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The year 2017 marks a special occasion as Philander Smith College will celebrate its 140-year history of educating and graduating academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better. In nearly a century and a half,  our “Dear PSC” has produced thousands of leaders who have contributed to our society in a vast number of ways.  Our graduates are leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, chemists, doctors, lawyers, artists,  politicians and so much more.  In keeping with the College’s historic legacy of social justice, PSC will celebrate our illustrious 140-year mark by “Moving the Legacy Forward.”

Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, PSC has a number of traditional and unique events planned to celebrate this historic occasion.  Some of those events include the College’s 140th Founder’s Day Celebration on March 9 which will include the naming of the Campus Center, the 140th Anniversary Banquet and Scholarship Gala, a week-long community service event in which our students give back to the Little Rock community, the unveiling of the 140th Legacy Walkway, and a special edition of Homecoming 2017 where we will celebrate with alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the entire Philander family.  

In the Beginning...

Philander Smith College was the first historically black, four-year college in Arkansas and the first historically black college to be accredited by a regional accrediting institution. On November 7, 1877, the future Philander Smith College began as Walden Seminary in Little Rock ( and located in the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church at 8th Street and Broadway, the seminary was designed to educate black ministers.In 1882, Adeline Smith of Oak Park, Illinois—the widow of Philander Smith, donated $10,500 to Walden Seminary. The seminary was promptly renamed Philander Smith College. On March 3, 1881, the state chartered it as a four-year college. It continued to maintain its ties to the Little Rock Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a principally African-American branch of the Methodist Church. READ MORE


The celebration of our 140-year history will be ongoing throughout 2017! We invite you to join in with us as we host a number of traditional and unique events as we mark this momentous occasion in our institution's illustrious history.

Upcoming Events


Commemorate your PSC legacy with a personalized brick in the new 140th Anniversary Legacy Walkway. With a minimum donation of $140.00, you can secure your place on the Legacy Walkway. Your engraved brick will bear an inscription of your choice cementing your legacy at Philander Smith College. Learn More

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