|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2009)|
|Religious affiliation||United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church (USA)|
|President||Dr. Barbara A. Farley|
|Location||Jacksonville, Illinois, United States
|Colors||Blue and White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III: Midwest Conference|
|Mascot||Blueboys and Lady Blues|
Illinois College is a private, liberal arts college, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA), and located in Jacksonville, Illinois. It was the second college founded in Illinois, but the first to grant a degree (in 1835). It was founded in 1829 by the Illinois Band, students from Yale University who traveled westward to found new colleges. It briefly served as the state's first medical school from 1843–1848, and became co-educational in 1903.
The Rev. John M. Ellis, a Presbyterian missionary in the East, saw the need for a “seminary of learning” in the new state of Illinois. His plans drew the attention of Congregational students at Yale University, and seven of them, in one of the famous “Yale Bands,” came westward to help found the College.
The first president of Illinois College was Edward Beecher who left his position at the Park Street Church in Boston and firmly imbued the new College with New England traditions and academic foundations. His sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, was author of the influential anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin and a visitor to the campus. His brother, Henry Ward Beecher, preached and lectured at the college as well.
The first two college graduates in the state of Illinois, Richard Yates and Jonathan E. Spilman, received their degrees from Illinois College in 1835. Yates became the Civil War governor of Illinois and later a U.S. senator. A program at Illinois College for first generation college students was named The Yates Fellowship Program in his honor. Jonathan Edwards Spilman composed the familiar music to Robert Burns’ poem “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.”
William Jennings Bryan, a member of the class of 1881, is one of the most famous Illinois College graduates. He was secretary of state, a congressman, and a three-time candidate for president of the United States.
Many Illinois College graduates have gone on to have influential careers in public service. Two graduates became U.S. senators, 20 became congressmen, six were state governors and two currently serve as federal judges.
Among the visitors and lecturers on campus during the early years were Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Mark Twain, Horace Greeley and Wendell Phillips. Many speakers, including Lincoln, were sponsored by the college’s literary societies which still exist today.
Illinois College was a center of the abolitionist movement due to its Northern location near the Mississippi River and outspoken campus leaders such as President Edward Beecher and Professor Jonathon Baldwin Turner. In the mid 1800’s, a group of students at the college were indicted by a grand jury for harboring runaway slaves. Two campus buildings also have ties to the abolitionist movement; Beecher Hall is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad, and a campus house, the Gillett House, has attained the prestigious National Park Service certification as a “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom” site.
The College became co-educational in 1903 by incorporating the Jacksonville Female Academy, and in 1906 IC awarded degrees to its first four female graduates. In 1932 the Phi Beta Kappa Society established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.
Beecher Hall, the first college building erected in Illinois, is named after its first president, Edward Beecher, sibling to Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The first floor of Beecher Hall is the home of Phi Alpha Literary Society. The second floor is the home to Sigma Pi Literary Society. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
The campus is divided into two quadrangles. The North "upper" quad is home to several historic buildings including Sturtevant Hall where William Jennings Bryan carved his initials while he was a student. Other buildings on the North Quad include Crampton Residence Hall, which was once the oldest continuously used dormitory in the state. It was closed as a residence hall in May 2006. Whipple Hall, which was once a preparatory school, is undergoing renovations. Upon completion it will house the Al Habtoor Leadership Center. Tanner Hall, built for the College's centennial, once housed the library. It now houses administrative offices.
The South Quad is home to the modern residence halls and dining complex. A walkway which separates the two quads was created from a portion of Mound Avenue. Students enjoy many events held in these outdoor venues.
Illinois College is a nationally ranked liberal arts college with an enrollment of 1010 (2013) students. Over 45 different programs and majors are offered at the school, including Combined Degree Programs in Biology with Medical Technology, Biology with Occupational Therapy, Nursing (Leading to Master’s), and Physics with Engineering. The most popular programs among students tend to be education, science, or business related.
The student to faculty ratio is often around 11:1, with a current average class size of 16 (2013) students.
Illinois College has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission since 1913. The College’s Epsilon Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society is one of only eleven in the state, and was established in 1932.
All degrees awarded by Illinois College are undergraduate bachelor’s degrees with the exception of a newer Master of Arts in Education. The M.A.Ed. is a 32 credit hour on-campus degree program which was designed to specifically accommodate the professional development needs of in-service teachers
In 2002, Dr. Lawrence Zettler of the Biology department began his collaboration with the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua'i to cultivate the rare Platanthera Holochila orchid. Various laboratory techniques were used to successfully grow the species at the Illinois College campus. In 2011, Dr. Zettler and three Illinois College students traveled to Hawaii to reintroduce a total of 85 orchid seedlings that were grown at the College.
In 2012, Dr. Zettler was asked to assist the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, England in an attempt to save critically endangered orchids in Madagascar. A five year plan is in place to propagate the orchids at the college and reintroduce them in Madagascar.
Students at Illinois College are encouraged to study abroad if possible during their four years at the school. Study abroad typically lasts one semester or one academic year. There are many approved study abroad programs which have been established with other institutions in the U.S. and other countries around the world. Arrangements may be made if a student wishes to study at a country or institution where a study abroad program has not yet been established. Popular study destinations include: Spain, Japan, Ecuador, Germany, Ireland, England, France, and Australia.
BreakAways are another opportunity for IC students to travel. They are group trips which take place when classes are not in session. Each trip has a specific focus or theme and can last from ten days to three weeks. There are often four BreakAways each academic year. Past BreakAway destinations have included: Washington D.C., Greece, Mexico, Morocco, Switzerland, Taiwan, Peru, and Turkey.
Intercultural Exchange Program
The college participates in an Intercultural Exchange program with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Each spring 25 Japanese students come to Illinois College to live and study for four weeks. During this time, students live with families in the Jacksonville community for part of the time and with current IC students on campus in residence halls for the remainder of their stay.
In 2013, Illinois College was ranked by Washington Monthly as one of the top 25 liberal arts colleges in the nation.
In 2012, Washington Monthly ranked Illinois College third amongst liberal arts colleges for number of staff participating in and supporting community service, and fifth for community service by students and hours served.
Illinois College has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA four times: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Illinois College's men's athletic teams are known as the Blueboys which is a reference to the uniforms worn by Union soldiers during the American Civil War. They have been members of the Midwest Conference since 1982. They were members of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin from 1946-1953. Illinois College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910-1937.
20 varsity sports are offered for men and women:
Soccer – Men and Women
Basketball – Men and Women
Volleyball – Women
Baseball - Men
Softball - Women
Indoor Track and Field – Men and Women
Outdoor Track and Field – Men and Women
Cross Country – Men and Women
Swimming – Men and Women
Tennis – Men and Women
Football – Men
Golf – Men and Women
In addition to the varsity teams, there are also two non-competitive spirit squads:
Illinois College student Missy Norville won nine NCAA Division III National Champion titles for indoor/outdoor Track and Field while at the school.
In 2013, students Missy Norville and Megan Stringer competed in the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships and placed second as a team.
In 2010, student Dillon Binkley became the High Jump National Champion for NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field.
In 2011, Illinois College basketball player Jacob Tucker posted a video on Youtube which showcased his dunking abilities. The video quickly went viral, and fans petitioned for him to be invited to the 2011 NCAA Slam Dunk Contest. A Facebook fan poll was created to vote either Tucker or Rico Cunningham from Lee University into the contest. Tucker won the votes needed to be invited to the contest and went on to become the slam dunk champion.
- Florence Eugene Baldwin, former member of the Minnesota State Senate
- Charles W. Bryan, 20th and 23rd Governor of Nebraska
- William Jennings Bryan, famous orator, three-time Democratic Party candidate for President, United States Secretary of State from 1913-1915.
- John Davis, U.S. Representative from Kansas
- Henry Smith Van Eaton, former US Representative from the state of Mississippi
- Nancy Farmer, former Missouri State Treasurer
- Paul Findley, Illinois politician, former US House member
- William Herndon, law partner and biographer of Abraham Lincoln
- Fred Hoskins, first co-president of United Church of Christ
- William Jayne, first Governor of Dakota Territory
- Edward E. Johnston, High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
- John C. Martin, member of the US House of Representatives from Illinois
- William Henry Milburn, Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives in 1845 and Chaplain of the Senate 1893-1903
- Richard Henry Mills United States federal judge
- Theodore Nevin Morrison, 20th century bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America
- Floyd Newkirk, pitcher for the New York Yankees
- Marshall M. Parks American ophthalmologist known as “the father of pediatric ophthalmology”
- John Wesley Powell, explorer, scientist, politician, 2nd director of U.S. Geological Survey
- Charlotte Thompson Reid, radio personality, politician, former US House member
- John I. Rinaker, U.S. Representative from Illinois and a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War
- Bob Schillerstrom, DuPage County, Illinois Board Chairman
- Brian Sherwin, art critic
- Ralph Tyler Smith, Illinois politician, former US Senator
- Jonathan E. Spilman, a Kentucky lawyer, minister, and composer
- William McKendree Springer, former US representative and chief justice of the United States Court of Appeals of Indian Territory
- Jacob Tucker, 2011 NCAA Slam Dunk Contest Winner and member of Harlem Globetrotters
- William E. Williams, U.S. Representative from Illinois
- Richard Yates (1815–1873), Illinois politician and governor
- Richard Yates (1860–1936), his son, also an Illinois politician
Notable faculty and staff
- Edward Beecher first president of Illinois College
- Marion Elizabeth Blake, classical languages professor who is known for her work in researching the technology of Roman construction
- Theodore M. Brantley, longest-serving Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court, taught Ancient Languages
- Reuben Gaylord, taught and studied theology
- Kay Mills, journalist and author, lectured at Illinois College
- George R. Throop, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1927 until 1944
- Jonathan Baldwin Turner, 1833-1847, botanist, abolitionist, Christian missionary
Illinois College is one of the few campuses in the United States that still supports literary societies. These are Greek organizations whose purposes vary from society to society. Activities include but are not limited to: Literary Productions, which are practices in oratory skill; parties, intramural sports teams; service events; and social gatherings. There are seven literary societies at Illinois College. The men's societies are: Sigma Pi, Phi Alpha, Gamma Nu, and Pi Pi Rho. The women's societies are Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon Literary Society, and Chi Beta. Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi are both located in Historic Beecher Hall (Phi Alpha on the first level and Sigma Pi on the second). Gamma Nu is located in Lower Baxter Hall and Pi Pi Rho is currently in a temporary house. All three female societies are housed in Historic Smith House. Society pledging was suspended in 2012 after three "serious incidents” including what college officials described as "dangerous practices". One society pledge was sent to a hospital after receiving life-threatening injuries.
- As of June 30, 2010. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2010 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2009 to FY 2010" (PDF). 2010 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. p. 10. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Illinois College - About Us". Ic.edu. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- The record of the celebration of the ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- Historical encyclopedia of Illinois - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- [dead link]
- 1/12/2012 12:00:58 PM. "Phi Beta Kappa Society :: Phi Beta Kappa Society". Pbk.org. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Illinois College reaches out to Japanese friends | illinois, japanese, college - Jacksonville Illinois News and Information Jacksonville Journal Courier". Myjournalcourier.com. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Energy Efficiency". Illinoiscleanenergy.org. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Jacob Tucker wins NCAA slam dunk contest (Video) - Sports Blog". CBS News. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Charles W. Bryan". National Governors Association. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Cherny, Robert W. (1994). A righteous cause: the life of William Jennings Bryan. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-8061-2667-1.
- Illinois College - News: Former Missouri treasurer to represent alumni on college's board of trustees[dead link]
- Davis, William Morris (1915). Biographical memoir of John Wesley Powell, 1834-1902. United States National Academy of Sciences. p. 13.
- "IC stops literary society pledging after students hospitalized - The State Journal Register". http://www.sj-r.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article Illinois College.|