Randolph-macon college

Randolph–Macon College
Motto Believe in the Moment of Connection
Established 1830
Type Private liberal arts college
Religious affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment $105.2 million As of June 30, 2010.[1]
President Robert Lindgren
Academic staff 93 full-time
Undergraduates 1,259 (2011)
Postgraduates 0
Location Ashland, Virginia, USA
Campus Suburban, 116 acres
Colors Black and gold
Athletics NCAA Division III, ODAC
Nickname Yellow Jackets
Website rmc.edu

Randolph–Macon College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college located in Ashland, Virginia, United States, near the capital city of Richmond. Founded in 1830, the school has an enrollment of over 1,200 students. The college offers bachelor's degrees in 37 major disciplines in the liberal arts, including political science, business, psychology, biology, international studies, and computer science, as well as nearly 40 minors, including education. Randolph–Macon College is a member of The Annapolis Group of colleges in the United States, as well as the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.


Randolph–Macon was founded in 1830 by the Virginia Methodists, and is the oldest Methodist-run college in the country. It was originally located in Boydton, near the North Carolina border but as the railroad link to Boydton was destroyed during the Civil War, the college's trustees decided to relocate the school to Ashland. The college was named for statesmen John Randolph of Roanoke and Nathaniel Macon. (The original site of Randolph–Macon features a historical marker and ruins of the classroom buildings.)

In 1847, Randolph–Macon College established a relationship with the Hampden-Sydney College. alum John Peter Mettauer. The relationship led to the formation of the Randolph–Macon Medical School, and in 1851 the school was closed.[2] Its president William A. Smith delivered a set of lectures on slavery in 1856 and 1857.

The college has a historical relationship with Randolph College (formerly known as Randolph–Macon Woman's College) in Lynchburg, Virginia. The former women's college was founded under Randolph–Macon's original charter in 1893 by the then-president William Waugh Smith; it was intended as a female counterpart to Randolph–Macon. The two schools later separated to become distinct institutions governed by two separate boards. Randolph–Macon College became co-educational in 1971 with the enrollment of 50 women and the first full-time female faculty member. (Randolph College became co-educational in 2007.)

In 1892, two preparatory schools — both called Randolph–Macon Academy — were founded. The only one that remains today is Randolph–Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia. Randolph–Macon Academy is today the only co-educational military boarding school in the country affiliated with the United States Air Force Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC).

Randolph–Macon College became the first college south of the U.S. Mason-Dixon Line to require physical education coursework for graduation. Randolph–Macon is considered to be the first college in the South to offer English as a full discipline and to develop biology as a distinct study.[3] Its computer science department is one of the oldest in the country associated with a liberal arts school; in the 1960s when the program was established, many academics believed computer science to be more appropriate for a commercial trade or secretarial school, rather than a traditional four-year institution.

Since 1923, the college has been home to the Zeta chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest academic honor society. Chi Beta Phi, the national science honorary society, was founded at Randolph–Macon in 1916.[4]

Academic program

Randolph–Macon College offers a broad-based curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences. The education emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills and effective oral and written communication. All students must satisfy the general collegiate curriculum, which requires them to take courses in each of the Areas of Knowledge: civilizations, arts and literature, social sciences, natural and mathematics, foreign languages, and wellness.

Randolph–Macon offers two undergraduate degrees: the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science. The college awards degrees in 37 majors: Accounting, Archaeology, Art History, Arts Management, Asian studies, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, Economics/Business, Engineering Physics, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, Greek, History, International studies, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Engineering, Pre-law, Pre-med, Pre-ministry, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, and Women's studies.


Randolph–Macon operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar, which includes fall and spring semesters (each about four months in length) and a one-month January Term between the semesters. During the January Term, students have the option of taking an intensive study course on-campus, a study-abroad course that includes two to three weeks of global travel, or a professional internship in the student’s field of interest.


Randolph–Macon College Buildings
Randolph–Macon College
Location Randolph–Macon College campus, Ashland, Virginia

37°45′38″N 77°28′47″W / 37.76056°N 77.47972°W / 37.76056; -77.47972Coordinates: 37°45′38″N 77°28′47″W / 37.76056°N 77.47972°W / 37.76056; -77.47972

Area 4.5 acres (1.8 ha)
Built 1872
Architect B.F. Price; William West
Architectural style Gothic, Italianate
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


Template:Designation/abbreviation # 166-0002
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 19, 1979
Designated Template:Designation/abbreviation April 17, 1979[6]

Randolph–Macon College has over 60 academic, administrative, athletic, and residential buildings on its campus of 116 acres (0.47 km2) located in the heart of Ashland, Virginia. The oldest building is Washington-Franklin Hall, built in 1872, soon after the college moved to Ashland from Boydton. It was the first brick building in Ashland, and its construction was funded by the students. Renovated in 1987, Washington-Franklin Hall now houses the history department. Pace-Armistead Hall was built in 1876 (renovated 1997) and originally housed the chemistry department. Today, it is home to the studio art department, including the Flippo Art Gallery. The original Duncan Methodist Church was built in 1879 and was renovated to include classrooms and offices for the music and arts departments. All three buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and collectively they make up "Historic Campus."

Copley Science Center is the largest academic building on campus. The biology, chemistry, physics/astrophysics, environmental studies, computer science, and mathematics departments are all located in Copley. Copley Science Center was built as an extension of Smithey Hall, which today houses the psychology department. Just north of Copley is Keeble Observatory, which includes a 12" Cassegrain reflector optical telescope and two radio telescopes.

Randolph–Macon has one main library: McGraw-Page Library. Formerly, the library was located in Peele Hall, which is now the main administrative building on-campus and includes the Copy Center, Registrar's Office, Human Resources, provost, dean of students, and the president.

There are 11 residence halls on campus. The seven halls on the north end of campus are collectively known as the Freshman Village. About 75% of the college's freshmen live in one of those halls. The four located near the center of campus house upperclassmen and the remaining freshmen. These include the two oldest residence halls - Thomas Branch Hall and Mary Branch Hall. The college also owns most of the fraternity and sorority houses, other houses devoted to special interest groups, and on-campus townhouses (usually reserved for seniors). A new residence hall - Andrews Hall, named after former Dean of Students Rev. Ira Andrews - opened in fall 2011.

The College announced a $100 million capital campaign in 2011. A large portion of the funds will go toward enhancing facilities, including two new residence halls, new football and baseball fields and stadiums, and additions and renovations to the McGraw-Page Library, Copley Science Center, and Brown Campus Center.

The main north-south railroad line for the east coast runs through the campus. Most of the campus is located to the east of the railroad, but a handful of college offices, special interest houses, and athletic fields are located to the west of the tracks. The Ashland train station (not part of the R-MC campus) is directly across from the southern entrance to the campus.


Randolph–Macon's sports teams are known as the Yellow Jackets or, more simply, as "The Jackets." Randolph–Macon College plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The school's main rival in men's sports over the past century has been Hampden-Sydney College. The football game between Randolph–Macon and Hampden-Sydney dates to the 19th century and is billed as the "Oldest Small-College Rivalry in the South." Randolph–Macon won the first contest 12–6 in 1893. In 1969 Randolph–Macon defeated the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut) 47–28 in the Knute Rockne Bowl laying claim to a shared College Division National Championship with Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) which had defeated William Jewell College in the Alonzo Stagg Bowl. The 4 teams had been chosen by the NCAA to compete in the first ever playoffs established for Division II schools. No complete playoff was set up until 1973. The Yellow Jacket football team is currently coached by Pedro Arruza and won the ODAC championship in 2008. The football team plays its home games at Day Field. R-MC's basketball teams have had numerous successful seasons. The women's basketball team played in the NCAA Division III national championship game in the 2004–05 season, losing to Millikin University and finishing second in the nation. The men's basketball team has been ranked #1 in the country by D3hoops.com, most recently in 2011, and earned a trip to the Final Four of the NCAA Division III tournament in 2010. The women's volleyball team won the ODAC championship in 2009 and 2010, including a #25 national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010. R–MC's baseball team won the conference championship in 2011.

Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, and tennis. Women's sports include basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball.

The college maintains a Hall of Fame of former especially accomplished athletes based upon their past athletic records.

Greek life

Coeducational service fraternity

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
Template:National Register of Historic Places in Virginia
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