Salem College

Salem College

See also Salem State College in Massachusetts. Infobox University
name = Salem College

motto = Reach Within, Shape the Future
established = 1772
type = Private woman's college
president = Susan E. Pauly
city = Winston-Salem
state = North Carolina
country = USA
campus =
undergrad = 800
postgrad = 300
faculty = 40
mascot = Salem Spirits
website = []

Salem College is a liberal arts women's college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina founded in 1772. Originally established as a primary school, it later became an academy (high school) and finally a college. It is the oldest female educational establishment that is still a women's college (coeducational Moravian College, originally Bethlehem Female Seminary, was founded in 1742). It is the oldest female institution in the Southern United States.

Though Salem is officially classified as a women's college, men 23 years of age and over are admitted into the Continuing Education program.


Salem College is an independent college committed to the liberal arts and quality professional preparation. Salem strives to set its signature upon its students by encouraging them to recognize and strengthen their human faculties and their capacities for service, professional life and leadership. In light of the evidence that such powers flourish when women live and learn within a community dedicated to their education, Salem affirms its commitment to young women in a residential setting.

History and campus

Located in the historic Moravian community of Old Salem, Salem College was originally a girl's school established by the Moravians, who believed strongly in equal educations for men and women. The idea for the school began in 1766, when (at the age of 17) Sister Elisabeth Oesterlein walked from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Salem. On April 22, 1772, the "Little Girls' School" [] was founded. Her influence led the school to be among the first to accept non-white students. It became a boarding school in 1802 and in 1866 it changed its name to the"Salem Female Academy". The school began giving college diplomas in 1890. In 1907 the name was officially changed to "Salem Academy and College" and to this day both Salem Academy and Salem College share the campus in Old Salem. [] []

During the summer, the Salem campus has, since 1963, housed one campus of the Governor's School of North Carolina, a state-run summer program for gifted high school students.

Dr. Julianne Still Thrift was appointed the college's eighteenth president and its first female president in 1991. According to Salem College's website, "The years of her presidency marked extraordinary growth and advancement, seeing increases in enrollment at both Salem Academy and Salem College and the tripling of Salem's endowment." [] . In 2006, she was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

The oldest building on Salem's campus is the Single Sister's House. Originally constructed in 1785, an addition was added in 1819. The Single Sister's House is the oldest building in the United States dedicated to the education of women. Renovation on the Single Sister's House began in October 2005, and was completed for a re-opening ceremony on April 22, 2007 - marking the 235th anniversary of the founding of Salem. In the fourth-floor attic of the Single Sister's House is its original 1785 datestone. Several interesting features were found in the renovation process, including graffiti that was covered by plaster. A Salem professor, Dr. John Hutton, wrote and illustrated the children's book "Sister Maus." The story portrays a mouse as a stowaway on the trip from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to living in the Single Sister's House. The story was inspired by a mouse hole found in a baseboard of the foyer.

Salem has eight residence halls on campus. Two, Mary Reynolds Babcock and Dale H. Gramley, are designated for first-year students. The additional residence halls are named South, Alice Wolle Clewell (suite style), Bahnson House, Hattie Strong and Louisa Wilson Bitting. Each hall is named after someone who was important to the Salem community. The Fogle Flats are townhouses available to seniors.

tudent Life

Salem College enrolls (as of 2007) approximately 1,100 students; this includes undergraduate students, graduate students in the field of Education as well as adult Continuing Education students who live off-campus. An estimated 400 students are "traditional" (non-adult) undergraduates who live on campus. Salem draws most of its students from the local area. All "traditional" undergraduates live on Salem's campus or with their immediate family; thus, all non-CE off-campus undergraduates are local. The same is true of adult students. On-campus undergraduates are more geographically diverse: Though the majority hail from North Carolina and the surrounding states, many come from as far away as Texas and Florida. The international student population is also large, with students from Nepal and Ethiopia predominating. The diversity of Salem's student population creates classes that are a rich mixture of traditional-aged college students and adult students, enhancing the learning environment.

Salem College shares its campus with Salem Academy, a residential high school for young women. They formerly shared buildings, but the Academy was given its own buildings in the early 1900's.

Salem students participate in many unique traditional events including Fall Fest, the Sophomore/Senior banquet and Founders' Day Convocation. Students are required to attend one formal Student Government Association meeting per month and several formal convocations per year.

Students are able to participate in over 50 clubs on campus, ranging from religious to political to environmental to social. Salem gives women the opportunity to get involved in as many organizationsas they'd like while encouraging them to obtain leadership positions within those groups.


Salem College offers a variety of majors to its students. Currently, Accounting, American Studies, Art, Art History, Arts Management, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication, Creative Writing, Economics, English, French, German, History, Interior Design, International Business, International Relations, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Not-for-profit Management, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and Spanish are all offered as majors. Additional minors are offered in Dance, Marketing, Theater, and Women's Studies. Also offered is an Honors Program. Programs in Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, and Pre-Med exist, but within existing majors, not as majors unto themselves. Salem also had a teacher education program that is not a major in itself; rather, students must meet the college's general education requirements as well as the requirements for an academic concentration in a major discipline. The Not-for-Profit major was added in 2006, and is the only not-for-profit major program in North Carolina.

Traditional-age students have the unique opportunity to participate in the Salem Signature program, which is a four-year program designed to prepare women to become confident, effective leaders in their professions and in their communities. The program includes a community service project during the sophomore year and an internship program during the junior year.

Salem's January Term provides students with an opportunity to concentrate on one subject area of particular interest. During this month students may enroll in courses on campus, travel programs, independent studies, or internships. Salem College students have completed internships in a wide variety of areas- retailing, marketing, public relations, journalism, teaching- for many businesses, law firms, congressional offices, banks, schools, museums and hospitals all over the world.

Salem College has a relationship with Wake Forest University, in which Salem students are allowed to cross-register to take classes at Wake Forest. Several Salem students are also members of Wake Forest's marching band.


In 2005 Salem began the process of joining the NCAA Division III. Currently, basketball, cross-country, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball exist on campus as NCAA varsity sports. Equestrian, Field Hockey, and softball are club sports. Salem's basketball team won the regional championship in February 2007.


Among its alumnae is Sarah Childress Polk, wife of U.S. President James Knox Polk. The daughter of Chief John Ross, head of the Cherokee Indian Tribe, was attending Salem College prior to her withdrawal to accompany her family on the Trail of Tears.

Recent Salem alums include actress Celia Weston and Sarah Fulcher, the first woman and third person to complete a 2700 mile run around Australia.


Oprah Winfrey spoke at Salem's graduation ceremony in May 2000.

ee also

*Colonial Colleges
*Salem Academy
*Adelaide Fries- author of the 1902 "Historical Sketch of Salem Female Academy".
*Women's Colleges in the Southern United States


External links

* [ Official website]

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