Wofford College was established with a $100,000 bequest from the Rev. Benjamin Wofford’s estate. The graves of Benjamin Wofford and his first wife, Anna Todd Wofford, are under the monument bearing the words, translated, “if you seek his monument, look around.”
The Roger Milliken Science Center is home to the college’s biology, chemistry, physics and psychology departments. The Chandler Center for Environmental Studies, completed in 2020, is the hub of environmental studies and the college’s sustainability efforts. The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, which opened in 2017, has several galleries and theatres and houses the departments of art and art history and theatre.
Wofford College was chartered in 1851, after the Rev. Benjamin Wofford’s death in 1850. Though the college was established with a $100,000 bequest from Wofford’s estate, there would have been no estate without his first and second wives. Benjamin Wofford was by all accounts a good businessman, but much of his wealth came from his first wife, Anna Todd. Anna Todd was the daughter of Thomas Todd, one of South Carolina’s wealthiest landowners. Benjamin Wofford was named the executor of Thomas Todd’s estate, which included 11 enslaved persons in addition to significant property holdings. Wofford family tradition suggests that Anna inspired her husband’s commitment to supporting education. Ben Wofford established the college without consulting his second wife, Maria Barron. If she had contested his will, the college may never have been established. The graves of Ben and Anna Todd Wofford are under the monument bearing the words, translated, “if you seek his monument, look around.”
Wofford was created to advance Methodist education in Spartanburg, a goal that Wofford’s early investors and administrators shared. The United Methodist Church played a critical role in the college’s early days, providing its Board of Trustees and offering financial support. Like the United Methodist Church of this era, Wofford’s early history also is intertwined with the institution of slavery. The college’s founder, members of its original faculty, and its first three presidents all enslaved African Americans. As you will learn later on this tour, these enslaved persons played important roles in the college’s construction and operations and in the city of Spartanburg.
The Roger Milliken Science Center is home to the college’s well-respected biology, chemistry, physics and psychology departments, as well as a popular study area and café for students. The building was named for textile magnate Roger Milliken who served on the college’s Board of Trustees for 48 years. Wofford’s campus — for example the picturesque vistas and the white buildings that set off the plantings — still reflect Milliken’s influence. The Chandler Center for Environmental Studies, named for Delores and Harold Chandler, a 1971 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the college and the quarterback and captain of the 1970s championship football team, was completed in 2020 as the hub of environmental studies and the college’s sustainability efforts on campus and in the local community. The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts opened in 2017. It was a gift from Jerry Richardson, a 1959 Wofford graduate and founding owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, to his wife and best friend. The building has several galleries and theatres that encourage a closer relationship between Wofford and the Spartanburg community, as well as the departments of art and art history and theatre.