Anderson University traces its heritage and initial founding to 1848 in the form of Johnson Female Seminary (later renamed Johnson University) which was located in Anderson, South Carolina. The seminary was founded by Anderson citizens Daniel Brown, J.P. Reed, and Stephen McCulley. Johnson Female Seminary was named for the Rev. William Bullein Johnson, an early Baptist statesman and the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Johnson served as the first chancellor of Johnson University By 1957 Johnson University had around 600 students taking courses in calculus, Latin and Greek. In 1858 Johnson's health declined and in 1862. Johnson's home still stands in Anderson and his portrait hangs in perpetuity in the Truett Cathy Old Common Room in Merritt Hall on the Anderson University campus. The seminary closed its doors due to the combined impact of Rev. Johnson's untimely death and the onset of the Civil War. The main building of Johnson Female Seminary became a Confederate treasury and printing press during the civil war until 1865 when Union forces occupied the building. After the war the Carolina Collegiate Institute and Patrick Military Institute used the buildings of the seminary for educational purposes until 1920. The buildings of Johnson University were then demolished around 1920.
Shortly after the turn of the century, those who fondly remembered the impact that the Johnson Female Seminary had on the region developed a compelling vision of resurrecting the institution in the form of Anderson College in 1911 initiated by First Baptist Church of Anderson. The name Anderson comes from the name of Anderson, South Carolina which is named after Robert Anderson who fought in the American Revolutionary War. In the first year of Anderson College, Anderson Chamber of Commerce raised $100,000 and secured 32 acres (13 ha) for the new campus. The land and funds were given to the South Carolina Baptist State Convention to establish the college. However, financial problems plagued Anderson College for years until Dr. Annie Denmark became President in 1929. Denmark became the first female college president in South Carolina. Denmark's inauguration as President on February 14, 1929 established the tradition for Anderson College as Founder's Day celebrating the day of chartering the institution. In 1931 Anderson College became a co-ed two year junior college while still promoting the cause of Christian values in higher education. By 1938 Denmark managed to pay off Anderson College's debt of $60,000. Since 1944, outstanding graduates of Anderson University are inducted yearly into the Denmark Society. In 1983 President Mark Hopkins and student Camilla York of Anderson College went on NBC Today to discuss Anderson College's program for allowing unemployed adults to attend and pay tuition later. The program was well received with a personal letter from Ronald Reagan thanking Anderson College for their efforts. In the 1990s Anderson College became a four-year institution.
In 2006 Anderson College was renamed to Anderson University. S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, and his son Dan Cathy received honorary degrees from Anderson University for exemplifying character and vision Christian businessmen should possess. In June 2011 Anderson University became the host of the Palmetto Boys State. In 2012 Anderson University joined the University Center of Greenville (UCG) becoming the first educational institution in approximately 20 years to join. A new $15.2 million student center called the G. Ross Anderson, Jr. Student Center began construction in 2015 to be the largest building on campus.
Most of the buildings on the main campus are red brick, built throughout the 20th century in the Georgian architectural style. The Merritt Administration Building, Denmark Hall, and Pratt Hall were the original buildings on the Anderson University campus, being built at the time of the university's founding in 1911. One of the main educational facilities at the heart of campus, the H.H. Watkins Teaching Center, was dedicated in 1967. Other marked points of interest include the old Anderson College Infirmary, the Sullivan Music Building, and the Abney Athletic Center.
The front lawn is called "Alumni Lawn" (sometimes referred to as the "Sacred Six" acres) of Anderson University and is heavily wooded with large oak trees, as is the interior of the main campus which is landscaped in a series of rising terraces. The front lawn and many early buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Anderson College Historic District.
Anderson University created a special partnership in 2012 which operates within the former Duke Energy Service Center which is approximately one mile from the main campus and which was a partial gift to the university from the former Duke Energy Carolinas (now Duke Energy Progress). The facility is the home of the university's graduate program in criminal justice otherwise known as the Command College of South Carolina. The facility also houses undergraduate criminal justice programs.
In 2013, the university acquired the first floor of the historic Chiquola building in downtown Anderson, less than a mile from the main campus. The 11,000 square foot facility will be transformed into a multi-purpose space for the university's graphic design degree program, student activities, and a center for the study and practice of entrepreneurship. The facility features three storefront retail spaces in which student-initiated and run businesses will operate.
The Anderson University year-round student population stands at approximately 3,103 students, with a student to faculty ratio of 17:1.
In 2013, the College of Visual and Performing Arts was rebranded The South Carolina School of the Arts, in recognition of its history of national awards and its vision to place focused attention on the professional preparation of graduates for artistic performance and production roles. The School emphasizes a hybrid liberal arts-conservatory instructional approach. Degree programs and emphases within the School include Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, and Master of Music Education. The School is housed primarily within the Rainey Fine Arts Center which features a 1,000-seat performance hall, a 225-seat recital hall, a 125-seat black box theatre, numerous music and art studios, and an art gallery. The School also has an additional art gallery within Thrift Library, and additional graphic design facilities off-campus on the court square in downtown Anderson.
Johnny Mann Center
The Johnny Mann Center is the home of The South Carolina School of the Arts' degree program in commercial music. Commercial music at Anderson University includes pop, rock, jazz, bluegrass, and country music genres. The Center also serves as a library for a number of Mann's musical arrangements, compositions, and memorabilia. The Mann Center is named for the two-time Grammy Award winning American arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist, Johnny Mann (John Russell Mann). As bandleader with the Johnny Mann Singers, the group recorded approximately three dozen albums, hosted the TV series titled Stand Up and Cheer (1971–1974), and was the musical director for The Joey Bishop Show. He was also musical director of The Alvin Show, and was the voice of Theodore. Mann was also choral director for the NBC Comedy Hour. The Johnny Mann Singers' cover version of "Up, Up and Away", rather than the hit version by The 5th Dimension, became the hit version of the song in the UK Singles Chart. The version also won a Grammy Award in 1968 in the Best Performance by a Choir of Seven or More Persons category. In total, Mann was nominated for five Grammys, two of which he won.
Mann and his wife, Betty, retired to Anderson, South Carolina in the early 2000s and immediately developed admiration for the University and a personal friendship with its president and wife. At the President's request, Mann wrote the University's Centennial Alma Mater, "The Sounds of Anderson." In 2010, the University awarded Mann an honorary doctor of humanities degree. In April 2014 at the age of 85, he was a guest conductor of The South Carolina School of the Arts, at Anderson University's spring gala where he led the University choirs in performing the Johnny Mann Singers arrangement of "Up, Up and Away." At the song's conclusion, the audience of about 1,000 stood in Mann's honor. It would be his last public performance. On June 18, 2014, Johnny Mann died at his home in Anderson.
Undergraduate programs under the College of Arts and Science consists of biochemistry, biology, communication, creative writing, English literature, history, liberal studies, mathematics, psychology and Spanish. The program challenges students to critical thinking, communication, and rhetoric. The Center for Undergraduate Cancer Research is also part of the college and was established in 2009 to facilitate undergraduate research in search for a cure for cancers. Working under the direction of full-time faculty, students conduct studies and publish results. The Center is located on the nearby campus of AnMed Health Medical Center.
The College of Education prepares students to become educators with Christian values. Undergraduate programs consists of early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education. Upon completion of the undergraduate program the teacher licensure can be initiated through South Carolina Department of Education. The graduate program in education prepares teachers to become principals or certified teachers. The Teaching Fellows program of the College of Education annually sends students to teach in China and host a storytelling event on campus. Up to $6,000 in annual scholarships are provided under the Teaching Fellows program for students planning to teach in South Carolina.
The School of Public Service and Administration educates law enforcement officers, private investigators, federal agents and prospective law students. The school also offers programs in emergency management. Undergraduate programs prepares students for the local, state and federal law enforcement, corrections and emergency response. The graduate program in criminal justice prepares those experienced in law enforcement to advance their careers into management or senior-executive positions with a commitment to Christian values.
The School of Allied Health, School of Human Performance, and School of Nursing and Physical Therapy make up the College of Health Professions. The three schools offers undergraduate programs in human services, kinesiology, and nursing. Graduate programs at the College of Health Professions has a strong emphasize on nursing with a wide variety of concentrations. The Center for Medical Simulations offers realistic experience for students in nursing or physical therapy. The Center provides human-scale replicas of patients that simulate a variety of conditions.
The College of Business conducts undergraduate and graduate programs in an ethical manner consisting of Christian values. Undergraduate programs consists of business administration, accounting, human resource administration, and marketing. Internships are required for undergraduate and graduate programs of at least 150 hours. The student business group called Enactus helps students practice skills learned from the College of Business to better the community. The University Center in Greenville consists of undergraduate and graduate degrees from South Carolina's top universities including Anderson University. The Anderson University MBA program is exclusively at the University Center.
The School of Interior Design is one of nine Christian schools in the United States that offers a Bachelors in Interior Design. The undergraduate program prepares students to become a designer in many settings such as in an architectural firm or interior design firm.
Undergraduate and graduate programs prepares ministers to preach the Gospel and have a concentration on youth ministry, pastoral ministry, or missions. The David T. Clamp Graduate School of Christian Ministry was established in 2014 along with a graduate program in divinity and biblical teaching. The purpose of the Clamp school is to offer training in ministry in preparation for leading churches. The school is named after David T. Clamp who donated $8 million in 2008.
Anderson University launched an initiative in 2011 called the Mobile Learning Initiative or MLI. Each traditional student is issued an Apple iPad upon enrollment. The initiative has transformed the college learning experience historically bound by classrooms and class times into a limitless interactive event that takes the best of traditional learning and expands it to take advantage of the full capabilities of mobile technology. Face-to-face, critical discussions in the classroom are combined with highly engaged, collaborative, interactive ways of communicating and sharing information, both within, and outside of class. Opposed to a "hardware fad," the MLI has changed the way faculty teach and students learn. The results of institutional research suggests that the MLI has increased the engagement of students in coursework and has increased student learning of course content. In 2013, Anderson received a $143,000 grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to establish to duplicate the success of its groundbreaking MLI in South Carolina public schools.
Anderson offers the following undergraduate degrees in the traditional daytime program:
Anderson offers the following undergraduate degrees in its Adult Studies program:
Anderson offers the following graduate programs:
Anderson competes in NCAA Division II athletics. The Trojans are a member of the South Atlantic Conference. Anderson competed in Conference Carolinas until the 2009-10 season.Thomas C. Alexander, member of the South Carolina Senate, Chairman of the Senate General Committee
James Lee Barrett, Tony Award-winning writer
Trey Britton, professional basketball player
Timothy M. Cain, District Judge on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
Leigh Cappillino, singer in the contemporary Christian music group Point of Grace
Sue Monk Kidd, New York Times Bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair, and The Invention of Wings
Adam Minarovich, film director and actor
Rob Stanifer, former Major League Baseball player for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, and the Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Erskine Thomason, former Major League Baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies
A.J. Styles, TNA and WWE wrestling superstar