History of The Torch

The Torch was originated by Miss Margaret Taylor, who recognized the absence of an organization at Piedmont College to honor scholastic achievement among women students, and who had the vision and wisdom to establish such an organization. The Torch of Piedmont was patterned after a national organization at Cornell College known as the Torch.

Miss Taylor was named the first sponsor of the Torch of Piedmont. After Miss Taylor left the College in 1936, Mrs. Mabel S. Percy became the sponsor and brought new vitality into the organization. Mrs. Percy was the beloved sponsor until 1966 when she passed the Torch into the capable hands of Miss Mary Griggs, who continued to guide it until her death in 1982. Dr. Mary C. Lane was inducted as an honorary member of the Torch in 1983 and was a very active sponsor until her death in 2007.  Mrs. Linda Wofford was inducted as a member of the Torch in 1999 and was elected sponsor at the 2008 Annual Breakfast.


The logo consists of a lighted torch and three Greek symbols that represent the qualities demonstrated by each person selected for membership. The Greek symbols are Omega, representing Ophelia, service to others; Phi, representing Philosophia, love of learning; and Sigma, representing Sophrosune, character.

The Torch color is flame and the Torch flower is the flame azalea, a native shrub of the Piedmont area. The words of the song of the Torch were written by Miss Elizabeth Koppe to the tune “Raynolds” arranged by Felix Mendellson.

Torch Gallery

Pay a visit to the Torch Gallery on the second floor of the Arrendale Library.  Portraits of the Torch sponsors including the new Jan Walker portrait of founder Margaret Taylor may be seen.  Also located in the gallery is a plaque containing the names of scholarship recipients and other Torch memorabilia.