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Agnes Scott College is a private liberal arts women's college in Decaturmarker, Georgiamarker, near Atlantamarker. The college currently enrolls 914 students. Agnes Scott is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church . The undergraduate school offers 30 majors and 25 minors. Students who graduate from Agnes Scott receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. 87% of the faculty are full-time, and 100% of the tenure-track faculty hold terminal degrees. In 2006, the student to faculty ratio was 10:1.It is considered one of the Seven Sisters of the South. The current mission of the college, adopted in 2002, states: Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.


The college was founded in 1889 as Decatur Female Seminary by Presbyterian minister Frank H. Gaines. In 1890, the name was changed to Agnes Scott Institute to honor the mother of the college's primary benefactor, Col. George Washington Scott. The name was changed again to Agnes Scott College in 1906. Agnes Scott (Main) Hall, the oldest building on campus, was built in 1891 and once housed the entire school. This is documented in the history of Agnes Scott by Dr. McNair entitled Lest We Forget published in 1983.
Buttrick Hall
Looking across the quad
McCain Library at dusk
Agnes Scott is considered the first higher education institution in the state of Georgia to receive regional accreditation. The current president is Elizabeth Kiss, the founding director of Duke Universitymarker's Kenan Institute for Ethics.

On July 27, 1994, the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the South Candler Street-Agnes Scott College Historic District.
 The historic district boundaries are East College Ave., South McDonough St., S. Candler St., East Hill St. and East Davis St.  It includes the entire campus, as well as historic homes adjacent to the campus. The campus is also designated by the City of Decatur as an historic district.

Undergraduate campus life

The school colors of Agnes Scott are purple and white, while the mascot is Irvine, a Scottish Terrier. Each incoming class is assigned a class color out of red, yellow, blue, or green and votes on a class mascot that correlates with that color. The colors and mascots are intended to establish class pride, particularly during one week of activities called Black Cat. Black Cat occurs every fall and culminates in a series of skits written, directed, and performed by the junior class. If there is dissatisfaction with a class mascot, the class is given the option to revote and choose a different mascot their second year.

The class ring is given to students during the spring of their sophomore year in a special ceremony. The ring design, with its rectangular engraved black onyx stone, has remained essentially the same since its introduction in the 1920s with minor choices (metal, size, and antiquing) emerging in recent years.

The honor code is held in high regard among Agnes Scott students and faculty. At the beginning of every academic year, new students must sign the honor code and recite a pledge promising to uphold the high academic and social standards of the institution.

As a member of the student body of Agnes Scott College, I consider myself bound by honor to develop and uphold high standards of honesty and behavior; to strive for full intellectual and moral stature; to realize my social and academic responsibility in the community. To attain these ideals, I do therefore accept this Honor System as my way of life.

Students self govern themselves and ask violators of the code to turn themselves in to Honor Court. The trust the Honor Code builds between faculty and students allows for students to take self scheduled, unproctored, exams.

Agnes Scott's NCAA Division III sports teams include basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball. There is also a lacrosse team. Swimming and cross country have been cut due to funding issues [66423]

Special curricula

Coeducational graduate programs:
  • Master of Arts in teaching secondary English
  • Master of Arts in teaching secondary math and science
  • Post-baccalaureate pre-medical program

Undergraduate programs:


In April 2007, Kiplinger named Agnes Scott as one of the top 50 private liberal arts colleges.

According to the 2007 US News and World Report, Agnes Scott is ranked the 61st best liberal arts college in the country. It is the highest ranked women's college in the southeast. The report also ranked Agnes Scott as No. 28 for "Great School, Great Price."

Princeton Review's 2007 The Best 361 Colleges ranks the college as follows:

No. 4 for "Most Beautiful Campus"

No. 8 for "Dorms Like Palaces"

No. 11 for "Diverse Student Population"

No. 13 for "Students Happy with Financial Aid"

Notable achievements

  • New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered Agnes Scott's May 2005 commencement address. At the ceremony, she and playwright Marsha Norman received the first honorary degrees conferred by the college.

  • The 2004 edition of US News and World Report's rankings for best liberal arts colleges placed Agnes Scott as tied for number 50 in the country, and that year promotional information and school merchandise advertised the college's place among the "top 50."

  • In 2004, the college ranked second among women's colleges, seventh among national liberal arts colleges, and 27th overall in endowment per full-time enrolled student.

  • Agnes Scott's $125 million building program has led to the creation of a new parking facility, Public Safety office, planetarium, student campus center, science building, tennis courts, and improved landscaping and the renovation of the dining hall, observatory, and library. $1.6 million was spent on renovating three Victorian homes for student housing. Renovation of the Alumnae House and creation of a new chapel, office space, residence hall, theatre, and dance facilities have also been planned.

  • In 1995, approximately 600 students were enrolled at Agnes Scott. In fall 2004, for the first time in the school's history, enrollment reached 1,000 students.

  • In 2007, the Agnes Scott soccer team defeated Rhodes college in a 1 to 0 victory. It was the first time any varsity sports team defeated a nationally ranked team. Rhodes was ranked number 17 at the time.

Notable alumnae

Agnes Scott College in Television and Film


  • The college's science building contains a three-story rendering of part of the nucleotide sequence from Agnes Scott's mitochrondrial DNA. The DNA came from a blood sample of an ASC alumna who is a direct descendant of the college's namesake.
  • American poet Robert Frost was an annual visitor at Agnes Scott from 1945 to his death in 1962. During his visits, he would read poetry in Presser Hall. A statue of the poet sculpted by George W. Lundeen sits in the alumnae gardens. A collection of Frost's poetry and letters can be viewed at McCain Library.
  • Tradition dictates that students who get engaged are thrown into the alumnae pond by their classmates.
  • Seniors at Agnes Scott traditionally ring the bell in Agnes Scott Hall's bell tower upon acceptance to graduate school or a job offer. This tradition dates from the '80s when the tower acquired its bell during the administration of President Ruth Schmidt. Students who ring the bell sign their names on the walls of the tower.
  • The Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott houses the Beck Telescope, a 30 inch Cassegrain reflector, as well as a planetarium with 70-seat capacity and a radio telescope.


  1. "[1]" National Register of Historic Places: DeKalb County Retrieved: 18 August 2008.
  3. NPR Morning Edition, May 6, 2005
  4. Gumbrecht, Jamie. "Spotlight not always glamorous at film-happy Agnes Scott", "Access Atlanta" 2009-03-31. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.


  • Earnshaw, Rebecca Lee. Students at Agnes Scott College During the 1930s. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1988.
  • McNair, Walter Edward. Lest We Forget: An Account of Agnes Scott College. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1983.
  • Noble, Betty Pope Scott. The Story of George Washington Scott, 1829-1903: A Family Memoir. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 2002.
  • Pope, Loren. " Scott College." In Colleges That Change Lives. New York: Penguin, 2000.
  • Sayrs, M. Lee. A Full and Rich Measure: 100 Years of Educating Women at Agnes Scott College, 1889-1989. Atlanta, GA: Susan Hunter, Inc., 1990.

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