Wilkinson High School (Equalization School)

In 1938, Orangeburg’s first black high school opened on Goff Ave. at a campus built by the Works Progress Administration. It was named for Dr. Robert Shaw Wilkinson (1865-1932), pres. of S.C. State A&M College. The school’s mascot was the Wolverines, and its colors were maroon and gray. Its motto was “Strive to excel, not to equal.” Throughout Wilkinson’s history, it was the only black high school in the city of Orangeburg.

In 1953, Wilkinson moved to a new campus at this site, built to help the state preserve segregation by equalizing black and white schools. Wilkinson students were active in the 1960s in the civil rights movement. After Swann v. Mecklenburg (1971), Wilkinson integrated with the white high school to form Orangeburg-Wilkinson High. Grades 9-10 attended the Wilkinson campus here until 1973, when it became Belleville Junior High.

Sponsored by Wilkinson High School Alumni, 2019.