Wofford College continues to work to make the campus community more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Some of our successes in the past five years include:
Wofford College has attracted faculty, staff and students from all over the world. Here are some of the college’s most important diversity and inclusion milestones:
1901-1904 – Eight women graduated from Wofford; two in each class.
1905 – Japanese student Buichi Muraoka enrolled at Wofford. Muraoka seems to have been the college’s first international student.
1959 – Madame Marie Gagarine was appointed to teach French and Russian, making her the college’s first female faculty member and its first professor of Russian.
1963 – Joaquin Fernandez de Velasco, who later changed the spelling of his last name to DeVelasco, was appointed to teach Spanish. DeVelasco, a Cuban émigré, is believed to have been Wofford’s first tenure-track international faculty member.
1964 – Wofford became one of the first private colleges in the South to desegregate voluntarily. Albert Gray ’71 enrolled in the fall semester 1964.
1966 – Ta-Tseng Ling joined the Department of Government and appears to have been the college’s first Asian faculty member.
1969 – Doug Jones ’69 was the first African-American to graduate from Wofford.
1970 – Bobby “Bob” Leach was appointed as an assistant dean of students and dean of the residence hall education program, making him the college’s first Black administrator.
1971 – The Association of Afro-American Students, later known as the Association of African-American Students, was established.
1972 – Otis Turner, Wofford’s first African-American faculty member, was hired.
1973 – Janice B. Means ’73 became the first African-American female to graduate from Wofford; Wofford’s first Black Greek organization, the Tau Delta Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., was chartered.
1975 – Wofford began admitting women as resident students.
1976 – Mack A. Davis became the first African-American to be inducted into Wofford’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
1978 – Vivian Fisher was appointed to the English faculty in 1973, the first woman to hold a tenure-track appointment at the college. In 1978, Fisher became the first female faculty member to earn tenure.
1979 – Delta Sigma Theta’s Xi Iota City-wide Chapter was chartered by 10 young women affiliated with Wofford, Converse College, the University of South Carolina Upstate (then USC Spartanburg) and Limestone College.
1980 – Joyce Payne Yette was the first Wofford female alumna to become a member of the Wofford College Board of Trustees; Susan Griswold became the first female department chair.
1988-89 – Stanley Porter ’89 was the first African-American student elected as president of the student body.
1998 – Jameica Byers Hill became the first African-American female to earn tenure at Wofford.
2000 – Wofford created the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
2004 – The Association of African American Students (AAAS) changed its name to the Association of Multicultural Students.
2014 – Office of Multicultural Affairs changed its name to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; the Black Alumni Association was formed.
2016 – The Meadors Multicultural House was dedicated in the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village.
2021 – The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was reorganized as the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the position of chief equity officer was established.