Successes

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:

  • Appointment of nine additional faculty of color.
  • Back of the College Research funding.
  • Appointment of the first academic dean of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Appointment of the College’s first Chief Equity Officer
  • CIC Legacies of American Slavery campus planning grant.
  • AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation program (internally funded).
  • Search advocate program development.
  • Participation in Teach.Equity.Now. to develop inclusive pedagogy.
  • Launch of Diversity Speakers Series.
  • Black Alumni Summit participation.
  • Robust heritage month celebrations.
  • LGBTQIA Ally Training.
  • Participation in the Notre Dame Peace Conference.
  • Black and Abroad Forums.
  • Participation in the Interfaith Leadership Institute.
  • Expanded scholarship opportunities for first-generation college students.
  • Initiation of Discover U.
  • NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) Training.
  • Opening of the Meadors Multicultural AMS House.
  • Creation of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the establishment of the Chief Equity Officer position.

Milestones

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 the 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.

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.