Paine College

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Paine College
Paine seal violet.png
Paine College Seal
Motto "Rejoicing In Hope"
Established 1882
Type Private
Historically black college
Religious affiliation United Methodist Church
President George C. Bradley
Students 900
Location Augusta, Georgia,
United States
Campus Urban
64.4-acre (260,617.6 m2)
Former names Paine Institute
Nickname Lions
Affiliations NCAA (Division II), SIAC
Paine College athletics logo

Paine College is a private Historically Black college located in Augusta, Georgia.


History at a glance
1883 Established as Paine Institute
1884 Classes began in downtown Augusta
1886 College moved to present site
1901 First four year degrees awarded
1903 Renamed to Paine College

Paine College was founded by the leadership of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now United Methodist Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Paine was the brainchild of Bishop Lucius Henry Holsey, who first expressed the idea for the College in 1869. Bishop Holsey asked leaders in the ME Church South to help establish a school to train Negro teachers and preachers so that they might in turn appropriately address the educational and spiritual needs of the people newly freed from the evils of slavery. Leaders in the ME Church South agreed, and Paine Institute came into being.

On November 1, 1882, the Paine College Board of Trustees, consisting of six members, three from each Church, met for the first time. They agreed to name the school in honor of the late Bishop Robert Paine of the MECS who had helped to organize the CME Church. In December, the Trustees selected Dr. Morgan Callaway as the first President of the College and enlarged the Board from six to 19 members, drawing its new membership from communities outside of Georgia so that the enterprise might not be viewed as exclusively local.

Bishop Holsey traveled throughout the Southeast seeking funds for the new school. On December 12, 1882, he presented the Trustees of Paine Institute with $7.15 from the Virginia Conference and $8.85 from the South Georgia Conference. In that same month, Bishop Atticus Haygood, a minister of the ME Church South, gave $2,000 to support President Callaway through the first year. Thus, a $2,000 gift from a white minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and $16 raised by a CME minister – penny by penny from former slaves - became the financial basis for the founding of Paine College.[1]

In 1883, a Charter of Incorporation for The Paine Institute was granted, and the Trustees elected Dr. George Williams Walker as its first teacher. In January 1884, classes began in rented quarters in downtown Augusta.

Morgan Callaway 1882–1884
George Williams Walker 1884–1911
John D. Hammond 1911–1915
D.E. Atkins 1915–1917
Albert Deems Betts 1917–1923
Ray S. Tomlin 1923–1929
E.C. Peters 1929–1956
E. Clayton Calhoun 1956–1970
Lucius H. Pitts 1971–1974
Julius S. Scott, Jr. 1975–1982
William H. Harris 1982–1988
Julius S. Scott, Jr. 1988–1994
Shirley A.R. Lewis 1994–2007
George C. Bradley 2007–present

On December 28, 1884, the Reverend George Williams Walker was elected President of Paine Institute following the resignation of Reverend Callaway. In 1886, the College moved to its present site.

The year 1888 was a very significant one for Paine College. Reverend Moses U. Payne, an MECS minister from Missouri, gave $25,000 to Paine for the endowment. Also in 1888, Trustee W. A. Candler presented a resolution to the Trustees authorizing President Walker to employ Dr. John Wesley Gilbert to become the first Black member of the faculty. Dr. Gilbert was Paine’s first student and first graduate. He furthered his education at Brown University and Athens, Greece. Since that time, the faculty has been interracial and international. President Walker died in 1910 after having headed Paine for twenty-six years.

The Paine Institute began with a high school component and gradually developed a college department. In 1901 the first four-year degrees were granted at The Paine Institute. Initially, advanced students received special instruction on an individual basis, but by 1903 sufficient college-level work was provided to justify changing the school’s name to The Paine College. Paine continued its high school department until 1945, because there was no public secondary school for Blacks in Augusta until that year.[2]

Under the leadership of President Edmund Clarke Peters, 1929–1956, Paine College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as a Class “B” institution in 1931 and then as a Class “A” institution in 1945.

President E. Clayton Calhoun served as President from 1956 to 1970. During his leadership, Paine was approved by the University Senate of The Methodist Church in 1959, and the College was admitted to full membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1961.

Dr. Lucius H. Pitts was elected President of Paine College in 1971. He was the first alumnus and first Black President of the College. He died in his office in 1974. Dr. Julius S. Scott, Jr. served as President of the College on two separate occasions: 1975 to 1982 and 1988 to 1994. Paine alumnus, Dr. William Harris, served during the period of 1982 to 1988. In 1994, Dr. Shirley A. R. Lewis became Paine College’s first female president.

Paine College is a full-fledged liberal arts institution offering courses and major programs in five divisions: Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Social Sciences. The College remains a small, predominantly Black, coeducational, church-related school, gratefully related to its founding denominations and open to all.[citation needed]

The Campus[edit]

Paine College has a 64.4-acre (260,617.6 m2) acre campus located in the heart of Augusta, Georgia. Most of the college's buildings, including residence halls, classroom buildings, and the library, are located in the main campus area. The athletic field, gymnasium, tennis court, and the chapel/music building are included in the rear campus area.

A historic district within the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 26, 2012. It was listed for its contributions to education and to African-American heritage.[3]


The college's athletic teams are known as the Lions. Paine College currently competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). Men's sports that include: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, track & field and volleyball. Announced the addition of football on October 26th, 2012 and will begin play in 2014.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

This is a list of notable alumni which includes graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of Paine Institute and/or Paine College.

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Channing Tobias 1902 civil rights activist and appointee on the President's Committee on Civil Rights
William H. Harris Past President of Paine College, Texas Southern University, and Alabama State University
Mack Gipson, Jr. NASA consultant who was the second African American to obtain a Ph.D. in Geology
Emma R. Gresham 1953 Mayor of Keysville GA (1985-2005) and the second African American female to be elected as a chief official in Georgia
Shirley McBay First African-American Dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nathaniel Linsey Senior Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Ruth B. Crawford Dir. of Shiloh Community Center and designer of the Paine College flag
Mike Thurmond Attorney and first African-American elected as Georgia Labor Commissioner
John Wesley Gilbert First African-American Archaeologist
Lucius Pitts First African-American president of Paine College
Elias Blake HBCU advocate who helped develop the Upward Bound program and past president of Clark College
Micah Troy Hip hop musician (also known as "Pastor Troy")
Joseph Lowery President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1977-1997
Woodie W. White 1958 Bishop of the United Methodist Church
Frank Yerby 1937 Internationally acclaimed author and film writer
Danny Glover

SAC warning[edit]

Recently Paine college received a "warning" from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools:"Paine College was placed on Warning because the Commission’s Board of Trustees determined that the institution had failed to demonstrate compliance with Core Requirement 2.11.1 (Financial Resources), Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8 (Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers), Comprehensive Standard 3.10.1 (Financial Stability), Comprehensive Standard 3.10.3 (Control of Finances), Comprehensive Standard 3.10.4 (Control of Sponsored Research/External Funds), and Federal Requirement 4.7 (Title IV Program Responsibilities) of the Principles of Accreditation. These standards expect an institution to provide evidence that it (1) has a sound financial base and a recent financial history demonstrating financial stability, (2) exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources, (3) maintains financial control over externally funded or sponsored research and programs, (4) complies with its program responsibilities under Title IV, and (5) employs qualified administrative and academic officers. (To read the full statement for the standards cited above, access the Principles of Accreditation at"

− The warning period will extend to June 2013 and then the SACSCOC Board of Trustees will consider the accreditation status of Paine College following review of audits and financial statements, a First Monitoring Report submitted by the institution addressing the items outlined above for non-compliance, and the report of a Special Committee that will visit the institution in spring 2013. The Board will have the following options: (1) remove the institution from Warning without an additional report or with a Fifth-Year Follow Up Report; (2) continue Warning and request an additional report; (3) continue on Warning or place the institution on Probation, authorize a Special Committee, and request an additional report; or (4) remove the institution from membership with the Commission on Colleges. As of the June 2013 review Paine has not addressed the issues and will remain on Warning for another year.

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