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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

100 memorable moments at Wofford

THE FIRST OF FIVE ARTICLES HIGHLIGHTING THE MORE NOTABLE MOMENTS IN THE COLLEGE’S HISTORY —

This year, the Old Gold and Black celebrates its 100th anniversary. The front page of the very first issue, distributed Feb. 15, 1915, included a greeting from the editor. In the greeting, he described the newspaper’s aim: “To portray life on the campus as shown by the students’ activities in all phases of college work. Our real object is to promote a movement of a greater Wofford.” In honor of the original staff’s desires for our student newspaper, every issue this semester I will share 20 memorable moments that have shaped Wofford into the college we are today. At the end of the semester, the list will total 100, one memorable moment per year the student newspaper has existed to accurately represent life here on campus.

Having already shared the first moment, the establishment of the Old Gold and Black, here are 19 more:

2. When writing his will, Benjamin Wofford consulted with a friend on how he should use his fortune. The friend suggested he found a college, so Wofford willed $100,000 to the cause. When he died in 1850, the trustees named in his will met to pick the site of the college. Wofford College opened four years later.

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3. Wofford’s first session began Aug. 1, 1854. There were only three faculty and nine students, all in the freshman and sophomore class.

4. Samuel Dibble was the first graduate of Wofford College, transferring from College of Charleston as a junior.

5. The first three women were enrolled in 1897 as an experiment, but only two of them graduated. They felt isolated, and the college postponed a decision on admitting women for many years.

6. Zach’s dining option in the Campus Life building is named after Zachary Whiteside, class of 1877, who organized a group of students to purchase food and cook a meal during the lunch break on campus. This was before Wofford provided room and board.

7. In 1943 during World War II, Wofford was closed and turned over to the Air Corps to use as a training ground. Some of the faculty stayed to teach the Air Corps students, but the original Wofford students were relocated to Spartanburg Junior College and Converse.

8. The beginning of sports as an extracurricular activity at Wofford began with baseball games between students and Federal soldiers stationed in Spartanburg after the Civil War. The makeshift team called themselves the “Pioneers.”

9. Wofford’s first intercollegiate football game took place in December 1889 between Wofford and Furman. Wofford beat Furman 5-1.

10. In 1970 Wofford football went to the NAIA championship bowl. Under coach Jim Brakefield they had a college record of 20 consecutive wins.

11. In September 1991, the Wofford football team beat The Citadel for the first time in 33 years. Wofford won 15-12. It was the headline on the next issue of the Old Gold and Black.

12. In December 1896, the Board of Education of the South Carolina Methodist Conference said that football was unsafe, a waste of money, and a hindrance to education. It recommended that Wofford ban it, and the college complied. It wasn’t until four years later that the college reinstated football. Even then, it took a student petition 13 years later to once again compete against other institutions.

13. Wofford’s men’s golf team won a national championship by 14 strokes on June 8, 1973. They were the first sports team in the state of South Carolina to win a collegiate national championship.

14. It was not until four years after Wofford began admitting female students, in 1980, that the college offered women’s intercollegiate sports. Even then, the women’s basketball and volleyball teams had to work around the men’s practice schedule.

15. Kappa Alpha was the first Greek organization at Wofford, established in 1869 by a student from Washington and Lee University, who came to Wofford and got permission to establish the chapter.

16. Because of hostility on the campus, Greek organizations were banned at Wofford beginning in the fall of the 1907-1908 academic year. They were not reinstated until 1915. In 1913, nine students went to the University of South Carolina to be initiated into the Kappa Alpha fraternity. They were kicked out of Wofford once administration found out.

17. Pi Kappa Alpha, established in 1891, is one of the original fraternities that existed before Greek life was banned in the early 1900s. However, even though the ban was lifted in 1915, they did not return until 1951.

18. The second and third Greek affiliations to be established at Wofford, Chi Psi and Chi Phi, did not get reinstituted once the ban on fraternities was revoked.

19. 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of fraternity Pi Kappa Phi, which puts its date of establishment in 1911. That was during the time when fraternities were not permitted at Wofford, meaning if the students responsible had been caught they would have been kicked out of the college.

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