College of Charleston
CoCharleston seal.png
MottoSapientia Ipsa Libertas
Ædes Mores Juraque Curat
Motto in English
Wisdom Itself Is Liberty.
She Cares for Her Temples, Customs and Rights.
TypePublic liberal arts college
Established1770; 252 years ago (1770)
Academic affiliations
ORAU, Sea-grant, Space-grant
Endowment$102.8 million (2020)[1][2]
PresidentAndrew Hsu
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsMaroon and white
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ICAA
College of Charleston.svg
College of Charleston
College of Charleston is located in South Carolina
College of Charleston
College of Charleston is located in the United States
College of Charleston
LocationGlebe, George, St. Philip and Green streets, Charleston, South Carolina
Area4 acres (1.6 ha)[4]
ArchitectEdward B. White; George E. Walker
Architectural styleEarly Republic
NRHP reference No.71000748
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 11, 1971[5]
Designated NHLNovember 11, 1971[6]
Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[7] 8
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[8] 302
Forbes[9] 323
THE/WSJ[10] 501–600

The College of Charleston (also known as CofC or Charleston) is a public liberal arts college in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, it is the oldest college in South Carolina, the 13th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and the oldest municipal college in the country. The founders of the college include three future signers of the Declaration of Independence (Thomas Heyward Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge), and three future signers of the United States Constitution (Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and John Rutledge).


The College of Charleston claims to be founded in 1770 making it the 13th oldest institution of higher education and oldest municipal college in the United States.[11][12]

Albert Simons Center for the Arts
Albert Simons Center for the Arts
Communication buildings
Communication buildings


The College of Charleston consists of six academic schools, as well as the Honors College and the Graduate School of the University of Charleston, S.C.

Porters Lodge
Porters Lodge


Randolph Hall is the college's main academic building and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Randolph Hall is the college's main academic building and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The College of Charleston's main campus in downtown Charleston includes 11 residence halls, 19 historic homes, five fraternity houses and nine sorority houses. It contains a mix of modern and historic buildings. The College of Charleston downtown campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, the Avery Institute, which is now the home to the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, and the William Blacklock House are also listed individually on the register.

Outside of downtown Charleston, the college campus includes the Grice Marine Lab on James Island, the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center and the Patriots Point Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant, the North Campus in North Charleston and the 881-acre (357 ha) Stono Preserve.[13]

In 2014, the college was ranked as one of the top 10 best landscaped colleges on the east coast.[14] In 2017, Travel + Leisure magazine named the college "America's Most Beautiful College Campus."[15]

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is a public natural history museum located on the campus. The museum has more than 30,000 vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. The collection's focus is on the paleontology of North American mammals, and specifically the South Carolina Lowcountry.[16]

College of Charleston and the media

Several movies and television shows have been filmed at the College of Charleston, including General Hospital, North and South, The View, Cold Mountain, The Patriot, White Squall, Wife Swap, O, The Notebook, Dear John, and Mandie.[citation needed]

The View and CNN's Crossfire also took up residence on the College of Charleston Cistern Yard before the South Carolina presidential primary in 2000.[citation needed]

In 2004, the first televised debate between U.S. Senate candidates Jim DeMint and Inez Tenenbaum was filmed in Alumni Hall.[citation needed]

John Kerry officially endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Cistern Yard in 2008.[citation needed]

In 2008, the television show Army Wives and the feature film The New Daughter, was filmed.[citation needed]

In 2013, Today with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb did a live show from the Cistern.[citation needed]

Bully Pulpit Series

The Bully Pulpit Series is hosted jointly by the College of Charleston's Departments of Political Science and Communication. The series welcomes presidential candidates from the two major political parties to the campus. Candidates speak with students and Charleston community members on such topics as the frequency of press conferences, the candidate's relationship with journalists and the power of the president to persuade.[citation needed] Major candidates that appeared during the 2008 Presidential primaries included Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, President Barack Obama and Senator John Edwards. During that season, the series was sponsored by the Allstate Insurance Company and attendance on the Bully Pulpit events drew over 6,000 attendees.[17] During the 2016 Presidential primaries, the major candidates who participated in the series included Senator Lindsey Graham and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley.[citation needed]The series hosted a slew of candidates during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. The candidates who appeared were: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Representative Beto O'Rourke, Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Bernie Sanders, former vice president and eventual president Joe Biden, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard.[18]


Main article: College of Charleston Cougars

The college's 19 varsity sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association and are known as the Cougars. The Cougars compete at a variety of athletics facilities in the Charleston area, including the TD Arena (formerly the Carolina First Arena),[19] the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Complex, Johnson Center Squash Courts, Patriots Point Athletic Complex and the Links at Stono Ferry. College of Charleston athletics are supported by the College of Charleston Athletic Club,[20] which was established in 1974. During the 1970–71 school year, College of Charleston students voted to change the school nickname from the Maroons to the Cougars, in honor of a cougar that had recently arrived at the Charles Towne Landing zoo. Clyde the Cougar is the college's current mascot.[21] Oliver Marmol, the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals is a former College of Charleston baseball player.

Greek life

Greek life has been active on campus for 120 years. In 2017, four fraternities were shut down by the college for alcohol, drugs and a sexual assault.[22]

Notable alumni

See also


  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. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Investments" (PDF). College of Charleston. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^ Staff, National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings (August 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: College of Charleston Complex: Main Building, Library and Gate Lodge" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying four photos, exterior and interior, from 1970 (1.43 MB)
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  6. ^ "College of Charleston". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  7. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  9. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2021". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  10. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2021". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  11. ^ "A Brief History of the College - College of Charleston". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  12. ^ Municipal college; Easterby, J.H. (1935)"Appendix I: Charters and Other Documents in A History of the College of Charleston, pp. 252. USA: The Scribner Press
  13. ^, Robert Behre. "Nixing Dixie: College of Charleston renames its plantation 'Stono Preserve'". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  14. ^ Farley, Ryan. "The Top 10 Best Landscaped Colleges – East Coast". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  15. ^ "College of Charleston, America's Most Beautiful College Campus, in Photos | Travel + Leisure".
  16. ^ "Digging into the Past". Azalea Summer 2015. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  17. ^ The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston". Archived from the original on 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  19. ^ Whetzel, Melissa (2011-08-23). "College, TD Bank Sign Naming Agreement for Arena - College of Charleston News : College of Charleston News". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  20. ^ "College of Charleston Athletic Fund". Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  21. ^ "College of Charleston To Join Colonial Athletic Association, 11/30/2012". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  22. ^ Pan, Deanna (2017-07-02). "A fourth College of Charleston fraternity has shut down due to misconduct". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2020-07-31.