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Current Exhibition

Greenville Baptist Female College (GBFC), 1855-1878

Greenville Female College (GFC), 1878-1912

Greenville Woman's College (GWC), 1912-1937

A handful of women’s colleges have survived until the 21st century, though financial difficulties continue to force the change to co-ed or face closure. Greenville Woman’s College did not survive the 20th century.

Established in 1854 by the S.C. Baptist Convention and supervised by Furman University's Board of Trustees, this institution opened as Greenville Baptist Female College in February 1856, on a site originally donated by Vardry McBee to the Greenville Academies. Its name was changed to Greenville Woman's College in 1912.

Due to financial and administrative difficulties made worse by the Depression, the S.C. Baptist Convention authorized the uniting of Furman University and Greenville Woman’s College in 1930. Proposed as a temporary solution, the identity of Greenville Woman’s College was to be maintained and to be known as the Greenville Woman’s College of Furman University. The temporary measure was not enough to save the school, and it ceased to exist after officially merging with Furman University in 1937.

The Woman’s College of Furman University continued until 1961 when the female students moved to Furman’s consolidated campus six miles north of town.

This exhibit highlights a sampling of the items in our collections that document the school’s history.

—Julia A. Cowart, Special Collections and Archives