|Type||Women's Undergraduate College. Co-Ed Graduate Programs|
70 acres (0.3 km2)
|Colors||Purple and Gold|
|Sports||Softball, Basketball, Soccer, Cross Country, Tennis, Volleyball, Swimming, Lacrosse, Equestrian, Golf, Track & Field|
Converse College is a liberal arts masters university in Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States. Converse consists of an undergraduate women's college as well as co-ed graduate, online and summer programs. It was established by a group of Spartanburg residents and named after textile pioneer Dexter Edgar Converse.
Converse College Historic District
|Location||580 E. Main St., Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Area||20 acres (8.1 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late Gothic Revival, Romanesque, Richardson Romanesque|
|NRHP reference #||75001706|
|Added to NRHP||November 12, 1975|
Converse College opened on October 1, 1890, with a student body of 168 and 16 faculty members. The college operated as a "stock company" with the board of directors composed entirely of residents of Spartanburg. Dexter Edgar Converse, a native of Vermont who had settled in Spartanburg before the American Civil War and had become a successful pioneer in the cotton mill industry, served as the head of the first board of directors. On January 2, 1892, fire destroyed the college's main building. The building was enlarged during its reconstruction. In 1896, the college was incorporated in South Carolina and a self-perpetuating board of trustees was named. In 1964, the college introduced graduate programs.
The Converse College Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It encompasses eight contributing buildings dated between 1891 and 1915. They are the Main Building (Wilson Hall) (1892), Annex (Pell Hall, 1891), Twichell Auditorium (1898–1899), Carnegie Library (1905), Cleveland House (c. 1905), Judd Science Hall (1915), Dexter Hall (1899) and Towne House (1898). The buildings are representative of the Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, and Neo-Classical styles.
It has an undergraduate enrollment of about 800 women who come from throughout the United States, along with some international students. The graduate enrollment of about 550 students is made up of both men and women.
Converse College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II. The Valkyries are a member of the Conference Carolinas. Women's sports include acrobatics and tumbling, basketball, cross country, equestrian, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track and field, golf, tennis, swimming and volleyball.
|Benjamin F. Wilson||1890–1902|
|Robert Paine Pell||1902–1932|
|Edward Moseley Gwathmey||1933–1955|
|Oliver Cromwell Carmichael, Jr.||1956–1960|
|Robert T. Coleman, Jr.||1961–1989|
|Ellen Wood Hall||1989–1993|
|Sandra C. Thomas||1994–1998|
|Nancy Oliver Gray||1999–2005|
|Elizabeth A. Fleming||2006–2016|
|Krista L. Newkirk||2016 – Present|
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