Converse College

Holly Duncan / Converse College

The coronavirus sent everyone at Converse College in Spartanburg packing early in the spring. Graduating seniors barely had time to say their good-byes before the campus shut down and restructured.

As the college reopens to residents this week, it brings a few changes, and not just in the COVID-19 protocols. For the first time, male freshmen are moving in as well. Converse, one of the last all-female colleges in South Carolina, decided that the fall of 2021 would be when it would go coed. But, as it has for a lot of things, the coronavirus pandemic has moved a few things around.

provided by Steffi Kong

Steffi Kong grew up in Singapore. At the onset of the century, the country was in the path of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a coronavirus similar to COVID-19. Kong contracted SARS, and beat it, but "because of that, my immune system was very compromised," she says.

Three years later, she caught H1N1, which was the swine flu that proved much deadlier and much more far-reaching. 

So to say that Kong was looking forward to seeing her family and walking in Converse College's commencement ceremony next month is an undestatement. But now that the Spartanburg-based college has shifted graduation to a virtual ceremony, Kong and her classmates -- the second-to-last class to ever graduate from an all-female Converse College -- will have to attend online in May.

How Sonata Form Works: a Guided Tour Part One

Sep 22, 2016
Converse College

On this two-part series on tonality and sonata form, David Kiser gives the microphone over to Professor of Piano at Converse College, Douglas Weeks who guides us through the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven.  In the course of this series you’ll learn about tonality and the importance of key structure. Douglas Weeks likens it to moving to different rooms of the house, where “Tonic” is the hearth, home base, the center of the house.

This week on the podcast we're joined by Jack Kosakowski, President of Junior Achievement. The staff at JA has developed a free app allowing students and parents to examine college majors, costs and return on investment. Plus, Converse President Dr. Betsy Fleming discusses the college's mission and how the 46% reduction in tuition has created such a positive impact in many areas.