Agnes Scott College
Agnes Scott College seal.svg
Former names
Decatur Female Seminary (1889–1890)
Agnes Scott Institute (1890–1906)
MottoIn Fide Vestra Virtutem In Virtute Autem Scientiam
Motto in English
Add to your faith virtue and to your virtue knowledge
TypePrivate women's liberal arts college
Established1889; 134 years ago (1889)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group
Endowment$204.8 million (2020)[1][2]
PresidentLeocadia I. Zak
Academic staff
Undergraduates1,019 (Fall 2021)[4]
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban; total 91 acres (37 ha)
Athletic complex 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
NewspaperAgnes Scott Profile
Colors   Purple & white
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIICollegiate Conference of the South
MascotScottish Terrier
Agnes Scott College wordmark.svg

Agnes Scott College Mission Statement
Agnes Scott College Mission Statement

Agnes Scott College is a private women's liberal arts college in Decatur, Georgia. The college enrolls approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The college is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and is considered one of the Seven Sisters of the South.[5] It also offers co-educational graduate programs.


The college was founded in 1889 as Decatur Female Seminary by Presbyterian minister Frank Henry Gaines. In 1890, the name was changed to Agnes Scott Institute to honor the mother of the college's primary benefactor, Col. George Washington Scott. The name was changed again to Agnes Scott College in 1906, and remains today a women's college.

Agnes Scott is considered the first higher education institution in the state of Georgia to receive regional accreditation.[6][7] The ninth and current president since July 2018 is Leocadia I. Zak, who previously worked as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

On July 27, 1994, the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the South Candler Street-Agnes Scott College Historic District.[8] The historic district boundaries are East College Ave., South McDonough St., S. Candler St., East Hill St. and East Davis St. It includes the entire campus, as well as historic homes adjacent to the campus. The campus is also designated by the City of Decatur as a historic district.[citation needed]


Downtown Decatur

Agnes Scott College is located within walking distance of downtown Decatur. A MARTA subway station, located in downtown Decatur, allows students to travel to Atlanta.

Agnes Scott (Main) Hall, the oldest building on campus, was built in 1891 and once housed the entire school. This is documented in the history of Agnes Scott by Dr. McNair entitled Lest We Forget published in 1983.

Buttrick Hall
Buttrick Hall
Looking across the quad
Looking across the quad
McCain Library at dusk
McCain Library at dusk
Bradley Observatory

Agnes Scott occupies more than 90 acres (360,000 m2) in Decatur. The college also owns the Avery Glen apartments as well as more than a dozen houses in the surrounding neighborhoods housing faculty, staff, and students. There are also six dedicated undergraduate dormitories located on campus.

The Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott houses the Beck Telescope, a 30-inch (760 mm) Cassegrain reflector, as well as a planetarium with 70-seat capacity and a radio telescope. Recently Agnes Scott College and the Georgia Tech Research Institute have collaborated on a project that added a LIDAR facility to the observatory.[9]

The college's science building contains a three-story rendering of part of the nucleotide sequence from Agnes Scott's mitochondrial DNA. The DNA came from a blood sample of an ASC alumna who is a direct descendant of the college's namesake.

American poet Robert Frost was an annual visitor at Agnes Scott from 1945 to his death in 1962.[10] During his visits, he would read poetry in Presser Hall. A statue of the poet sculpted by George W. Lundeen sits in the alumnae gardens. A collection of Robert Frost's poetry and letters can be viewed at McCain Library.

The campus has been a filming location for many productions.[11] Complaints by students and alumni about disrespectful production crews and about sexist content in nonetheless rental-income-generating projects such as Road Trip: Beer Pong led to a new policy that requires school review of potential projects, responsibility training for crew members and extras, and at least one educational opportunity for students.[12]


Agnes Scott has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral institute by the college's 150th anniversary in 2039 and has taken steps such as partnering with the Clean Air Campaign to reduce its impact on the local environment.[13]

As of 2015, the college has five solar arrays, four of which are part of Georgia Power's Advanced Solar Initiative. The fifth array is on the rooftop of the Bradley Observatory and is also used for student research. The renovation of Campbell Hall into a mixed use residence hall, learning center, and office space was concluded in 2014 and included installation of a hydro-geothermic HVAC system.[14]

The college hosts a Zipcar.[15]


Agnes Scott offers 34 undergraduate majors and 9 graduate and post-baccalaureate programs.[16] The undergraduate core curriculum SUMMIT focuses on leadership development, global learning, and digital literacy.[17] In 2019, Agnes Scott received the Heiskell Award for Scholars as Drivers of Innovation for its SUMMIT curriculum. Undergraduate students are able to cross-register in other ARCHE member institutions.[18]


The library at Agnes Scott College was an original Carnegie library built in 1910. The building was demolished in 1986.

A new library was authorized by the board of trustees in 1935 and opened in the fall of 1936. This new library was called the "Carnegie Library" and the original library was turned into a student center. It was renamed in 1951 for James McCain, on the occasion of his retirement as the 2nd President of the college. In 1974-1977 and again in 1999–2000, the library underwent renovations.[19]

Student life


The 2020-2021 ethnicities of the undergraduate student body were: 34.8% African American/Black, 31% White, 14.7% Hispanic, 6.2% Asian, 3.4% non-resident International, 6.9% two or more races, and 2.4% other or unknown. 63.4% of undergraduates that year were from Georgia.[20]


Non-commuter students are expected to live in on-campus housing for all four years as an undergraduate at Agnes Scott College.[21] There are six resident halls situated around the Northern edge of the campus: Winship, Walters, Inman, Rebekah, Campbell and Agnes Scott Hall (nicknamed "Main"). The college also owns off-campus apartments one block from campus called Avery Glen. Winship and Walters are traditionally reserved for first-year students. Upperclasswomen participate in a numeric room selection process, where students choose to live in loft-style dorms, tower rooms, or apartments with their friends. Single rooms are available in Inman, Main, and Rebekah, while triple rooms are available exclusively in Main.[22] In August 2014, Campbell began offering students suite-style rooms for four, with two students per room and a shared restroom.[23] Hopkins Hall was retired as a residence hall after the 2014–2015 academic year due to increased need for office space on campus.[citation needed]

Campus organizations

There are over 50 student organizations on campus.[24] Sororities are prohibited.[25]


The Silhouette is the yearbook published by the students of Agnes Scott College. All students are invited to join the staff.

Aurora is the Agnes Scott literary magazine. The magazine is published once a year and includes student poetry, prose, and artwork. The magazine has also considered publishing musical compositions.

Psychobabble is the student-run newsletter of Agnes Scott's Department of Psychology. The newsletter's goal is to create an informed and united community within the discipline by promoting coordinated activities and facilitating communication and relationships among faculty, students and staff. Psychobabble gives psychology majors and minors an opportunity to involve themselves in their interest and form an identity as undergraduate students, while benefiting the department as a whole and supporting the educational experience of their peers.

The Profile, the college's independent student newspaper, is published at the end of every semester during the academic year. All students interested in writing, photography, editing, layout and design, cartoons, advertising or circulation are encouraged to join the staff.


Agnes Scott is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III which fields six sports teams including basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. All teams compete in the Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS). The tennis team is arguably Agnes Scott's most successful team, having won the conference championship and advanced to the NCAA national tournament six times: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. The newest team is cross country, which was restarted in 2014 after being cut during the 2008 school year.[citation needed]

Agnes Scott uses the tune of the Notre Dame Victory March as their fight song and to rally the students together during the annual Black Cat Spirit Week. The Agnes Scott mascot is a "Scottie", a Scottish Terrier named Victory.[citation needed]


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Mascot and School Colors
The school colors of Agnes Scott are purple and white and the school mascot is the Scottie, a Scottish Terrier.

Class Colors
Each incoming class is assigned a class color—red, yellow, blue, or green—and votes on a class mascot that correlates with that color. The colors and mascots are intended to establish class pride, particularly during one week of activities called Black Cat.

Black Cat
Black Cat occurs every fall and is Agnes Scott's version of homecoming week. The week includes a number of class-focused games and activities and culminates in a series of skits written, directed, and performed by the junior class. Each class has the opportunity to showcase its mascot that features the class color. If there is dissatisfaction with a class mascot, the class is given the option to revote and choose a different mascot their second year.

Pestle Board
A senior-only social and philanthropic society created to lampoon the campus chapter of the academic honor society Mortar Board. Whereas Mortar Board has strict GPA and extracurricular prerequisites for membership, Pestle Board's only entry requirement is the completion of a humorous initiation process known as "capping" that pairs junior "cappees" with graduating senior "cappers". Capping also involves Pestle Board's largest philanthropic fundraiser of the year.[citation needed]

Class Ring
The class ring is given to students during the spring of their sophomore year in a special ceremony. The ring is very distinctive with a rectangular engraved black onyx stone inscribed ASC and has remained essentially the same since its introduction in the 1920s with choices only in metal (white or yellow gold) and antiquing. Alumnae who wear the ring are recognizable to one another or those familiar with the college's tradition. Students and Alumnae alike dub themselves the "Black Ring Mafia".

Honor Code
The honor code is held in high regard among Agnes Scott students and faculty. At the beginning of every academic year, new students must sign the honor code and recite a pledge promising to uphold the high academic and social standards of the institution.

As a member of the student body of Agnes Scott College, I consider myself bound by honor to develop and uphold high standards of honesty and behavior; to strive for full intellectual and moral stature; to realize my social and academic responsibility in the community. To attain these ideals, I do therefore accept this Honor System as my way of life.

Students self govern and ask violators of the code to turn themselves in to Honor Court. The trust the Honor Code builds between faculty and students allows for students to take self scheduled, unproctored, exams.

Senior Investiture
Senior Investiture is one of the college's most cherished traditions. During the investiture ceremony in the fall of students' senior year, each student is capped with an academic mortar board as a symbol of her senior status at the college by the Dean.

Bell Ringers
Seniors at Agnes Scott traditionally ring the bell in Agnes Scott Hall's bell tower upon acceptance to graduate school or a job offer. This tradition dates from the early 1990s after the tower acquired its bell during the administration of President Ruth Schmidt. Students who ring the bell sign their names on the walls of the tower.

Alumnae Pond
Tradition dictates that students who get engaged are thrown into the alumnae pond by their classmates.


Academic rankings
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[27]66

Agnes Scott was named as one of the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL).[29]

U.S. News & World Report's 2022 rankings include:[30]

Princeton Review's 2022 rankings include:[31]

Notable alumnae


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Archived from the original on February 21, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Agnes Scott College - at a Glance". Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "Common Data Set 2015–2016" (PDF). Agnes Scott College. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Enrollment History". Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Agnes Scott College. [1] Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Agnes Scott College". Liberal Arts Colleges. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  7. ^ "Member List" (PDF). Southern Association of Colleges. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  8. ^ "[2] Archived October 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine" National Register of Historic Places: DeKalb County Retrieved: August 18, 2008.
  9. ^ Lidar Projects at GTRI, Georgia Tech Research Institute, archived from the original on September 29, 2011, retrieved June 15, 2010
  10. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Previous Guest Writers". Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Filming Location Matching "Agnes Scott College - 141 E. College Avenue, Decatur, Georgia, USA" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  12. ^ Gumbrecht, Jamie (June 15, 2009). "Spotlight not always glamorous at film-happy Agnes Scott". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  13. ^ New grant boosts Agnes Scott green initiatives, Agnes Scott College, January 11, 2010, archived from the original on January 28, 2010, retrieved February 22, 2010
  14. ^ "Renewable Energy on Campus". Agnes Scott College. Agnes Scott College. Archived from the original on August 4, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  15. ^ "Zipcar". Agnes Scott College. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "About Us". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  17. ^ "Four-Year Experience". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  18. ^ "Cross-Registration". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  19. ^ "About the Library". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Enrollment History". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  21. ^ Agnes Scott College Housing. [3] Archived May 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved May 15, 2013
  22. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Main Hall". Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  23. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Campbell Hall". Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  24. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Clubs and Organizations". Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Clubs and Organizations". Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  26. ^ "Agnes Scott Traditions". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  27. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2022". Forbes. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  29. ^ "College Profiles – Colleges That Change Lives". Archived from the original on August 13, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  30. ^ "Agnes Scott College Rankings". U.S. News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017.
  31. ^ "Agnes Scott College - the Princeton Review College Rankings & Reviews". Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  32. ^ "Martha J. Bailey Resume" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 3, 2021.
  33. ^ "Tommie Dora Barker | History and Traditions | Emory University". Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  34. ^ "Agnes Scott College - Past Presidents". Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  35. ^ "CV". Jordan Casteel. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  36. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1979-1980,' biographical sketch of Goudyloch E. Dyer, pg. 149
  37. ^ Agnes Scott College (1928). Agnes Scott Alumnae Quarterly [1927-1928]. McCain Library Agnes Scott College. Agnes Scott College.
  38. ^ "Agnes Scott College – Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC., Alum to Speak at Commencement". Agnes Scott College website. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  39. ^ "Anne F. Harris Named Grinnell's 14th President | Grinnell College". Archived from the original on May 26, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  40. ^ "Marsha Norman". July 20, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  41. ^ "Agnes Scott Fact Sheet" (PDF). 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  42. ^ "Saycon Sengbloh". IMDb. Archived from the original on June 20, 2022. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  43. ^ "Martha Priscilla Shaw Collection". Sumter County Museum. March 1999. Archived from the original on July 17, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  44. ^ O'Hara, Robert James (1959-). "Biographical Sketch of Cornelia Strong by Elizabeth Ann Bowles, 1967". Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  45. ^ Craig, Robert M. (July 31, 2002). "Leila Ross Wilburn (1885–1967)". New Georgia Encyclopedia (18 September 2017 ed.). Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  46. ^ "Anna Irwin Young". Archived from the original on March 5, 2000. Retrieved October 3, 2021.

Further reading

Coordinates: 33°46′13″N 84°17′36″W / 33.77016°N 84.29325°W / 33.77016; -84.29325