Central College (Iowa)

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Central College
Centra lCollege Logo.png
Former names
Central University of Iowa
Established 1853 (1853)
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation Reformed Church in America
Endowment US$63.1 million
President Mark Putnam
Academic staff
89 full-time faculty members, 91% Ph.D.
Students 1,650
Location Pella, Iowa, USA
41°24′01″N 92°55′07″W / 41.400204°N 92.918556°W / 41.400204; -92.918556Coordinates: 41°24′01″N 92°55′07″W / 41.400204°N 92.918556°W / 41.400204; -92.918556
Campus small town, 130 acres (53 ha)
Colors Red and White
Athletics NCAA Division IIIIIAC
Sports 17 varsity teams
Nickname Dutch
Affiliations CIC
Website www.central.edu

Central College is a private liberal arts college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a four-year school affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. Central has a student body of approximately 1,600 undergraduates and a 130 acres (53 ha) main campus. The college is noted for its study abroad program.[5]


Central College's oldest building, Jordan Hall

The Baptist Convention of Iowa founded Central University of Iowa in 1853 and it officially opened on October 8, 1854. The first class totaled 37 people. Central was a Baptist institution until 1916, when it was transferred to the control of the Reformed Church in America. Since 1886, Iowa Baptists had shifted their post-secondary education interests to Des Moines College, and hoped to reduce Central to a feeder school.[1][6][7]

The college was called Central University of Iowa (CUI), at least until 1991.[4] It renamed itself "Central College" in 1994.[8]

It is home to local radio station 89.1 KCUI-FM.

Central has a history of interesting architectural features. The first buildings of the new college in 1853 are Dutch Colonial and part of what was recently known as Strawtown Inn. The first dormitory, Cotton Hall, is noted for its ornate Victorian porch and stained glass windows. Building innovation continues with the addition of "green" buildings.[9]

Areas of study[edit]

Central offers majors in the following areas of study:[10]

Study abroad programs[edit]

Central College students can study abroad in nine locations:[11]

Greek life[edit]

Central is currently home to six local fraternities and sororities. All of them participate in Central's "Greek Council" in which at least two representatives from each group meet to discuss issues pertaining to Greek life (such as pledging and housing), and plan campus-wide activities and service projects.[12] A list of the fraternities and sororities are listed below.


Central College playing football against Simpson College on October 9, 2010.

Central College's athletic teams include:[13]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mak, Christine; Thostenson, Josephine E.; Patrick Roland (ed.). "Central College celebrates its Sesquicentennial: 1853-2003 (1st page)". Central College. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Fast facts - Admission - Central College". Central College (Iowa). Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Central College School Facilities - Pella, Iowa - Undergraduate Search at Petersons.com". Peterson's. Retrieved 31 May 2011. Main Library Name: Geisler Library Other Library: 2 Collection: 249,709 titles; 634 serial subscriptions; 11,577 audiovisual materials Endowment: $63.1 million 
  4. ^ a b Uhlig, Mark A. (April 7, 1991). "Mexico's Leader to Defend Trade Pact in U.S.". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2011. ...Roderic A. Camp, an American expert on Mexican politics who teaches at the Central University of Iowa. 
  5. ^ "Central College". thinkindependently.com. Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. Complete an internship, study abroad, sing in the choir, play on a national championship athletic team...at Central you can do it all. Founded in 1853, Central College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. Central is located in Pella Iowa, a town of about 10,000, and only forty miles from Des Moines. 
  6. ^ Mak, Christine; Thostenson, Josephine E. "Central College celebrates its Sesquicentennial: 1853-2003 (2nd page)". Central College. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ van der Zee, Jacob (2003) [1912]. "XXXIV CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF IOWA". Hollanders of Iowa. Iowa City, Iowa: State Historical Society of Iowa. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  8. ^ The Chronicle of higher education almanac. 44-46. The Chronicle. 1996. p. 80. Retrieved 2 June 2011. Central University of Iowa officially became Central College in 1994. The institution was chartered as a university in 1853 but came to be known informally as Central College.  Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Aug 17, 2010
  9. ^ "Making the varsity green team" (FEE, VIA FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY). New York Times Upfront (Gale Biography In Context). 16 March 2009. p. 3. Retrieved 31 May 2011. Friendly competition is helping to raise energy-awareness on college campuses. Students living in the Eco-Dorm at Central College in Pella, Iowa, can monitor each other's energy use on the school's Web site. To make sure they stay greener than their dorm mates, some even go off campus to charge their cell phones.  Gale Document Number: GALE|A195980732
  10. ^ "Academics". 
  11. ^ Central College Abroad
  12. ^ a b c Greek life
  13. ^ Athletics
  14. ^ NCAA Division III Records
  15. ^ http://www.pitt.edu/~dejong/VITA.pdf
  16. ^ "#360 Central College - Forbes.com". Forbes.com. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2011. Harry Smith '73, co-anchor of CBS's The Early Show and former host of A & E Biography; Tom Koos '86, President and CEO of Jacuzzi Brands Corporation; Nicholas Turner '01, Marine Helicopter Squadron, HMX-1 Nighthawks, responsible for direct helicopter support for the White House, including the president, vice president, cabinet members and other VIPs. 


External links[edit]