From the Archives

History, documents, and photos

Archive for the 'Faculty' Category

“Fish” Salmon

With a last name like Salmon, it’s no surprise that students stuck him with the nickname “Fish.” John L. Salmon was one of the longest-serving members of the college’s faculty, coming to Wofford in 1921 and remaining active well into the 1980s.  When he arrived in 1921 to teach modern languages, he joined an already […]

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Seamus Heaney at Wofford

I’ve been digging in the files today for photos or clippings about Seamus Heaney’s visits to Wofford.  The Nobel laureate in literature and arguably Ireland’s most famous literary figure of the present day died recently. Heaney spoke at Wofford on two occasions.  This poster is from his 1984 visit to the campus. Heaney’s visits came […]

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Bishop William Wallace Duncan

This article appeared in the April edition of the SC United Methodist Advocate. One of South Carolina’s contributions to the Methodist episcopacy, William Wallace Duncan spent much of his life serving the Methodist Church. When his father, David Duncan, joined the original Wofford College faculty in 1854, the 15-year old future bishop transferred from Randolph-Macon […]

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Joe Lesesne was installed as president 40 years ago today

On this day in 1973, Joab Mauldin Lesesne Jr. was officially installed as Wofford’s 9th president. Presidents often have a formal installation or inauguration several months after they officially take office.  Joe Lesesne became the college’s president on June 30, 1972, but the formal ceremony did not take place until April. Lesesne requested a smaller “installation” […]

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Warren DuPre: Founder of the Sciences

While three professors started teaching at Wofford on the day the college opened, a fourth, who had been selected alongside the other three, received what we might call the college’s first faculty development leave.  That professor, Warren DuPre, received permission to travel in the North, buy scientific equipment, and study with other professors so that […]

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John Quitman Hill, Wofford’s fourth Rhodes Scholar

Wofford’s fourth Rhodes Scholar is also the only one to date that has returned as a member of the faculty.  Coming over thirty years after the last Wofford student or alumnus to be elected, Professor John Quitman Hill, took an unusual path to his scholarship.  A childhood illness prevented him from attending school until he […]

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William Wightman and the cornerstone

The laying of the cornerstone of Main Building took place on July 4, 1851, and as part of the ceremony, The Rev. William May Wightman, the chairman of the new college’s board of trustees, gave a somewhat lengthy address.  With thousands present, Wightman, who had been named to the board in Benjamin Wofford’s will, proclaimed, “We […]

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“Uncle Gus” Gamewell and his 65 years of service

It’s hard to believe someone could serve on the faculty for 65 years, but we had one professor who did just that. Joseph Augustus Gamewell was born in January 1850, the same year that Benjamin Wofford died.  He was probably pre-destined to enroll at Wofford, as his father and grandfather were both Methodist ministers in […]

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Whitefoord Smith: The professor with the odd name

Whitefoord Smith has one of the most unusual first names of any of our early professors, and it lived on for a long time in the name of the college’s first library – the Whitefoord Smith Library. Born in Charleston in 1812, Smith he took his name from the family name of his father’s mother.  […]

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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 […]

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