History and Traditions

In 1886, founding president David Bancroft Johnson successfully petitioned Boston philanthropist Robert C. Winthrop and the Peabody Fund for seed money to form a training school for teachers. Winthrop opened its doors to 21 students in Columbia, S.C., using a borrowed, one-room building. The school soon received state assistance and moved to its permanent Rock Hill home in 1895. It expanded its mission over time to become a comprehensive institution. Winthrop assumed university designation in 1992. Explore the links at left to discover more about Winthrop’s rich history, its notable traditions and more.

The front of the little chapel on a sunny day