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"W” is for Winthrop University

  "W” is for Winthrop University. Winthrop University traces it origins to 1886 when the Peabody Foundation gave the Columbia City Schools a grant to open a teacher training facility. Five years later the General Assembly created the Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina for the education of white girls. The school was named for Robert C. Winthrop, president of the Board of the Peabody Foundation. The school moved to Rock Hill in 1895. Throughout its history, the college retained its roots in the liberal arts. Integration came before co-education. The first African American students enrolled in 1964 and a decade later the governor authorized the school’s board of trustees to pursue co-education. By the 21st century Winthrop University was awarding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and had an enrollment of about six thousand students.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.