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|Motto||Sapientia Ipsa Libertas|
Ædes Mores Juraque Curat
Motto in English
|"Wisdom itself is liberty."|
"She Cares For Her Temples, Customs and Rights."
|Type||Public liberal arts college|
|President||Stephen C. Osborne (interim)|
|Location||Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Campus||52 acres (21 ha)|
|Colors||Maroon and white|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – CAA|
The College of Charleston (also known as CofC, The College, or Charleston) is a public sea-grant and space-grant university located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, it is the oldest college in South Carolina, the 13th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and the oldest municipal college in the country. The founders of the college include three future signers of the Declaration of Independence (Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward) and three future signers of the United States Constitution (John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney). Founded to "encourage and institute youth in the several branches of liberal education," it is one of the oldest universities in the United States.
College of Charleston Complex:Randolph Hall, Towell Library and Porters Lodge
|Location||Glebe, George, St. Philip and Green streets, Charleston, South Carolina|
|Area||4 acres (1.6 ha)|
|Architect||Edward B. White; George E. Walker; Et al.|
|Architectural style||Early Republic, Other|
|NRHP reference #||71000748|
|Added to NRHP||November 11, 1971|
|Designated NHL||November 11, 1971|
The College of Charleston consists of seven academic schools, as well as the Honors College and the Graduate School of the University of Charleston, S.C.
The college's 19 varsity sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association and are known as the Cougars. The Cougars compete at a variety of athletics facilities in the Charleston area, including the TD Arena (formerly the Carolina First Arena), the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Complex, Johnson Center Squash Courts, Patriots Point Athletic Complex and the Links at Stono Ferry. College of Charleston athletics are supported by the Cougar Club, which was established in 1974. During the 1970-71 school year, College of Charleston students voted to change the school nickname from the Maroons to the Cougars, in honor of a cougar that had recently arrived at the Charles Towne Landing zoo. Clyde the Cougar is the college's current mascot.
The College of Charleston's main campus in downtown Charleston includes 11 residence halls, 19 historic homes, five fraternity houses and nine sorority houses. It contains a mix of modern and historic buildings.
Outside of downtown Charleston, the college campus includes the Grice Marine Lab on James Island, the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center and the Patriots Point Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant, the North Campus in North Charleston and the 862-acre (349 ha) Dixie Plantation on the Stono River.
The College of Charleston downtown campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, the Avery Institute, which is now the home to the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, and the William Blacklock House are also listed individually on the register.
The College of Charleston has been noted for its beautiful campus. In 2014, it was ranked as one of the top 10 best landscaped colleges on the east coast. In 2017, Travel + Leisure magazine named the College "America's Most Beautiful College Campus." 
Due to the historic look and beauty of the campus, many movies and television shows have been filmed at the College of Charleston, including General Hospital, North and South, The View, Cold Mountain, The Patriot, White Squall, Wife Swap, O, The Notebook, Dear John, and Mandie. The most popular scene location is Randolph Hall. In 2008, productions shooting on campus included the television show Army Wives and the feature film The New Daughter, starring Kevin Costner.
In 2004, the first televised debate between U.S. Senate candidates Jim DeMint and Inez Tenenbaum was filmed in Alumni Hall. ABC's The View and CNN's Crossfire also took up residence on the College of Charleston Cistern Yard before the South Carolina presidential primary in 2000. John Kerry officially endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Cistern Yard in 2008.
"The Bully Pulpit Series: Reflections on Presidential Communication" is hosted by the College of Charleston and its Department of Communication and welcomes presidential candidates from the two major political parties to the campus to discuss the importance of presidential communication. Candidates speak with students and Charleston community members on such topics as the frequency of press conferences, the candidate's relationship with journalists and the power of the president to persuade. Major candidates appearing in the 2007–2008 series included Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, President Barack Obama and Senator John Edwards. Sponsored by the Allstate Insurance Company in 2007–08, the series has drawn over 6,000 attendees and received national and international media coverage. Major candidates appearing in the 2015-16 series included Senator Lindsey Graham and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley.
In August 2017, the College hosted NASA for its live coverage of the solar eclipse.
Student media has actively consolidated to a single network under the name CisternYard Media. Under this umbrella is a student-run newspaper called CisternYard News which is online with a quarterly print insert called The Yard. There is also a student-run radio station called Cistern Yard Radio. CisternYard Video and a literary organization called Miscellany are also included under the CisternYard Media umbrella. The English Department at the College of Charleston publishes Crazyhorse, a national literary magazine.
Greek life has been active on campus for 120 years. There are ten active IFC fraternities, ten active panhellenic sororities, and seven NPHC fraternities and sororities on campus.