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Mississippi College
Mississippi College logo
Motto A Christian University
Veritas et Virtus (Truth and Virtue)
Established January 24, 1826
Type Private
Endowment USD $48,000,000
President Lee Royce
Students 4,847[1]
Undergraduates 3,089
Postgraduates 1,092 graduate students
554 law students
407 Accelerated Degree
91 educational specialists
Location Clinton, Mississippi, United States
Campus Suburban
320 acre (3 km²)
Athletics American Southwest Conference
(NCAA Division III)
Colors Blue and gold
Nickname MC
Mascot Choctaws

Mississippi College, also known as MC, is a private, Christian university located in Clinton, Mississippi. Mississippi College comprises the main campus in Clinton, as well as satellite campuses in Brandon and Madison, Mississippi, and the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. It is the oldest college in the state of Mississippi and the second-oldest Baptist affiliated university in the world.

Mississippi College has been included in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", The New York Times' "Best Buys in College" and Barron's "Best Buys in College Education".



  • For 13 consecutive years, MC has been selected on the Honor Roll of Character Building Institutions as selected by the John Templeton Foundation.
  • MC ranks in the top 2.5% in the field of education, top 3.5% in the non-sciences, and the top 17% in the sciences.
  • 85% acceptance rate into medical school. This includes students who have, or are working toward, a Masters when they are accepted. This acceptance rate is more than twice the national average according to the Association of American Medical Colleges for 1997-1998.
  • 76% acceptance rate into dental school for the past five years. MC has supplied 16% of the dental students to the University Medical Center during that period of time.
  • With less than 5% of the total student population in the state, Mississippi College has averaged MC students filling more than 10% of the medical school class at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine for the past five years.
  • MC ranks #19 in the nation in the number of undergraduate students who have pursued and have been awarded doctoral degrees in all fields.

Historical overview

Mississippi College, originally known as Hampstead Academy, received its first charter, signed by Governor David Holmes, on January 24, 1826. The name was changed to Mississippi Academy in 1827 at the request of the Board of Trustees.

Three years later, on December 18, 1830, having become an institution of collegiate rank, the name was changed to Mississippi College. It was the third such institution in Mississippi, but as the other two institutions no longer exist, Mississippi College today has the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state.

During its early years, Mississippi College was not church-related and was once offered to be "the" State University. It has past affiliations with the Methodist and Presbyterian church, but since 1850 it has been operated by the Mississippi Baptist Convention through an elected Board of Trustees.

A private institution, in 1831 Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the U.S. to grant a degree to a woman. In 1850 the Female department was discontinued; and in 1853 a Central Female Institute, later renamed Hillman College, was established in Clinton. In 1942 Mississippi College purchased and absorbed Hillman College, and the institution was again coeducational.

The Civil War caused Mississippi College to suffer: its endowment was destroyed, its student body disbanded, and its buildings deteriorated. Under the leadership of Warren S. Webb (1873-1891) the college stabilized. Under the administration of W. T. Lowrey (1898-1911), the endowment fund was renewed and the plant was greatly improved.

The administration of J. W. Provine (1911-1932) was a fruitful period, seeing the completion of Provine Science Building (largely constructed in Lowrey's administration), and the construction of Lowrey Hall, Alumni Hall, Farr-Hall Hospital, Jennings Hall, Ratliff Hall and Crestman Hall. The endowment was increased to more than $500,000 and in 1922 the College was initially accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The enrollment reached 400.

During the 25-year administration of D. M. Nelson (1932-1957), the college successfully withstood the Great Depression and emerged stronger. During World War II, women were once again admitted and the enrollment increased rapidly. The physical plant was expanded and Nelson Hall Administration Building, Hederman-Gunter Residence Hall and Mary Nelson Residence Hall were erected; Lowrey Hall and Ratliff Residence Hall were enlarged and improved.

In 2004, MC adopted the phrase A Christian University to reflect both its university status and Christian beliefs.

The College continued to grow under the administration of R. A. McLemore (1957-1968). Enrollment increased and the following buildings were constructed: Leland Speed Library, Aven Fine Arts Building (both of which were begun before Nelson retired), B. C. Rogers Student Center, Hederman Science Building, Latimer-Webb Residence Hall, Whittington Residence Hall, Self Hall and Hendrick House (President's home). The old cafeteria was converted into a women's gym; the Old Chapel (now Provine Chapel) was restored; Ratliff and Crestman residence halls were renovated.

Lewis Nobles's administration (1968-1993) saw continued growth in the areas of enrollment and quantity and qualifications of faculty. An addition to the library was made and the electronic media center emerged. Other construction included: Cockcroft Hall for the School of Nursing and Department of Home Economics, A. E. Wood Coliseum, and the James Moody Adams Field House. The Law School building in downtown Jackson was remodeled and was occupied by the School of Law in 1981. The Latimer House, a Victorian home, was dedicated in 1991.

Unfortunately, Nobles's legacy was tarnished in its last years by the revelation of improprieties in the administration of athletic scholarships and mishandling of institutional funds. The first set of revelations resulted in the school having to surrender the NCAA Division II National Championship in football and the second resulted in Nobles resigning the presidency while under criminal investigation. With the resignation of Nobles on August 3, 1993, Rory Lee, Vice President for Institutional Advancement was named Acting President, and ably served the college, maintaining student, staff, and faculty morale during trying times.

Howell Todd began his administration July 1994 and began physical improvement to maintain and replicate the architectural character of the campus. Renovations and remodeling have transformed Nelson Hall, Alumni Hall, Jennings Hall and Jennings Annex, Self Hall, Farr Hall, and Latimer-Webb Residence Hall. Remodeling will soon be complete on B. C. Rogers Student Center, Hederman Science Building, Mary Nelson Residence Hall, and Hederman-Gunter Residence Hall. New construction included: The New Men's Residence Hall, The New Women's Residence Hall and the MC connector building between Self Hall and Hederman Science Building. The grounds have also undergone a makeover, including The Piazza between Jennings and Alumni. New parking lots have emerged and plans are underway for the ground floor of a parking garage.

In September 1996, four Mississippi College students were killed on a rainy night in Jackson when their car skidded along Interstate 20, went over the guard rail and landed upside down on Valley Street below.

A 106,000 square foot (9,800 m²) Healthplex now stands in place of the old tennis courts and football field. New tennis courts, a baseball, and softball field and practice fields have been built.

In July 2002, Lee G. Royce began his administration as the 19th president of Mississippi College.

In September 2008, Mississippi College announced a record enrollment of 4,847 making MC the fastest growing private university in the state for the fifth year in a row.[1] This was the fourth straight year that MC's enrollment topped 4,000. Included in the 2008 class is Choctaw Indian Princess Tia Faye Anderson.[2]



  • Established in 1826, MC is the oldest institution of higher learning in Mississippi.
  • Mississippi College was the first coeducational institution in the United States to grant a degree to a woman.
  • Mississippi College is the oldest, largest private college in Mississippi.
  • Mississippi College is the second-oldest Baptist college in the United States.
  • The first indoor pool in the United States is located at Mississippi College.

Lee Royce

Royce came to Mississippi College from Anderson College in Anderson, South Carolina, where he served as president. Prior to his assuming the presidency of Anderson, Royce was Vice President for University Relations at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Royce holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. He also holds two other degrees from Vanderbilt: a master's degree in business administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history.

Royce was married in 1975 to Rhoda Russell Royce, former editor of Open Windows magazine and other publications for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a 1971 graduate of Belmont University. Rhoda Royce holds an M.A. from the University of South Carolina and is an adjunct instructor of Business at Mississippi College. The Royces have one son, Mark.


School of Law

The Mississippi College School of Law is located in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. The law school started out as the Jackson School of Law in 1930, but was acquired by Mississippi College in 1975. The main campus of Mississippi College is located in Clinton, Mississippi.

Undergraduate degrees offered

  • Studio Art
  • Art Education
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Design
  • Biology Teacher Education
  • General Biology
  • Biology- Medical Sciences
  • Research
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Administration/Law 3/3
  • Business Education
  • Marketing
Chemistry and biochemistry
  • Biochemistry-American Chemical Society
  • Chemical Physics-American Chemical Society
  • Chemistry-American Chemical Society
  • Chemistry-Career
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Chemistry-Medical Sciences
Christian studies and philosophy
  • Bible Concentration
  • Biblical Languages Concentration
  • Ministry Studies Concentration
  • Philosophy Concentration
  • Interpersonal and Public Communication
  • Journalism
  • Mass Media
  • Public Relations
  • Theatre
Computer science
  • Computer Science
  • Computing & Information Systems
  • English
  • English Education
  • English/Law 3/3
Foreign languages
  • Foreign Languages & International Trade
  • French
  • Modern Languages
  • Spanish
History and political science
  • Administration of Justice
  • Administration of Justice/Law 3/3
  • History
  • History/Law 3/3
  • History/Pre-Legal
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Political Science
  • Political Science/Law 3/3
  • Political Science/Pre-Legal
  • Social Studies Education
  • Exercise Science
  • Sports and Fitness Science
  • Physical Education
  • Sports Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Education
  • Church Music-Instrumental
  • Church Music-Keyboard
  • Church Music-Vocal
  • Music
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education-Instrumental K-12
  • Music Education-Piano K-12
  • Music Education-Voice K-12
  • Organ--Robert Knupp, Associate Professor of Organ
  • Piano
  • Voice
  • Wind Instrument
  • Nursing
  • Physics
  • Secondary Education: Physics
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Sociology/Law 3/3
Teacher education and leadership
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
Study abroad programs
  • Brazil Study Abroad Program
  • British Summer Study Program
  • France Study Abroad Program
  • France Summer Program
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • London Study Abroad
  • Mainz Exchange Program (Germany)
  • Nursing Mission Trip to Mexico
  • Salzburg Study Abroad Program (Austria)
  • Spain Study Abroad Program
  • Spring Break in Europe
Schools of the college
  • School of Business
  • School of Christian Studies & the Arts
  • School of Education
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Science and Mathematics

Graduate programs

  • Art
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Administration, Accounting
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Communication
  • English
  • Educational Leadership
  • Elementary Education
  • Fine Arts - Visual Arts
  • Health Services Administration
  • Higher Education Administration
  • History
  • Liberal Studies
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Mathematics
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Music Performance
  • Political Science
  • Public Relations and Corporate Communication

Secondary Education

  • Art
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business Education
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • School Counseling
  • Sociology
  • Teaching Arts

Choctaw athletics

The philosophy of intercollegiate athletics at Mississippi College is much the same as the vision statement of Mississippi College. The vision statement reads: "Mississippi College seeks to be a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ."

For years Mississippi College was a dominant force in NCAA Division II athletics. MC won the Division II National Championship in 1989; however, Mississippi College's football tournament participation, along with its NCAA Division II national football championship, were vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations.

The Board of Trustees of Mississippi College voted in March 1995 for the university to become a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the fall of 1997.

Mississippi College currently sponsors 16 sports. Since their transition to Division III in 1997, the Choctaws have won 25 American Southwest Conference championships. In 2007, the College won conference championships in women's cross country and men's basketball. [1]

Mississippi College's biggest rivalry is with Millsaps College in nearby Jackson. After a more than 40 year hiatus, the two teams began meeting on the football field again in 2000. The rivalry is dubbed the Backyard Brawl.

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Athletic facilities

In the summer of 2005 Mississippi College opened new athletic practice fields which support soccer and football. Plans include expansion in the near future which will add an extra practice field as well as two new intramural fields for student flag football, soccer, and general student use.

Choctaw nickname

In a letter dated February 17, 2006 [2], Mississippi College received word that the NCAA has removed its policy restrictions in the use of the name Choctaw for MC athletics.

Lee Royce, President of the college said, “We are pleased with the ruling from the NCAA giving their approval of our request to remove Mississippi College from the list of institutions subject to the policy’s restrictions. We are very appreciative of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ support of our use of the Choctaw name, and look forward to continuing our mutual relationship of respect and cooperation.”

Notable alumni

See also


External links


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