James A. Neal


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1000 Powell Mill Road, Spartanburg, SC 29301





Date of Founding


Date of Photograph



Spartanburg Methodist College was founded as Textile Industrial Institute (TII) 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 close 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 25 years focused its efforts on providing associate degrees designed for transfer into a wide variety of bachelor’s degree programs. Beginning in 1965, the College began a cycle of growth during which more than 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 forebear, 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 of the United States, as well as from several different nations of the world. The College seeks to meet 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 meet the needs of the traditional college student and of the non-traditional working adult. Sources: SCDAH; Spartanburg Methodist College web site (, Wikipedia


SC Department of Archives and History