Designing Sustainable Communities for Living and Learning

Preston Residential College

About This Community

Preston Residential College is a creative and vibrant community open to all undergraduates and to all academic majors on the USC-Columbia campus. With longstanding traditions, innovative programming, student initiatives, faculty mentoring, and a unique dining facility, Preston Residential College fosters a dynamic living and learning environment that promotes intellectual exchange, leadership development, social interaction, and creative expression beyond the traditional confines of the classroom.

Preston’s goal is to foster leaders that have a strong sense of civic responsibility and understanding of the Carolina community and greater world. With this, Preston Residential College is “Building Leaders, [and] Transforming the World.” The Preston Slogan plays out in the structure and philosophy of the residential college. It is Preston’s belief that residents have a shared responsibility in creating and sustaining the initiatives in the Residential College. It is our hope that these initiatives will help activate and empower residents to become leaders who give back to our world.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Students Who Call This Community Home

Preston Residential College is home to 227 leaders who each bring with them a diverse perspective on life and an underlying desire to change the world. As a co-ed, suite-style hall, Preston brings together students from all academic majors and class years. Founded in 1995 and modeled after the traditional residential colleges of Oxford and Cambridge in England, Preston Residential College adheres to the idea that the sharing of space, food, ideas, and life will make for a more enriching and successful college experience.

How To Apply

  • Access housing application on
  • List the Preston Residental College as the first of your required top 5 Living Learning Community preferences.
  • Submit housing application by paying $150 application fee no later than May 1, 2017.
  • Housing priority is based on your learning community preferences and your date of application to the institution.


Unique Community Experiences

Faculty-Student Interaction
Preston provides multiple opportunities for residents to engage with faculty and staff both inside and outside of the classroom. Each semester, residents have the ability to enroll in Preston-only courses that satisfy general education requirements with the “Carolina Core” as well as University 101. In addition, Preston residents are constantly engaging with faculty and staff outside of the classroom during innovative events called Fireside Chats and K(no)w More.

Preston Dining 
One key component of Preston Residential College Residential College is our own unique all-you-care-to-eat dining facility, affectionately referred to as “PDining.” Located on the 2nd floor of the Russell House West Wing and open Monday through Thursday (5:15pm-8:00pm) for dinner, our residents have the chance to build community over food, and enjoy conversation with our Preston Residential College Associates. Students can pop-in for a quick ice cream cone, or sit and chat for a while with someone new or one of our Associates.

Preston Associates
Preston is proud to call over 40 University faculty, staff, and community members our Associates. Preston Associates regularly join students at dinner, offer seminars and classes to Preston residents, and advise students regarding academic and professional matters. These committed faculty, staff, and community members also attend events, banquets and many other student activities. Active associates even collaborate with Preston residents to plan unique activities on their own.

Student Leadership Opportunities
Preston is home to leaders and provides residents with a multitude of opportunities to become involved in the Residential College.

  • Preston Government serves as the voice of advocacy for Preston. Residents are encouraged to participate in discussions and debates regarding our community. Funding is available for any resident to support programs and initiatives for Preston.
  • Preston Ambassadors regularly offer tours of our building, host a number of social events throughout the semester and assist with other activities in Preston.
  • Youth-Impacting Minds People And Communities Together (Y-IMPACT) is Preston's very own community service organization. Service projects have included Preston clean-ups, raising money for Relay for Life, and service in the greater Columbia community.
  • The Literary Society hosts various events, including a book club in conjunction with the One Book, One Columbia project, as well as tour of the Special Collections at the Thomas Cooper Library. The Literary Society helps to create our own literary journal, Bellwether.
  • The PresTones is Preston’s premier a cappella ensemble for Preston residents to enjoy, share, and develop their singing/musical talents while entertaining the Preston family, USC, and the greater community.
  • Green Team is Preston’s student organization that is committed to making Preston sustainable. Green initiatives ranging from upcycling, recycling initiatives, and advocacy are examples of the commitment and dedication to our environment.

Graduate Mentors
Graduate Mentors (GMs) serve as part-time staff within the Residential College and provide additional mentorship and advisement for Preston residents. The three GMs focus on Leadership and Career Development, Service Engagement, and Academic Development. In their role, the GMs design workshops, leadership opportunities, and offer consultation around these core functional areas.

For more information visit us at

Community Contacts

Dr. Lara Lomicka Anderson
Faculty Principal

Sarah Morgan-Kelly
Assistant Principal

For more information please contact