Stillman College

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Stillman College
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
PresidentCynthia Warrick, Ph.D
Students615 (Fall 2018)
Location, ,
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
Campus105-acre (0.42 km2)
ColorsNavy Blue and Vegas Gold
NicknameTigers / Lady Tigers[1]

Stillman College is a private Presbyterian and historically black liberal arts college in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It awards the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 17 disciplines/majors housed within three academic schools (Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, and Education). The college has an average enrollment of 650 students and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[2]


The Main Building in 1914.

Stillman College, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875,[3] 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.[2] 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. During his presidency, the college graduated its first non-black student, Constance M. Rizzi, in 1978.

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.

Stillman College Choir at Convocation

On July 1, 1997, Dr. Ernest McNealey (1997–2013) was named the fifth president. During his tenure, Stillman 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. In 2004 the college received its first-ever ranking among top-tier schools in U.S. News & World Report. During Dr. McNealey's tenure, 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 an NCAA regulation track). The sense of place was further manifested in the construction of the Thomas E. Lyle Band Center and NCAA regulation tennis complex.

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. 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 tuition 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, Stillman cut its current sports from 12 to 2. Currently, Stillman has four intercollegiate sports teams, Men's and Women's Basketball, Baseball, and Softball.

Dr. Cynthia Warrick at SGA Installation in September 2018

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. On April 24, 2017 Dr. Cynthia Warrick (2017-) was named the seventh president and the first female president of Stillman College. 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]

The school's Tuscaloosa campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.[6]

Student activities[edit]


The college's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Tigers and Lady Tigers, compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) in Division I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[7] The college currently fields four varsity athletic teams, including: men's and women's basketball, baseball, and softball. Beginning in Fall 2018, the college will be adding Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field.

Recent Athletic accomplishments include:

  • Men's Basketball - In 2018 the Men's Basketball Team was the NAIA A.I.I Conference Champs. Losing in the opening round of the National Tournament, the men finished the season with a record o 27–5, losing only one game at home. The Tigers swept the conference awards with the Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and a 1st Team Honorable mention. 2006 and 2016 SIAC Championship;[8] 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.
  • Women's Basketball - In 2018, the Lady Tigers were the NAIA A.I.I. Conference Champ Runner Ups. The Lady Tigers lost in the opening round of the National Tournament and finished with a 19–12 record.
  • Baseball - In 2018, the Tigers finished their season with a record of 19–22; 2007–2008 SIAC Championships; 2007 Division II National Championship
  • Softball - The 2018 Lady Tigers Softball team finished with a record of 18-18, an impressive record considering the installation of a new coach in December and a 0–8 start to the season.

Performance arts[edit]


Stillman College Blue Pride Marching Tiger Band - 2015

Stillman College's band program was started in 1955.[9] 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,[10] 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.[11] 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.


Stillman College Choir performs at Fall Convocation

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 and 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)

Alpha Kappa Mu (AKM)

Residential Life[edit]

There are four dorms in use. On campus there are three male dorms: Knox, Hay and Wynn, and one female dorm. Roulhac. It is recommended that freshman students reside on campus. The Grand Apartments is off-campus housing managed by Stillman.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Teddy Keaton 1999 College football coach
Jeff Henderson 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist - Long Jump (2016)
Junior Galette 2010 Professional football player
Sammie Lee Hill 2009 Professional football player
Brian Witherspoon 2008 Professional football player
Gilbert Johnson 1922 One of the first African Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps; Sergeant Major
Ruth Bolden 1952 Civil rights worker and library founder in west Tuscaloosa.
Dr. Trudier Harris 1969 First tenured African-American faculty member at the College of William and Mary; Distinguished Research Professor of English at the University of Alabama; author of nearly two dozen books.
Michael Figures 1969 Alabama State Senator from 1978-1996; one of the first three African-Americans to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law

Notable faculty[edit]

Michael Hill used to teach British history at Stillman before founding the League of the South, a neo-Confederate and white supremacist organization. [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Commission on Colleges". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  3. ^ " - History and Mission". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  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. ^ "Weekly listing". National Park Service.
  7. ^ " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  8. ^ "Stillman captures SIAC basketball tournament title". SIAC. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "stillmanbands". stillmanbands. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Writer, Ashley Boyd Staff. "Stillman's new band center named for former director". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  11. ^ " >> Stillman College". Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  12. ^

External links[edit]