Wilkinson High School (Original site)

In 1938, Orangeburg’s first black high school opened in this building, constructed by the Works Progress Administration.  It was named for Dr. Robert Shaw Wilkinson (1865-1932), president of S.C. State Agricultural & Mechanical 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 on Belleville Rd., 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 until 1973, when it became Belleville Junior High.

Sponsored by the Wilkinson High School Alumni, 2019.