History of SMC
Spartanburg Methodist College was founded as Textile Industrial Institute in 1911 by Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. At its founding as a work-study cooperative, TII served young adults working in area textile mills by offering high school level courses in preparation for advanced education or employment. In this first cooperative education program in the country, students worked a week and then took classes for a week. This arrangement enabled the school to provide resources for education and for life.
In 1927, the first two years of college-level work were added to the curriculum to provide graduates with an associate degree in liberal arts for transfer to senior level colleges. The continued relationship between TII and local business and industry led to the development of associate degrees that prepared students for immediate employment.
In 1940, the high school classes were dropped from the TII curriculum. In 1942, Textile Industrial Institute became Spartanburg Junior College and for the next twenty-five years focused its efforts on providing associate degrees designed for transfer into a wide variety of bachelor degree programs. Beginning in 1965, the College began a cycle of growth during which over three-fourths of the present campus buildings were erected or renovated, the curriculum was broadened and strengthened, student enrollment doubled and new expertise was added through faculty growth and development.
In 1974, Spartanburg Junior College became Spartanburg Methodist College.
Since its founding, the College has been affiliated with the mission work of the United Methodist Church and its forebearer, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The relationship between the College and the church has continued across the years through the General Board of Global Ministries and the Board of Global Ministries of the South Carolina Annual Conference. The College's name attests to the pride the institution's trustees, faculty, staff, and student body take in working and studying at a college based on the traditional values of the church and the United States of America.
Today, Spartanburg Methodist College serves a highly diverse student body from several states, as well as from various countries around the world. The College seeks to serve the educational needs of its student body by enabling each student to meet the challenges of a technologically based future. Spartanburg Methodist College offers a variety of educational programs to suit both the needs of the traditional college student and of the non-traditional working adult.
The college is led by a Board of Trustees comprising 24 members, with six clergy members and 18 laity. Terms are staggered on a three-year basis. Dr. Colleen Perry Keith has served as the College's seventh president since July 1, 2009.