It might be difficult, if not impossible, to get Wofford's entire student body on the front steps of Main Building today. Senior class photos most always happen there, but many of the early student body pictures were also taken in front of Old Main. These photos of the student body come from 1897, 1898, and 1900 and are part of the archives collection.
In the late 1890s, the student body usually numbered about 200, with about 10 professors.
Of course, old photographs fascinate us for many reasons, and students, alumni, and friends alike always pause as they quietly examine these old artifacts. They are much more than just objects of antiquarian or sentimental interest, however, There's much we can learn from these documents. For example, when I pass one of these photos around a group of students, I ask them to look carefully and tell me if they spot something they aren't used to seeing. Invariably, someone spots the women. These photos document the presence of women in the student body well before the 1970s.
More than that, photographs help us put a face on the past. How many times a day do we who work and study here pass those front steps without truly thinking of how long that building has stood on that site, or remembering how many people have gone before us to build up this college.
Top: The student body in 1897.
Middle: The student body and faculty in 1898
Bottom: The student body and faculty in 1900