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Randolph College
Motto Vita Abundantior
(Life More Abundant)
Established 1891
Type Private liberal arts college
President John E. Klein
Faculty 72
Undergraduates 493
Location Lynchburg, VA, USA
Campus suburban; 100 acres
Endowment $126.1 million[1]
Mascot Wanda the WildCat

Randolph College is a private liberal arts college located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1891 as the women's college Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and assumed its current name on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational.



The college was founded by William Waugh Smith, then-president of Randolph-Macon College, under Randolph-Macon's charter after failing to convince R-MC to become co-educational. Randolph-Macon Woman's College and R-MC were governed by a separate board of trustees beginning in 1953. Randolph-Macon Woman's College has historic ties to the United Methodist Church. After many attempts to find a location for Randolph-Macon Woman's College, the city of Lynchburg donated the property for the purpose of establishing a women's college. In 1916, it became the first women's college in the South to earn a Phi Beta Kappa charter. [1]

In 2006, Randolph-Macon Woman's College announced that it would adopt coeducation and change its name. Former Interim president Ginger H. Worden argued (in a 17 September 2006 editorial for the Washington Post) that, "today, the college is embarking on a new future, one that will include men. Yet that original mission, that dedication to women's values and education, remains. The fact of the marketplace is that only 3 percent of college-age women say they will consider a women's college. The majority of our own students say they weren't looking for a single-sex college specifically. Most come despite the fact that we are a single-sex college. Our enrollment problems are not going away, and we compete with both coed and single-sex schools. Of the top 10 colleges to which our applicants also apply, seven are coed. Virtually all who transfer from R-MWC do so to a coed school. These market factors affect our financial realities. " [2]

It was re-named Randolph College on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational.



  • John Klein 2007-Present
  • Ginger H. Worden '69 (Interim President), 2006–2007
  • Kathleen Gill Bowman, 1994–2006
  • Lambuth M. Clarke, 1993–1994
  • Linda Koch Lorimer, 1987–1993
  • Robert A. Spivey, 1978–1987
  • William F. Quillian, Jr., 1952–1978[2]
  • Theodore H. Jack, 1933–1952
  • N.A. Pattillo, 1931–1933
  • Dice Robins Anderson, 1920–1931
  • William A. Webb, 1913–1919
  • William Waugh Smith, 1891–1912 [3]

Notable alumnae

Name Known for Relationship to college
Pearl S. Buck First woman from the United States to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1938 for "the body of her work", notably her novel "The Good Earth" which was chosen for its "rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." In addition Buck's The Good Earth has won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel in 1932 class of 1914
Emily Squires One of the twelve directors of Sesame Street. She has won 6 Daytime Emmy's since 1985. class of 1961
Candy Crowley CNN senior political correspondent whose illustrious career includes two awards for outstanding journalism from both the National Press Foundation and the Associated Press. class of 1970
Frank M. Hull Current judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. class of 1970
Susan Webber Wright US district court judge in Little Rock, Arkansas. She presided over Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against former President Bill Clinton. She was also involved with the investigation of the Whitewater Scandal with Kenneth Star. class of 1970
Blanche Lincoln Senior Democratic U.S. Senator from Arkansas, assumed office in 1999. She has previously served in the House of Representatives from Arkansas' 1st district. Lincoln was the youngest woman to be elected to the Senate in 1998 at the age of 38. She is currently the youngest senior senator. class of 1982
Rachel A. Dean U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, killed in September 2006 while on duty in Kazakhstan. class of 2003
Anne Tucker Museum of Fine Arts, Houston photography curator
(named "America's Best Curator" by TIME, in 2001)
Suzanne Patrick US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Policy


One of the college's oldest traditions is the Even/Odd rivalry. The year the student graduates denotes whether they are an Even or an Odd. The two staircases in Main Hall lobby are known as the "Even Stairs" on the left and "Odd Stairs" on the right. According to superstition, a student who uses the wrong set of stairs will not graduate. The class of 1903 unofficially established the Odd/Even tradition by adopting the class of 1905 as "little sisters."

The campus symbol of the Odd classes is the "Odd Tree", located on the college's front lawn. Legend has it that the original Odd Tree was viciously burned down by Evens. A large cement replica of the trunk now stands in the spot where the original tree stood. The Odd symbols are the witch and the devil. Their colors are red, grey and blue. Their spirit organization is the Gamma 13 founded by the class of 1913.

The "Even Post" in front of Main Hall serves as a symbol of the Even classes. Dr. William Waugh Smith tied his horse, Mr. Buttons, to this hitching post every day. The Evens also adopted Dr. Smith's dog, Mr. Bones, as a mascot. Symbols of the Even classes are buttons (after the horse) and bones (after the dog). Their colors are green, white and tan. Their spirit organization is called the Etas.

Members of the Odd and Even classes attempt to keep their respective tree and post clean and white, while striving to spraypaint or otherwise deface the symbol of their rival class.

Throughout the semester Skeller Sings are held between the Odd and Even classes. The senior spirit group stands on the stage in the Student Center to lead their sister class with class songs. The junior spirit group is sent to the stairs to lead their class respectively. At the end of the Skeller Sing, both the Etas and the Gammas come together to sing the Song of Syncopation and the school song.

Even or Odd Day is celebrated during the spring term. Members of First Year Board secretly decorate the campus the night of Even/Odd Day to surprise their sister class. The Evens and the Odds then face off at dinner time with a water balloon fight.

"Bury the Hatchet" is celebrated at the end of the spring semester before graduation. A senior presents a hatchet to the most spirited junior to symbolize the Odds and Evens coming together in friendship at the end of the academic year.

Ring Week

Ring Week, held in November, is celebrated by juniors and their sister class, the first-years. The week begins with junior draw, when the juniors are picked by members of the first-year class. Throughout the week, the first-year will leave the junior gifts anonymously, and decorate their door. At the end of the week the juniors have a class dinner before taking part in a campus-wide scavenger hunt created by their first-years. The juniors are then presented with their class ring. Sometimes the first-year will have the junior complete a final task before receiving her ring such as breaking open a piñata, digging through Jell-O, or dancing outrageously.

Pumpkin Parade

Pumpkin Parade is celebrated by seniors and sophomores in October. Sophomores select a senior to secretly leave presents for during the week leading up to Pumpkin Parade. At the end of the week, the sophomore presents a carved pumpkin to her senior. The seniors, dressed in their graduation robes, carry their lighted pumpkins on a parade along the Crush Path across front campus. The parade ends on the steps of Moore Hall. There the senior and sophomore classes serenade one another with class and school songs.

Other Traditions

Never Ending Weekend is celebrated during the fall semester. The weekend begins on Friday with Tacky Party, a dance party where the attendants aspire to dress in the tackiest outfits possible. The Fall Formal dance follows on Saturday night.

Holiday dinner is celebrated during the last week of the fall semester. Sister classes dine together in dining hall, which is decorated for the occasion. At the end of the meal, students stand on their chairs and sing holiday songs. The evening is closed with the singing of the school song.

The Greek Play has been a college tradition since 1909. Every other year a traditional Greek Play is performed in the outdoor Mabel K. Whiteside Greek Theatre, called The Dell. The Greek Play is unique to Randolph College and is run by Dr. Amy R. Cohen of the Classics department.[3]

In addition to the traditions described above the college is host to many others including: senior dinner dance, Founder’s Day, MacDoodle Day, and Christmas vespers.

Maier Museum of Art

Randolph College’s nationally recognized Maier Museum of Art [4] features works by outstanding American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The College has been collecting American art since 1920 and now holds a collection of several thousand paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs in the Maier’s permanent collection.

The Museum hosts an active schedule of special exhibitions and education programs throughout the year. Through its programs, internships, museum studies practicums, and class visits, the Maier Museum of Art provides valuable learning opportunities for Randolph students and the community at large.

In 2007, the school announced plans to sell four paintings from the Maier Museum collection to offset the school's financial troubles.[4] The paintings included: George Bellows's "Men of the Docks; "A Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks; "Through the Arroyo" by Ernest Martin Hennings; and Rufino Tamayo's "Troubador". Karol Lawson, then-director of the museum, resigned in protest of the sale.

Special programs

Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain

Since 1968, the college has hosted a study abroad program at the University of Reading, England. Each year approximately 30 to 35 students are selected for the program. Commonly taken during the junior year, students may choose to enroll for the full academic year or for the fall or spring semester only. Students live in one of three Randolph-owned houses across the street from the University of Reading campus. [5]

American Culture

A minor in American Culture offers Randolph College students the opportunity to study American society and culture by drawing upon resources, techniques, and approaches from a variety of disciplines. The American Culture program also accepts visiting students from other American colleges and universities for a one-semester intensive study of a particular theme or region, including literature, art, history, and travel components.



External links


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