Randolph–Macon College

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Randolph–Macon College
R-MC Logo.jpg
Motto Building Extraordinary Futures
Established 1830
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment $126.3 million[1]
President Robert Lindgren
Academic staff
112 (93 FT) [2]
Undergraduates 1,419 (2015)[3] [4]
Location Ashland, Virginia, USA
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Campus Suburban, 116 acres[4]
Colors Black and lemon
Athletics NCAA Division IIIODAC
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 more than 1,400 students. The college offers bachelor's degrees in 38 major disciplines in the liberal arts, including political science, business, psychology, biology, international studies, and computer science, as well as 34 minors, including education.[6] 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 second-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 in 1868. The college takes its name from Virginia statesmen John Randolph of Roanoke and North Carolina statesman 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. The relationship led to the formation of the Randolph–Macon Medical School, which closed in 1851.[7] Its president William A. Smith delivered a set of lectures advocating slavery in 1856 and 1857.[8]

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 Mason–Dixon line to require physical education coursework for graduation. The old gym, built in 1887, was the first structure in the South to be constructed solely for instruction in physical education.[9] 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.[10] 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 than a traditional four-year institution.

Since 1923, the college has been home to the Zeta of Virginia 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.[11]

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 38 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, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Engineering, Pre-law, Pre-med, Pre-ministry, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, and Women's studies.

The student-faculty ratio is 12:1.[2]


Randolph-Macon operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar. This allows for two four-month semesters (fall and spring) with a one-month term in January to split up the semesters. During the January Term (colloquially called "J-Term"), students are afforded the opportunity to take intensive study courses on the Randolph-Macon campus, travel the globe as part of a study-abroad course, or participate in professional internships in their field(s) of study and interest.

Four Year Degree Guarantee

In 2011, Randolph-Macon announced a Four-Year Degree Guarantee program. The College guarantees that entering freshmen will graduate in four calendar years and, if qualifying students are not able to meet that requirement, then Randolph-Macon College will waive tuition costs for the courses that the student needs to complete their degree.


Randolph–Macon College Buildings
Randolph–Macon College is located in Virginia
Randolph–Macon College
Location Randolph–Macon College campus, Ashland, Virginia
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Area 4.5 acres (1.8 ha)
Built 1872
Architect B.F. Price; William West
Architectural style Gothic, Italianate
NRHP Reference # 79003044 [12]
VLR # 166-0002
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 19, 1979
Designated VLR April 17, 1979[13]

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 12 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). Andrews Hall, named after former Dean of Students Rev. Ira Andrews, opened in fall 2011. The newest residence hall, Birdsong Hall, named for Constance and Thomas Birdsong '49, opened in fall 2014. Birdsong Hall provides state-of-the-art housing for upperclassmen, including common areas, study rooms, and laundry facilities.

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, additions and renovations to the McGraw-Page Library and Copley Science Center, along with the destruction of the Brown Campus Center that was rebuilt into the Brock Commons in 2013.

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).

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, and volleyball.

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

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. As of February 14, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved April 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Randolph-Macon College". Petersons.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Enrollment Exceeds 1300 for Second Consecutive Year". Randolph-Macon College. August 29, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Randolph-Macon College". U.S. News. 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. NAICU – Member Directory
  6. "Academics: Majors & Minors". Randolph-Macon College. Retrieved June 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Landmarks Visited Catalog: Randolph-Macon Medical School
  8. http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/smith/bio.html
  9. Young, Virginia E. (2011). Randolf-Macon College (Campus History). Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-0738587141.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Scanlon, James. Randolph-Macon College: A Southern History, 1825-1967. University Press of Virginia, 1983.
  11. History of Randolph-Macon College
  12. Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Biographical Profile for Matt Shaheen". vote-tx.org. Retrieved December 6, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "In The Garden of The Beasts" by Erik Larson

External links