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Furman History and Traditions

Greenville Woman's College

The South Carolina Baptist Convention established the Greenville Baptist Female College in 1854 in Greenville.

The school was incorporated as a separate institution in 1908 under the name Greenville Female College. The name was changed to Greenville Woman's College (GWC) in 1912.

Due to financial difficulties brought about by the Depression, the GWC trustees asked Furman University to take over the management of the school in 1932. The first coordinated activity was a joint commencement in June of that year. The next fall, 70 women began attending classes on the men’s campus, with specially chartered taxi cabs providing rides between the campuses. By March of 1933 the Woman’s College trustees asked Furman to assume full control, with one board and one president of both institutions.

The South Carolina Baptist Convention formally approved the total merger in 1937. Greenville Woman's College officially ceased to exist in January 1938 when it became the Woman's College of Furman University. The two student bodies remained separate until 1961 when Furman moved to its new campus north of Greenville.

Greenville Woman's College Records

Alumnae Collections:

  • Elinor "Nellie" Hoyt Furman, Class of 1887
  • Coleman Family Papers, 1899-1912
  • Meter Ruby Zeigler Counts, Class of 1921
  • Lucile Nix Papers, 1896-1958, Class of 1925
  • Charlotte E. Oswald Muckenfuss, Class of 1932 
  • Various single folder collections
  • Scrapbooks

Presidents of Greenville Woman's College

1855-1861

H. A. Duncan

1861-1862

C. J. Redford

1862-1863

C. R. Twitty 

1863-1864

James Clement Furman

1864-1878

Charles Hallette Judson

1878-1894

Alexander Sloan Townes 

1894-1900

M.M. Riley

1900-1901

Edgar Hunter Murfee 

1901-1910

Edward Carroll James

1911-1930

David Marshal Ramsay

1930-1931

Rosa Catherine Paschal

1931-1933

Herbert Winston Provence