Presbyterian College

Presbyterian College is a private liberal arts college in Clinton, South Carolina, USA. Presbyterian College, or PC, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA. PC was founded in 1880 by William Plumer Jacobs, a prominent Presbyterian minister who also founded the nearby Thornwell Home and School for Boys and Girls. The college's current President is Dr. John V. Griffith.

Presbyterian College has around 1300 students and runs on an endowment of around $100 million. PC also has 84 full-time faculty members and boasts more South Carolina Professors of the Year (6) than any other South Carolina college or university.

The motto of PC is "Dum Vivimus Servimus" or "While We Live We Serve." Service is a crucial part of PC, and almost all of its students partake in some form of service by the time they graduate. Consequently, students are encouraged to participate in programs like Student Volunteer Services, one of the largest student-run organizations on campus.

The PC mascot is the Blue Hose, represented by a Scotsman clad in a kilt with blue stockings. PC athletics are a part of the Big South Conference of NCAA's Division I. PC is also home to Cyrus, the largest bronze statue of a Scotsman in the world.

Presbyterian's 240 acre (1 km²) campus has six buildings on the National Historic Registry including Doyle Hall, Laurens Hall, Jacobs Hall, President's House, Neville Hall, and the Bell Tower located between Neville Hall and Smyth Dormitory. Interestingly, Neville Hall is rumored to be haunted, and is also labeled as a nuclear fallout shelter.


PC was founded in 1880 by William Plumer Jacobs, a Presbyterian minister who also founded The Thornwell Home and School for Boys and Girls. The Rev. William Plumer Jacobs was born in Yorkville (now York), S. C., on March 15, 1842. He died in Clinton on September 10,1917. For these 75 years, his frail body was driven in unselfish service toward fulfillment of his motto: "I will strive and try not to gain great things for myself but to gain them for God." In addition to founding and/or supporting the church, college and orphanage, Dr. Jacobs served as author, reporter, publisher and took the lead in Clinton civic affairs. He helped secure the location of two railroads, led in the establishment of the Clinton High School Association and sponsored plans for founding a public library. He was fluent in Latin, Greek, French, German and Hebrew, and was an expert in metaphysics, history and astronomy. He was also proficient in shorthand.

Following Jacob's death, PC went on to be highly influenced by the Progressive Movement of the early twentieth century. In fact, the college was so influenced by the movement's emphasis on service that the school's motto was changed to Dum Vivimus Servimus, or "While We Live, We Serve".


Presbyterian College has 84 full-time professors and offers 30 majors. The average class size is 13-15 students. The college has three Cooperative and Dual-Degree Programs in Engineering (with Auburn, Clemson, and Vanderbilt Universities), Forestry/Environmental Science (with Duke University) and Religion (with Union Theological Seminary). PC also has eight pre-professional programs.

Majors and Departments

PC offers several different Majors, including Art, Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Education, English, Fine Arts, French, German, History, Interdisciplinary (Minor), Modern Language, Mathematics, Middle School Education, Music, Music Education, Physical Education (Minor), Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Religion/Christian Education, Sociology, Spanish, Special Education, and Theatre.

Presbyterian College also offers several Pre-Professional Programs, namely Pre-Allied Health Sciences, Pre-Dental, Pre-Environmental Sciences, Pre-Law, Pre-Medical, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Theological Studies, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Engineering Dual Degree, ROTC, and Teacher Education and Certification.

South Carolina Professor of the Year

PC has more South Carolina Professors of the Year (6) than any other South Carolina college or university. PC professors have won the award 3 out of the past 4 years.

Student Body


Roughly 1300 students representing 27 states and 7 foreign countries are enrolled at Presbyterian College, 48% of which are male and 52% of which are female. For several years, the student body was maintained at roughly 1200, but in 2006, the incoming freshman class was enlarged from 300 to 400. 95% of the student body lives on campus, and the student body boasts over 70 student-run clubs and organizations.

Honor Code

In the academic and social atmosphere of Presbyterian College, the college's Honor Code often is mentioned and considered. PC has utilized the honor system since 1915. The current version includes prohibitions against dishonorable acts such as cheating, lying, vandalism, plagiarism, and theft.

At the annual Opening Convocation, each incoming student and new faculty member signs a pledge to adhere to these principles. Many community members recognize several resulting benefits. Some students do not lock their dorm rooms or their bicycles. Professors and students are allowed greater flexibility as all are considered by default to be trustworthy and not to be suspected of cheating. Such liberties are partly maintained by the seriousness with which the Honor Council manages cases of violations. The standard, but by no means required, punishment for violating the honor code is suspension for two semesters. Every year, despite the regularity with which attention is focused on the honor code, a small number of violations are reported to and sometimes tried by the Honor Council.

In 2006, Presbyterian College revised its Honor Code to its current version: Further details can be found at the PC website

Greek Life

PC has a thriving Greek life, with 43% of students choosing to go Greek.

PC has 6 national fraternities:

PC has 3 national sororities:

Every fraternity has a house on campus. Fraternities are located at Fraternity Court, which is the center of the weekend social scene throughout the year.


Presbyterian College is a member of the Annapolis Group, an association of over 100 liberal arts colleges that has spoken out against rankings systems, particularly the system published annually by the U.S. News and World Report. Specifically, Presbyterian College and others of the group do not participate in the highly subjective "reputational survey" portion of the overall survey (this section accounts for 25% of the total rank).

In the days following PC's formal denouncement of ranking systems, however, Presbyterian College was ranked no. 1 in the 2007 version of Washington Monthly's Top US Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings based on its production of research valuable to society and its commitment to national service. Consequently, the issue of college rankings has become the subject of much debate on PC's campus, with students and faculty voicing strong opinions on both sides of the issue.


Founded in 1880, many of Presbyterian College's buildings are listed on the National Historic Registry, including Doyle Hall, Laurens Hall, Jacobs Hall, the President's House, and Neville Hall. In addition, the campus' Bell Tower and the bell it holds are also on the Registry, but the two entities were recently separated after the class of 2007 commissioned and erected a new Bell Tower between Neville Hall and Smyth Dormitory. The old tower - without the historic bell - is being relocated to the New Bailey Stadium, where it will be used during athletic events.

To house its students, Presbyterian College features 11 residence halls, 9 apartments, and 15 townhouses that together provide lodging for over 90% of the students at the college. Most of the residence halls are named for friends of the college. Men's residence halls include Bailey Hall, Georgia Hall, and Reynolds Hall. Women's residence halls include Belk Hall, Laurens Hall, Grotnes Hall and Smyth Hall. Four residence halls, Clinton Hall, Carol International House, Senior Hall, and Barron Hall, are co-educational. The college also uses 15 townhouse units to house 72 senior students and 9 Scottish Arms apartments to house an additional 18 students.

Interestingly, Neville Hall is rumored to be haunted. The actual identity of the ghost is disputed, but many believe it to be either the spirit of the building's namesake (Neville) or the spirit of William Plumer Jacobs himself. The building is also labeled as a nuclear fallout shelter, along with several other academic buildings on campus.


Presbyterian College competes in NCAA Division I athletics as the PC Blue Hose. The school and is a member of the Big South Conference, and proudly supports 16 varsity sports teams.

Men's sports include:

Women's athletics include:

  • basketball
  • cross-country
  • golf
  • lacrosse
  • soccer
  • softball
  • tennis
  • volleyball

The Bronze Derby

Traditionally, one of the athletic highlights on PC's campus is the Bronze Derby football game. Played annually against nearby Newberry College, the game is the subject of a long-standing rivalry between the two schools.

The rivalry dates back to the a particularly heated game played during 1946-47 basketball season. Before the game commenced, a set of PC students unfurled a large banner inscribed with “Beat H ... Out of Newberry!” on the wall of the gymnasium behind the PC student section. While the crowd was distracted, however, a group of Newberry students climbed the outside of the gym wall, crawled through a window, and ripped the banner off the wall before fleeing into the night. After the game ended (PC won 51-47), PC students demanded that the banner be returned. The Newberry students refused, and a fight ensued. In the midst of the epic struggle, a Newberry student snatched a derby from the head of a PC student.

In the days following the derby theft, Frank E. Kinard - a senior at Newberry and editor of the school paper - received a letter from Charles MacDonald, then assistant athletic publicity director at PC. MacDonald suggested that the derby be recovered so that it could be made to be a symbol of athletic rivalry between the two schools. Kinard and the Newberry student body agreed, and thus the derby was then unearthed (but the identity of the abductor was kept secret), and the hat was immortalized in bronze, forever a symbol of the rivalry between the two teams.

During the early years of the Bronze Derby rivalry, the hat was exchanged between Newberry and PC at every athletic event (The first changing of hands occurred at a basketball game on February 28, 1947 - PC won 44-42). Eventually, however, it was decided that the derby would be awarded only to the winner of the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Day Bronze Derby Game, rather than at every athletic event. The game was then rescheduled in 1992 season after the teams and the conference moved to NCAA Division II (the game date conflicted with the playoff schedule).

Currently, the annual Bronze Derby game has been temporarily suspended, given PC's move out of Division II athletics and into Division I. The game, however, is still intended to be played once PC's transitional phase is completed.

Division I

In 2006, PC announced that it would move to the Big South Conference of the NCAA's Division I. The Presbyterian College football team competed in Division I-AA. The 2007-2008 season was the first year of the four-year transition period for Presbyterian. PC football went 6-5 in their first season in Division I-AA.


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