Seal of Rust College
|Motto||By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them|
|Religious affiliation||United Methodist Church
|President||Dr. David L. Beckley|
|Location||Holly Springs, Mississippi,
|Former names||Shaw University
Rust College is a historically black liberal arts college located in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Located approximately 35 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee, it is the second-oldest private college in the state. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it is one of ten historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) founded before 1868 that is still operating.
One of the oldest colleges for African Americans in the United States, Rust was founded on November 24, 1866 by Northern missionaries with a group called the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1870, the college was chartered as Shaw University in 1870, honoring the Reverend S. O. Shaw, who made a gift of $10,000 to the institution. In 1882, to avoid confusion with Shaw U. in Raleigh, N.C., the institution changed its name to Rust University---a tribute to Rev. Richard S. Rust of Cincinnati, Ohio, the secretary of the Freedman's Aid Society. In 1915, the institution assumed the name Rust College.
Rust College is the oldest of the 11 historically black colleges and universities related to the United Methodist Church, the second oldest private college in Mississippi, and one of the five historically black colleges that was founded before 1867.
Rust College maintains five divisions or departments of study: Division of Education, Division of Humanities, Division of Science and Mathematics, Division of Social Sciences, and the Division of Business. Degree programs are offered in sixteen areas of study. Upon completion of their studies at Rust, students can receive Associate's degrees or Bachelor's degrees. Rust accepts only 26% of its applicants; the U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges 2006 guide referred to it as "less selective" and did not rank it in the fourth-tier of the "Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's (South)" category.
Rust College operates on what is called a module system, which is an 8-week semester class system.
The college says that most of their classes have between 10-19 students and 42% of all faculty have obtained a PhD. There are 42 faculty members and a student/faculty ratio of 20:1. According to the college, 57% of students return for their sophomore year.
Under the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act (1990), Rust College reports the on-campus crime statistics to the United States Department of Education and publish the numbers on the Department's website.
The Rust teams are known as the Bearcats. The college is a member of the NCAA's Division III, competing as an Independent member. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, tennis, track & field and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
- Lucie Campbell (1885-1963), composer, hymnwriter
- Alvin Childress (1907-1986), actor
- Ruby Elzy (1908-1943), operatic soprano
- Perry Wilbon Howard (1877-1961), attorney, assistant U.S. attorney general, Mississippi Republican chairman
- Leslie B. McLemore (born 1940), civil rights activist, interim mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
- Clinton LeSueur (born 1969), journalist, congressional candidate
- Alexander Preston Shaw (1879-1966), Methodist bishop
- Anita Ward (born 1957), disco singer
- Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), newspaper editor, activist
- WURC Rust College's public radio station
- Mia Bay, To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells, New York: Hill and Wang, 2009
- Levirn Hill, Black American Colleges and Universities: Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools, by Levirn Hill (1942– ), Gale Group (1994) ISBN 0-02-864984-2
- "Princeton Review: Rust College". Princeton Review. Retrieved 2006-04-14.
- "Holly Springs Community Profile". EPODUNK: The Power of Place. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- Robinson, Marco Tyrone, “‘By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them’: Civil Rights Activism at Rust College and in Marshall Country, 1957–1964” (PhD dissertation, University of Mississippi, 2010). DA3447108.
- "Rust College", Official website
- "Bearcats Athletics", Official athletics website
- The Rustorian, College newspaper
- African American Registry: Rust College founded
- College Board: Rust College
- "Rust College", U.S. News: America's Best Colleges 2006