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Stephens College

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Title: Stephens College  
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Subject: W. Scott Wilkinson, Peggy Bolton, Women's colleges in the Southern United States, Missouri Baptist University, William Woods University
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Stephens College

Stephens College

Established 1833
Type Private women's college
President Dianne Lynch
Students 850 [1]
Location Columbia, Missouri, USA
Campus Urban, 86-acre (35 ha)
Colors maroon and gold
Athletics NAIA
Nickname Stars

Stephens College is a women's college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is the second oldest female educational establishment that is still a women's college in the United States. It was founded on August 24, 1833, as the Columbia Female Academy. In 1856, David H. Hickman helped secure the college's charter under the name The Columbia Female Baptist Academy. In the late 19th century it was renamed Stephens Female College after James L. Stephens endowed the college with $20,000. The campus includes a National Historic District: Stephens College South Campus Historic District.


Situated in the center of the state, Stephens is approximately 120 miles (193 km) from both Kansas City and St. Louis. Columbia is known as "College Town, USA" because of the 34,000 college students attending Stephens, the University of Missouri and Columbia College. The Stephens campus is located near downtown Columbia.[2]


The college follows a liberal arts curriculum and has four schools: Design, Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies and Performing Arts, and Equestrian Studies.[3]

In addition to undergraduate programs, Stephens offers master's programs in counseling, strategic leadership and screenwriting.[4][5][6]

Stephens has study abroad programs in France, England, Korea, Ecuador, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and Korea. International seminars and study tours also are available.

The Stephens faculty includes approximately 55 full-time instructors. Most have Ph.D.s or appropriate terminal degrees in their field.


U.S. News & World Report places it in the top third of all ranked regional colleges in the Midwest, and considers it a "selective" school when it comes to admissions.[7] Stephens is among The Princeton Review's Best 379 Colleges in the U.S.[8] The fashion program is 13th in the world, 1st in long-term value and 5th in educational experience,[9] and is among the top 50 in the world.[10] The theatre program has been ranked number 11 by the Princeton Review.

Campus life

Stephens is one of four women's colleges, along with Bennett College, Spelman College, and Brenau University, to have sororities on its campus. Sigma Sigma Sigma and Kappa Delta, both of which are National Panhellenic Conference sororities, have on-campus chapters. The sororities are governed by the Panhellenic Council and the Junior Panhellenic Council. Stephens students can also join historically Black or Asian sororities at the nearby University of Missouri campus.

There are also about a dozen academic honor societies on campus: Mortar Board, Psi Chi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Tau Delta the English honor society, Tri-Beta, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Alpha Delta, and others. Although Stephens College is no longer a two-year institution, it is the location of the alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-Year College.

The student newspaper is named Stephens Life and is online with a magazine printed once a semester. The college's literary magazine is named Harbinger and is released each spring.[11]

Stephens opened pet-friendly residence halls in 2004.[12] The College also allows students to foster shelter animals in exchange for scholarships.[13]

Citizen Jane Film Festival

Citizen Jane Film Festival

The Citizen Jane Film Festival is an annual film festival. The festival was first held October 17–19, 2008. Films included are intended to showcase women behind and in front of the camera.[14]


Stephens College teams are known as the Stars. The college competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a member of the American Midwest Conference (AMC). Women's sports include basketball, competitive dance, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and a variety of equestrian horse studies.[15]


The Stephens College Alumnae Association has more than 20,000 members internationally. Alumnae are found in every state.

Notable alumnae

Alumnae distribution

In March 2006, Stephens released an interactive alumnae map showing the distribution of living alumnae throughout the United States. The metropolitan areas with the highest numbers of Stephens alumnae include:

Florida also has a particularly high concentration of Stephens alumnae, with 1,237 found statewide, especially in the central, eastern, and southern parts of the state. The Washington, D.C.-to-Boston corridor contains a heavy concentration as well, including 184 alumnae living in Manhattan.[16]

Historic buildings

Firestone Baars Chapel

Firestone Baars Chapel

The Firestone Baars Chapel was designed by world-famous Finnish architect Eero Saarinen who also designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The chapel symbolizes commitment to individual spiritual development and worship. The chapel is used for meditation, religious services, vespers, weddings, memorials and campus programs.

Historic Senior Hall

Historic Senior Hall dates back to 1841, when Oliver Parker bought the 8-acre (3.2 ha) tract of land on which the College was first located. In 1857, the Columbia Baptist Female College, which later became Stephens College, acquired the building. Until 1918, Historic Senior Hall was the only dormitory at the College. It was the tradition for the President of the Civic Association (now the Student Government Association) to occupy the first floor room just north of the Waugh Street entrance. Many generations of students feel this building is their tie to the past. A complete restoration of Historic Senior Hall began in the spring of 1987, and the building was rededicated in the spring of 1990. Senior Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[17]

The South Quadrangle
Senior Hall 
Senior Hall Front 
The President's Home 
James Madison Woods Hall 
Senior Tower 
Columbia Hall 


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  2. ^ Stephens College : About Stephens - Facts & Figures
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  16. ^ Stephens College Alumni
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External links

  • Stephens College
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