's antebellum elite.
The Horseshoe campus
The campus grew around the modified quadrangle of the Horseshoe. In 1805, four years after the college was chartered, its first building, Rutledge, was completed. Classes began that year with two faculty members and nine students.
As the only academic facility, Rutledge served as classroom, lab, library, chapel, and student and faculty housing until DeSaussure was completed on the north side of the Horseshoe in 1809. Throughout the next 38 years, the Horseshoe took shape with eight more buildings. (The Horseshoe's 11th building, and the only one not built in the 19th century, is McKissick, completed in 1940.)
Robert Mills, the nation's first federal architect and the designer of the Washington Monument, greatly influenced the architecture of South Carolina College. Mills was involved in the design of Rutledge, South Caroliniana Library, and Maxcy Monument in the center of the Horseshoe, named for the first president of the college, Jonathan Maxcy. The South Caroliniana Library was the first freestanding college library building in the nation when it was completed in 1840.
Civil War, Reconstruction
Having survived an 1811 earthquake that damaged DeSaussure, then known as North Building, and an 1855 fire that gutted Rutledge, the college finally succumbed to the upheaval of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
South Carolina's secession from the Union unleashed the devastation of war. The state and South Carolina College paid dearly. The institution closed in 1861 for want of students, and in the ensuing decades it struggled to regain the leading role in the region it had held during the antebellum era.
A diverse, if short-lived, university
State leaders revived the institution in 1866 as the University of South Carolina with ambitious plans for a diverse university that included the first African-Americans to serve on the board of trustees (1868) and the first African-American students (1873).
While politically controversial, this development was an extraordinary opportunity for South Carolinians at a time when opportunities for higher education were rare. The University of South Carolina became the only Southern state university to admit and grant degrees to African-American students during the Reconstruction era.
But with a nearly empty state treasury, the institution failed to reach its former status. Following the end of Reconstruction in 1877, South Carolina's conservative leaders closed the university. They reopened it in 1880 as an all-white agricultural college and during the next 25 years the institution became enmeshed in the upheaval of late 19th century South Carolina politics.
Stability, postwar boom
Carolina went through several reorganizations in which the curriculum frequently changed and its status shifted from college to university and back again. In 1906, the institution was rechartered for the final time as the University of South Carolina. In the early decades of the 20th century, Carolina made strides toward becoming a comprehensive university, and in 1917 it became the first state-supported college or university in South Carolina to earn regional accreditation.
The 1920s witnessed further progress and growth with the introduction of new colleges and degree programs, including the doctorate. The Great Depression temporarily stalled this progress, but the outbreak of World War II launched an era that transformed the university. Carolina hosted U.S. Navy training programs during the war and enrollment more than doubled in the post war era as veterans took advantage of the G.I. Bill.
Integration, enrollment explosion
In the 1950s, the university began recruiting national-caliber faculty and extended its presence beyond Columbia with the establishment of campuses in communities across South Carolina. On Sept. 11, 1963, Henrie D. Monteith, Robert Anderson and James Solomon became the first African-American students to enroll at the university in the 20th century; in 1965, Monteith became the first African-American graduate, earning a B.S. in biochemistry.
In the ensuing years, Carolina underwent explosive growth as the baby boom generation entered college. Enrollment stood at 5,660 in 1960, but by 1979 had reached nearly 26,000 students on the Columbia campus alone. To meet the needs of these students and South Carolina's changing economy, the university put new emphasis on research and introduced innovative degree programs as well as a number of new schools and colleges. Carolina had become a true research university.
Horseshoe restoration, bicentennial
Carolina also honored its past. A renovation program that began in 1972 restored the 19th-century Horseshoe buildings, a renaissance that served the South Carolina Honors College, which was established in 1977 and whose administrative offices and housing for juniors and seniors are largely on the Horseshoe.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the university continued to develop its resources to better serve the Palmetto State. A concerted drive to achieve national recognition brought Carolina into the 21st century. In 2001, the University of South Carolina celebrated a legacy of 200 years of educating leaders for the future of South Carolina, the nation and the world.
Home to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks is Williams-Brice Stadium, recognized as one of the finest facilities in all of college football. Carolina annually ranks among the nation's leaders in attendance and Gamecock fans are regarded as some of the most loyal in the country.
Williams-Brice Stadium, formerly Carolina Stadium, was first constructed in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Then it seated 17,600. It has undergone a number of expansions and revisions over the years, with the largest prior to the 1982 expansion coming in 1971-72. A bequest from the estate of Mrs. Martha Williams Brice helped boost the capacity then from slightly more than 43,000 to more than 54,000.
Mrs. Brice's husband, Thomas H. Brice, was a Gamecock football letterman, 1922-24, and her family operated the Williams furniture Company in Sumter. She left a substantial interitance from the Williams Furniture fortune to her nephews, Thomas W. and Phillip L. Edwards, much of which they passed on to the University of South Carolina. That included a bequest for the stadium project.
The name was officially changed from Carolina Stadium to Williams-Brice Stadium in dedication ceremonies during the Sept. 9, 1972, opener with Virginia.
WILLIAMS-BRICE STADIUM FACTS
▪ First constructed in 1934, Williams-Brice Stadium has a seating capacity of 80,250
▪ A $6.5 million state-of-the-art video board measuring 36' x 124' added for the 2012 season
▪ USC consistently ranks among the top 20 in the nation in home attendance
▪ The Zone features an 11,000-square foot banquet facility and provides fans with a fantastic view from the South End Zone
▪ The premium seating and executive suites at the stadium are among the finest in college football
▪ First game as Carolina Stadium was on Sept. 23, 1934. (USC 25, Erskine 0)
▪ Dedicated as Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 9, 1972. (Virginia 24, USC 16)
Downtown Columbia offers a lot of great nightlife options. The city is broken into two main areas: Five-Points (Harden ST/Greene ST) and the Vista (Gervais ST/Lady ST).
Five-Points: If you’re looking to get obliterated with booze-like activities then Five-Points is where you belong. To simplify your options we made a quick list.
-Most students go here for nightlife
-Cheaper drinks than the Vista
-Geographically closer (unless you live in the HUB)
-Calzones available until 4am 7 days/wk.
-Chicken on a Stick (words cannot describe how good this is-so we won’t try)
-Free shuttles to and from anywhere on campus
-Great drink specials:
*Monday-$1 Bourbon/Vodkas at Pav’s
*Tuesday-$2 anything shots (incl. all top shelf) at Pour House
*Wednesday-Pint Night at Jake’s ($2-$3 for craft pints)
*Thursday-$1 Domestic Beer at Saloon
*Monday-Sunday: Beautiful Girls
-Not as nice/safe of an area as the vista (USC is working hard to change this as quickly as possible)
-Heavy prevalence of cops
-You’re bound to see a fight break out at some point
- Fast Eddies
- Liberty Tap Room
- Carolina Ale House
- Blue Marlin
Best in Columbia:
- California Dreaming