Skip to Content

South Carolina Honors College

    Our History

    From testing the waters to full steam ahead, take a look back and see where we are today.

    • 1961: With some honors-type classes already in place, a committee recommends establishing an honors program.

    • 1965: The first honors program in South Carolina begins, directed by John Kimmey, located in the old observatory building.
    • 1967: Ten honors courses in any field are required. A committee considers creating an honors college but decides to wait. Richard Childress is director of the honors program.
    • 1969: The in-state, merit-based Carolina Scholars Award is established.
    • 1970: George Geckle replaces Childress as director of the honors program and continues to diversify the curriculum.
    • 1973: William Mould replaces Geckle as director and is assisted by Patsy Tanner, who types 500 recruitment letters yielding 350 students.
    • 1977: Upon the recommendation of a committee chaired by Mould, University President James Holderman creates the South Carolina College, which enrolls 400 students in its first year.
    • 1978: Peter Sederberg is named dean of the honors College, which incorporates enhances advising and an expansive curriculum requiring 45 honors credits and a senior thesis.
    • 1979: Mould replaces Sederberg as dean. Offices and student housing move to the Horseshoe.


    • 1983: Offices move to Harper College. Future lawyer Steve Hibbard earns the College's first BARSC degree.
    • 1988: Revocation is establishes as a ceremony recognizing SCHC graduates.


    • 1994: The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs is established and housed in Harper College. Novella Beskid is director.
    • 1996: Maxcy College is renovated for first-year honors students. The SCHC has grown to 800 students and seven staff.
    • 1997: Peter Siachos and Kathy Aboe defend their thesis, a rich history of the SCHC.
    • 1998: The out-of-state, merit-based McNair Scholarship program is established. It provides 410 scholarships in 20 years, continuing today.

    Early 2000s

    • 2002: Enrollment expands to 1,000 students, with 120 honors courses offered.
    • 2005: The National Collegiate Honors Council publishes Peter Sederberg's "Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors College" based on SCHC.
    • 2007: Davis Baird, chair of Philosophy and associate director of the NanoCenter, replaces Sederberg as dean.
    • 2009: The Washington Semester Program, started in 1991, moves to the SCHC; Mould, now living in Washington, D.C., is director of the program.


    • 2010: Tayloe Harding, dean of music, replaces Baird as interim dean.
    • 2011: The merit-based Stamps Scholarship program is established. Steven Lynn, senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, becomes dean of the SCHC.
    • 2012: Patsy Tanner retires after 39 years, having served all four SCHC deans. She shares her retirement party with Assistant Dean Jim Burns, who began teaching in the SCHC in the early '90s.
    • 2012: The SCHC has 1,400 students, 430 courses and ranks No. 1 in "A Review of 50 Public University Honors Programs," the first nationwide assessment of honors colleges. The Freshman Flotilla begins.
    • 2013: The first Stamps Scholars arrive on campus. The scholarship program has provided 39 scholarships to date.
    • 2014: The SCHC is again top-ranked.
    • 2016: The Honors College expands to occupy DeSaussure Hall and Harper College. There are now 30 staff members, 1,800 students and 550 courses. SCHC is again top-ranked.
    • 2016: OFSP merges with SCHC.
    • 2018: THe SCHC encompasses 2,021 students, 600 courses, 33 staff members and 10,200 alumni.

    Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.