Academics Faculty Photographs

The Wofford Faculty, the 1912 version

The college’s faculty has certainly grown over the years.

In 1854, on opening day, only 3 professors were on campus. The next year, that number grew to 5. Even as late as the 1890s, that number was about 8 or 9, and they were teaching about 150 students in most years.

But by 1912, that number had grown to 13. Together, they taught about 308 students.

Wofford's 1912 faculty
Wofford's faculty in 1912

That’s President Snyder in the middle, and he’s flanked by 4 senior professors.  I’ve written about some of them.  Those four, Rembert, Gamewell, Daniel DuPre, and Clinkscales, would continue through the 1920s, and some well into the 1930s. Gamewell was in his late 80s when he finally relinquished his Latin duties in the late 1930s.

Some of the others, Wallace, Mason DuPre, Shuler, Waller, and Pugh, would still be teaching in the late 1940s. Professor Shuler lived on into the early 1980s. Some of the others weren’t around for quite as long.  Colwell taught German and French from 1908-14. His replacement would have been James A. Chiles. Edwards taught chemistry and physics from 1909-1917. And Keaton taught gym from 1910-14.

Many of these professors worked together for twenty or thirty years, and most of them lived in campus homes or close by. Some had students living with them as well, and they formed quite the tight-knit community.

A hundred years have seen a lot of changes around campus. The faculty is larger and certainly more diverse.  The professors no longer live on campus, but they still develop strong working relationships with each other and with their students – even if they no longer have student boarders living in their houses. It’s a great testament to the strength of the faculty that students want to develop and maintain those ties to the ones that taught them here.

By Phillip Stone

I've been the archivist of Wofford College and the South Carolina United Methodist since 1999. I'll be sharing college, Methodist, and local history, documents, photographs, and other interesting stories on this blog, which I've been keeping since December 2007.