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1851 – 1900

1851 – Christian Female College received a charter from Missouri Legislature. A typical day for the students started at 6 a.m. with a morning walk before gathering for chapel. Students attended classes until late afternoon then wrote a daily composition. After they studied and completed chores, the students attended a Bible lecture every evening. They studied arithmetic, ancient history, grammar, ancient geography, philosophy, five books of Moses and composition.

1856 – The college enrolled 150 students, including 85 boarders.

1861 – The Civil War began, and the college remained open thanks to faculty members who stayed on, knowing they might not be paid.

1862 – Three students graduated, and four students graduated the following year.

1865 – Christian Female College never missed a day of classes during the Civil War.

1866 – The college experienced the largest enrollment to date with 182 students taught by nine faculty members.

1890s – St. Clair led the construction of four new buildings — St. Clair Hall, Dorsey Hall, Launer Auditorium and Missouri Hall — all of which are still in use today.

1893 – Luella St. Clair, a “steam engine in petticoats,” served three terms as president and was one of country’s first female college presidents.

1900 – 2000

1900 – The first traditional Ivy Chain ceremony was held.

1970 – Christian Female College transitioned from a two-year all-female college to a four-year coeducational college. At this time, the name was changed to Columbia College.

1973 – At the request of the military, Columbia College became one of the first colleges in the country with extended venues on military bases to educate military personnel.

1975 – Columbia College launches the evening program, which is geared to adult learners who want to start or finish a college degree.

1995 – Dr. Gerald Brouder was president of Columbia College for 18 years, growing the college and its endowment, employees, locations and partnerships.

1996 – Columbia College offered its first graduate degree, the Master of Arts in Teaching, followed by the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

2000 – today

2000 – Columbia College launched its online program.

2014 – Dr. Scott Dalrymple was announced as the 17th president of Columbia College and served until 2020 for 6 years.


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