Columbia was recently named the #1 medium-sized college city, and is home to the University of South Carolina, the state's pre-eminent co-ed public research institute of higher learning. The 359-acre campus, founded in 1801, is a mile from The Whitney Hotel, and one city block from the State Capitol, in Downtown Columbia. Over 27,000 students attend the university, which offers more than 350 programs of study, including engineering, law and medicine. When visiting the University of South Carolina, choose The Whitney for its proximity, and for its special rates* for USC visitors!
In 1917, the university became the first educational institution in the state to earn regional accreditation and established additional campuses throughout South Carolina. The college is also the only university in the state to receive a "very high research activity" designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With an endowment of over $385 million, the University is a major research facility in bioscience, nanotechnology, environmental science and alternative fuels.
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks has 18 varsity sports teams from baseball to volleyball competing in NCAA's Southeastern Conference. The men's and women's basketball teams have each made eight NCAA tournament appearances, while the upstart Gamecocks knocked the rival Florida Gators out of championship contention in 2005. Williams-Brice Stadium, with a capacity of 80,000, is host to many of South Carolina's major sporting events.
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