Fun Facts About Stephens College


Since its founding in 1833, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, has been a pioneer in women’s education. Known for its strong commitment to empowering women and preparing them for leadership roles, Stephens College has a rich history of educating generations of women who have gone on to make significant contributions in their respective fields. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most fascinating fun facts about Stephens College and the impact it has had on women’s education and empowerment.

Fun Facts About Stephens College

A Founding Member of the Seven Sisters

Stephens College is one of the seven founding members of the prestigious Seven Sisters, a group of women’s colleges in the northeastern United States that were originally created to provide women with access to higher education. The Seven Sisters includes Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Stephens College. These colleges were instrumental in providing women with an education that was equivalent to that of men at a time when most colleges and universities were closed to women.

Stephens College’s Early Beginnings

Stephens College was founded in 1833 as the Columbia Female Academy, with only 14 students. The school’s primary goal was to provide education to girls in rural areas who were otherwise unable to receive an education. In 1856, the school was renamed Stephens Female College, in honor of James L. Stephens, a local businessman who made a significant donation to the school. The college continued to grow and expand its offerings over the years, becoming one of the most prominent women’s colleges in the United States.

A Focus on Creative and Performing Arts

One of the unique aspects of Stephens College is its strong emphasis on creative and performing arts. The college has a renowned School of Creative and Performing Arts, which offers programs in theatre, dance, music, fashion, and film. Stephens College was the first women’s college to have a dance program and is known for producing some of the most talented and successful performers in the country. Students at Stephens College have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including a professional repertory theatre and a film studio.

The First Women’s College to Offer a Four-Year Degree in Nursing

In 1901, Stephens College became the first women’s college in the United States to offer a four-year degree in nursing. This was a groundbreaking move at the time, as nursing was still considered a male-dominated profession. The nursing program at Stephens College was highly regarded and produced many exceptional nurses who went on to work in hospitals and clinics across the country. Today, Stephens College continues to offer a top-ranked nursing program that prepares students for successful careers in healthcare.

A Commitment to Women’s Leadership

Stephens College has always been committed to preparing women for leadership roles in their respective fields. The college’s Leadership and Social Change program is designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to become effective leaders in their communities and beyond. The program includes coursework in leadership theory and practice, community engagement, and social justice issues. Stephens College also offers a Women’s Institute, which provides students with opportunities for mentorship, networking, and leadership development.


Stephens College is home to one of the largest and most historic equestrian programs in the country. The Stephens College Equestrian Center is a 110-acre facility that houses more than 80 horses and features state-of-the-art riding arenas, stables, and training facilities. The equestrian program at Stephens College has a long and proud history, dating back to the early 1900s.