“One of the oldest colleges for African Americans in the United States, Rust was founded on November 24, 1866, by Northern missionaries with a group called the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”
One of the oldest colleges for African Americans in the United States, Rust was founded on November 24, 1866, by Northern missionaries with a group called the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1870, the college was chartered as Shaw University in 1870, honoring the Reverend S. O. Shaw, who made a gift of $10,000 to the institution which, adjusted for inflation, is the equivalent of approximately $200,000 in 2018. In 1892, to avoid confusion with Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., the institution changed its name to Rust University—a tribute to Rev. Richard S. Rust of Cincinnati, Ohio, the secretary of the Freedman’s Aid Society. In 1915, the institution assumed the name Rust College. Rust College is the oldest of the 11 historically black colleges and universities associated with The United Methodist Church, the second oldest private college in Mississippi.
Rust College occupies approximately 126 acres (51 ha). Some buildings on campus were erected in the mid-1800s, such as the alumni and public relations center, while others were recently built, such as the Hamilton Science Center, a three-story addition to the McDonald Science Building. In 2008, Rust College acquired the campus of the former Mississippi Industrial College, located adjacent to the campus. The college is not using the buildings but plans to raise funds to restore them. In 2011, the college acquired Airliewood, an antebellum former slave plantation estate located near Rust College campus. Built in 1858, Airliewood served as living quarters for Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War, and currently serves as the official residence of the President.There are five gender-segregated dorms, with about 900 spaces. Two historic markers honoring the Council of Federated Organizations and those involved in the 1964 Freedom Summer Project in Holly Springs were unveiled on campus in 2014.
Under the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, Rust College reports the on-campus crime statistics to the United States Department of Educationand publish the numbers on the Department’s website.