Located in Macon, Georgia, Wesleyan College is a national four-year liberal arts college for women and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1836 and celebrating their 175th anniversary this year, Wesleyan was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. Students enjoy a 200-acre wooded campus that includes seventeen stately Georgian style academic, residential, and student life buildings, dining hall, athletic fields, equestrian center, fitness center, walking trails, an arboretum, and a performing arts auditorium. Wesleyan is regarded as one of the nation”s finest liberal arts colleges and is consistently recognized for academic excellence. The College concentrates its strengths in liberal arts education by offering one undergraduate degree: the A.B. (Artium Baccalaureate, or Bachelor of Arts). Wesleyan offers undergraduate degrees in 31 majors and 26 minors plus the option to self-design an interdisciplinary major, as well as pre-professional programs in seminary, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, allied health sciences, dental, and law. Wesleyan offers two outstanding graduate degree programs for men and women: an Executive Master of Business Administration program and a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program. A dual degree in engineering is offered in cooperation with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, and Mercer University. Research and technology are integrated throughout the liberal arts curriculum. With 90 percent of faculty engaged in research in their fields, Wesleyan students often have opportunities to collaborate with their professors on these projects.
Wesleyan College was recently ranked the nation”s #9 “Best Value” private college for 2011 by The Princeton Review, one of America”s most widely known education services and test preparation companies. The Princeton Review teamed with USA TODAY, the nation”s most widely read print newspaper, to present its list, “The Princeton Review Best Value Colleges for 2011.” In its profile of Wesleyan College on USA TODAY“s website, the editors at The Princeton Review commend the school for its “rigorous academic atmosphere,”# “fabulous highly interactive, discussion-oriented classroom experience,”# “ultra-loyal network of alumnae,”# “incredibly laudable diversity,”# and “supreme ideals of sisterhood.”# Editors claim, “#Being a small campus is a big advantage for Wesleyan students.# An exceptional faculty teaches small, seminar-style classes where there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one interaction with professors…# Wesleyan is easily one of the best deals out there.”#
Of the 2011 graduates who earned the Bachelor of Arts degree at Wesleyan, 31% earned double majors and 13% graduated with honors. Top majors for 2011 were: biology, business administration, psychology, economics, and early childhood education. Roughly 40% of the graduates had secured professional positions in their fields of study and/or had accepted positions in graduate programs prior to commencement. All but two who applied to graduate school programs were accepted, according to voluntary surveys completed by most graduating seniors, and approximately 70% of those were accepted into their first choice program. An estimated 23% of the graduating class will immediately begin master”s or doctoral programs that represent a broad range of study including social work, chemistry, law, psychology, mental health counseling, archival studies, molecular biology, accounting, nursing, theatre, finance, and business. They”re heading off to some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the world like Harvard, American University, Northwestern, Penn State, University of California, Irvine, The Medical College of Georgia, Scripps Research Institute, The University of Toronto, and The University of Georgia.
Many Wesleyan graduates enter the workforce with unique qualifications and have combined major and minor programs in ways that separate them from other job-seeking candidates. Some double major combinations of 2011 graduates include: philosophy and political science, international relations and theater, computer information systems and Spanish, studio arts and English. The 2011 graduates moving directly into the workforce will pursue professions in a wide variety of fields including education, public relations, finance, insurance, business, and theater. One will work with the national Coalition for the Homeless through AmeriCorps, another as a middle school science teacher in Bibb County, and another as a public relations specialist at Text 100 in New York. A few of this year”s graduates will delay graduate school and work to pursue internships and summer research programs at places like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lexington Children”s Theatre. Despite the major field of interest, Wesleyan”s rigorous academic program combined with a foundation of faith and service produces graduates unified through engaged leadership and a commitment to pursue more purposeful lives.
Wesleyan students play NCAA Division III sports including soccer, softball, tennis, cross country, volleyball, and basketball. Mathews Athletic Complex includes soccer and softball fields, tennis courts, a running track, and a multipurpose athletic center that features a fieldhouse for intercollegiate sports, an aerobics area, and weight-training room. Porter Gymnasium houses a heated swimming pool, basketball/volleyball court, and a dance studio, and the Nancy Ellis Knox Equestrian Center supports a program that has claimed two national champions in hunt seat and western events in recent years.
Wesleyan boasts more than forty different clubs, student organizations, special interest groups, social organizations, and musical groups. Class pep rallies, STUNT, color rush, and homecoming are still honored traditions along with the newer Scholarship Day, Senior Leadership Institute, WOW! A Day for Macon, and many other academic and community service events. Though we look back fondly on what we”ve achieved, we also look forward – to changing the way women are educated in the next century. For more information about Wesleyan College, please visit: www.wesleyancollege.edu.
- First Alumnae Association, founded 1859.
- First sororities, Alpha Delta Pi (begun as Adelphean Society, 1851), and Phi Mu (begun as Philomathean Society, 1852).
- First professorship in English Literature to be established in America (1844, held by the Reverend Josiah Fletcher Andrew).
- First formal inauguration of a college president in Georgia (Dr. Dice Robins Anderson, 1932).
- First Phi Kappa Phi chapter at a college in Georgia (1969; chapters had previously been established at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia).
- First Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration awarded in November 2000 to the college for “Aunt Maggie”s Kitchen Table” resource center; accepted by executive director and Wesleyan professor, Catherine Meeks.
Some “Firsts”# Among Wesleyan”s Alumnae
- First woman in Georgia to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree (Mary McKay, class of 1878).
- First woman elected to the Tennessee legislature (Sara Ruth Frazier, class of 1894).
- First woman to argue a case before the Georgia Supreme Court (Viola Ross Napier, class of 1901).
- First Chinese women to be educated in America. In 1908, sisters Soong E-ling (Madame H. H. Kung), class of 1909, Soong Ching-ling (Madame Sun Yat-sen), class of 1913, and Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) freshman in class of 1916, came to Wesleyan. Soong May-ling later completed her degree at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1917. For more information on the Soong Sisters, see the “History of the College.”#
- First woman in Georgia to be issued a commercial pilot”s license (Hazel Jane Raines, class of 1936), in 1938.
- First woman chair of the Press Institute of the Georgia Press Association (Adelaide Ponder, class of 1946).
- Georgia”s first and only Miss America (Neva Langley Fickling, class of 1955), in 1953.
- First women to be appointed poet laureate of state of North Carolina (Kathryn Stripling Byer, class of 1966) in 2005.
- First woman to serve as staff counsel and director of House Ways and Means Committee (Janice Mays, class of 1973).
- First woman to be ordained Bishop of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Conference (Charlene Payne Kammerer, class of 1970), in 1996.
- First woman president of the Florida senate (Antoinette “Toni”# Jennings, class of 1971), in 1996.