College of Engineering and Computing History

Timeline

1801
South Carolina College chartered
1805
South Carolina College opens
1848
Engineering classes taught in senior year
1861
Civil War begins; SC College closed
1865
Civil War ends; SC College becomes University of South Carolina with engineering, argiculture, law and medicine taught
1866
E.P. Alexander is first professor of engineering
1877-1880
School closed
1880
South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts opens. Engineering taught within this college. Degrees given in civil and mining engineering.
1894
South Carolina College offers unauthorized BS in Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering; since then, engineering degrees offered continuously
1902
Physics/Engineering professor Benjamin Sloan becomes President of South Carolina College

Prof. Colcock (college dean, 1908-1912) becomes responsible for SC College's (now USC) mascot being called the "Game Cocks."
1908
Department of Engineering created; graduate degrees offered in Civil and Electrical Engineering added -- awarded for total of five years study
1909
School of Engineering created; Civil Engineer F. Horton Colcock named first dean.

Classrooms in Davis College and New Science Building (Barnwell)
1912
Civil Engineer M. Goode Homes becomes "Professor in Charge" of School of Engineering
1917
Five-year "Cooperative Engineering Degree" begins
1926
Civil Engineer Robert L. Sumwalt hired
1942
Sumwalt named dean
1950
Master's degree is offered
1952
New engineering building is buit, later named for Sumwalt
1955
Research activity begins
1959
Sumwalt becomes president of the University; Electrical Engineering buys School's first computer for $55,000
1961
Doctoral program established
1962
School of Engineering renamed College of Engineering
1966
First PhDs awarded in Engineering to Samuel Lee Torrence (chem) and Tsung-Ming Tai (chem)
1969
APOGEE (A Program of Graduate Engineering Education) started, credited for forging close relationships between University and industry
1987
Swearingen Engineering Center built, adding more than five acres of floor space to USC's engineering
1993
Renovations to SCE&G annex completed (300 Main building); adds 65 labs and 165,000 sq. feet
1994
SCE&G buildings renovated and occupied by the College of Engineering
1999
February 25 -- College of Engineering becomes College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT)
2000
Department of Computer Science moves from the College of Science and Mathematics to COEIT and becomes the Department of Computer Science and Engineering
2007
April 20 -- College of Engineering and Information Technology becomes the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC).

September -- John Swearingen ('38, ChE and building namesake) passes away at the age of 89.
2008
CEC introduces ECELS (Engineering and Computing Expanded LIFE Schlarships) -- the first program of its kind in the state
2009
May 16 -- CEC celebrates 100th Anniversary with guest speaker Andrew Card ('71, Civil)

Former Deans

1880s-1902
Benjamin Sloan (West Point graduate)
1908-1912
F. Horton Colcock (mathematician, astronomer, and civil engineer)
1912-1922
M. Goode Homes (civil; called "Professor in Charge")
1922-1942
Walter E. Rowe (civil)
1942-1959
Robert L. Sumwalt (civil)
1960-1969
Rufus Fellers (electrical, first professor to have a PhD)
1970-1977
R. A. Holmes (electrical)
1977-1987
J. David Waugh (civil)
1987-1996
W. Kenneth Humphries (civil)
1996-1999
Craig A. Rogers (mechanical)
1999-2000
Joseph Gibbons (chemical; interim)
2000-2005
Ralph H. White (chemical)
ploehn
2005-2006
Duncan A. Buell (comp sci; interim)
2006-2009
Michael D. Amiridis (chemical)
2009-2010
Harry J. Ploehn (chemical; interim)
The School of Engineering was housed in Barnwell College (left) until Sloan College (right) was built in 1927.
Assembly Street entrance to Swearingen Engineering Center, opened in 1987.
The "Gamecock" name appears to have taken hold in 1902. That year, USC (then SC College) upset Clemson. Carolina students paraded through the streets near campus carrying an image that had been hanging in a local tobacco store window which had been drawn by USC mathematics Professor F. Horton Colcock. Clemson fans could not help noticing that the picture featured the image of a gamecock standing over a fallen tiger. Violence nearly ensued before calm was restored and the crowds dispersed. Two weeks later, The State newspaper began referring to the team as the "Game Cocks." By 1904, the two words had been joined and the name had stuck -- all thanks to one of our former deans! (recreated image shown)
Swearingen Engineering Center • Columbia, SC 29208 • 803.777.4177