1862 saw the Civil War drag on, culminating in the bloody September Battle of Antietam, Md.
In Columbia, Mo., the University of Missouri was forced to close.
Christian College, the forerunner of Columbia College, does not close. In fact, misfortune for the university means opportunity for Christian College as President Rogers snaps up the desks of the University Literacy Society at bargain basement prices.
Still, the college is hanging on by a thread: 56 enrollments are recorded in 1862-63, the lowest ever in college history, and only three students will graduate in 1862. Students are allowed off campus only for Sunday services at the First Christian Church with Rogers at the head and faculty guarding the flanks; guerrillas have already raided Columbia and freed three prisoners.
Worse, young men are permitted in the parlor only once every six weeks.
Fast forward to 2012.
At 11 a.m. Jan. 19 in Dorsey Hall, President Gerald Brouder reviewed events of 1862 as the college celebrated 161 years of continuous education. Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs, gave a poem recitation about the Battle of Antietam. Professor Brad Lookingbill, History and Political Science chair, also provided remarks on 1862 and Nollie Moore, instructor of Music and Director of the Jane Froman Singers, sang a program of patriotic musical selections of the era.
Columbia College now educates 30,000 students the world over.
Source: Paulina A. Batterson, Columbia College: 150 Years of Courage, Commitment, and Change