Painting the college president's horse green, removing wooden steps from the only building on campus, serenading professors with tin pans — those were just some of the pranks that students pulled at South Carolina College in the 19th century. Campus archivist Elizabeth West explains why those free-spirited students often rebelled against the puritanical rules imported from New England colleges.
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- Remembering the Days
Remembering the Days
Amble across the Horseshoe and take a stroll down more than 200 years of memory lane with Remembering the Days, a University of South Carolina podcast. We tell the stories of everything from campus pranks in the 19th century to how we became known as Gamecocks. It’s the always interesting, sometimes quirky history of an institution that has been part of the fabric of the Palmetto State since it opened its doors in 1805 and eventually became South Carolina’s flagship university.
Today's COVID-19 landscape of quarantines and sickness bring to mind another pandemic — the 1918 influenza outbreak that hit hard on the University of South Carolina campus. One young student, Gadsden Shand, answered the call of duty and helped keep many of his classmates alive.
The history of enslaved people at South Carolina College — the precursor of today's University of South Carolina — is a difficult one to tell. But research has brought to light the names of many of those individuals, and the university is acknowledging the vital role they played in the college's early days. Here's the story of one of those enslaved workers — a man named Jack.
Written 30 years ago by students, professors and staff members, the Carolinian Creed embodies the University of South Carolina's core values of respect, integrity and kindness. The creed became a model for scores of other colleges and universities around the country.
How difficult was it to get admitted to the University of South Carolina in 1897? Not too bad so long as you knew grammar, geography, algebra, history — and Latin and Greek! Admission standards at the university have varied in the past two centuries. The bar for admission is set high now, but it guarantees that those who get in are ready to succeed.
When Professor Richard Brumby asked his chemistry students in 1850 to attend extra lectures, you'd have thought by their agitated reaction that he had asked them to jump off of a cliff. What resulted was a mob scene, a textbook bonfire and suspension of nearly the entire junior class of students at South Carolina College.
It's nearly seven feet tall, 3,000 feet long and is made of 160,000 bricks. And it's older than half of the buildings on the University of South Carolina's historic Horseshoe. It's the campus wall, a structure that never succeeded in its original purpose — keeping mischievous 19th century students on campus. But during one tumultuous night in 1865, the wall very likely saved the campus from a fire that consumed one-third of the surrounding city.
Of all the mascots the University of South Carolina might have chosen, how did the gamecock — a feisty bird that relishes a scuffle — get the nod? It all goes back to the aftermath of a football game in 1902 in which Carolina students nearly came to deadly blows with their in-state rival.