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|Latin: Collegi Hamiltonensis|
|Hamilton-Oneida Academy (1793–1812)|
|Motto||Γνῶθι Σεαυτόν (Ancient Greek)|
Motto in English
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Endowment||$1.41 billion (2022)|
|Campus||Midsize Suburb, 1,350 acres (550 ha)|
|Colors|| Continental Blue|
Hamilton College is a private liberal arts college in Clinton, New York. It was originally established as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in 1793 and later received its charter as Hamilton College in 1812, in honor of Alexander Hamilton, one of its inaugural trustees, following a proposal made after his death in 1804. Since 1978, Hamilton has been a coeducational institution, having merged with its sister school, Kirkland College.
Hamilton enrolled approximately 2,000 undergraduate students as of the fall of 2021. The curriculum offers 57 areas of study, including 44 majors, as well as the option to design interdisciplinary concentrations. The student body consists of 53% female and 47% male students, representing 45 U.S. states and 46 countries. The acceptance rate for the class of 2026 was 11.8%. Hamilton's athletic teams participate in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Hamilton College traces its origins back to 1793, when it was chartered as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, a seminary founded by Rev. Samuel Kirkland. The academy, located near the Oneida Nation's home, admitted both white and Oneida boys and was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, who collaborated with Kirkland in starting the school and served on its first Board of Trustees. It received its charter from the New York Board of Regents in 1812. Originally its location on College Hill was in the town of Paris from 1793 to 1827, then in the town of Kirkland. Clinton was not incorporated until 1843.
In 1812, the academy expanded its curriculum and became Hamilton College, making it the third-oldest college in New York State. Hamilton started its career as a college with an endowment of $100,000 (equivalent to $1,724,314 in 2022)—a very large sum at the time. The Academy buildings, grounds, and other property were valued at $15,000. To this sum were added subscriptions and parcels of land amounting to another $50,000. The New York State Legislature granted $50,000 to the new institution, and then supported it with $3,000 per year until 1850.
The campus is divided into the "light side" or "north side" (original Hamilton campus) and the "dark side" or "south side" (original Kirkland campus), separated by College Hill Road.
In 2002, President Eugene Tobin resigned after admitting improper attribution of quoted material in his speeches. The same year, Professor Robert L. Paquette raised objections when a student group invited Annie Sprinkle, an actress and former pornstar, as a speaker. Paquette later led an unsuccessful effort to establish the Alexander Hamilton Center on campus. The center, now known as the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, is located off-campus in the village of Clinton.
Hamilton College boasts various athletic facilities, including an ice rink, swimming pool, multiple athletic fields, a golf course, a three-story climbing wall, and a ten-court squash center. The area around the campus first appeared as a census-designated place (CDP) in the 2020 Census with a population of 1,792.
Daniel Burke Library
The Daniel Burke Library, designed by architect Hugh Stubbins, was finished in 1972 with a budget exceeding $5.5 million. Spanning around 80,000 square feet, it accommodates a collection of 500,000 volumes. The library serves as the home for the Information Commons and Information Technology Services, offering a diverse range of print and electronic resources.
The Kirner-Johnson Building, also known as KJ, is the hub for Hamilton's social science departments, the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, the Nesbitt-Johnson Writing Center, and the Oral Communication Center. It features a spacious, naturally illuminated two-story commons area that serves as a popular gathering spot for students to engage in studying or socializing during breaks. To accommodate both activities, the center of the commons is adorned with four small waterfalls, providing a gentle background noise that promotes conversation while providing acoustic insulation for those who prefer a quiet study environment. The renovation and expansion project of the Kirner-Johnson building received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects in 2004, with its completion taking place in 2008.
The Sage Rink
Sage Rink, located at Hamilton College and constructed in 1921, holds the distinction of being the oldest indoor collegiate hockey rink in the United States. Although Northeastern University's Matthews Arena is older, having been initially built as a commercial arena, it was not acquired by the university until 1979. Sage Rink was funded by the widow of industrialist Russell Sage, whose name is associated with various educational buildings in Central New York, including Russell Sage College. Apart from hosting the men's and women's Continental teams, the rink has accommodated youth hockey, high school teams, adult amateur leagues, and the renowned Clinton Comets, who enjoyed remarkable success in the semi-professional Eastern Hockey League during the 1960s and early 1970s.
Litchfield Observatory, assigned observatory code 789, was the site where German-American astronomer Christian Peters made significant discoveries of approximately 48 asteroids. Although the original observatory was destroyed by fire, its legacy is commemorated on campus through the presence of its telescope mount near the Siuda Admissions and Financial Aid House. The current observatory, situated a quarter mile away from the main campus, operates on solar energy and provides access for student use. Constructed using rock sourced from the same quarry as the original building, the present observatory is positioned 100 feet from College Hill Road.
Hamilton College Chapel
In 2011, Hamilton College inaugurated the Days-Massolo Center with the objective of advancing diversity awareness and facilitating dialogue among the diverse range of cultures present on campus. The center is named in honor of trustees Drew S. Days III and Arthur J. Massolo, who both made significant contributions to Hamilton College.
The Root Glen
The Root Glen is a wooded garden located on the premises of Hamilton College. This walking area has been developed over the course of three generations by the Root family, who are recognized for their contributions in scholarship, diplomacy, and art collecting. The Root Glen comprises both formal gardens and forest trails.
Adjacent to the Root Glen stands the Homestead, a building acquired and named by Oren Root in the 1850s. Oren and his wife Grace adorned the surroundings of the building with an assortment of trees, shrubs, and flowers. The property was later inherited by Oren's son, Elihu Root, who, along with the Roots, expanded the gardens. In 1937, Edward Root assumed responsibility for the garden from his father. Following her husband's passing, Grace Root established the Root Glen Foundation with the objective of utilizing the land for educational purposes and promoting the study of birds. In 1971, the foundation dissolved, and Grace chose to transfer ownership to Hamilton College. Presently, the maintenance of the Root Glen is overseen by the college's horticultural grounds staff, and an advisory committee is responsible for the selection of new shrubs and flowers as required.
Hamilton College currently provides the Bachelor of Arts (abbreviated as A.B. or B.A.) degree across 55 fields of study. Additionally, the college participates in dual-degree programs in engineering with the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, as well as the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Among the graduates in 2021, the most popular majors were as follows:
- Economics (81)
- Biology/Biological Sciences (39)
- Political Science and Government (34)
- Research and Experimental Psychology (27)
- Mathematics (22)
While students are required to fulfill the courses for their chosen concentration, they enjoy substantial flexibility in selecting their other courses. Although no distribution requirements are in place, students must complete a quantitative and symbolic reasoning requirement, which can be satisfied through various departmental courses. Additionally, a writing requirement must be met, necessitating enrollment in at least three writing-intensive courses.
Since 2002, Hamilton College has been involved in the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admissions.
In the application cycle for the Class of 2026, Hamilton College received 9,899 applications and extended offers to 1,167 students, resulting in an acceptance rate of 11.8%, which is the lowest in the college's history. The Class of 2026 represents 35 states and 26 countries, contributing to the diversity of the student body. Overall, Hamilton College enrolls students from 47 states and 51 countries. The college follows a need-blind policy for domestic applicants, meaning that financial need is not a factor in the admission decision-making process.
For the 2023–24 academic year, Hamilton College has established a total direct cost of $82,430. This includes specific amounts allocated to different categories, such as $65,090 for tuition, $9,120 for housing, $7,570 for food, and $650 for a student activity fee. Additionally, the college includes budgetary allowances of $800 for books and supplies, $1,000 for miscellaneous personal expenses, and $1,800 for travel expenses. These additional expenses are classified as non-direct costs.
Hamilton College is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need for its students. Financial aid is provided to nearly half of all Hamilton students each year. On average, the financial aid award amounts to $53,597 and may include various forms of assistance such as scholarships, student loans, and work-study opportunities.
Regarding U.S. citizens, Hamilton College practices a need-blind admission policy, meaning that the student's financial capability to afford tuition fees is not taken into consideration during the admissions evaluation process. Furthermore, the college has a wide range of endowed scholarships, which account for 40% of their scholarship budget of nearly $46 million.
|Liberal arts colleges|
|U.S. News & World Report||16|
|THE / WSJ||58|
According to the annual ranking for 2021 conducted by U.S. News & World Report, Hamilton College is categorized as "most selective" in admissions. The college is tied for ninth overall and tied for 28th in the category of "Best Undergraduate Teaching" among "National Liberal Arts Colleges". In 2019, Forbes ranked Hamilton College 59th in its America's Top Colleges ranking, which includes a diverse range of 650 schools, including military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges. Among liberal arts colleges, Hamilton College was ranked 25th.
Student life and traditions
The majority of students at Hamilton College reside in dormitories owned by the college. The residence halls encompass a range of styles, including repurposed fraternity houses, suites, apartment-style housing, cooperative living, and traditional dormitory-style accommodations. Hamilton provides housing options that cater to students' preferences, such as substance-free and quiet housing. While all residence halls are mixed-gender, some may have separate floors designated for a specific sex. In October 2010, the college implemented a gender-neutral housing policy, allowing students of any gender to share rooms designated for two or more occupants.
WHCL-FM is a radio station at Hamilton College that airs a diverse range of programming, including music, news, sports, and talk shows. Broadcasting at FM frequency 88.7, the station can be accessed by residents of the Mohawk Valley region and online at whcl.org.
The Spectator, also referred to as The Spec, is Hamilton College's primary weekly news publication. It is distributed in various campus locations, such as dining halls, the mail center, and the library. The Spectator covers a wide range of topics, including campus news, local news, national news, Hamilton sports, and campus life. The publication is available online as well. The Talisman, an early literary magazine, was published between 1832 and 1834, while The Radiator, considered the precursor to The Spectator, emerged in 1848. Described as "A Weekly Miscellany of General Literature, Science, and Foreign and Domestic Intelligence," The Radiator featured short stories, historical sketches, poetry, and news excerpts from both domestic and international sources. The Hamiltonian, the college yearbook, was first published in 1858. The Hamilton Literary Monthly, a literary journal, began its publication in 1866. The Campus, published from 1866 to 1870, was followed by Hamilton Life in 1899. In 1942, Hamilton Life transitioned into Hamiltonews, and in 1947, it eventually became The Spectator.
Approximately 35% of Hamilton's student body engages in varsity athletics. Alongside varsity sports, Hamilton also supports a range of club and intramural sports. Club sports include alpine skiing, curling, equestrian, figure skating, men's rugby, women's rugby, tae kwon do, ultimate frisbee (Hot Saucers), and women's golf. Notably, Hamilton's men's rugby team achieved fourth place in the national Division III tournament in 2008.
Hamilton College typically enrolls approximately 1,900 students, with 47% being male and 53% female as of 2019. Around 60% of students originate from public schools, while the remaining 40% come from private schools. The student body in 2019 represented 45 U.S. states and 46 countries.
Alumni and faculty
Paul Greengard, Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist
Tony Goldwyn, actor, singer, producer, director, and political activist
Nat Faxon, actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter
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