Girls walking across campus

History of Presbyterian College

When Presbyterian College was established as Clinton College in 1880, the South was left in ruins from the Civil War and Reconstruction. Dr. William Plumer Jacobs arrived in Clinton in 1864, when the town was a struggling crossroads known for its bars. His work to establish Thornwell Orphanage in 1875 and Presbyterian College in 1880 breathed fresh air into the community.


The Honor System was established at PC in 1915. In an article in the 1931 edition of PaC SaC, the Honor System is described as “a consciousness on the part of the individual student of the relationship he bears to the larger group, viz., the Student Body, and sensitiveness to the honor of the College of which that Body is the living part.”


The first facility built for PC was Recitation Hall, erected in 1886 on four acres on the present-day Thornwell campus. Next came the land for PC’s present-day campus. Alumni Hall was built in 1891, followed by a small dining hall and kitchen that provided food for $6 per month.

In 1906 construction began on PC’s landmark building: Neville Hall. It took eight months to complete at a cost of $35,000. Originally called the Administration Building, its name was later changed to honor former president William G. Neville. Not a student has passed through PC’s campus who does not remember Neville Hall.


Some of PC’s first alumni were ministers, doctors, educators, lawyers, and business leaders. The College expanded its academic program and raised entrance requirements in the early 1900s. Even as the College has grown, it has maintained its focus on the following five aims, which were listed in the college catalog around 1914:

  • To do high-grade, honest college work
  • To furnish preliminary preparation for university work and for entering the several professions
  • To build a strong moral and Christian character
  • To develop all sides of a student’s nature
  • To place a college education in reach of every deserving young man desiring it
  • It is safe to say that even today, more than 100 years later, PC alumni around the world remain focused on these same aims.


It’s hard to imagine life at PC without the Blue Hose. Here is a quick run-down of when some of your favorite Blue Hose teams were formed:

  • 1895: Baseball
  • 1913: Men’s basketball
  • 1913: Track
  • 1913: Tennis
  • 1913: Football
  • 1915: Cross-country
  • 1976: Volleyball
  • 1977: Women’s basketball
  • 1977: Men’s soccer
  • 1989: Women’s soccer