World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Elmhurst College

Elmhurst College
Latin: Collegium Elmhurstiense
Motto In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen
Motto in English
In your light we shall see light
Established 1871
Type Private
Affiliation United Church of Christ
Endowment $94 million[1]
President Larry A. Braskamp
Academic staff
Undergraduates 3,000
Postgraduates 400
Location Elmhurst, IL, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue and white         
Athletics CCIW
NCAA Division III
20 Varsity Teams
Nickname Bluejays
Mascot Victor E. Bluejay

Elmhurst College is a comprehensive four-year private liberal arts college in Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, with a tradition of service-oriented learning. The college has an affiliation with the United Church of Christ.[2]


  • History 1
    • From Proseminary to College 1.1
    • Academic Buildings and Facilities 1.2
    • Social Justice History 1.3
  • Academics 2
  • Student life 3
    • Athletics 3.1
    • Student Organizations 3.2
    • Greek Life and Honor Societies 3.3
    • Residence Halls 3.4
    • Traditions 3.5
  • Notable persons 4
    • Former Presidents 4.1
  • Notes and references 5
  • External links 6


From Proseminary to College

In 1871, Jennie and Thomas Bryan gave land in Elmhurst to the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest. This land was given for the purpose of establishing a school to prepare young men for the theological seminary and to train teachers for parochial schools, and was named the Elmhurst Proseminary.[3] The first students, who were all male, studied Latin, Greek, English, German, music, history, geography, mathematics, science, and religion. All classes were taught in German. It wasn't until 1917 that the catalog was published in English. In 1919, the name was changed to the Elmhurst Academy and Junior College,[4][5] and the expanded curriculum included courses in public speaking, physical education, economics, psychology, and the history of education. In 1924, the school was renamed Elmhurst College[6][7] and became a four-year college for men. The college seal was designed in the 1920's by Robert Leonhardt,[8] first registrar of the College, who also served as coach of the football team. Women first enrolled in 1930, and four years later, the college was accredited.[9] The college began its graduate programs in 1998, and in 2012 the Elmhurst College School for Professional Studies (SPS) was established[10][11] to offer a wide range of online programs, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and certificate programs.[1]

The Old Main building at Elmhurst College

The campus is 48 acres (19.4 ha) in Elmhurst, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. It is a certified Level 2 Arboretum[12] and a member of Tree Campus USA,[13] with more than 800 different species from around the globe.[2]

Academic Buildings and Facilities

  • The Frick Center houses lounges, two dining facilities, the Game Room, the Mail Room, conference rooms and the radio station, WRSE-FM (88.7mHz). The offices of the Student Government Association, Union Board, the Elms Yearbook, Student Affairs, Student Activities, and the Learning Center[3] (tutoring and study skills assistance for students) are also in the Frick Center. Built in 1964 and formerly known as the College Union Building, it was renamed in 1994 to honor the College's eleventh president, Dr. Ivan E. Frick[14] and his wife Ruth Hudson Frick. The Frick Center also houses the Blume Board Room, named in honor of former Board of Trustee member and graduate Allen C. Blume[15] (1955) and his wife Phyllis,[4] as well as the Brune Patio, named in honor of graduate and benefactor Joan Brune (1951) as a gift to the college from her husband, graduate and benefactor Lester H. Brune (1948).[5]
  • The Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace, named in her honor thanks to a donation from her family, houses a 750,000-volt Cockcroft-Walton[16] particle accelerator. Originally built by Dr. Sam Allison, professor of physics at University of Chicago, it was moved to Elmhurst in the late 1960's and became operational in 1973. The accelerator was deactivated when the building began its new life as an art exhibition space in 2004.[6]
  • The A.C. Buehler Library,[17][18] [19]named in honor of the former president of the Victor Comptometer Corporation[20] and Board of Trustee member, is home to over 237,000 volumes and a highly regarded collection of Chicago Imagists art.[21][22] It opened in 1971 and was renovated in 1993 and again in 2002, thanks to a donation from the estate of graduate Gladys (1940) and Ray Robinson. The library now has almost a hundred computers for general use and thousands of audio-visual materials. The library is also home for the Rudolf G. Schade Archives and Special Collections [23][7] and the Honors Program student lounge.[8]
  • Daniels Hall, renamed in 2008 in honor of former Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and current Elmhurst College faculty member Lee A. Daniels, is home to the computer laboratories, the departments of Mathematics,[9] Computer Science and Information Systems,[10] World Languages, Literatures & Cultures,[11] and Geography and Geosciences.[12][24] It opened in 1988 as the Computer Science and Technology Center. Daniels Hall is also home for the Dr. Dennis J. Patterson Center for the Health Professions,[13] (named in honor of an accomplished graduate (1970) and benefactor) which helps students prepare for a career in health care. The Instructional Media Center, located on the first floor, houses audio-visual equipment and supplies. Daniels Hall also contains general classrooms, the Gretsch[25] Recording Studio (named in honor of benefactor and graduate Fred Gretsch (1971) and his family), the Geography Club's weather station, and specialized computer laboratories.
  • Constructed in 1911 as a dormitory and named for the fourth president, Daniel Irion,[26] Irion Hall now houses the Music department.[14] The building's 120-seat Buik Recital Hall (named in honor of The Buik family, including former Board of Trustee member Donald W. Buik[27] and his wife Betty,[28] as well as the John J. Roche family) is used for concerts, recitals and lectures. Buik was renovated in 2013 thanks to a donation from graduate and benefactor Lori Julian (2008). Irion Hall housed the college's first official library from 1912 to 1922. The building was fully renovated in 1979 and has its own recording studio as well as a choir room,[29] band room, percussion room, listening room, two music classrooms, extensive music libraries and individual practice rooms.[30]
  • Kranz Forum is the site of a statue of Reinhold Niebuhr, a preeminent 20th-century theologian and 1910 graduate of the Elmhurst Proseminary, and the former site of Kranz Hall,[31] constructed in 1873 and the first building on campus. The Niebuhr statue[32] was sculpted by Robert Berks. Kranz Hall was razed in 1981,[33] and Kranz Forum dedicated in 1982. The plaque noting the location of Kranz Hall is mounted on a base built with stone blocks salvaged from the original building.
  • Memorial Hall houses the Deicke Center for Nursing Education.[15] Formerly Memorial Library, the building was named in honor of the 900 young men of the Evangelical Synod who lost their lives in World War I. The original dedication plaques for those lost are still located in the main lobby, which remains as it was when the building opened in 1922. Memorial Library was renovated for its current use and renamed Memorial Hall when Buehler Library opened in 1971. In 2014, the Nursing Simulation Laboratory moved out of Memorial Hall and into its new facility at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in a collaboration between the two institutions.[34][16]
  • Built in 1878 as a dormitory, Old Main (also known as [37]
  • Mill Theater[38] was acquired by Elmhurst College in the early 1960's. Before becoming the primary theatrical space for the college, the single story building functioned as the molding mill for the Hammerschmidt lumber operations.[23] (Legend has it that David Payne, Theater Technical Director who died in an accident in 1968, haunts the theater and Scene Shop.[39]) The theater itself is a thrust space with seating for 180. Thanks to the support of alumni and the college, improvements made in 2010 included a new lighting system, sound system, ventilation, and stage.[40] The summer of 2012 saw a renovation of the lobby, doubling its size, and included the addition of a new box office, public restrooms and renovated theater seating, thanks to a donation from alumna Meredith Wollenberg Morrison (1972) through The Wollenberg Foundation.[41][42] A "black box" style theater like those found in many cities and towns, Mill Theater gives students hands-on experience with all aspects of theater operations, including the opportunity to direct as well as have their own original stage plays workshopped and possibly premiered.[24]
  • The Science Center, dedicated in 1966 and renamed the Arthur J. Schaible Science Center in 1994 in honor of an accomplished graduate (1929) and benefactor,[43] houses the Biology,[25] Chemistry & Biochemistry,[26] Psychology[27] and Physics[28] departments, as well as general classrooms and 120-seat lecture room Illinois Hall. It also houses the Bates Observatory, which has a 14" computer-controlled Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope and is named in honor of benefactors Alben F. Bates,[44] a prominent Elmhurst attorney, and Joy P. Rasin. In 2014, renovation was completed on the physics labs, and in 2015, two main biology labs were renovated to make them state-of-the-art.[45][46]
  • Goebel Hall, which opened in 1928 as the college gymnasium, was renovated in 1978 and again in 1989, when it was converted into an administration building and renamed in honor of the college's third president Peter Goebel[47] and his family. Offices for Academic Affairs, Admissions,[29] Advising,[30] Student Financial Services,[31] and Registration and Records[32] can be found there. The lower level houses the Football and Women's Soccer locker rooms. The college bookstore is located on the ground level on the west side and is operated by Beck's Books.[48]
  • The Physical Education Center opened in 1983, and was renamed R.A. Faganel Hall in 2000 in honor of graduate Robert A. Faganel[49] [50](1952), thanks to a donation by his family. Faganel Hall houses the Kinesiology[33] department, athletic coaching offices, two basketball courts (competition and practice), two racquetball courts, a dance studio, training rooms, equipment rooms and team locker rooms. The Tyrrell Fitness Center was added on the west side of the building in 2001 and provides weight training and physical fitness facilities for students, faculty and staff. The center is named in honor of former Board of Trustee Chairperson and graduate Tom Tyrrell (1967) and his wife Diane Tyrrell, who donated the funds for its construction.
  • Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, dedicated in 1959 and named in honor of benefactor Louis Hammerschmidt and family,[51][34] serves as both a place of worship and for public lectures, musical events and other assemblies. The building served as a temporary library in 1993 when the A.C. Buehler library was being renovated, then underwent its own renovation and reopened 1994.[52] It houses the English[35] and Philosophy[36] departments as well as general classrooms. The chapel has two pipe organs, a Moller Opus on the stage in the main auditorium[53] and a smaller pipe organ in the Prayer Chapel, a room for groups of 20 or less. The main auditorium seats about 1,000.
  • Lehmann Hall opened in 1951 as a senior men's dormitory, and is named after the college's seventh president, Timothy Lehmann.[54] In 1982, it was remodeled and houses the Office of the President as well as Central Printing, Security,[55] and the departments of Communication Arts & Sciences,[37] Intercultural Studies,[38] Economics[39] and Business.[40]
  • Circle Hall was dedicated in 2004, and houses The Center for Professional Excellence,[41][56] which provides career guidance, resume assistance, internships, networking, mentoring and job shadowing opportunities for all students, as well as the Speech Clinic,[42] the Communication Sciences & Disorders department,[43] the Education department[44] and general classrooms.
  • The Lester Brune Tennis Courts,[57] built in 2003, are named in honor of graduate and benefactor Lester H. Brune (1948) as a gift to the college from his wife, graduate and benefactor Joan Brune (1951).[45]

Social Justice History

In 1943, Elmhurst College admitted four new students from California—American citizens of Japanese descent, or Nisei—at a time when more than 110,000 people of Japanese descent had been sent to 10 government “relocation centers’’ in desolate regions of the American West.[46] Elmhurst was one of a number of colleges and universities that attempted to right the wrong of the relocation camps by opening its doors to Japanese-American students during World War II. (The U.S. government agreed that the Nisei could enroll in participating schools, provided that they passed an FBI background check.) The Student Refugee Committee, a new campus organization, and President Timothy Lehmann paved the way for the students to enroll—over the vocal opposition of a small group of local residents, including members of the American Legion. The Elmhurst Press ran a front-page editorial with the headline, NO ROOM FOR JAP STUDENTS IN THIS TOWN. But on campus, support for the Nisei was “practically 100 percent,’’ President Lehmann noted at the time.

In the summer of 1966, the College brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the podium of Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel during Dr. King’s historic, yearlong effort to racially desegregate city and suburban neighborhoods in the Chicago area.[58] The College later established an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Guestship,[59] which examines issues and ideas related to Dr. King’s work.

The college has fourteen Social Action and Service Groups for students to join, among them Habitat for Humanity,[60] Best Buddies,[61] Active Minds,[62] the Global Poverty Club,[63] Relay for Life,[64] Autism Speaks,[65] Students Assisting Animal Shelters,[66] the Greenjays[67] (sustainability club),[47] Alpha Phi Omega[68] and others.

In 2011, the College decided to include an optional question about prospective students’ sexual orientation and gender identity in its admission application in order to better serve all Elmhurst College students.[69]


Elmhurst College offers bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. Approximately 3,400 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in its 26 undergraduate academic departments,[48] 11 certificate programs, and 15 master's programs,[49] including a MBA.[70][50] The college offers 59 majors and allows students the flexibility to create their own.[51] There are 11 required general education courses, but students are given a wide variety of classes to fulfill them. There are also 15 preprofessional programs,[52][71] and accelerated Degree Completion Programs designed primarily for working adults.[53] The average class has 17 students. The student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1.[72]

The college has a 4-1-4 academic calendar (four month fall term, optional one month January term (J-term),[54] and four month spring term) as well as two summer school sessions.

The ECabroad[55] program offers students short and long term opportunities to study in foreign countries, including bilateral foreign exchange programs with educational institutions around the world.[73]

The Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA)[56] is a four-year program that offers a full-time, post-secondary educational experience to young adults with developmental disabilities.[74]

Elmhurst Partners[57] provides corporations and organizations with credit and non-credit workforce training and development as well as customized business consulting.[75]

Independent rankings have consistently considered Elmhurst to be a top college in the Midwest.[76][77][78][79] In 2004, six years after its inception, the College's master's program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology was ranked as 5th overall in the nation based on student ratings of quality.[80]

Student life


Elmhurst College is a member of the NCAA Division III[81] College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW[82]). The Elmhurst Bluejays compete in 20 varsity sports for men and women in bowling, cross country running, soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and field, softball, football,[83] lacrosse, wrestling, and baseball. Elmhurst was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1925 to 1941 and joined the CCIW in 1946. Langhorst field is named in honor of the late Oliver M. Langhorst,[58] multi-sport coach, athletic director and graduate (1930). Elmhurst College competes in only one club sport, men's rugby.[84]

Student Organizations

Elmhurst College has over 100 non-athletic student-run organizations.[59] The college's radio station is WRSE-FM[85][86] and the multiple award-winning student newspaper is The Leader.[87] MiddleWestern Voice is the Elmhurst College student-run art, literature and music journal. The student yearbook is The Elms.[88] Both The Leader and MiddleWestern Voice have online and print editions. WRSE's 320 watt[89] signal reaches most of DuPage County and parts of Cook County and Kane County, Illinois, about one million people.[90] It is also streamed online.

Greek Life and Honor Societies

Elmhurst College is home to five social sororities: Alpha Phi, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Phi Mu, and three social fraternities: Alpha Sigma Phi,[91] Alpha Tau Omega,[92] and Lambda Chi Alpha.[93] Elmhurst College also has active chapters of the male music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia[94] and female music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota.[95] Fraternities and sororities do not have houses on or off campus. There are also 23 honor and recognition societies across of wide range of majors for those students with superior academic and leadership achievements.[60]

Residence Halls

Students who live on campus reside in six residence halls:

  • Dinkmeyer Hall, built in 1956, is named for Henry W. Dinkmeyer,[96][97] the eighth president of the College, and also houses The Leader newspaper office. Dinkmeyer houses 121 students.[61]
  • Niebuhr Hall was dedicated in 1962 in honor of theologian Helmut Richard Niebuhr, the college's sixth president and 1912 graduate of the Elmhurst Proseminary, and his brother Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian and 1910 graduate of the Proseminary.[62] Niebuhr Hall houses The Wellness Center[63] in the lower level, which includes student health and counseling services. It is also the home for The Niebuhr Center,[64] a community of Elmhurst students and others who have made a commitment to a spiritual life of service through interfaith cooperation. Niebuhr houses 121 first-year students.[65]
  • Cureton Hall opened in 1999 as North Hall and was rededicated in 2010 in honor Bryant L. Cureton,[98][99] the college's 12th president. It also houses the Brinkmeier Vista Lounge, the School for Professional Studies,[66] and the Lucks conference room, named in honor of benefactor and Board of Trustee Chairperson Barbara Lucks.[67] Cureton houses 112 students.[68]
  • Schick Hall, built in 1922 and expanded in 1967 and again in 1970, is named for Herman J. Schick,[100] the fifth president of the college. Schick houses 208 students.[69]
  • Stanger Hall, built in 1968, is named for Robert C. Stanger,[101] the ninth president of the college. Stanger houses 165 students.[70]
  • West Hall, completed in 2008 at a cost of $23,677,000, is an all-suite residence hall designed to house 170 upper-level students. Each suite contains 2-3 separate bedrooms, private bathrooms, multiple vanities, living rooms and storage space. It is also the location for the Office of Residence Life. West Hall was the first building in DuPage County to receive the U.S. Green Building Council Gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification upon its completion.[102][71]

Senior students are able to reside in campus apartments which include the Elm Park apartments (with housing for 28)[72] and the Prospect apartments (with housing for 32),[73] though exceptions have been made. There are also nine college-owned houses adjacent to campus that house a total of 36 upper-class students.[74]


The college hash bell[103] is a large hand bell rung at Elmhurst College ceremonies as a reminder of the long history of the College. This is the bell that kept the school on schedule in its early years, and generations of alumni have recalled fondly the loud clanging that woke students in the morning, assembled them for classes and activities, and then called them from their chores to dinner in the evening. One of the earliest Elmhurst catalogs declares: "Life in the institution is regulated entirely by the stroke of the bell." Why it came to be called "the hash bell" remains a mystery.

The Victory Bell[104] is a large bell located in the corner of Langhorst Field which is rung by every member of the football team after every home victory. The bell was originally located in the Old Main bell tower and moved to Langhorst Field in a new stone tower as a gift from the class of 1964.

A wood stage in the game room (located in the Bluejays' Roost in the lower level of the Frick Center) is where occasional open mic sessions for students are held, including poetry slams,[105] improv comedy,[106] literary readings and musical performances,[107] sometimes impromptu.

The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, approaching its 49th year and one of the oldest jazz festivals in the nation, has brought hundreds of high school and college jazz bands from throughout the country and dozens of notable judges and performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severinsen, Bobby Shew, Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Count Basie Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderly, Diane Schuur, Frank Mantooth and many others to the stage at Hammerschmidt Chapel.[108][75]

Now in its 20th year, the Elmhurst College Summer Extravaganza is a free jazz concert held in the College Mall on a Saturday in June.[109][110] The Manhattan Transfer, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Doc Severinsen have been among the guest performers with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band.

Student, faculty and staff signatures and dates can be seen inside the clock tower in Old Main, some dating back to the founding years of the college's history. It has remained a rare occasion when students are allowed access, and it is a coveted prize to be able to add your own name.[76]

The college was given the original nativity scene from the movie Home Alone, which is displayed each year during the holiday season.[111]

Notable persons

Former Presidents

Notes and references

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^
  98. ^
  99. ^
  100. ^
  101. ^
  102. ^
  103. ^
  104. ^
  105. ^
  106. ^
  107. ^
  108. ^
  109. ^
  110. ^
  111. ^
  112. ^
  113. ^
  114. ^
  115. ^
  116. ^
  117. ^
  118. ^
  119. ^
  120. ^
  121. ^
  122. ^
  123. ^
  124. ^
  125. ^
  126. ^
  127. ^
  128. ^
  129. ^
  130. ^
  131. ^
  132. ^
  133. ^
  134. ^
  135. ^
  136. ^
  137. ^
  138. ^
  139. ^
  140. ^
  141. ^
  142. ^
  143. ^
  144. ^
  145. ^
  146. ^
  147. ^
  148. ^
  149. ^
  150. ^
  151. ^
  152. ^
  153. ^
  154. ^
  155. ^
  156. ^
  157. ^
  158. ^
  159. ^
  160. ^
  161. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Official E.C. Athletics website
  • The History of Elmhurst College
  • Elmhurst College on Twitter
  • Elmhurst College on Facebook
  • Elmhurst College on YouTube
  • A.C. Buehler Library
  • The Leader student newspaper
  • MiddleWestern Voice student magazine
  • Radio station WRSE-FM

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.