• 1894


    First effort for women to enter the College is rejected.

  • 1903

    Second effort for women to enter the College is rejected.



  • 1917



    Under the leadership of Carrie Pollitzer, the Charleston Federation of Women’s Clubs requests the establishment of an “Extension Course of the College,” which should be open to women as well as to men.

  • 1920

    Cheerleading squad is formed.



  • 1927


    The first club for women, the Co-Ed Club, is founded.

  • 1928

    First Sorority

    The Zeta Gamma chapter of Chi Omega is the first national sorority on campus.



  • 1929


    First Literary Club

    The first literary club, The Scribblers, is founded.

  • 1931

    The Alpha Nu chapter of Delta Delta Delta comes to the College.



  • 1943


    Female COFC Students Work for USCG

    As part of the war effort, College of Charleston President George Grice selects female students to work for the United States Coast Guard transcribing code at the Charleston Naval Yard.

  • 1962

    First Female Tenure-track Faculty Member

    Maggie Pennington becomes the first female tenure-track faculty member at the College of Charleston. What began as a one-year contract extended to a 35-year career, during which Pennington serves as the first and only dean of women in the College’s history, as well as a mentor and campus leader.



  • 1967


    The first two black women – Carrie Nesbitt Gibb ’72 and Angela Brown Gilchrist ’72 – enroll at the College and are soon joined by Linda Dingle Gadson ’72 and Audrey Dingle Cooper ’72.

    (l to r) Linda Dingle Gadson ’73, Audrey Dingle Cooper ’73, Carrie Nesbitt Gibbs ’73

    Nan Morrison joins the Department of English and becomes the second woman to join the College of Charleston faculty.

  • 1971

    Alumnae and preservationists Jane Lucas Thornhill ’46 and Elizabeth Jenkins Young ’39 stop the demolition of a circa-1817 house on the CofC at 6 Green Street by standing in front of the bulldozers. The house is saved and moved to 10 Green Street.

    Female presidents for clubs and organizations are elected for the first time in the College’s history: Barbara Handy for the Chrestomathic Society and Trisha Sullivan for the Senior Class.



  • 1972


    Owilender Grant becomes the first black faculty member at the College of Charleston, serving as assistant professor of mathematics and director of Upward Bound.

    Lucille S. Whipper becomes the first black administrator at the College, serving as director of human relations and assistant to the president.

  • 1973

    Wilmot Welch Gibbs ’38 becomes the first female president of the Alumni Association.



  • 1974


    Joan Cronan becomes the co-ed basketball coach and assistant coach Nancy Wilson starts the volleyball program. In 1976, Wilson becomes the volleyball and basketball coach when Cronan assumes the role of director of women’s athletics. At this time, the College was far ahead of most schools its size in the number of scholarships for women athletes.

  • 1975

    Rose Hamm Rowland comes to the College as a mathematics professor and goes on to serve as director of the Governor’s School and the Honors Program from 1988 to 1999, during which time the Honors Program saw tremendous growth – Stern Student Center opens in March, and campus programming includes a celebration of International Women’s Week.



  • 1984


    The Women’s and Gender Studies program is launched.

  • 1995

    Dale Rosengarten founded the Jewish Heritage Collection in special collections at Marlene & Nathan Addlestone Library


  • 1997


    First Female Foundation President

    Bette Griffith ’56 serves as first female president of the College of Charleston Foundation Board.

  • 2000

    Patricia Williams Lessane

    Patricia Williams Lessane joins the College as executive director of the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. In 2018, she was promoted to associate dean for strategic planning and community engagement.



  • 2010


    The women’s and gender studies major is established.

  • 2011

    Devon Hanahan ’87, senior instructor of Hispanic studies, is named the top professor in the country by the popular website RateMyProfessors.com.



  • 2012


    Yes, I’m a Feminist! – an annual celebration of women – is launched.

  • 2015

    The women’s golf team claims the CAA championship in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    Feminism in Motion, an annual celebration of students’ work on gender and gender-focused projects, is launched.

    Jasmine Twitty ’10 becomes one of the youngest judges in South Carolina.



  • 2016


    The annual Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs Summit is launched.

  • 2017

    Master of Business Administration Program

    No. 8 in the nation for MBA programs with the most women.

    (l to r) Jennie Ridall, Eliza Chisolm, Kavitha Rajendra Kumar

    (l to r) Jennie Ridall, Eliza Chisolm, Kavitha Rajendra Kumar