The Seal of Goshen College
|Motto||Culture for Service|
|Affiliation||Mennonite Church USA|
|President||Dr. James Brenneman|
|Location||Goshen, Indiana, USA
|Campus||Large town: 135 acres (0.5 km²) 1,189 acre Merry Lea|
|Athletics||14 Division II NAIA teams|
|Colors||Purple and White|
Goshen College is a private liberal arts college in Goshen, Indiana. The institution was founded in 1894 as the Elkhart Institute of Science, Industry and the Arts, and is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. It has an enrollment of around 775 students. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Goshen College maintains a distinctive Christian Mennonite environment, but admits students of all religions. U.S. News and World Reports ranks Goshen as a third-tier national liberal arts college.
Goshen is known for its Study-Service Term (SST), a program that takes students to another country for three months. Students' time on SST is split into two sections. For the first half of the semester students study the country's language, history and culture, usually in the capital. In the second half, students live with host families in smaller cities or rural areas where they do service work. Service placements range from teaching English to working on a farm, recording traditional natural remedies to playing with children at a childcare facility. The Study Service program was founded in 1968 before study-abroad programs became widespread. Current SST destination options are Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, China, and Cambodia. The college has also offered a domestic SST to immerse students in the Latino culture and community in northern Indiana.
Goshen College is home to The Mennonite Quarterly Review and the Mennonite Historical Library, a 75,000 volume library compiling the most comprehensive collection of Anabaptist Mennonite primary source material in the United States.
Goshen tends to maintain a fairly steady 55/45 ratio of women to men. Goshen's student percentage of Mennonite students to other affiliations is 43/57.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Student life
- 4 Sustainability
- 5 Campus facilities
- 6 National anthem
- 7 Notable people
- 8 Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
- 9 Traditions
- 10 Gallery
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The history of Goshen College is intertwined with that of the Mennonite experience in America. Because both histories have been so important to each other, it is necessary to explain Goshen's stories as related to larger American and Mennonite society.
Goshen College is the first Mennonite school of higher education in North America to confer a four-year degree. "Old" Mennonites had traditionally been suspicious of higher education, but by the late 19th century, opinion started to change. Decades earlier, U.S. mainline church denominations had started on a spree of founding colleges across America with hopes of developing well-trained clergy for their congregations. As more "Old" Mennonites sent their children to other Christian colleges, they realized that, without a college of their own, many of their youth would leave the church. Thus, prompted in part as a reaction to mainline Christianity, the "Old" Mennonites started the Elkhart Institute in Elkhart, Indiana in August 1894 to prepare Mennonite youth for college. Because of this vision, even though Goshen today is open to everyone, its historical relationship with the Mennonite Church has had a lasting impact that is still very visible: It is home to The Mennonite Quarterly Review, Mennonite Historical Library, Mennonite Church USA Archives, including Mennonite Central Committee archives, offices of "The Mennonite" and numerous alumni connections with the broader Mennonite Church.
H.A. Mumaw, a practicing physician, first led the small operation. In 1894, a group of 15 "Old" Mennonite ministers and laymen started a corporation that they named the Elkhart Institute association. The first diploma was awarded in 1898. Lured by businessmen to relocate several miles away to Goshen, Indiana, the Institute moved in September 1903 and added a junior college course list, renaming itself Goshen College. By 1906, the Mennonite Board of Education took control of the college, dissolving the Elkhart Institute Association. A complete college course was established in 1908 and the first Bachelor of Arts degrees were conferred in 1910. The college-prep academy program of Goshen College was discontinued in 1935. However, after 1910, most of Goshen's students were enrolled in college courses. From 1914 to 1919, partly out of response to its constituents, Goshen College attempted a "School of Agriculture," which sought to prepare Mennonite young people to return to their rural communities. The hope was that such a program would spark a technological revolution among some of the farmers. Unfortunately the program was never a success and, after World War I, the program was cut, five years after it began.
The school was closed during the 1923-1924 school year by the Mennonite Board of Education but reopened the following year. One of many factors in closing the college was denominational tension due to modernist and fundamentalist Christian theologies of the 1920s and their impact on Mennonite theology at the school. In response to this crisis, many of Goshen's faculty and dozens of students, angry with the Mennonite Board of Education's decision, relocated to Bluffton College. As part of the larger ongoing reaction against liberalism through the early 20th century, Hesston College and Eastern Mennonite School were formed among "Old" Mennonites, although staunch traditionalists realized that no higher education was particularly safe.
When the institution was reopened, it was marked by the new leadership of president S.C. Yoder and dean Harold S. Bender, a man whose influence upon the "Old" Mennonites was significant for much of the 20th century. Bender carefully piloted the stormy waters of theology by stating that Mennonitism was not liberalism. Bender later went on to say that fundamentalism also contributed to problems with theology and created The Anabaptist Vision, a "third way" that sought to spell out the direction for the future Mennonite Church. More than arguing doctrine, Bender and a younger group of intellectuals at Goshen College sought to shape the Mennonite faith that was more ideological than institutional. The goal was to articulate a faith that could stand the test of academic scrutiny in broader society while carefully upholding traditional beliefs of the church. Out of this ideology, Bender started The Mennonite Quarterly Review. Throughout this time, Goshen remained the epicenter of "Old" Mennonite theology and higher education, and became known as the "Goshen Historical Renaissance".
During the 1940s, Goshen was one of the Mennonite Central Committee's key places to form a "relief training school" that helped to train volunteers for unpaid jobs in the Civilian Public Service, an alternative to the Army. Many Mennonites chose the civilian service alternative because of their beliefs regarding Biblical pacifism and nonresistance. Although the young women pacifists were not liable to the draft, they volunteered for unpaid Civilian Public Service jobs to demonstrate their patriotism; many worked in mental hospitals.
In 1980, Goshen College was granted care of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, a 1,150-acre (4.7 km2) nature preserve that now offers Goshen's Master's degree in Environmental Science. In 1993, Harold and Wilma Good, longtime friends of the college, left their estate to Goshen. The estate was estimated at roughly $28 million, the majority in stock of the J.M. Smucker Company. Wilma was a daughter of the company's founder. The college sold the stock and added the funds to its endowment, more than doubling it. The campus experienced a building boom in the later half of the 1990s through the present, with an estimated $30 million in new or renovated structures on campus. This included the addition of the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center, the Music Center, the Connector, and the renovation of all dormitories. The college is currently working on a new campus master plan and strategic plan that will define the college's priorities for the years ahead. Today, more than 20,000 Goshen College alumni have been counted, residing in more than 85 countries. The Goshen campus has flourished from less than 50 acres (200,000 m2) to 135 acres (0.55 km2) with 18 major buildings.
Goshen College offers 41 majors and 47 minors for undergraduates. Some of the most popular programs are nursing, biology, business, communication, education, American Sign Language and environmental science. The college also offers a Master of Arts in Environmental Education, a master's degree in intercultural leadership, and a master's degree in nursing with two tracks: family nurse practitioner and clinical nurse leader. In 2014, Goshen College partnered with Eastern Mennonite University and Bluffton University to launch the Collaborative MBA program.
Goshen College also offers a variety of pre-professional programs:
- Pre-Physical Therapy
The academic year is divided into two semester terms, with an additional May term.
Started in 1968, Goshen College's Study Service Term (SST) is a unique program. Goshen was one of the pioneers of colleges in offering programs abroad, partly because of its Mennonite heritage of missions and foreign service, particularly the Mennonite Central Committee. International education is a requirement for all students at Goshen College. Approximately 80 percent of students complete the requirement by participating in SST. Students are required to spend one semester abroad in a country or complete an intercultural experience in the US. They study the language and culture for six weeks at a foreign university, then do service for the remaining six weeks. Service may include working at a hospital, nursing home, kindergarten, or missionary service. Goshen College students currently may visit Cambodia, China, Tanzania, Peru and Senegal. Previous SST spots include Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Germany, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Cuba, Haiti, Poland, South Korea, Indonesia, Mali, and Ivory Coast. Over 7,700 students and 230 faculty members have journeyed to 24 different countries as part of SST.
Goshen maintains a variety of varsity sports. Goshen is a member of the NAIA and the Crossroads League, formerly known as the Mid-Central College Conference. Because Goshen is part of the NAIA, it is eligible to award athletic scholarships. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. The college recently added women's golf in the 2012–13 academic year.
Intramurals are also an integral part of Goshen's campus. Throughout the year, students participate in baseball, soccer, ping-pong, volleyball, ultimate frisbe, badminton, softball and racquetball.
Clubs and organizations
Goshen College has no official fraternities or sororities. This is due in part to the college's philosophy of inclusiveness and contributing to a sense of community. Regardless, many different types of clubs and organizations exist to help facilitate campus life. Clubs that play a significant part in campus life include: Black Student Union (BSU), Latino Student Union (LSU), International Student Club (ISC), Advocates, GC Players, Nursing Student Association, Hymn Club, Voices and Harmony, Social Work Action Association (SWAA), Art Club, Pre-Med Club, Goshen Student Women's Association (GSWA), PAX and Eco-PAX.
Campus Activities Council, or CAC, is the primary extracurricular organization on campus that hosts a variety of weekend activities and events. CAC is responsible for "Kick Off," a talent show held at the beginning of each semester. CAC also hosts "Hour After" shows, where talented students on campus perform music, comedy, or dancing for the audience. Goshen has a vibrant extracurricular program, with many students and faculty being involved on campus.
The International Students Club (ISC) hosts the Coffeehouse every year, an event during which international students demonstrate their artistic talents. Students are also given the opportunity, through Global Citizenship, to individually talk about their culture, and have it published by the Goshen College newspaper.
Goshen College has its own school newspaper, The Record and its own radio station, WGCS, branded as 91.1FM The Globe. On March 12, 2011, The Globe was named the Best College Station in the Nation, winning first place at the 71st Annual Conference of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) in New York City. On March 2, 2013, The Globe was again named Best College Station in the Nation, making it the first college to win the award twice. Goshen College Television (GCTV) produces a bi-weekly news show, "The Correspondent", which covers campus and community news. GCTV has also been involved in several larger projects, including the broadcast of the school's annual Festival of Carols on WNIT. In the summer of 2011, the Goshen College communication department launched FiveCore Media, a video production company aimed at providing services for both on-campus and off-campus clients. Every year Goshen College publishes the Maple Leaf, the school's yearbook, created, designed and managed by students. The Maple Leaf gives a glimpse of the academic year and provides documentation of the school's history. In 2006, four students, part of Soluz Films, received a grant from the school's Peace and Justice Journalism program to make a documentary entitled Fuerza, on immigration in the Goshen area.
Goshen College athletic teams are known as the "Maple Leafs," picked from the city of Goshen being referred to as "The Maple City."
Goshen College students have a variety of shows to attend in the Music Center's Sauder Concert Hall or Rieth Recital Hall or the Umble Center, Goshen's theater. With the addition of the Music Center to campus, the college has offered a Performing Arts Series of nationally renowned artists from across the country. Previous guests include Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion, Indigo Girls, The Wailin' Jennys, Nickel Creek, Colm Wilkinson, Chanticleer, Canadian Brass, Tokyo String Quartet, and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
Because Goshen is a Christian college, spirituality plays an important part of campus life. Although Goshen maintains that people of different faiths are welcome to the college, the school emphasizes Judeo-Christian values in regard to operation, justice, and teaching. All faculty members at the school are Christian, with at least eighty percent adhering to Mennonite convictions. The College holds convocations or chapels every Wednesday, with occasional special events, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Students are required to attend half of these services per semester.
Goshen College operates a campus ministries team, headed by the campus pastor. The team includes an assistant campus minister and student leaders who help guide and plan spiritual life on campus for the school year. Activities include managing the network of Goshen's small groups, spiritual friendship, leading campus worship, and planning chapels. Campus worship night is a voluntary praise and reflection time held every Wednesday night. Students also hold a Taizé prayer service once a month on Sunday nights at 9:00. Because service is an important aspect of Christian faith, volunteerism ties in with spiritual life on campus.
Every September, Goshen College participates in an activity called Celebrate Service Day (CSD). Students team with professors and administrative faculty and go out into the larger Goshen community for a day of service. First year students go with their colloquium advisers, while other students go with their dormitory floor or small group. Aside from CSD, many students donate their time to work at local kindergartens, elementary schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Goshen College has been recognized as a leader in the field of sustainability among small liberal arts colleges. In 2007, Goshen College President Jim Brenneman became a charter signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. In doing so, Brenneman joined with leaders of 175 other higher education institutions that also have agreed to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses. In 2014, the college earned a silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report for its sustainability efforts. Through an aggressive energy reduction program and efficiency upgrades, Goshen College has reduced electric consumption by 25 percent and gas consumption by 23 percent since 2007. In the spring of 2013, the college took the further step of purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources through the procurement of renewable energy credits. A computerized building temperature regulation system, motion light sensors for indoor and outdoor lighting and open loop ground-source heat pumps further reduce energy consumption on campus. The campus has also converted nearly 20 percent of its lawn space to native plants and prairie restoration. Goshen College students and staff have developed a food composting system, planted a community garden, built a solar hot water collection system and continued to reduce energy consumption campus-wide. In 2008, Rieth Village at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College became the first platinum-rated LEED building in Indiana.
Goshen College has four dormitories, apartment living, and several small group houses. Outside the original quadrangle, Goshen's current campus has not been the result of a single master plan; rather the campus has evolved eclectically from building to building as the institution grew. Four-year residency was typical until the mid-1970s, when a growing student enrollment prompted school officials to forgo building new dormitories and allow upperclassmen to live off campus. In 2005, Goshen College announced its plan to return to four-year residency. With more students on campus, the school has spent over $10 million building and renovating dorms.
The Roman Gingerich Recreation and Fitness Center is a $7 million facility constructed in 1994 with three full-sized basketball courts, four racquetball courts, a 200 meter indoor track, (formerly) swimming pool (for recreational swimming only) and hot tub, climbing wall, and weight room. The fitness center is open to all students and staff, and is used by community members as well.
The $24 million Music Center, completed in October 2002, has become regionally renowned for its design and acoustics. The Music Center consists of several main sections: Sauder Concert Hall, Rieth Recital Hall, the Art Gallery, and various classrooms, practice rooms and offices. Several highlights are a central recording studio, MIDI labs, and Taylor and Boody Opus 41, a 1600-pipe tracker pipe organ, the first in the world with tempering based on alumnus Bradley Lehman's research of Johann Sebastian Bach's notation. The facility was designed by Mathes Brierre Architects (design architects), Schmidt Associates (architects of record), and TALASKE (acoustics and audio consultants).
Small Group Housing
Small Group Housing (SGH) is an option for juniors and seniors on Goshen's campus. Started in the 1970s, SGH offers students the opportunity to live in a house arrangement, with common kitchen and living spaces. The purpose of SGH is for students to develop another living experience alternative to dormitory life. This same idea was carried out with the construction of the Apartments. Goshen College maintains that SGH living is a privilege, and students must apply as a group to live in a residence. An application board consisting of resident directors, spiritual life, and physical plant review all potential candidates in the spring for the next school year. Each group must create a housing plan, division of responsibility, show examples of volunteerism, and a commitment to better the Goshen campus, as well as resolve conflict. Other factors considered in the application process include house cumulative GPA, extracurricular involvement, median age of the group, and personal faculty recommendations. Houses are then rewarded to applying groups who exemplify high academic, moral, and volunteer efforts, based on objective and subjective review.
Goshen College students have also lived in local housing not associated with the college.
Goshen College maintains Merry Lea Environmental Center and a marine lab in Florida.
Other properties maintained by Goshen College include: Brunk's Cabin, a retreat property complete with a lit sledding hill in Cass County, Michigan, Witmer Woods, a 13-acre (53,000 m2) arboretum with over 100 native Indiana species, and the adjacent property College Cabin (Reservoir Place), used for special events, along the Elkhart River and millrace.
In June 2011, Goshen College was thrust into the national limelight by several reports on Fox News, which publicized the fact that the college does not play the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," at athletic events. The college, affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, which is traditionally a peace church, had published an online fact sheet stating that "historically, playing the national anthem has not been among Goshen College's practices because of our Christ-centered core value of compassionate peacemaking seeming to be in conflict with the anthem’s militaristic language."
On January 21, 2010, The President's Council changed its long-standing policy, allowing the national anthem to be played prior to a sporting event. This decision led to numerous complaints from students, faculty and alumni. Goshen College art professor John Blosser was quoted, “It’s obviously about a battle. It’s rather violent. It’s about using violence to conquer and that would be something that many people here would have problems with.”
The Board of Directors reversed the President's Council decision on June 6, 2011, after seeking extensive input from the college community. Two Goshen city councilmen criticized the college, with one referring to the decision as "anti-American" and stating that "instead of living here in Goshen, they should go down and live in Cuba or Iran, then have them come back and see if their attitude has changed."
A number of famous people have either taught or attended Goshen Gollege throughout the years. Co-founder of Oregon's Bach Music Festival, numerous academics, award winning authors, the developer of the seedless watermelon, and prestigious business leaders and musicians have all called Goshen their alma mater. Goshen's motto, "Culture for Service" is evident in many graduates and faculty. Thus, recognition of their contributions to society often supersede recognition of their names. Members of the rock band Lotus attended Goshen College. Below is a list of several important people who have been associated with the College.
- Roger N. Beachy (1966) - Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
- Douglas Schwartzentruber (1978) - Medical Director of the Goshen Center for Cancer Care and named to the TIME Magazine's 2010 list of the 100 most influential people in the world
- David P. Bartel (1982) - professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Sofia Samatar (1993) - award-winning author of A Stranger in Olondria
- James C. Strouse (1999) - screenwriter and director
- Errick McCollum - American professional basketball player who plays for Galatasaray of the Turkish Basketball Super League
- Carrie Newcomer - American singer, songwriter and author who has received numerous awards for her music and related charitable activities
Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
On October 25, 2006, Goshen College announced that it was the recipient of a $12.5 million Lilly grant to create the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL). The purpose of this grant was to research challenges that come with changing demographics in rural towns with small colleges, hopefully putting Goshen College at the forefront of the study. Goshen received this money in part because of its heritage with SST, and priding itself on being a good "global citizen," one of the school's core values. Goshen College's location in Elkhart County is optimal for such a study because of the community's large and rapidly growing Latino population (12.6 percent of the population in 2006). The grant also sought provide a venue for growing and retaining minority (particularly Latino) students. Despite growing minority populations, Indiana's minority enrollment in its colleges and universities has only increased two percent.
- Goshen's motto, "Culture for Service," was coined by president Noah E. Byers in 1903.
- Goshen's school colors, purple and white, were modeled after Northwestern University, where President Byers attended and after which he wanted to model Goshen.
- One of the college's many traditions is "sampling" sap from the city of Goshen's official Maple Tree, located on campus, and "testing" how many more weeks of winter there will be. Professors from the science department bring out their equipment with much fanfare to determine the official length of winter. In 2006, the maple tree was removed because of disease rotting the hardwood and was replaced by a new tree, now the official maple tree of Goshen. In 2007, new president Jim Brenneman replaced this tradition (which probably resulted in the early death of the maple) with "Weather or Not Day"; a day celebrating Northern Indiana's fickle weather.
- Early (1925) advertisements for the college were refreshingly direct. One said “Goshen [is] not the best college in the United States. But it is better than the rest for Mennonite young people.”
Goshen College seal signifies the book that all alumni have signed since graduation, and the lamp signifies the enlightenment that comes with education. As a Christian school, the book also signifies the importance of word, as well as God's call for his people to be "light to the world."
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- Bethel College is older but did not originally grant four-year degrees. Bethel was incorporated in 1887 and opened at its present site in 1893.
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