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Randolph-Macon College: Wikis


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Randolph-Macon College
Circular-Color HRZJ.jpg
Motto Believe in the Moment of Connection
Established 1830
Type Private liberal arts college
President Robert Lindgren
Faculty 92 full-time
Undergraduates 1,246 (2009)
Postgraduates 0
Location Ashland, Virginia, USA
Campus Suburban, 116 acres
Colors Lemon Gold and Black
Nickname Yellow Jackets
Athletics NCAA Division III, ODAC

Randolph-Macon College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college located in Ashland, Virginia, near the capital city of Richmond. Founded in 1830, the school has an enrollment of over 1,200 students. The college offers bachelor's degrees in 29 major disciplines in the liberal arts, including political science, business, psychology, biology, international studies, and computer science, as well as nearly 40 minors, including education.



Randolph-Macon was founded in 1830 by the Virginia Methodists, and is the oldest Methodist-run college in the country. It was originally located in Boydton, near the North Carolina border but as the railroad link to Boydton was destroyed during Civil War, the college's trustees decided to relocate the school to Ashland. The college was named for statesmen John Randolph of Roanoke and Nathaniel Macon. (The original site of Randolph-Macon features a historical marker and ruins of the classroom buildings.)

In 1847, Randolph-Macon College established a relationship with the Hampden-Sydney College. alum John Peter Mettauer. The relationship led to the formation of the Randolph-Macon Medical School, and in 1951 the school was closed.[1]

The college has a historical relationship with Randolph College (formerly known as Randolph-Macon Women's College) in Lynchburg, Virginia. The former women's college was founded under Randolph-Macon's original charter in 1893 by the then-president William Waugh Smith; it was intended as a female counterpart to Randolph-Macon. The two schools later separated to become distinct institutions governed by two separate boards. Randolph-Macon College became co-educational in 1971 with the enrollment of 50 women and the first full-time female faculty member. (Randolph College became co-educational in 2007.)

In 1892, two preparatory schools — both called Randolph-Macon Academy — were founded. The only one which remains today is Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia. Randolph-Macon Academy is today the only co-educational military boarding school in the country affiliated with the United States Air Force Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC).

Randolph-Macon College became the first college south of the U.S. Mason-Dixon Line to require physical education coursework for graduation. Randolph-Macon is considered to be the first college in the South to offer English as a full discipline and to develop biology as a distinct study.[2] Its computer science department is one of the oldest in the country associated with a liberal arts school; in the 1960s when the program was established, many academics believed computer science to be more appropriate for a commercial trade or secretarial school, rather than a traditional four-year institution.

Since 1923, the college has been home to the Zeta chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest academic honor society. Chi Beta Phi, the national science honorary society, was founded at Randolph-Macon in 1916.[3]

Academic Program

Randolph-Macon College offers a broad-based curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences. The education emphasized the development of critical thinking skills and effective oral and written communication. All students must satisfy the general collegiate curriculum, which requires them to take courses in each of the Areas of Knowledge: civilizations, arts and literature, social sciences, natural and mathematical sciences, foreign language, and wellness.

Randolph-Macon offers two undergraduate degrees: the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science. The college awards degrees in 29 majors: Accounting, Art History, Arts Management, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, Economics/Business, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, Greek, History, International Studies, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, and Women's Studies.



Randolph-Macon operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar, which includes fall and spring semesters (each about four months in length) and a one-month January Term between the semesters. During the January Term, students have the option of taking an intensive study course on-campus, a study-abroad course that includes two to three weeks of global travel, or a professional internship in the student’s field of interest.


Randolph-Macon College has over 60 academic, administrative, athletic, and residential buildings on its campus of 116 acres located in the heart of Ashland, Virginia. The oldest building is Washington-Franklin Hall, built in 1872, soon after the college moved to Ashland from Boydton. It was the first brick building in Ashland, and its construction was funded by the students. Renovated in 1987, Washington-Franklin Hall now houses the history department. Pace-Armistead Hall was built in 1876 (renovated 1997) and originally housed the chemistry department. Today, it is home to the studio art department, including the Flippo Art Gallery. The original Duncan Methodist Church was built in 1879 and was renovated to include classrooms and offices for the music and arts departments. All three buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and collectively they make up "Historic Campus."

Copley Science Center is the largest academic building on campus. The biology, chemistry, physics/astrophysics, environmental studies, computer science, and mathematics departments are all located in Copley. Copley Science Center was built as an extension of Smithey Hall, which today houses the psychology department. Just north of Copley is Keeble Observatory, which includes a 12" Cassegrain reflector optical telescope and two radio telescopes.

Randolph-Macon has one main library: McGraw-Page Library. Formerly, the library was located in Peele Hall, which is now the main administrative building on-campus and includes the offices of the provost and the president.

There are 11 residence halls on campus. The seven halls on the north end of campus are collectively known as the Freshman Village. About 75% of the college's freshmen live in one of those halls. The four located near the center of campus house upperclassmen and the remaining freshmen. These include the two oldest residence halls - Thomas Branch Hall and Mary Branch Hall. The college also owns most of the fraternity and sorority houses, other houses devoted to special interest groups, and on-campus townhouses (usually reserved for seniors).

The main north-south railroad line for the east coast runs through the campus. Most of the campus is located to the east of the railroad, but a handful of college offices, special interest houses, and athletic fields are located to the west of the tracks. The Ashland train station (not part of the R-MC campus) is directly across from the southern entrace to the campus.


Randolph-Macon's sports teams are known as the Yellow Jackets or, more simply, as "The Jackets." Randolph-Macon College plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The school's main rival in men's sports over the past century has been Hampden-Sydney College. The football game between Randolph-Macon and Hampden-Sydney dates to the 19th century and is billed as the "Oldest Small-College Rivalry in the South." Randolph-Macon won the first contest 12-6 in 1893. The Yellow Jacket football team is currently coached by Pedro Arruza and won the ODAC championship in 2008. The football team plays its home games at Day Field. R-MC's basketball teams have had numerous successful seasons. The women's basketball team placed second nationally in Division III in the 2004-2005 season. The men's basketball team has been ranked #1 in the country by, most recently in 2003. The women's volleyball team won the ODAC championship in 2009.

Men's sports: baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis.

Women's sports: basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball.

The college maintains a Hall of Fame of former specially accomplished athletes based upon their past athletic records.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • David Seth Doggett, a professor in the 1860s and later a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
  • Brian Sutton, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and winner of the 2009 Leslie Fox Prize for Numerical Analysis[1]
  • Kelly Lambert, Macon and Joan Brock Professor of Psychology - named Virginia Professor of the Year for 2008 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
  • John Camp, Director of the Agora Excavations at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece


  1. ^ Landmarks Visited Catalog: Randolph-Macon Medical School
  2. ^ Scanlon, James. Randolph-Macon College: A Southern History, 1825-1967. University Press of Virginia, 1983.
  3. ^ Randolph-Macon College website:

External links

Coordinates: 37°45′40″N 77°28′41″W / 37.761°N 77.478°W / 37.761; -77.478


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