The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational, research university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is the anchor university for the University of South Carolina System, and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through the doctoral level.
The university was founded in 1801, as South Carolina College. It was established by the Palmetto State as part of an effort to unite South Carolinians in the wake of the American Revolution.
Offering a traditional classical curriculum, South Carolina College became one of the most influential colleges in the South before 1861, earning a reputation as the training ground for South Carolina's antebellum elite.
Though it remained closed during the Civil War, the college restarted in 1866.
During the reconstruction era, the institution became the only southern state university to admit and grant degrees to African-American students. In 1873, the first black students enrolled.
Once reconstruction ended, the university was closed for three years and then reopened in 1880, as an all-white agricultural college.
In 1906, the institution was rechristened the University of South Carolina, and in 1917, the college became the first state-supported college or university in South Carolina to earn regional accreditation.
The 1920s witnessed further progress and growth, with the introduction of new colleges and degree programs, including doctorate programs.
During the 1950s, the university extended its presence beyond Columbia by establishing campuses in communities across South Carolina. With the enrollment of African-American students, the University of South Carolina became a "university of all the people of South Carolina," in 1963.
In the ensuing years, the school underwent explosive growth, and the enrollment on the Columbia campus alone increased from 5,660 to nearly 26,000 students during the next 20 years.
With the introduction of research and innovative degree programs as well as a number of new schools and colleges, Carolina became a true research university.
The first building was Rutledge College which served as a residence hall, chapel, administrative office, and academic building.
Soon after, DeSaussure College was built. These two buildings were surrounded by others, constructed in the shape of a horseshoe. Among them was Caroliniana Library - the first freestanding library in the United States.
During the 20th century, the campus began to spread out dramatically in every direction but northwest.
Today, the campus has grown from its origin to 155 buildings and other facilities on 358 acres.
It includes the student union, 21 residence halls, numerous academic buildings, Longstreet Theater, the Koger Center for the Arts, the Carolina Coliseum, the Colonial Center, Sarge Frye Field, and various facilities for Olympic sports.
Later additions to the campus were the Greek village and the Strom Thurmond Fitness and Wellness Center - the largest facility of its kind on a college campus in the U.S.
The university offers more than 350 undergraduate and graduate courses of study including doctoral degrees from 15 degree-granting academic divisions.
The University of South Carolina also houses eight libraries in Columbia. In addition to the academic curricula, the university offers ample opportunities for the sports and recreation. Intercollegiately, the university was a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, in 1953.
South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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