|Randolph-Macon Woman's College (1891–2007)|
Motto in English
|Life More Abundant|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|United Methodist Church|
|Endowment||$153.3 million (2017)|
|President||Sue Ott Rowlands|
|Campus||Suburban, historic; 100 acres (40 ha)|
|Colors||Black & yellow|
|NCAA Division III – ODAC|
|Mascot||Wanda the Wildcat|
Randolph College is a private liberal arts and sciences college in Lynchburg, Virginia. Founded in 1891 as Randolph-Macon Woman's College, it was renamed on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational.
The college offers 32 majors; 42 minors; ‘pre-professional’ programs in law, medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering physics, and teaching; and a dual degree program in engineering. Undergraduate degrees offered include the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts. Randolph also offers three graduate degrees, the Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and the Master of Arts in Coaching and Sport Leadership.
Randolph College is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The college fields varsity teams in six men's and eight women's sports. The coed riding team competed in both the ODAC and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Citing costs and a failure to meet enrollment goals, the riding program was ended June 2019.
Notable alumnae include author Pearl S. Buck, who won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, food and travel author Frances Mayes, former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, and CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.
Randolph is a member of The Annapolis Group of colleges in the United States, the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
The college was founded by William Waugh Smith, then-president of Randolph-Macon College, under Randolph-Macon's charter after he failed to convince R-MC to become co-educational. Randolph-Macon Woman's College has historic ties to the United Methodist Church. After many attempts to find a location for Randolph-Macon Woman's College, the city of Lynchburg donated 50 acres for the purpose of establishing a women's college. In 1916, it became the first women's college in the South to earn a Phi Beta Kappa charter. Beginning in 1953, the two colleges were governed by separate boards of trustees.
Main Hall, built in 1891, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
In August 2006, only a few weeks into the academic year, Randolph-Macon Woman's College announced that it would adopt coeducation and change its name. Former Interim president Ginger H. Worden argued in a September 17, 2006 editorial for The Washington Post that,
today, the college is embarking on a new future, one that will include men. Yet that original mission, that dedication to women's values and education, remains. The fact of the marketplace is that only 3 percent of college-age women say they will consider a women's college. The majority of our own students say they weren't looking for a single-sex college specifically. Most come despite the fact that we are a single-sex college. Our enrollment problems are not going away, and we compete with both coed and single-sex schools. Of the top 10 colleges to which our applicants also apply, seven are coed. Virtually all who transfer from R-MWC do so to a coed school. These market factors affect our financial realities.
The decision to go co-ed was not welcomed by everyone. Alumnae and students organized protests which were covered by local and national media. Many students accused the school of having recruited them under false pretenses, as the administration did not warn new or current students that they were considering admitting men. Lawsuits were filed against the school by both students and alumnae.
It was renamed Randolph College on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational. The ensuing period of integration was, perhaps unsurprisingly, difficult. The first full-time male students saw their mailboxes and doors vandalized, and were quickly polarized. The last class to have the option to receive diplomas from Randolph-Macon Woman's College graduated on May 16, 2010.
Randolph College is named after John Randolph of Roanoke, Virginia. Randolph (1773-1833) was an eccentric planter and politician who, in his will, released hundreds of slaves after his death and once fought a duel with Henry Clay.
Main article: Maier Museum of Art
Randolph College's Maier Museum of Art features works by outstanding American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The college has been collecting American art since 1920 and the Maier now houses a collection of several thousand paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs in the college's permanent collection.
The Maier hosts an active schedule of special exhibitions and education programs throughout the year. Through its programs, internships, museum studies practicums, and class visits, the Maier Museum of Art provides valuable learning opportunities for Randolph students and the community at large.
In 2007, there was some controversy when Randolph College announced that it would sell four paintings from its collection.
The rivalry between 'odd' and 'even' graduating classes is the lynchpin of many traditions at Randolph College. The groups are distinguished based on whether their graduation year is an odd or even number, hence the names. As students spend four years earning their undergraduate degrees at Randolph, there are always two odd 'sister-classes' and two even 'sister-classes'. These groups participate in certain celebratory events together depending on the year.
Since 1968, the college has hosted a study abroad program at the University of Reading, England. Each year as many as 35 students are selected for the program. Commonly taken during the junior year, students may choose to enroll for the full academic year or for the fall or spring semester only. Students live in one of three Randolph-owned houses across the street from the University of Reading campus, and travel as a class to various cities and destinations in England.
In 2018, the Randolph College Board of Trustees made the decision to end The World in Britain program after the ensuing academic year. This decision is believed to relate to a recent uptick in tuition costs from the University of Reading, itself, making the program financially unviable. Many students and alums of the program were saddened by this news, as they considered it to be a critical component of their educational experience.
A minor in American Culture offers Randolph College students the opportunity to study American society and culture by drawing upon resources, techniques, and approaches from a variety of disciplines. The American Culture program also accepts visiting students from other American colleges and universities for a one-semester intensive study of a particular theme or region, including literature, art, history, and travel components.
|Name||Known for||Relationship to college|
|Pearl S. Buck||First woman from the United States to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938 for "the body of her work". Her most famous work, The Good Earth won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize.||class of 1914|
|Helen Claire||Actress on Broadway and in old-time radio|
|Dorothy (Park) Clark||Author of historical novels, mainly under the pen name Clark McMeekin||ca. 1917|
|Candy Crowley||CNN senior political correspondent whose career includes two awards for outstanding journalism, from the National Press Foundation and the Associated Press.||class of 1970|
|Odilia Dank||Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1994 to 2006; first woman to chair the House Education Committee; school counselor by occupation; native of Cleveland, Ohio||class of 1960|
|Sara Driver||Independent filmmaker, director of You Are Not I (1981), Sleepwalk (1986), and When Pigs Fly (1993); producer of two early Jim Jarmusch films, Permanent Vacation and Stranger Than Paradise.||class of 1977|
|Daisy Hurst Floyd||Dean of the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University, 2004 until 2010||attended 1973 until 1975|
|E. Lee Hennessee||Hedge fund pioneer and philanthropist. Campaign Finance chair for Elizabeth Dole.|
|Frank M. Hull||Current judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.||class of 1970|
|Missy Irvin||Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate from Mountain View since 2011||class of 1993|
|Iris Kelso||Influential newspaper journalist and television commentator in New Orleans, Louisiana; won a Peabody Award for her television reports||class of 1948|
|Blanche Lincoln||Democratic U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1999 to 2011. She has previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas's 1st congressional district. At the age of 38, Lincoln was the youngest woman to be elected to the Senate, in 1998.||class of 1982|
|Kakenya Ntaiya||Founder of Kakenya Center for Excellence, a school for girls in Kenya, and women's education and health activist.||class of 2004|
|Suzanne Patrick||US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Policy||class of 1977|
|Anne McCarty Braden||Social-justice activist, civil rights leader.||class of 1946|
|Emily Squires||One of the twelve directors of Sesame Street. She won 6 Daytime Emmys.||class of 1961|
|Anne Wilkes Tucker||Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; photography curator; (named "America's Best Curator" by Time, in 2001)||class of 1967|
|Susan Webber Wright||US district court judge in Little Rock, Arkansas. She presided over Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit against former President Bill Clinton. She was also involved with the investigation of the Whitewater Scandal with Kenneth Starr.||class of 1970|