Stillman, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875, held its first classes of six students in the Fall of 1876 and was chartered as a legal corporation by the State of Alabama in 1895. At the time, the name was changed from Tuscaloosa Institute to Stillman Institute. The institute was a concept initiated by Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa.
The following are significant dates in the College’s history:
1881 – Tuscaloosa Institute purchased and built a home at 1008 21st Avenue, now the site of the Stillman Heritage House.
1898 – The old Cochrane homestead and 20 acres of land were purchased.
1922 – Stillman Institute became coeducational.
1927 – The junior college was added.
1929 – The building was erected for the Nurses Training School and the Hospital.
1937 – The Junior College division was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
1941 – The High School Division was discontinued.
1948 – The Hospital and Nurses Training Center were closed. Also, on May 5, 1948, the name of the institution was changed to Stillman College.
1951 – The first four-year class graduated.
1953 – Accredited as a four year college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
1961 – Stillman was admitted to membership in the United Negro College Fund.
1991 – The College’s address changed to 3601 Stillman Boulevard when portions of Ninth and Fifteenth Streets were named Stillman Boulevard.
1998 – Established the Harte Honors College
1999 – Reorganized academic affairs into four divisions: Arts and Sciences, Education, Business and the Library; wired the entire campus via fiber optic cable.
2001 – Launched a wireless access computer system
2002 – Received National Innovation in Technology Award presented by Apple Computers.
2004 – First-ever ranking among top tier schools by U.S.News and World Report.
2006 – Expanded its offering of degrees to 13 with the addition of journalism and nursing.
2010 – Named 1 of the 15 Most Wired College Campuses by U.S.News and World Report.
The College has had seven persons to hold the title of President since the title of the head of the institution was changed from principal in 1929.
- Dr. A.L. Jackson, 1929-1947
- Dr. Samuel Burney Hay, 1948-1965
- Dr. Harold N. Stinson, 1967-1981
- Dr. Cordell Wynn, 1982-1997
- Dr. Ernest McNealey, 1997-2013
- Dr. Peter E. Millet, 2014-2016
- Dr. Cynthia Warrick, 2017-present
Proud of its rich and diverse heritage, Stillman today is an accredited, coeducational, liberal arts college that is committed to excellence in both scholarship and service. In addition to a rigorous innovative curriculum, the College has enhanced and expanded its physical environment. Stillman’s expansive physical plant now includes 25 buildings. Other new facilities are in the developmental stages as part of the College’s plan to complete its “sense of place”. With a focused vision, Stillman celebrates its past as it advances confidently into the future, preparing students for a different world.