South Carolina – College & University Desegregation
SC SC Education SC College, University Desegregation
Also see: SC African American History | More SC History, Genealogy Resources
This timeline was authored by Dr. Courtney Tollison, who is Museum Historian at the Upcountry History Museum and Assistant Professor of History at Furman University in Greenville. Her dissertation is titled Moral Imperative and Financial Practicality: Desegregation of South Carolina's Denominationally-affiliated Colleges and Universities (University of South Carolina, 2003).
Timeline of Events
May – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision which provided for separate but equal facilities. Brown ruled that segregation is inherently unequal.
May – At its annual meeting, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S. recommends compliance with Brown.
August – The Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina votes to continue segregated policies in its schools.
January – The University of Georgia desegregates.
April – The Board of Trustees at Wake Forest University votes to adopt a racially non-discriminatory admissions policy.
June – At the annual meeting of the South Carolina Methodist Conference, less than 20 of 1,000 delegates support desegregation at Wofford and Columbia colleges.
Summer (exact date unknown) – Our Lady of Mercy Junior College in Charleston, SC desegregates.
September – Stetson University, associated with the Florida Baptist Convention, desegregates.
September 30-October, 1 – The University of Mississippi desegregates amidst violence.
January – Clemson College becomes the first college or university in the state to desegregate,
May – The Presbyterian Synod of Georgia urges desegregation in its colleges and universities.
June – Governor George Wallace unsuccessfully resists desegregation at the University of Alabama.
The South Carolina Methodist Conference affirms its faith in the Boards of Trustees at Wofford and Columbia colleges and places no barriers to desegregation at its colleges and universities.
September – The University of South Carolina desegregates.
Emory University, associated with the Georgia Methodist Conference, desegregates.
Mercer University, associated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, desegregates.
Our Lady of Mercy Junior College closes.
October – Furman University becomes the first college or university in the state to pass, without a court order, a racially non-discriminatory admissions policy.
November – The South Carolina Baptist Convention asks Furman to delay implementation of its new admissions policy for one year so the General Board of the Convention may study the issue. Furman agrees.
May – The Board of Trustees of Wofford College votes to adopt a racially non-discriminatory admissions policy.
The General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention votes to allow the Furman Board of Trustees autonomy in handling its admissions policies.
May-June – About one-fifth of the Methodist churches across the state withdraw funding from Wofford College.
July – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation in public accommodations.
July-August – Winthrop University's first African-American graduate and undergraduate students arrive on campus.
August – Wofford College President Charles F. Marsh announces that Wofford has admitted its first African-American student for the fall semester.
September – Wofford College, associated with the South Carolina Methodist Conference, becomes the first private college or university in the state to desegregate.
November – The South Carolina Baptist Convention defeats the recommendations of its General Board to allow Furman autonomy in its admissions policies.
December – The Board of Trustees of Furman University votes to reinstate its
previously passed admissions policy.
January – Furman University, associated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, desegregates.
Presbyterian College sign the Assurance of Compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act form.
February – Columbia College signs the Assurance of Compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act form.
August – President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
May – Columbia College accepts its first African-American student.
May-July – College Place United Methodist Church considers ending all associations with Columbia College.
August – The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, is the last public college or university in the state to desegregate.
September – Columbia College, associated with the South Carolina Methodist Conference, desegregates.
Newberry College, associated with the Lutheran Church, desegregates.
September – Converse College desegregates.
Coker College desegregates.
September – Presbyterian College, associated with the Presbyterian Synods of Georgia and South Carolina, desegregates.
Learn More about Integration of South Carolina Colleges and Universities