Marc C. Weersing, 1963-1979
Marc Calvin Weersing, pastor of Spartanburg First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Presbyterian College Board of Trustees, was a graduate of Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and Columbia Seminary. While a trustee of the college, he was co-chairman of the 1962 capital campaign which secured more than $1.8 million for the college from the Synod of South Carolina. In addition, he served five years on the Board of World Missions and on the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA Presbyterian Development Fund, Committee of Evangelism, and on the General Council.
Dr. Weersing was nominated to be the 14th president of the college by Board of Trustees member, Dr. Eugene T. Wilson ’25 of Atlanta, from a field of almost twenty candidates. During his sixteen years as president, Dr. Weersing presided over full racial integration of the student body as well as co-education, not to mention the turmoil of the 1960-1970s. Enrollment increased steadily during his tenure and the faculty almost doubled with more than 70% holding doctoral degrees.
Eight major buildings, including the James H. Thomason Library, Belk and Georgia dormitories, Templeton Physical Education Center, and the fraternity court were added to the campus during President Weersing’s tenure. In July 1964 construction began on three buildings simultaneously; a new dormitory for women, Richardson Science Hall, and Greenville Dining Hall, all planned and funded by the Synod of South Carolina’s 1962 fundraising campaign. These three buildings were the first structures on the college’s new East Plaza. Upon the completion of Clinton Hall in mid-1965, full coeducation of the campus would take effect that fall. PC’s first Dean of Women, Marion Hill, DCE of Spartanburg First Presbyterian Church, came to the college to assist in the transition. In 1965, PC enrolled 90 women students and by 1968, the total enrollment of 720 included 210 female students (Hammet, 141).
Full coeducation turned out to be one of the premier accomplishments of the Weersing administration. The young women brought beauty, grace and talent that transformed the campus. Their classroom performance challenged the men, and the curriculum expanded to meet their needs (Hammet, 137).
The turbulent 1960-70s at PC focused primarily on local concerns to students including, mandatory assemblies, drinking rules, ROTC 2-year requirement, dorm visitation, dress code, and curfews. Computerized registration and scheduling occurred under Dr. Weersing’s administration and the college calendar moved to a 13-13-7 week semester schedule. Off-campus study was first introduced at PC during the seven week May term after 1970.
Dr. Weersing was quite tall at 6 feet 6 inches. On your next visit to the President’s House, check out the dining room table which was altered to suit his tall frame. Closets and bathtubs in the President’s House were also altered for the Weersings.
When Dr. Weersing announced his retirement, “the physical plant of Presbyterian College stood out as an attractive symbol of progress and permanence: a Jeffersonian pattern of colonial Georgian buildings spread around three plazas on an oak-shaded campus of 175 acres” (Hammet, 189).
After his retirement in 1979, Dr. Weersing remained in Clinton, where he died in 1986.