Stillman College

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Stillman College
Type Private liberal arts college
Established 1876
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment $25,812,266
President Cynthia Warrick, Ph.D
Students 1,026
Location Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
33°11′53″N 87°35′7″W / 33.19806°N 87.58528°W / 33.19806; -87.58528Coordinates: 33°11′53″N 87°35′7″W / 33.19806°N 87.58528°W / 33.19806; -87.58528
Campus 105-acre (0.42 km2)
Colors Navy Blue and Vegas Gold
Athletics SSAC
Nickname Tigers / Lady Tigers[1]
Affiliations APCU

Stillman College, originally Tuscaloosa Institute,[2] is a historically black liberal arts college located in the West Tuscaloosa area of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Academics and demographics[edit]

The 105-acre (0.42 km2) college campus offers programs of study leading to the bachelor's degree and also a master's degree in elementary education. The school is accredited by The Southern Association for Colleges and Schools[3] and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).


The Main Building in 1914.

Stillman College, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875,[2] held its first classes in 1876 and was chartered as a legal corporation by the State of Alabama in 1895. At that time, the name was changed from Tuscaloosa Institute to Stillman Institute. The institute was a concept initiated by the Reverend Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, "for the training of colored men for the ministry".[4] The mandate for the Institution expanded over the years and it acquired its present campus tract of over 100 acres (0.40 km2). A junior and senior high school was organized and the Institute established a junior college program, which was accredited in 1937. In addition, between 1930 and 1946, it operated a hospital and nurse training school.

The Stillman College library.

Under the administration of Dr. Samuel Burney Hay (1948–1965), the school sought to expand into a senior liberal arts institution and in 1948 the name was officially changed to Stillman College. The following year, Stillman expanded into a four-year college and graduated its first baccalaureate class in 1951. The College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1953.[3] Under Dr. Hay, seven new buildings were constructed: a gymnasium, a library, an administration-classroom building, two women’s residence halls, a prayer chapel, and a student center.

When John Rice became the Dean of Students at Stillman College in 1966, he lived on campus with his wife and daughter, Condoleezza Rice, who later served as the 66th United States Secretary of State.[5]

Dr. Harold N. Stinson (1967–1980) was the first African American to assume the presidency. Under his dynamic leadership, new programs designed to improve educational quality were instituted, and the physical plant was expanded with the addition of two men’s residence halls, faculty apartments, a maintenance building, and a mathematics-science center. Snedecor Hall, Batchelor Building, and Birthright Auditorium were renovated.

Constance M. Rizzi (1974–1978) was the 1st non-black graduate of Stillman College in 1978. Recruited out of Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley, West Virginia by Samuel Merriweather, she was also the 1st non-black cheerleader; the 1st non-black Associate Editor of the campus newspaper, "The Tiger's Paw;" and one of the original founders of the Stillman College Dance Team (CADA) under the direction of Dr. Betty Smith. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Under the leadership of the College’s fourth president, Dr. Cordell Wynn (1982–1997), the appearance of the campus improved dramatically; Winsborough and John Knox Halls were renovated; and the Marie Lundy Wynn Hall and Johnson/Robinson Student Health Center were erected. The enrollment grew beyond 1,000 students; the endowment increased significantly; and the educational program was broadened to include the Stillman Management Institute and a community-service component.

Dr. Peter E. Millet - Stillman College's sixth president - 2016

On July 1, 1997, Dr. Ernest McNealey (1997–2013) was named the fifth president. Since then, Stillman has garnered national attention in the areas of technology, athletics and scholarly pursuits. One of the leaders in wireless computing, the College received the National Innovation in Technology Award by Apple Computers and continues to be on the cusp of technological innovations in higher education. The College’s football program and marching band were revitalized and the College experienced its largest enrollment in the history of the institution. Dr. McNealey infused new life into the academic component by strengthening the curriculum, and attracting a highly qualified faculty (84% hold terminal degrees), improving admissions standards, and enhancing the value of a Stillman education with the addition of guaranteed outcome programs. Notwithstanding, in 2004 the College received its first-ever ranking among top tier schools in U.S. News & World Report and continues to hold this distinction.

The McNealey administration has transformed the campus in order to create a sense of place. A stately, iron and brick fence and formal entrances were constructed and all campus buildings were renovated. Additionally, four new structures were erected (School of Education building, Wynn Fine Arts Center, Roulhac Residence Hall, and the stadium with accompanying playing fields, buildings, and a NCAA regulation track). This sense of place is further manifested in the current construction of the Thomas E. Lyle Band Center and NCAA regulation tennis complex. With a focused vision, Stillman celebrates its past as it advances confidently into the future, embracing excellence for the common good.

On June 26, 2014 at a press conference in Birthright Alumni Hall, Stillman Board of Trustees named interim president Dr. Peter E. Millet the sixth president of the school. He has been the president since Dr. McNealy resigned in September 2013.

In August 2014, Stillman was awarded a donation of $2 million by an unknown donor to help with the long term stability of the college.

On December 29, 2014 President Dr. Peter E. Millet announced via school email that tutition for the small liberal arts school would be reduced from $22,500 to $17,500 in an effort to boost enrollment and make college more affordable.

On January 1, 2015, Stillman became a smoke-free campus in an effort to keep with its theme of promoting a healthier lifestyle.

In December 2015, due to the lack of funds, Stillman cut its current sports from 12 to 2. Men's and women's basketball, band and cheerleading were not cut.

On December 14, 2016 Stillman College Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Warrick as the new Interim President for Stillman College. She took office on January 3, 2017.

Starting in the spring of 2018 Stillman College will offer the a master's degree in Elementary Education.

On April 24, 2017 Dr. Cynthia Warrick (2017-) was named the seventh president. Dr. Warrick is a native of San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Howard University with the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, and completed the Masters of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Doctorate in Environmental Science & Public Policy from George Mason University. With over 20 years of service in higher education through the faculty ranks, administrative and executive positions, Dr. Warrick’s focus is on connecting students and the College to opportunities that advance academic excellence, degree completion, admissions into graduate and professional schools and fruitful careers.[citation needed]

Notable Stillmanites / Alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Teddy Keaton 1999 college football coach, who is currently an associate head coach (running back) for Miles College, & the former head football coach at Stillman College
Jeff Henderson 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist - Long Jump, Rio (2016)
Steve W. Brown 1992 Comedian
Jermaine "FunnyMaine" Johnson 2003 Comedian & Talk-show Host
Timothy "Bolo Da Producer" Mingo 2004 Grammy Award Winning Music Producer
Junior Galette 2010 current NFL defensive end/linebacker, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins
Sammie Lee Hill 2009 NFL defensive tackle Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans
Quinn Porter 2010 former NFL running back who played for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and St. Louis Rams
Brian Witherspoon 2008 former NFL cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars Detroit Lions, New York Giants
Gilbert Johnson 1922 One of the first African Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps; Sergeant Major
Willie Williams 1974 Lt Gen Willie Williams served as the Director of the Marine Corps Staff at Marine Corps Headquarters from July 2009 until his retirement in July 2013. He was one of only four African-American Marines to wear the rank of three-star general.

Student activities[edit]


The college's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Tigers and Lady Tigers, compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference in Division I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[6] The college currently fields athletic teams, including: men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's cross-country, football, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, and women's volleyball. In December 2015, the college announced a plan to reclassify the athletic program from NCAA Division II to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as well as reduce sports to men's and women's basketball.[7] Beginning in the 2016–17 school year, Stillman will participate in the NAIA.[8]

Athletic accomplishments include:

  • Men's Basketball - 2006 and 2016 SIAC Championship[9]
  • Baseball - 2007–2008 SIAC Championships
  • Baseball 2007 Division II National Championship
  • In the 2009–10 season, 1 year removed from taking over a 1–27 team, head coach Michael Grant led the men's basketball team to the school's first ever appearance in the National Top 25 rankings.

Radio and Newspaper[edit]

Stillman College has a student run online radio station called WSTL Stillman Radio and an online newspaper called The Advance.[10] The Advance is published weekly online with intermittent updates on campus news, sports, student life, commentary and arts & entertainment. The college’s first student newspaper started in the mid-20th century, and was regularly published for many years, recording many of the key events during the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s. The student newspaper, The Tiger’s Paw, was renamed The Advance in 2004 and continues online.[10]

Performance Arts (Band/Choir)[edit]


Stillman College Blue Pride Marching Tiger Band - 2015

Stillman College's band program was started in 1955.[11] The band has had many leaders, including:

  • Dr. Paul Meacham (1957–62) -- the first full-time director
  • Mr. Moses Geoffrey (1962), Dr. Joe Boyer (1963–69)
  • Mr. Karl Anthony Huff (1974-1977)
  • Dr. Roosevelt Shelton (1978–88)
  • Dr. David Legette (1989–90)
  • Mr. Selwyn Reed (1991–94)
  • Dr. Dyan Ryans (1995-2000)
  • famed bandsman Dr. Thomas E. Lyle (2000-2004)
  • co-directors Mr. Charles Cooper & Mr. Miguel Bonds (2005)
  • Mr. Joseph Evans (2006–07)
  • Mr. Robert Williams (2007–11)
  • Mr. Robert Nickerson (2012–13)
  • Prof. Derrick K. Yates (2013 - 2017)
  • Current Director of Bands Prof. Edward "PJ" Howard

The "Pride of the South", also known as the “Blue Pride” Marching Tiger Band (BPMT), includes a concert band, and jazz band.

With an average membership of 120, the “Blue Pride” Marching Tiger Band is a historically black college musical show unit that is organized during the fall football season. Membership is open to all qualified students enrolled at the College, regardless of their major field.

In February 2010, Stillman College dedicated a brand new facility, the Thomas Lyle Band Center, named in honor of former band director Thomas Lyle,[12] in conjunction with the Wynn Fine Arts Center. In the fall of 2013, the “Blue Pride” Marching Tiger Band participated in the Annual Turkey Day Classic against Alabama State University.[13] The marching band is represented in the Xbox 360 game Black College Football: BCFX: The Xperience playing selections of Sing a Song and Word Up.

The band offers two honor and service organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi, Kappa Omicron Chapter & Tau Beta Sigma,Theta Chi Chapter.


The Stillman College Concert Choir, under the direction of Jocqueline K. Richardson, is a choral ensemble of students, both music and non-music majors. The choir’s repertoire consists of a variety of sacred and secular choral literature from the Renaissance to the contemporary periods in music history. The concert choir performs at college events, local and regional churches and special events throughout the academic year and serves as an ambassador of Stillman College.

Fraternities & sororities[edit]

Seven of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Stillman College. These organizations are:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ Delta Sigma ΔΣ
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Epsilon Nu EN
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Epsilon Eta EH
Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ Epsilon Epsilon EE
Omega Psi Phi ΩΨΦ Rho Gamma ΡΓ
Phi Beta Sigma ΦΒΣ Gamma Chi ΓΧ
Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ Epsilon Gamma ΕΓ
Sigma Gamma Rho ΣΓΡ Eta Kappa ΗΚ
Iota Phi Theta ΙΦΘ Interest Colony

National Honor Societies[edit]

Beta Kappa Chi (Science)

Other Organizations[edit]

Miss. Stillman College (2015)
  • Campus Queens Association
  • Stillman Ambassadors
  • Chancellor Social Club (1943)
  • Chancellorette Social Club (1959)
  • Beta Phi Beta Brotherhood (1971)
  • F.B.I. Incorporated (1985)
  • Gamma Delta Iota (1992)
  • Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Omega Alpha Chapter (1992)
  • Intelligent Black Women (1992)
  • Golden Heart Club (1998)
  • Tau Beta Sigma (2000)
  • Kappa Kappa Psi (2000)
  • Phi Beta Lambda
  • The National Society of Leadership and Success (2011).

Miss Stillman/ Campus Queens Associations[edit]

Miss Stillman College serves as an official Hostess of the college. After winning a pageant style competition during her Junior year, Miss Stillman is usually present at collegiate student functions and on other occasions when appropriate, as an official representative of students. During her tenure, she presides over the Campus Queens/Kings Association (CQA) -- which includes other elected campus queens and sweethearts—and works collaboratively with the Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President for External Affairs in coordinating the Stillman Ambassadors—the official student recruitment and hospitality club. She participates in the West Alabama Christmas Parade, and other activities and programs upon request.

Residential Life[edit]

There are six dorms in use. The four male dorms are Hay, Knox, King and Williams, and the two female dorms are Roulhac and Wynn. All freshman and sophomore students are required to stay on campus. The only exception is if the student attended a high school that is less than 50 miles away. In this case, a waiver must be signed to acknowledge off-campus living arrangements.

National Alumni Association[edit]

The National Alumni Association of Stillman College (NAASC) is the official gathering and governing body for Stillman College Alumni.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b " >> Stillman College". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b " - History and Mission". Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Commission on Colleges". Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 4. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Horton, Ebony (December 6, 2004). "Stillman College educators recall Rice's ties to town". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved January 1, 2018. Rice moved from Titusville, near Birmingham, to Tuscaloosa in 1966 when her father, John Rice, became the dean of students at Stillman. The family resided on campus in a brick home behind Hay Residence Hall, while Rice, then 11, attended what is now Central High School. 
  6. ^ " >> Stillman College". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  7. ^ "Stillman will retain baseball and softball". Stillman College. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  8. ^ "Stillman College drops football, other athletics due to financial strains". WSFA. December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Stillman captures SIAC basketball tournament title". SIAC. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  10. ^ a b "About Us". The Advance. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  11. ^ "stillmanbands". stillmanbands. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  12. ^ Writer, Ashley Boyd Staff. "Stillman's new band center named for former director". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  13. ^ " >> Stillman College". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  14. ^ "Stillman College Alumni". Stillman College Alumni. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 

External links[edit]