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Mississippi College
Former names
Hampstead Academy (1826–1827)
Mississippi Academy (1827–1830)
MottoVeritas et Virtus
Motto in English
Truth and Virtue
TypePrivate university
EstablishedJanuary 24, 1826 (1826-01-24)
Religious affiliation
EndowmentUS$89.2 million (2020)[1]
PresidentBlake Thompson[2][3]
Postgraduates1,684 graduate students
570 law students

32°20′9″N 90°19′53″W / 32.33583°N 90.33139°W / 32.33583; -90.33139
CampusSuburban, 320 acres (130 ha)
Colors    Blue and gold[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIGulf South[5]
Mississippi College is located in Mississippi
Mississippi College
Location in Mississippi

Mississippi College (MC) is a private Baptist university in Clinton, Mississippi.[7] Founded in 1826, MC is the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college or university in the United States and the oldest college or university in Mississippi.



Provine Chapel

On January 24, 1826, the college received its first charter, signed by Mississippi Gov. David Holmes. In 1827, the name was changed from Hampstead Academy to Mississippi Academy at the request of the board of trustees.[8] On December 18, 1830, having become a college, the name was changed to Mississippi College. It offered degrees in arts, sciences, and languages.[9]

In 1831, Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the United States to award a degree to a female student. That year it granted degrees to two women, Alice Robinson and Catherine Hall.[10]

In the beginning, Mississippi College was not church-related. For a number of years, it was affiliated with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Since 1850, Mississippi College has been affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, and the board of trustees oversees the institution.[9]

Civil War and reconstruction

Classes were not held during the Civil War, and the buildings deteriorated. Many students joined with faculty, a school trustee and townspeople to form the Mississippi College Rifles during the war years or signed up with other units.[9]

In the half-century after the war, the college enrollment and campus slowly recovered. The college president Walter Hillman helped refurbish the buildings by securing Northern financing prior to being offered the college presidency.[11] The endowment fund was renewed and the physical structures were renovated.[9]

From 1911 through 1932, the construction of Provine Science Building, Lowrey Hall, Alumni Hall and Farr-Hall Hospital was completed. The college endowment grew to $500,000 and in 1922, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approved accreditation for the college. Enrollment reached 400 students.[9]

World War II and later 20th century

In 1942, Mississippi College acquired Hillman College. A new Nelson Hall administration building was erected in 1948, and new residence halls were built.[9]

Nelson Hall

In 1943, MC was among 131 colleges and universities nationwide taking part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission. During the V-12 period, the Navy had exclusive use of Chrestman, Alumni Hall, and the cafeteria. During World War II, enrollment was between 550 and 600 students. After the war ended and veterans returned, enrollment increased. About 1,000 students were enrolled in 1950, and 1,581 students by fall 1956.[9]

Mississippi College was one of the last private colleges in the country to drop its segregation policy, and did not do so until the 1969–70 school year.[12]

From 1957 through 1968, the college built the B.C. Rogers Student Center, Hederman Science Building, Self Hall, and a pair of residence halls. Provine Chapel was restored. The School of Nursing began in 1969. MC purchased the former Jackson School of Law in 1975, leading to the Mississippi College School of Law. In 1975, the division of business became the School of Business. In 1977, the division of education became the School of Education. In 1982, the 12 remaining departments were grouped into the College of Arts and Sciences.[9]

In May 1992, MC absorbed Clarke College after the smaller school was forced to close due to declining enrollments. Throughout the 1990s, the college renovated and expanded; work was carried out on the library, electronic media center, Cockroft Hall (for the School of Nursing), A.E. Wood Coliseum, the Law School building in downtown Jackson, the New Men's Residence Hall, the New Women's Residence Hall, Jennings Hall, and Latimer House (a Victorian house later used for alumni receptions).[9]

21st century

From 2002 to 2015, the college's enrollment grew from 3,227 to 5,152. The number includes a record of 618 freshmen.

The number of international students rose from nine[when?] to a record 505 students from more than two dozen nations in fall 2015.

The college added a physician assistant program in 2011. MC was the first institution in Mississippi to offer such a degree. MC now offers doctorates in educational leadership and professional counseling.[9]

Mississippi College was granted an exception to Title IX in 2015, which allows it to legally discriminate against LGBT students for religious reasons.[13]


Since its beginning, Mississippi College has had 23 presidents/principals, including three interim presidents.[14] The first three presidents were known as "principals", before changing the official title to "president".


Mississippi College's main campus in Clinton is more than 80 acres. The Mississippi College School of Law is located in downtown Jackson.[15]

Notable buildings at Mississippi College include its historic Provine Chapel, the oldest building on the Clinton campus, which opened in 1860. During the Civil War, U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant used it as a hospital for his wounded troops and reports say it was also used as a stable for his horses.

Opened in 1926, Alumni Hall houses a gymnasium and a pool. Built in 1948, Nelson Hall serves as the university's administration building and contains Swor Auditorium, the venue for musical performances. Aven Hall houses the recitals at the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall and some theatre performances in the Aven Little Theater. The Samuel Marshall Gore Galleries hosts fine art exhibitions.[15]

The A.E. Wood Coliseum is used for MC Choctaws basketball games and is the site for university graduations. Self Hall houses the MC School of Business and Lowrey Hall, the former MC library, and the School of Education. The Leland Speed Library houses its Learning Resources Center which includes studios for the Department of Communication. The 20,000-square-foot Royce Medical Science Center, named in honor of President Emeritus Lee G. Royce, opened in January 2013.[16] The 106,000-square-foot Baptist Healthplex contains a gym and medical offices. The Healthplex is also the home of MC's Physician Assistant Program. Cockroft Hall houses the nursing and kinesiology departments. The 8,500-seat Robinson-Hale Stadium is the home field for MC Choctaws football games and track meets on the Clinton campus.[15]

University Place residence halls opened in August 2015 to accommodate 189 students. Cost of the eight modern brick units was $16 million. The facilities were the first new residence hall construction in nearly 20 years on the Clinton campus.

The Rhoda Royce Prayer Garden is named in the honor of the wife of retired President Lee Royce. It contains fountains and rocks with scriptures from the Bible.[17] The MC Dyslexia Center was expanded in January 2019 to include additional rooms to evaluate children with the learning disability, and other offices.[18]


Academic rankings
THE / WSJ[19]600 (tie) of 600
U.S. News & World Report[20]369 (tie) of 394
Washington Monthly[21]437 of 442

The School of Business is AACSB-accredited and located in Self Hall. The school offers 6 undergraduate business majors and the MBA. With an enrollment of 850 students, business is the single largest undergraduate major on campus.

The School of Education includes the Department of Kinesiology, the Department of Psychology and Counseling, the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, and the Dyslexia Center. The School of Christian Studies and the Arts includes the Department of Art, the Department of Christian Studies and Philosophy, the Department of Communication, and the Department of Music.[22]

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences spans the Department of English, the Department of Modern Languages, the Department of History and Political Science, and the Department of Sociology and Social Work; The School of Science and Mathematics includes the Department of Biological Science, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Department of Computer Science and Physics, the Department of Mathematics, and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. The School of Nursing is based at Cockcroft Hall on the Clinton campus. The MC School of Law serves more than 400 students on East Griffith Street in downtown Jackson. Overall, Mississippi College consists of more than 80 academic programs.[22]

The Physician Assistant Program enrolls 94 students. The doctorate in professional counseling, the first of its type in the United States, enrolls 120 students.

The MC student/faculty ratio is 14:1.[15] The average ACT score for incoming freshmen is 24.

The institution is ranked among the "Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth" in the US by Campus Pride.[13]

Notable programs

Launched in May 2011, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies serves 90 graduate students.[23] The problem works with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, federal clinics and other medical facilities.[23] The university's master's in medical sciences program serves more than 200 graduate students.

Since June 1984, the Mississippi College Administration of Justice Program has had over 250 Bachelor of Science graduates and 70 graduates in the Master of Social Science Program.[24]


Main article: Mississippi College Choctaws

Mississippi College competes in NCAA Division II as a member of the Gulf South Conference as of 2014.[25] The college sponsors teams in football, basketball (men's and women's), baseball, softball, tennis (men's and women's), golf (men's and women's), soccer (men's and women's), volleyball, track and field (men's indoor and outdoor, and women's indoor and outdoor), cross country running (men's and women's), equestrian (women's), and table tennis (men's and women's).[26]

The MC men's baseball team won the 2018 Gulf South Conference championship.[27]

In 2015, the women's soccer team advanced to the championship game of the National Christian College Athletic Association, losing in penalty kicks after playing to a draw with Houghton College.[28] In Fall 2018, the women's soccer team finished the season ranked 14th in the nation. The team competed in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II post-season tournament.[29]

From 2012 through 2014, MC's table tennis team ended the season ranked second of the 250 participating universities. In 2015, the table tennis team won the national championship at the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association games in Wisconsin.[30] The MC table tennis team finished the 2017–18 season ranked third in the nation at the championship games in Round Rock, Texas in April 2018.[31]

MC became the first college in the state to field an archery team in Fall 2014. The university's bass fishing and sporting clays squads takes part in regional and national competitions. An archery team member won a gold medal as the best collegiate male bow hunter at the Spring 2017 U.S. Collegiate Archery Championship in South Dakota. The men's compound team and the bowhunter women's squad won first place at the National 3D Championships in Foley, Alabama in 2018.[32]

The MC women's softball team was the 2017 Gulf South Conference champion.

The university's equestrian team began in 2008.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. ^ "Best Colleges and University Rankings".
  2. ^ a b McWilliams, Adam (May 14, 2018). "Blake Thompson named president of Mississippi College". 16 WAPT News Jackson. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  3. ^ a b Kanengiser, Andy (May 14, 2018). "Mississippi College Selects Blake Thompson as New Leader". Mississippi College. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  4. ^ "Official colors". Mississippi College. 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  5. ^ In transition from Division III American Southwest Conference
  6. ^ "NAICU - Membership". Archived from the original on November 9, 2015.
  7. ^ "Mississippi College [MC] Clinton Courses, Rankings, Admission Criteria, Fee & Scholarships".
  8. ^ McLemore, Richard Aubrey (1973). A History of Mississippi. Vol. 1. Hattiesburg, Mississippi: University & College Press of Mississippi. p. 361. ISBN 0878050132.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History". Mississippi College: About MC. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  10. ^ Cooper, Forrest Lamar (2011). Looking Back Mississippi: Towns and Places. University Press of Mississippi. p. 23. ISBN 9781617031489.
  11. ^ Howell, Walter. (2014). Town and Gown: The Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College. Clinton: Privately printed by McNaughton & Gunn. pp. 149-150. email:
  12. ^ "Desegregation of Private Colleges". Mississippi Encyclopedia.
  13. ^ a b "Worst List: The Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth". Campus Pride. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Presidents of the University". Mississippi College: Catalog. Mississippi College. 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d "Mississippi College At a Glance". Mississippi College: About MC. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Mississippi College Supporters Praise Naming of the Royce Medical Science Center". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Rhoda Royce Prayer Garden Dedicated at Mississippi College". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Mississippi College Supporters Celebrate Dyslexia Center Expansion". Mississippi College. 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  19. ^ "2024 Best Colleges in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  20. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  21. ^ "2023 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  22. ^ a b "Schools and Departments". Mississippi College: Academics. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Physician Assistant Program". Mississippi College: Physician Assistant Program. Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  24. ^ "Administration of Justice Program". Archived from the original on 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  25. ^ "American Southwest Conference: ASC Schools". American Southwest Conference. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Official Site of Mississippi College Choctaws". Mississippi College. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Choctaws Hold Off Lee for First Ever GSC Championship". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Houghton College Goes to PKs to Win DI National Women's Soccer Championship". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Women's Soccer Finishes 2018 Season Ranked 14th in Final National Poll". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  30. ^ "2015 TMS College Table Tennis Coed Team Championships". Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  31. ^ "Mississippi College Table Tennis Team Captures Third Place". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Archery Team at Mississippi College Stays on Target for New Season". Mississippi College. 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  33. ^ "About Andy Gipson, Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce". Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  34. ^ Brown, Adam (February 2011). "Representative J. Andrew Gipson, Mississippi House of Representatives". Adam Brown, BYU political Science. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  35. ^ "Edgar Godbold". Archived from the original on November 23, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  36. ^ "Haining". The Clarion-Ledger. Mississippi, Jackson. October 26, 1994. p. 2 D. Retrieved December 10, 2021 – via
  37. ^ "Mississippi College Family Remembers Author Barry Hannah". Mississippi College.
  38. ^ "Biography". Congressman Gregg Harper. 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  39. ^ "George Coleman Osborn". Mississippi Writers Project.
  40. ^ "Former Miss. First Lady Carroll Waller dies at 87". Mississippi News Now. 2014-10-28. Archived from the original on 2014-11-07. Retrieved 2014-11-27.

Further reading