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Encyclopedia > University of South Carolina Columbia
University of South Carolina

The historic Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina

Motto: Emollit mores nec sinit esse feros - Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel.
President Dr. Andrew Sorensen
School type Public
Founded 1801
Location Columbia, South Carolina
Campus size 154 acre (623,000 kmē)
Enrollment 17,000 undergraduate, 9,000 graduate and post-gradaute.
Faculty 1,100
Endowment $312 million
Campus surroundings Urban
Sports teams Gamecocks
Mascot Cocky

The University of South Carolina (also known as USC, South Carolina, or simply Carolina) is a public, coeducational, research university. The main campus is located in Columbia, South Carolina and is part of the University of South Carolina System. Founded in 1801, the university offers programs of study leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from sixteen degree-granting academic divisions. It currently enrolls over 25,000 students; the president of USC is Andrew J. Sorenson.



The university was founded as South Carolina College on December 19, 1801, and is the first state-supported institute of higher learning in the United States. It closed during the War Between the States due to a lack of students, re-opening in 1866. During Reconstruction, the university was the only one in the South to admit and grant degrees to blacks. Once Reconstruction ended, the university was closed for three years and then reopened in 1880 as a whites-only agricultural college.

In 1906, the institution was rechartered as the University of South Carolina. In the 1950s, other campuses across the state began to be established. On September 11, 1963, as a result of a court order, the university admitted three African-Americans, the first since Reconstruction.


The first building at South Carolina College was Rutledge Chapel, which served as residence hall, chapel, administrative, and academic building at the same time. Soon after, DeSaussure Collge was built. Surrounding these two buildings, others were constructed in the shape of a horseshoe. Among them was Caroliniana Library, the first free-standing library in the United States.

The horseshoe is in downtown Columbia, one block to the southeast of the State Capitol. During the 20th century, the campus began to spread dramatically in every direction but northwest. Today it includes the student union, 21 residence halls, numerous academic buildings, Longstreet Theatre, the Koger Center for the Arts, the Carolina Colliseum, the Colonial Center, Sarge Frye Field, and various facilities for Olympic sports.

Recently added 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 US.

West Quad was opened in the fall of 2004. A residence hall that is likely to be one of only four residence halls in the world to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program

Future plans include the construction of a research campus, mainly between the horseshoe and the Congaree river, the construction of a new home for the Arnold School of Public Health, and the building of a new baseball stadium adjacent to the Colonial Center.

Colleges and schools


Approximately 26,000 students attend the University of South Carolina Columbia. Another 11,000 students study at the regional campuses of the USC System. Almost all freshman live on campus, and a total of 8,000 students reside on campus. This number continues to grow, as the university is in the process of adding more suite style resident halls. Popular off-campus housing includes the University Commons and Sterling University. The two main social points are Five Points and the Congaree Vista. The Greek system at South Carolina is less popular than at comparable institutions in southern states. However, with the addition of a Greek village from 2002-2004 an increase in interest is expected.


Carolina's 18 collegiate sports teams are known as the Fighting Gamecocks. They all compete at the Division I level of the NCAA and all sports but men's soccer compete in the Southeastern Conference (East Division). The school colors are Garnet and Black.

The university was a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953 but left in 1971 after disputes over the conference's recruiting regulations and the dominance of the four North Carolina schools. The team started competing as an independent and other sports competed in the Metro Conference. In 1992, South Carolina joined the SEC together with the University of Arkansas to bring membership total to 12.

Football is the school's most popular sport as standing room only crowds are common at 82,000 seat Williams-Brice Stadium. After the retirement of Lou Holtz from the coaching ranks in 2004, the University hired Steve Spurrier to lead the Gamecock football program.

Basketball has been a popular sport ever since coach Frank McGuire was the head coach in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Under his watch the University built the 12,000 Carolina Coliseum. Starting in the 2002/2003 season the Gamecock Basketball teams started playing in the 18,000 seat Colonial Center. Before the 2001/2002 season Dave Odom became the school's basketball head coach.

The Baseball teams also have been successful over the year. Under Head Coach Ray Tanner the team made three consecutive appearances at the College World Series from 2002 to 2004. The school has been the national runner up on three different occasions.

Other successful programs include Men's Soccer, Track & Field, Softball, and Women's basketball.

Clemson University is South Carolina's in-state rival and the two schools compete in all sponsored sports aside from Softball and Equestrian. Another rivalry is with the University of Georgia.

Notable alumni

The University has over 210,000 living alumni. Some of its more notable alumni are:

Other campuses

External links

Southeastern Conference:
  Eastern Division: Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt  
Western Division: Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Mississippi | Mississippi State

  Results from FactBites:
University of South Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1223 words)
In 1906, the institution was rechartered as the University of South Carolina.
The university was a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953, but it left in 1971 after disputes over the conference's recruiting regulations and the dominance of the ACC's four North Carolina schools.
Clemson University is South Carolina's in-state rival, and the two schools compete in all sponsored sports aside from softball and equestrian.
USC: Office of the President: Mission Statement (531 words)
The primary mission of the University of South Carolina, a multi-campus public institution serving the entire state of South Carolina, is the education of the state's diverse citizens through teaching, research and creative activity, and service.
The University is committed to providing its students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world.
A particular strength of the University of South Carolina is the excellence, breadth, and diversity of the institution's faculty.
  More results at FactBites »



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