Founded in 1772, Salem College is the oldest educational institution in the United States in continuous operation as well as being the oldest female institution in the Southern United States.
It was established to encourage equal educational opportunities for women and men and during its early years the Single Sisters, who were unmarried women from the Moravian community, ran the school. It was also among the first schools accept students regardless of colour and social standing, and in 1785 the first African American student enrolled.
Although it is officially still a women’s college, men over 23-years-old are admitted into the Continuing Education program.
Today this private women’s liberal arts college is located in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and has one of the most diverse student bodies in the local area.
Salem College offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs and shares its campus with Salem Academy, a residential high school for girls. Students tend to live off-campus with their families or in one of the eight residence halls on campus.
The college sports teams are known as the Spirits and compete in the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC). In 2007 the basketball team won the regional championship and in 2008 the soccer team matched this accomplishment.
Salem College alumnae includes actress Celia Weston, former First Lady Sarah Childress Polk, whose husband was the United States’ eleventh President James Polk, and Sarah Covington Fulcher, who holds the record for the longest continuous solo run.