|Saint Paul Normal and Industrial School|
Saint Paul’s Polytechnic Institute
|Motto||"challenge by choice"|
|Colors||Black and Orange|
|Nickname||Tigers and Lady Tigers|
St. Paul's College
|Location||St. Paul's College campus, Lawrenceville, Virginia|
|Area||2 acres (0.81 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late Gothic Revival|
|NRHP reference #||79003032|
|Added to NRHP||June 27, 1979|
|Designated VLR||March 20, 1979|
Saint Paul's College was a private, historically black college located in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Saint Paul's College opened its doors on September 24, 1888, originally training students as teachers and for agricultural and industrial jobs.
By the late 20th century, Saint Paul's College offered undergraduate degrees for traditional college students and distant learning students in the Continuing Studies Program. The school also offered adult education to help assist working adults to gain undergraduate degrees. Saint Paul's College had a Single Parent Support System Program that assisted single teen parents pursuing a college education.
The college had long struggled with significant financial difficulties, culminating in a court conflict in 2012 with its regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Throughout the 2012–2013 school year, the college sought to merge with another institution, but on June 3, 2013, the board announced the college would close on June 30, 2013.
Saint Paul's eleven-building campus was situated on 185 acres (0.75 km2) of green hills. Older buildings were constructed by students and donated by friends of the College. The college has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On September 24, 1888, James Solomon Russell of the Protestant Episcopal Church founded the Saint Paul Normal and Industrial School, with fewer than a dozen students. The school was intended chiefly to develop African-American teachers, a critical and prestigious job in the late 19th and early 20th-century South.
In 1941 the name of the institution was changed to Saint Paul's Polytechnic Institute when the state granted the school authority to offer a four-year program. The first bachelor's degree was awarded in 1944. In 1957 the college adopted its present name to reflect its liberal arts and teacher education curricula.
In June 2012, the college's regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, stripped the college of its accreditation. Although the college had been on probation, it lost its accreditation for "violations concerning financial resources, institutional effectiveness in support services, institutional effectiveness in academics and student services, lack of terminal degrees for too many faculty members, and a lack of financial stability." The college sued the accreditor, and two months later a court issued a preliminary injunction reinstating the college's probationary accreditation to protect it during further legal proceedings. Although supporters worked on plans to have St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina, another historically black university of Episcopal heritage, acquire St Paul's, the deal was abandoned in May 2013. Shortly thereafter, St. Paul's College reported to SACS that it would close on June 30, 2013.
The college focused on liberal arts, social sciences, education, business, mathematics, and natural sciences. It was committed to the development of "students who will be equipped to live effectively in a global society."
Saint Paul's College developed the Single Parent Support System, the only program of its kind in the United States. Initiated in 1987, the Single Parent Support System (SPSS) was an on-campus residential educational program designed for single parents with two or fewer children between the ages of two months to nine years old.
The program required students to attend the college year round on a full-time basis and maintain a projected graduation progression of three to four years, with a 2.5 G.P.A. each year. A significant aspect of the SPSS was a faculty mentoring system that assisted participants with choosing a major. Tutorial assistance and counseling services were available, and the college provided seminars that focused on academic success, transition to college, career planning, and parenting. The college also provided child care assistance.
The college discontinued its athletic programs in July 2011 in an effort to alleviate financial difficulties. The football team had costs of $300,000 to $400,000 annually. The men's sports teams were known as the Tigers and the women's sports teams were known as the Lady Tigers. The college competed in the NCAA Division II in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.