Randolph College

Randolph College
Former names
Randolph-Macon Woman's College (1891–2007)
Motto Vita Abundantior
Motto in English
Life More Abundant
Type Private liberal arts college
Established 1891
Affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment US $136.1 million[1]
President Bradley W. Bateman
Academic staff
Undergraduates 652
Postgraduates 14
Location Lynchburg, VA, USA
37°26′12″N 79°10′18″W / 37.4368°N 79.1718°W / 37.4368; -79.1718Coordinates: 37°26′12″N 79°10′18″W / 37.4368°N 79.1718°W / 37.4368; -79.1718
Campus Suburban, Historic; 100 acres
Colors Black and Yellow          
Athletics NCAA Division IIIODAC
Nickname WildCats
Affiliations IAMSCU
Annapolis Group
Mascot Wanda the WildCat
Website www.randolphcollege.edu

Randolph College is a private liberal arts and sciences college in Lynchburg, Virginia. Founded in 1891 as Randolph-Macon Woman's College, it was renamed on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational.

The college offers 30 majors, 44 minors, pre-professional programs in law, medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, and teaching, and dual degree programs in engineering and nursing. Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of fine arts degrees are offered. Randolph offers master of arts in teaching and master of education degrees. The college also operates a study abroad program, Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain, at the University of Reading.

Randolph is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The college fields varsity teams in six men's and eight women's sports. The coed riding team competes in both the ODAC and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Notable alumni include author Pearl S. Buck, who won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, and CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Randolph is a member of The Annapolis Group of colleges in the United States, the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.


The college was founded by William Waugh Smith, then-president of Randolph-Macon College, under Randolph-Macon's charter after he failed to convince R-MC to become co-educational. Randolph-Macon Woman's College has historic ties to the United Methodist Church. After many attempts to find a location for Randolph-Macon Woman's College, the city of Lynchburg donated 50 acres[2] for the purpose of establishing a women's college. In 1916, it became the first women's college in the South to earn a Phi Beta Kappa charter.[3] Beginning in 1953, the two colleges were governed by separate boards of trustees.

Main Hall, built in 1891, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[4]

In August 2006, only a few weeks into the academic year, Randolph-Macon Woman's College announced that it would adopt coeducation and change its name. Former Interim president Ginger H. Worden argued (in a September 17, 2006 editorial for The Washington Post) that,

today, the college is embarking on a new future, one that will include men. Yet that original mission, that dedication to women's values and education, remains. The fact of the marketplace is that only 3 percent of college-age women say they will consider a women's college. The majority of our own students say they weren't looking for a single-sex college specifically. Most come despite the fact that we are a single-sex college. Our enrollment problems are not going away, and we compete with both coed and single-sex schools. Of the top 10 colleges to which our applicants also apply, seven are coed. Virtually all who transfer from R-MWC do so to a coed school. These market factors affect our financial realities.[5]

The decision to go co-ed was not welcomed by everyone. Alumnae and students organized protests which were covered by local and national media.[6] Many students accused the school of having recruited them under false pretenses, as the administration did not warn new or current students that they were considering admitting men.[7] Lawsuits were filed against the school by both students and alumnae.

It was renamed Randolph College on July 1, 2007, when it became coeducational. The last class to have the option to receive diplomas from Randolph Macon Woman's College graduated on May 16, 2010. Randolph College is named after John Randolph of Roanoke, Virginia. Randolph (1773-1833) was an eccentric planter and politician who, in his will, released hundreds of slaves after his death and once fought a duel with Henry Clay.[8]


  • Bradley Bateman, 2013-[9]
  • John E. Klein, 2007–2013
  • Ginger H. Worden '69 (Interim President), 2006–2007
  • Kathleen Gill Bowman, 1994–2006
  • Lambuth M. Clarke, 1993–1994
  • Linda Koch Lorimer, 1987–1993
  • Robert A. Spivey, 1978–1987
  • William F. Quillian, Jr., 1952–1978[10]
  • Theodore H. Jack, 1933–1952
  • N. A. Pattillo, 1931–1933
  • Dice Robins Anderson, 1920–1931
  • William A. Webb, 1913–1919
  • William Waugh Smith, 1891–1912[11]

Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College

Randolph College's Maier Museum of Art[12] features works by outstanding American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The College has been collecting American art since 1920 and the Maier now houses a collection of several thousand paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs in the College's permanent collection.

The Maier hosts an active schedule of special exhibitions and education programs throughout the year. Through its programs, internships, museum studies practicums, and class visits, the Maier Museum of Art provides valuable learning opportunities for Randolph students and the community at large.

Art controversies

In 2007, Randolph College announced that it would sell four paintings from its collection.[13] The announcement resulted in an injunction filed to stop the sales as well as protests from art associations, including the Virginia Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors and the College Art Association.[14] The lawsuit was dropped.[15]

In 2008, the college sold Rufino Tamayo's Trovador for a record-breaking $7.2 million.[16] In 2013, Randolph College entered into an agreement with the National Gallery, London for the purchase of George Wesley Bellows' Men of the Docks, for $25.5 million and established an academic partnership between the two institutions.[17] The other paintings sold at a later date are Edward Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom, and Ernest Hennings' Through the Arroyo (which remains on campus through a loan).[18]

In the spring of 2011, Randolph College was censured[19] by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), of which Randolph College is not nor has ever been a member, for its proposed deaccessioning of four centerpieces within its collection. The college responded by asserting that its art collection is a college asset held for the purpose of enhancing student learning. In 2014, the AAMD issued sanctions forbidding its member institutions from loaning artwork to or otherwise collaborating with the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College.[20] The censure has sparked discussion over the differences between standalone museums and collections held by private non-profit entities like colleges and universities.[21]

Special programs

Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain

Since 1968, the college has hosted a study abroad program at the University of Reading, England. Each year as many as 35 students are selected for the program. Commonly taken during the junior year, students may choose to enroll for the full academic year or for the fall or spring semester only. Students live in one of three Randolph-owned houses across the street from the University of Reading campus.[22]

The American Culture program

A minor in American Culture offers Randolph College students the opportunity to study American society and culture by drawing upon resources, techniques, and approaches from a variety of disciplines. The American Culture program also accepts visiting students from other American colleges and universities for a one-semester intensive study of a particular theme or region, including literature, art, history, and travel components.

Notable people



Name Known for Relationship to college
Pearl S. Buck First woman from the United States to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938 for "the body of her work". Her most famous work, The Good Earth won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize. class of 1914
Dorothy (Park) Clark Author of historical novels, mainly under the pen name Clark McMeekin ca. 1917
Iris Kelso Influential newspaper journalist and television commentator in New Orleans, Louisiana; won a Peabody Award for her television reports class of 1948
Odilia Dank Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1994 to 2006; first woman to chair the House Education Committee; school counselor by occupation; native of Cleveland, Ohio[23][24] class of 1960
Emily Squires One of the twelve directors of Sesame Street. She won 6 Daytime Emmys. class of 1961
Candy Crowley CNN senior political correspondent whose career includes two awards for outstanding journalism, from the National Press Foundation and the Associated Press. class of 1970
Frank M. Hull Current judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. class of 1970
Susan Webber Wright US district court judge in Little Rock, Arkansas. She presided over Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit against former President Bill Clinton. She was also involved with the investigation of the Whitewater Scandal with Kenneth Starr. class of 1970
Sara Driver Independent filmmaker, director of You Are Not I (1981), Sleepwalk (1986), and When Pigs Fly (1993); producer of two early Jim Jarmusch films, Permanent Vacation and Stranger Than Paradise. class of 1977
E. Lee Hennessee[25] Hedge fund pioneer and philanthropist. Campaign Finance chair for Elizabeth Dole.
Blanche Lincoln Democratic U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1999 to 2011. She has previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas' 1st congressional district. At the age of 38, Lincoln was the youngest woman to be elected to the Senate, in 1998. class of 1982
Missy Irvin Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate from Mountain View since 2011 class of 1993
Kakenya Ntaiya Founder of Kakenya Center for Excellence, a school for girls in Kenya, and women's education and health activist. class of 2004
Anne Wilkes Tucker Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; photography curator; (named "America's Best Curator" by Time, in 2001)
Suzanne Patrick US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Policy
Daisy Hurst Floyd Dean of the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University, 2004 until 2010 attended 1973 until 1975
Helen Claire Actress on Broadway and in old-time radio[26]


  1. As of February 14, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 19, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. "Randolph-Macon Woman's College". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  3. "Randolph College History and Legacy".
  4. National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. Worden, Virginia (2006-09-17). "Why We Had No Choice but to Go Coed". washingtonpost.edu. Retrieved 2006-10-20.
  6. "Women's colleges", New York Times, 21 September 2006
  7. "Herald-Journal - Google News Archive Search". News.google.com. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  8. "Who Was John Randolph?". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  9. "Dr. Bradley W. Bateman Announced as Randolph's 10th President". Randolph College. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  10. Archived May 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. "A Trip Through Time" (PDF). Randolph. 7 (2): 2–3. April 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. "Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College". Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  13. "Randolph College to Auction Four Paintings". Randolph College. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  14. Lindsey, Sue (24 October 2007). "Foes of Randolph College Art Sale Go to Court". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  15. Desrets, Christa. "Opponents of Randolph College art sale drop lawsuit". Lynchburg News & Advance.
  16. Desrets, Christa. "Randolph College painting fetches $7.2 million at auction". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  17. "Randolph College Sells George Bellows Painting Men of the Docks to National Gallery, London". Randolph College. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  18. Pounds, Jessie. "Randolph College sells two paintings". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  19. Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. Ng, David (13 March 2014). "Randolph College responds to sanctions imposed by museum group". Los Angeles Times.
  21. "Bateman: Maier Museum an Integral Part of Randolph College". Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  22. "Randolph College". Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  23. "Odilia Dank". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  24. "Odilia Dank". votesmart.org. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  25. "WEDDINGS; Lee Hennessee, Charles Gradante".
  26. "Helen Claire Back North". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 19, 1939. p. 31. Retrieved February 27, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
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