Greenville College

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Greenville College
Motto Delivering Real Experience
Type Private
Established 1892
Endowment $13,789,774[1]
President Ivan Filby[2]
Academic staff
Students 1,100
Location Greenville, Illinois, USA
38°53′37″N 89°24′31″W / 38.89361°N 89.40861°W / 38.89361; -89.40861Coordinates: 38°53′37″N 89°24′31″W / 38.89361°N 89.40861°W / 38.89361; -89.40861
Campus Small town
Colors Orange and Black
Athletics NCAA Division III
Nickname Panthers
Logo of Greenville College

Greenville College is a liberal arts four-year school that is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, a church with an evangelical foundation. The college is located in Greenville, Illinois, United States, located 45 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri on Interstate 70.


For 150 years, the Greenville College campus has been the scene of Christian higher education. In the mid-nineteenth century Stephen Morse moved from New Hampshire to Greenville, where he met and married Almira Blanchard. In 1855, he established a college for women, supported in part by his wife's inheritance and named in her honor. Almira College was affiliated with the Baptist church and educated young women under the leadership of John B. White, a classmate of Morse at Brown University. After 23 years, ownership passed to James Park Slade, who maintained the affiliation but changed the College to a co-educational institution.

In 1892, ministerial and lay leaders of the Central Illinois Conference of the Free Methodist Church purchased the property of Almira College, consisting of "Old Main" and several acres of land, to provide higher education for both men and women under distinctive Christian influences. The institution was reincorporated as an independent institution under the name of Greenville College Corporation and was authorized to confer the usual degrees.

The College and the Free Methodist Church share a commitment to a Wesleyan theological tradition and have maintained the rich legacy of mutual support in a voluntary relationship since reincorporating in 1893. Wilson T. Hogue, a New York pastor and scholar, was called to be the College's first president. During his administration, he not only taught and directed the College, but also earned his Ph.D. degree. Only eleven individuals have served the College as president during its more than 110-year history.

Starting with the first graduate in 1898, Greenville College now averages 450 graduates each year at Commencement. The quality of our graduates is made clear in their accomplishments. An unusually high proportion have gone on to earn doctorates. Alumni serve with distinction in major professions in government, business, the church, Christian missions, and as faculty of major universities and colleges.


Code of conduct[edit]

Students attending Greenville College are expected to adhere to a lifestyle that is codified and asks that the student agree to certain principles that the school calls "Christ-honoring", outlined in a document known as the Lifestyle Statement, which all students must sign in order to attend the college. Violations of the lifestyle statement are handled through a grace-based system which seeks to help students recover from any negative effects (i.e. addiction, emotional distress) and rehabilitate them to live according to Christ's purpose for their life. [4]

The Lifestyle Statement exists to keep the GC community accountable for having a healthy lifestyle that keeps the individual in line with God's redemptive plan. It includes instructions for all students to avoid: "backbiting, cheating, dishonesty, drunkenness, gossip, immodesty of dress, lying, occult practices, profanity, sexual promiscuity (including adultery, homosexual behavior, pre-marital sex), theft, and vulgarity (including crude language)." Other actions that students must agree to refrain from, both while on and away from campus, include: "the use of tobacco in any form, alcoholic beverages, hallucinogenic drugs and substances (including marijuana), or narcotics not authorized by a physician.", gambling, and using or possessing pornography. And, in keeping with the institution's focus on Christian principles, the document states: "Members of the community are to observe the Lord’s Day (Sunday) as a day set apart primarily for worship, fellowship, ministry, and rest." These principles are set in place to hold students accountable for creating a learning environment that stands out from other universities and offers unique benefits to the health and well-being of the student. Greenville College understands that no student is perfect and is committed to providing support without judgement to anyone suffering from any kind of problem, addiction, or mental illness.[4] Struggling students are often encouraged to receive counseling or meet with a mentor in order to provide professional support as they attempt to make lifestyle changes.

Students are not required to sign a statement of faith; however, they must fulfill at least 36 chapel credits each semester. Most of these credits are fulfilled by attending a chapel service that is available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every academic week at 9:30am. Chapel begins with student-led worship and announcements about upcoming events (often presented in a humorous manner). Then, a speaker will give a short sermon, sometimes relating to a weekly topic, such as World Outreach Week or Christian Life Week. Students are free to choose which services they would like to attend in order to fulfill their credit requirements. During the chapel hour, no classes take place in order to allow students the opportunity to attend if they wish. Another opportunity to earn chapel credit is by attending an entirely student-led evening service called Vespers takes place every Thursday at 9:30pm. This service is especially popular with students as it is energetic, upbeat, and features student speakers. Other opportunities to earn chapel credit include attending dorm bible studies, providing community service work or attending other activities approved by the chaplain. Certain students who are unable to attend chapel due to work, strenuous schedules or family life are provided with the opportunity to apply for complete or partial chapel exemption.


Greenville College on a sunny August day
A view of Greenville's library.

Nearly 800 students live on campus in a variety of residence halls including Joy Hall, Janssen Hall, Burritt Hall, Holtwick Hall, Blakenship Apartments, Tenney Hall, Kinney Hall, and Ellen J. Mannoia Hall (formerly known as College Avenue Hall). An additional 101-bed dormitory, called West Oak Hall, opened Fall of 2007.[5] Students also live in a number of college-owned houses. In the summer of 2007, Janssen Hall (originally constructed in 1959) was gutted and completely updated and remodeled.[5] Joy Hall was renovated in the summer of 2011 to bring it up to modern safety code.

The college is home to the only museum dedicated to the works of the sculptor Richard Bock, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. The first classes of Almira College in the 1850s were held in John Brown White's home, which is called the Almira College House and houses Bock's sculptures.[6]

In 1999, under the leadership of President Mannoia, the college became the first campus in the nation to install a completely wireless internet network across the entire campus.[7]

Hogue Hall[edit]

Old Main, Almira College
Greenville College is located in Illinois
Greenville College
Greenville College is located in the US
Greenville College
Location 315 E. College St., Greenville, Illinois
Coordinates 38°53′35″N 89°24′31″W / 38.89306°N 89.40861°W / 38.89306; -89.40861
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1860
Architectural style Italianate
NRHP Reference # 75000638[8]
Added to NRHP April 21, 1975

In Memory of John Brown White, Teacher, Counsellor, and Friend, First President, Almira College, Founded in 1855. Placed By His Grateful Pupils 1931.

— Plaque on Hogue Hall

The previous oldest building on campus, Wilson T. Hogue Hall, originally housed Almira College. Bricks for the building were made on the front campus in 1855, and the building was erected between 1856 and 1864 and given the name "Old Main."[6] Hogue Hall contained the data processing center and administrative offices of the college on the lower two floors. The upper two floors, originally dormitory rooms, provided offices for the faculty and a few small classrooms. Informal conversation between faculty and students frequently took place in these offices. An open "bridge" at the third floor level led to the third floor of LaDue Auditorium and Marston Hall, which serves as the main classroom building. This building was part of the National Register of Historic Places.

In the spring of 2007, then President Vincent James Mannoia was made aware of structural problems within Hogue Hall that led to a remodeling project in the building. In the summer of 2007, remodeling work on the lower floor found significant cracks in the timber holding up the masonry wall. When it became aware of the situation, the college stopped the remodeling and consulted with a structural engineer and architectural experts on old buildings for advice.[9] These experts' initial inspection uncovered major structural concerns in the East Wing of the historic building.[9] Classes were moved from the four classrooms on the third floor of the building, and faculty with offices located in the East Wing were relocated to the classrooms.[9] After extensive consultation with local citizens, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Board of Trustees President Mannoia determined that Hogue Hall should be torn down in the summer of 2008, despite objections from Illinois' state preservation agency. The site of Hogue Hall is now a grassy area that has been appreciated by students and faculty; while original plans were to rebuild a new Hogue Hall in the same location, the college board of trustees is deciding whether to rebuild it in another location.[10]


Greenville College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Panthers are a member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Greenville added men's volleyball in the 2015–16 school year (2016 season); since the SLIAC only sponsors volleyball for women, that team will compete in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Augustana rock-n-roll band; formed on campus in 2002–2003; members attended but did not graduate
Jars of Clay Christian rock band; formed on campus in the early 1990s, granted honorary degrees in 2001 after dropping out in 1994
Paper Route Indie/Rock Band; members met at Greenville College
Bishop William G. Black 1941 Black received his bachelor's degree in 1941 from Greenville College. He earned a Master's Degree in History and Philosophy of Education at University of Illinois in Champaign, and a Master's Degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago. In 1973 he was named the Divinity School Alumnus of the year. He worked for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio for over 30 years as a priest and was named Bishop in 1979. Bishop Black received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from GC in 2010.
Ernest L. Boyer former Chancellor of the State University of New York system
Bob Briner once a leading figure in professional sports management, an Emmy Award-winning television producer, and president of ProServ Television. The Greenville College Robert A. Briner Salt and Light Award[11] is named after him.
Matt Bronleewe A founding member of Jars of Clay as well as a notable Christian producer and author.
Leila Fletcher 1916 piano pedagog; Greenville College was Leila Fletcher's sixth form college for girls and young women.
John Hammond General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks
D. Ray Heisey professor of Damavand College in Tehran, Iran
Alfred Harrison Joy Bruce Medal-winning astronomer
Mary Previte author of Hungry Ghosts, served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1998 to 2006
Stephanie Smith 2006 Christian singer/songwriter; discovered, signed at Greenville College
Esther Snyder co-founder of In-N-Out Burger chain with her husband
Howard Zahniser B.A., English, 1928 environmental activist, "Father of the Wilderness Act"
Matthias Zahniser B.A., 1960 Author of The Mission and Death of Jesus in Islam and Christianity,Ph. D. Johns Hopkins University, member of American Academy of Religion Wesleyan Theological Society Tyndale House
Coleman Griffith considered the Father of American Sport Psychology, continued education and taught at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he wrote the predecessors to many modern sport psychology and physical fitness text books; worked with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team and the Chicago Cubs as a consultant


1956 Prohibition Party candidate for President, Enoch A. Holtwick, was a professor of history and government at Greenville College and is honored at GC through the Enoch A. Holtwick Literary Award and Enoch A. Holtwick Hall, a residence building.

GC professor Dr. Richard Huston became a Fulbright scholar for the third time in July 2007. He spent a year lecturing at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua in Leon, Nicaragua, beginning in February 2008.[12]

Professor Larry Sayler earned the top score of the Global Certified Managerial Accounting test in 2009, beating over 4000 contestants worldwide.

Greenville College depends heavily on full-time faculty as the foundation for its educational program, particularly in the four-year traditional undergraduate programs. In the spring of 2009, 69 full-time faculty were employed at the school. According to Dr. Randy Bergen, the Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2005–2012, in the fall of 2009, nearly 75% of the undergraduate courseload was taught by full-time faculty. The faculty whom the college hires are committed to teaching and mentoring students. The typical teaching load for faculty is four courses in the fall and four in the spring.

One of the hallmarks of the faculty is their faith. They are hired only if they have a strong commitment to the Christian faith. All faculty members are expected to be able to explain how to approach their disciplines from a Christian perspective. This faith/learning integration is an essential part of education at the College and is consonant with the school's mission to, "Transform students for a life of character and service through a Christ-centered education in the liberating arts and sciences."

Because of faculty commitment to teaching and because of their faith, they are typically very involved in advising and mentoring students.[citation needed] All full-time faculty serve as academic advisers after their first year of employment. They also serve as sponsors for the various classes (freshmen, sophomore, etc.), club sponsors, and coaches of athletic teams.

According to the Faculty Handbook, full-time faculty are reviewed regularly. They are reviewed in their second, fourth, and sixth years of employment. For those faculty on the tenure track, the sixth year review is usually a tenure review. Post-tenure reviews occur every seven years. In each review, teaching and professional growth are evaluated. Faculty are also evaluated in at least one other area: scholarship, service, and/or governance. Greenville College says the review process is based on its published standards and what it calls its commitment to excellence in teaching.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Greenville College". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Historic Roots". 
  4. ^ a b "Lifestyle Statement – Greenville College". Greenville College. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  5. ^ a b "College Work to Be Done for New Term". Greenville Advocate. July 19, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Allan H. Keith, Historical Stories: About Greenville and Bond County, IL. Consulted on August 15, 2007.
  7. ^ "College in Illinois is the First to Deliver Internet Without Wires" (Vol 129 Number 279). St. Louis Post Dispatch. October 6, 1999. 
  8. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  9. ^ a b c "Major Repairs Needed for G.C.'s Historic Hogue Hall". Greenville Advocate. August 28, 2007. 
  10. ^ "G.C. Board Wants More Options for New Building". Greenville Advocate. November 20, 2008. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "GC PROGESSOR TO TEACH IN CENTRAL AMERICA". WGEL. July 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Still Abides the Memory by Mary A. Tenney. Student and faculty member writes about the history and her experience of Greenville College
  • Man Proposes, But God Disposes: A Biography of John Brown White, Lawyer, Minister, Educator, and Founding President of Almira College by Dr. Donald Jordahl, Emeritus Professor of History at Greenville College

External links[edit]