Mississippi College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mississippi College
Mississippi College Seal.jpg
Motto Veritas et Virtus
Motto in English
Truth and Virtue
Established January 24, 1826
Type Private
Affiliation Baptist
Endowment $60,716,982[1]
President Lee Royce
Students 5,145
Undergraduates 3,200[1]
Postgraduates 1,310 graduate students
550 law students
Location Clinton, Mississippi, United States
32°20′9″N 90°19′53″W / 32.33583°N 90.33139°W / 32.33583; -90.33139Coordinates: 32°20′9″N 90°19′53″W / 32.33583°N 90.33139°W / 32.33583; -90.33139
Campus Suburban
320 acre (3 km²)
Colors blue and gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIGSC[2]
Sports 16 varsity teams
Nickname Choctaws
Affiliations Mississippi Baptist Convention
Website mc.edu

Mississippi College is a Christian university located in Clinton, Mississippi, just west of the capital city of Jackson. Founded in 1826, MC is the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the United States and the oldest college in Mississippi. With more than 5,000 students, Mississippi College is the largest private university in the state.



In June, 1832, Mississippi College granted its first degrees. Shortly threreafter, the college was divided into a female and a male department, each having its own faculty. The female department appeared to prosper more than its male counterpart. The curriculum for women in 1837 included Latin, Greek, French, music and art. The male department fell on hard times, and in 1837 the entire faculty in that department resigned because funds were not available to pay their salaries. It is believed the school closed briefly in 1839, but reopened in February, 1840, with an entirely new faculty. When the state finally passed legislation locating a state university in Oxford, the trustees abandoned hope of state support and began to look for denominational backing for the college.
Provine Chapel

On January 24, 1826, the college received its first charter, signed by Mississippi Gov. David Holmes. In 1827 the name was changed from Hampstead Academy to Mississippi Academy at the request of the Board of Trustees.[4] On December 18, 1830, having become a college, the name was changed to Mississippi College. It offered degrees in arts, sciences and languages.[5]

As a private institution in 1831, Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman. That year it granted degrees to two women, Alice Robinson and Catherine Hall.[5]

In the beginning Mississippi College was not church-related. For a number of years, it was affiliated with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Since 1850, Mississippi College has been affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Board of Trustees oversees the institution.[5]

Civil War and Reconstruction[edit]

The Civil War was a turbulent time for Mississippi College: its endowment was destroyed, its student body disbanded and its buildings deteriorated. Many students joined with faculty, a school trustee and townspeople to form the Mississippi College Rifles during the war years or signed up with other units.[5]

In the half-century after the war the college enrollment and campus slowly recovered, but its neglected buildings were not significantly damaged by the war. College President Walter Hillman helped refurbish the buildings by securing Northern financing prior to being offered the college presidency.[6] The endowment fund was renewed and the physical structures were renovated.[5]

From 1911 through 1932 the college prospered, seeing the completion of the Provine Science Building as well as Lowrey Hall, Alumni Hall and Farr-Hall Hospital, among others. The college endowment grew to $500,000 and in 1922, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approved accreditation for the college. Enrollment reached 400 students.[5]

World War II and later 20th century[edit]

In 1942, Mississippi College purchased and absorbed all-female Hillman College. A new Nelson Hall administration building was erected in 1948, and new residence halls were built.[5]

Nelson Hall

In 1943, MC was among 131 colleges and universities nationwide taking part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy Commission. During the V-12 period, the Navy had exclusive use of Chrestman, Alumni Hall and the cafeteria. The last surge of construction during this era was a building for a growing fine arts program and a library. The war years saw enrollment in the 550-600 range. With veterans returning from World War II, enrollment increased. There were 1,000 students by 1950 and there were 1,581 students by Fall 1956.[5]

From 1957 through 1968 the college built the B.C. Rogers Student Center, Hederman Science Building, Self Hall and a pair of residence halls. Provine Chapel was restored. The School of Nursing began in 1969. With the coming of the School of Law in 1975, when MC purchased the former Jackson School of Law, the college took another step toward a university structure. In 1975, the division of business became the School of Business. In 1977 the division of education became the School of Education. In 1982, twelve remaining departments were grouped into the College of Arts and Sciences.[5]

In May 1992 MC absorbed Clarke College after the smaller school was forced to close due to declining enrollments. Throughout the 1990s the college renovated and expanded: work was carried out on the library, electronic media center, Cockroft Hall (for the School of Nursing), A.E. Wood Coliseum, the Law School building in downtown Jackson, the New Men's Residence Hall, the New Women's Residence Hall, Jennings Hall and Latimer House (a Victorian house later used for alumni receptions).[5]

21st century[edit]

From 2002 to 2012 the college's enrollment grew from 3,227 to 5,145, an increase of 60%, while the number of international students rose from 9 to over 200. The college added a physician assistant program in 2011, becoming the first institution in Mississippi to offer such a degree. MC now offers doctorates in educational leadership and professional counseling.[5]

MC emphasizes public service. In 2011-2012 students, faculty and staff performed more than 45,000 hours of community service at 153 different agencies, while the campus hosted Centrifuge and Super Summer camps.[5]


Since its beginning, Mississippi College has had 23 presidents/principals, including three interim presidents.[7] The first three presidents were known as Principals, before changing the official title to President.


Mississippi College’s main campus in Clinton sits on more than 80 acres. The Mississippi College School of Law is located in downtown Jackson, just blocks from the Mississippi capitol. MC’s Flowood Center in Rankin County primarily serves working adults in metro Jackson with classes two evenings per week. Classes are also offered on Saturday mornings.[8]

Notable buildings at Mississippi College include its historic Provine Chapel that opened in 1860 and is the oldest building on the Clinton campus. During the Civil War, U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant used it as a hospital for his wounded troops and reports say it was also used as a stable for his horses. Opened in 1926, Alumni Hall houses a gymnasium used for intramural basketball games, and a large pool used for water aerobics by students, faculty and staff. Built in 1948, Nelson Hall serves as the university’s administration building and contains Swor Auditorium, the venue for concerts and other musical performances. Aven Hall houses the recitals at the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall and some theatre performances in the Aven Little Theater. The Samuel Marshall Gore Galleries hosts some of the finest art pieces from the state, region and around the nation.[8]

The A.E. Wood Coliseum is used for MC Choctaws basketball games as well as serving as the site for university graduations. Self Hall houses the MC School of Business and Lowrey Hall, the former MC library, serves as the home of the School of Education. The modern Leland Speed Library houses books, audiotapes, computers, study rooms, meeting rooms and its Learning Resources Center that includes studios for the Department of Communication to videotape events on campus. A new 20,000-square-foot medical sciences building opened in January 2013 contains a cadaver lab, research facilities and new classrooms with the latest technology to prepare students for medical and dental schools. The 106,000-square-foot Baptist Healthplex serves the health and fitness needs of faculty, staff, students, alumni and Jackson area residents. The Healthplex also contains medical offices serving the community and is home of MC’s Physician Assistant Program. The School of Law building in downtown Jackson serves more than 500 law students each year. Cockroft Hall houses the nursing and kinesiology departments. The B.C. Rogers Student Center includes the campus cafeteria, meeting rooms for large functions, such as Anderson Hall, and office space for organizations including the Baptist Student Union. The 8,500-seat Robinson-Hale Stadium is the home field for MC Choctaws football games and track meets on the Clinton campus.[8]


Schools and departments[edit]

The School of Education includes the Department of Kinesiology, the Department of Psychology and Counseling, the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, and the Dyslexia Center. The School of Business located in Self Hall has four main departments (accounting, finance, management, and marketing) at the undergraduate and graduate levels; The School of Christian Studies and the Arts includes the Department of Art, the Department of Christian Studies and Philosophy, the Department of Communication and the Department of Music.[9]

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences spans the Department of English, the Department of Modern Languages, the Department of History and Political Science, and the Department of Sociology and Social Work; The School of Science and Mathematics includes the Department of Biological Science, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Department of Computer Science and Physics, the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. The School of Nursing is based at Cockcroft Hall on the Clinton campus. The MC School of Law serves more than 500 students on East Griffith Street in downtown Jackson. Overall, Mississippi College consists of more than 80 academic programs.[9]

The university’s student/faculty ratio is 15:1.[8] The average ACT score for incoming freshmen is 24.

Notable programs[edit]

Launched in May 2011, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies serves 90 graduate students.[10] One-of-a-kind in Mississippi, the MC program works with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, federal clinics and other medical facilities to train professionals to serve under the supervision of physicians to meet critical healthcare shortages in the state and nation.[10] MC’s newest doctorates include educational leadership and professional counseling. MC’s School of Law in Jackson serves students from around the South, other parts of the U.S. and others from around the globe.[11] Serving more than 200 graduate students, the university’s master’s in medical sciences program prepares students from around the USA and Canada to gain admission into medical and dental schools.


Mississippi College has been among the institutions spotlighted in U.S. News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges" as well as Forbes magazine and other publications. U.S. News & World Report ranked MC 9th among the South’s regional universities in the 2011 "Best Colleges, Best Values" category and among the top 30 master’s level universities in the South in 2012. Forbes magazine listed MC as one of the nation’s top 25 "Best College Buys" in its August 2009 edition. It considered student/faculty awards, faculty salaries, graduation rates and academic quality when measuring affordability. MC’s academic programs were reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in December 2012. MC programs were initially accredited by the Georgia-based SACS in 1922. Top scores for MC medical science students ranked above the nation’s 90th percentile of all medical school students taking the same exam.[1]


Official athletics logo.

Mississippi College competes in NCAA Division II as a member of the Gulf South Conference.[12] The college sponsors teams in football, basketball (men's and women's), baseball, softball, tennis (men's & women's), golf (men's & women's), soccer (women's), volleyball, track and field (men's outdoor & women's indoor & outdoor), cross country running (men's & women's), equestrian (women's), and table tennis (men's & women's).[13]

Notable alumni[edit]

Ted DiBiase, Jr.


  1. ^ a b c "College Compass". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  2. ^ In transition from Division III American Southwest Conference
  3. ^ NAICU – Member Directory
  4. ^ a b McLemore, Richard Aubrey (1973). A History of Mississippi 1. Hattiesburg, Mississippi: University & College Press of Mississippi. p. 361. ISBN 0878050132. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "History". Mississippi College: About MC. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Howell, Walter. (2014). Town and Gown: The Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College. Clinton: Privately printed by McNaughton & Gunn. pp. 149-150. email: walter-howell@comcast.net
  7. ^ "Presidents of the University". Mississippi College: Catalog. Mississippi College. 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Mississippi College At a Glance". Mississippi College: About MC. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Schools and Departments". Mississippi College: Academics. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Physician Assistant Program". Mississippi College: Physician Assistant Program. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Mississippi College School of Law". Mississippi College. Mississippi College. 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "American Southwest Conference: ASC Schools". American Southwest Conference. American Southwest Conference. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Official Site of Mississippi College Choctaws". Gochoctaws.com. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Brown, Adam (February 2011). "Representative J. Andrew Gipson, Mississippi House of Representatives". Adam Brown, BYU political Science. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Edgar Godbold". lahistory.org. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Biography". Congressman Gregg Harper. 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Former Miss. First Lady Carroll Waller dies at 87". Mississippi News Now. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2014-11-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Charles E. Martin, Mississippi College with Pride: A History of Mississippi College, 1826-2004. Clinton, MS: Mississippi College, 2007.
  • Richard Aubrey McLemore and Nannie Pitts McLemore, The History of Mississippi College. Jackson, MS: Hederman Brothers, 1979.
  • A.V. Rowe, History of Mississippi College : an address delivered before the Alumni Society at Clinton, Hinds County, June 28, 1881. Jackson, MS: Charles Winkley, 1881.
  • William Herrington Weathersby, "A History of Mississippi College," Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Centenary Series. vol. 5, pp. 184-220.