Lebanon Valley College
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|Motto||Libertas per Veritatem (The truth shall set you free)|
|Established||February 23, 1866|
|Affiliation||United Methodist Church|
|Endowment||US $49.2 million|
|President||Lewis Evitts Thayne|
|Location||Annville, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Campus||Rural on 340 acres (1.48 km²)|
|Gender balance||54% women, 46% men|
|Colors||Blue and white|
Lebanon Valley College (also referred to as "LVC", "Lebanon Valley" and "The Valley") is a small, liberal arts higher education institution situated in the heart of Annville in Lebanon County, 19.5 mi (31.4 km) east of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Lebanon Valley was founded on February 23, 1866, with classes beginning May 7 of that year and its first class graduating in 1870. Expenses at this time for a full year were $206.50 (equal to approximately $3,910 in 2016) and remained relatively unchanged for the next 50 years.
Early history (1866–1897)
The College was founded by and initially associated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Today, Lebanon Valley College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which happened through a series of church mergers: The Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged with the Evangelical Synod of North America in 1946 creating the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB), which subsequently merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to create the United Methodist Church. 1 The ties to the Methodist Church are not as strong as they once were, which is evidenced by the lack of mandatory chapel services, but the church maintains a presence on the campus. Out of 34 colleges and academies founded by the United Brethren in Christ Church, Lebanon Valley was one of four to survive.
The campus began as a single building, the empty Annville Academy building, which was purchased for $4500 (equal to $74,000 in 2016) by five Annville citizens. They presented the building as a gift to the East Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church to settle the argument over where to establish a college. In a little over two months from its founding, 12 trustees were appointed, President Thomas R. Vickroy was elected, the building repaired and redecorated, a curriculum devised, faculty recruited, and classes begun. The college was entirely contained in that one building (class rooms, student residence, president's residence, and "dining hall") until 1868 when "North College" was opened at a cost of $31,500, equal to $567,000 in 2016. The Annville Academy building became known as "South Hall" or "Ladies Hall" as the North College building was now the home to the men's dormitories.
A note worth mentioning: The college charter, granted in 1867, specifically stated that Lebanon Valley College was established for the education of both sexes. Indeed, Lebanon Valley College can claim that it has been coeducational longer than any other college east of the Allegheny Mountains. However, the curricula were different for men and women, a condition created from a compromise after an uproar in the founding church over the equal treatment of men and women. The "Ladies Course" included modern languages, painting, drawing, wax flower and fruit making, and music. By 1878, the college catalog began announcing that experience showed that there was no difference between men and women in their ability to master college courses, an unpopular idea at its time.
This was also the time of the founding literary societies: Philokosmian, Clionian, and Kalozetean, which bear no resemblance to their present fraternity and sorority selves. They met regularly to debate topics and discuss essays. Other activities included mixed socials, parades, the annual Chestnut Picnic, and other special events throughout the years.
The College steadily grew during its first 35 years, and by 1904, the campus had expanded to include Engle Hall, home of the music department, and a partially completed library funded by Andrew Carnegie. On Christmas Eve 1904, North College (not to be confused with the residence hall with the same name), which stood in the current footprint of the Administration/Humanities building, burned down. The next year, the College raised funds to rebuild and also began expanding the campus further, building not only a new Administration Building (the current Humanities Building), but also North Hall (a women's dorm, currently the site of Miller Chapel), Kreider Hall (a men's residence hall where the current Neidig-Garber Science Center is located), the central heating plant (still in existence), a science building, and a gymnasium. However, funding ran out, debt rose, and building halted on the gym and science buildings. President Hervin U. Roop resigned in disgrace on New Year's Day, 1906. It was not until President Lawrence W. Keister took office on June 12, 1907 that the debt situation was solved. Thanks to his fundraising efforts, the debt was eliminated by 1911. The college landscape remained relatively unchanged for the next four decades, though the cultural changes paralleled that of the rest of the country as it moved through World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the New Deal.
Mid-century and modern day (1948–present)
World War II nearly proved to be the end of Lebanon Valley College. In the Fall of 1942, LVC's first wartime registration showed only 357 students enrolled. As the second semester began in 1943, there were only 282 students: 145 women and 137 men, the first time that women outnumbered men. 1943 Fall enrollment dropped again to only 199 students, 62 of which were on limited deferment, waiting to be called to active duty. This prompted one of the first capital campaigns to help the ailing college. The campaign to raise $550,000 received 91% support from current students. The money was to go toward an endowment and a real gymnasium, which bore the name of the president who initiated the campaign—Lynch Memorial. Right before the war ended, LVC enrollment hit bottom at 192 students. In 1946, however, enrollment ballooned to 683 students, more than 300 of which were ex-servicemen.
Enrollment steadily grew and by 1948, thanks to the G.I. Bill, it had reached 817 full-time students, far beyond the College's capacity. Eventually more facilities and residences were added to the College. Lynch Memorial Hall—which included the school's first proper gymnasium—was opened in 1953. In 1957, Science Hall (now the Derickson A apartments) was created out of the old Kreider Factory building on White Oak St., and Gossard Library also opened that year. In 1966, Miller Chapel was completed. The 1950s also saw the college expand north of Sheridan Avenue, with the Dining Hall (now East Dining Hall) built in 1958. All of the current traditional residence halls were built between the 1950s and 1970s as well—Mary Green (1956) and Vickroy (1960) in the 1950s-60s, Hammond and Keister Hall in 1965, and Funkhouser and Silver in the 1970s. Marquette and Dellinger were added in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
Enrollment also grew, although it had stagnated by the 1980s. A turnaround began under the presidency of Arthur L. Peterson, whose tenure in office was cut short due to health issues. Soon thereafter, a highly energetic and innovative president, John Synodinos ushered in a period of growth and change with the bold introduction of merit scholarships and the renovation and beautification of a substantial portion of the campus which included the addition of the Arnold Sports Center and the Arnold Gallery. With the assistance of William J. McGill, senior vice president and the dean of the faculty, academic excellence continued to be emphasized, linkages were established with other institutions and schools, an international initiative undertaken and collaborative learning experiences developed. A new technologically advanced library was opened in January 1996.
Beginning in 1996 and building on the work of his predecessor, G. David Pollick’s eight-year presidency ushered in a period of continued extraordinary growth. There was a 40 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment with applications more than doubling. New undergraduate and graduate degree programs were added and there was a large increase in the number of first-year students who studied abroad. A major public relations focus to enhance the College's standing among peer institutions was followed by a major rebuilding and renovation effort on campus and the start of a $50 million campaign. Pollick oversaw a growth plan that added athletic teams, more than a dozen new campus buildings and athletic facilities, and the College's signature Fasick Bridge. These additions almost tripled the usable space of the College, including five new facilities: the Marquette and Dellinger Residence Halls, the student center, a gymnasium, and the Heilman Center. The revitalization of both Lynch Memorial Hall and Garber Science Center also were begun during this period.
Today, the campus consists of 40 buildings, including the recently renovated Lynch Memorial Hall, the Vernon and Doris Bishop Library, a new 1,650-seat gymnasium, and the Heilman Center for physical therapy. Students reside in one of 25 residence halls which include traditional single-sex and co-educational dormitories and apartment-style residences. Students may also reside in special interest houses upon proposal and approval of LVC administration. A small number of upperclassmen are allowed to live off-campus, and a significant portion of the student body are commuter students as well. Undergraduate enrollment is now over 1,765 students.
The endowment of the college is forty-one million dollars.
Lost lore and traditions
Many college traditions have disappeared and been forgotten, much to the chagrin of most alumni. At most colleges and universities, there seems to be a compulsion to make fools of the freshman students. Lebanon Valley College was no different in this regard, as most of the traditions existed for this very reason.
Annual Murder This sophisticated form of hazing was played out each year in September. This elaborate hoax often gained the cooperation of faculty members and people in the town. During Freshman Week, the first-year students were informed about several student romances on campus through planned gossip. The story went that there was one ardent couple who were constantly together when not in class, but the girl had another upperclassman admirer. The couple argued over the love triangle and it ended in the girl walking off with her new boy. After that, there were public acts that involved the two boys fighting. The affair was all anyone would talk about. Then on a certain pre-arranged night, all freshman were ordered to stay in their rooms by student governing bodies. At 10pm, a drunk ex-boyfriend appeared at the men's dorm. He brandished a gun and staggered through the halls in search of his rival. He finally found him in one of the public archways of the building. Soon, several shots rang out and the victim fell to the floor with blood (ketchup) flowing from his mouth. Other upperclassmen took charge, sending confused and panicked freshmen in pursuit of the killer or for a doctor. A town physician would appear and call for an ambulance, only adding to the theatrics of the evening. Most other freshmen were rounded up and sent in groups to nearby hospitals to offer their blood for transfusion, but were left stranded. At the same time, the freshmen girls witnessed the girl in the triangle see the unconscious victim being taken away and go into a fit of hysterics. During the 1930s, a member of the staff was a Justice of the Peace. He presided over a fake hearing in a large classroom where freshman girls tearfully testified to what they thought they saw happen on campus that night. It was during that hearing that the truth was revealed when the three main actors walked into the room, arm in arm. The next day, the freshmen felt young and foolish, but were looking forward to the next year when they were able to play the same prank on new freshmen. The tradition died in 1946, when its last performance narrowly escaped tragedy when some ex-servicemen studying at LVC under the G.I. Bill threatened to take care of the villain causing trouble between the lovers.
Death League Perhaps a darker example of campus lore is the infamous Death League, a student organization whose members—mostly upperclassmen—were dedicated to making life miserable for freshmen. They often used the justification that it was discipline or that they were trying to "make men out of boys." They wore white robes and masks modeled after the Ku Klux Klan when they performed organization rites of passage. Favorite disciplinary tricks were brutal paddlings or lashing a victim to a tombstone in the cemetery and making him preach for two hours. Earlier in its history, many upperclassmen and several faculty members approved of the Death League because they saw it as serving a necessary function. Eventually, President Keister came down hard on the organization after a particularly bad beating took place. The result was that the Death League was officially abolished and its hazing activities forbidden. It has since faded into the past as a distant memory. The Quittapahilla 1918 has the last picture of the current Death League on page 212. The Quittapahilla 1919 makes mention of the Death League.
May Day A festive tradition, this pageant was begun in 1912. Each year, a May Queen would be elected and would watch over the festival with her court. Typical May Day activities took place, including the expected May pole. This tradition seems to have persisted for 55 years until the late 1960s.
Formal Dances Until October, 1931, dancing on the LVC campus was forbidden. One evening after a football game, President Gossard had decided to change the policy and allowed the students to dance with his blessing. From then on, the literary societies began holding annual dinner dances. Formal proms were organized and any opportunity for dancing was not overlooked.
In February 1985 the college opened a nighttime dance club called the Underground (or "UG" as it is referred to by most students). The UG is a place where students can go to have fun with their classmates and friends on most Saturday nights. The UG plays popular hits from today's music and is open to non-LVC students at a small price. Recently, the UG was reopened after small renovations to improve the safety of the students attending the dances.
List of past presidents
- Thomas Rhys Vickroy, 1866–1871
- Lucian H. Hammond, 1871–1876
- David D. DeLong, 1876–1887
- Edmund S. Lorenz, 1887–1889
- Cyrus J. Kephart, 1889–1890
- E. Benjamin Bierman, 1890–1897
- Hervin U. Roop, 1897–1906
- Abram Paul Funkhouser, 1906–1907
- Lawrence Keister, 1907–1912
- George Daniel Gossard, 1912–1932
- Clyde Alvin Lynch, 1932–1950
- Frederick K. Miller, 1951-1967 (Allan W. Mund Acting President, 1967–1968)
- Frederick P. Sample, 1968-1983 (F. Allen Rutherford Jr. Acting President, 1984)
- Arthur L. Peterson, 1984-1987 (William J. McGill Acting President, 1987–1988)
- John A. Synodinos, 1988–1996
- G. David Pollick, 1996–2004
- Stephen C. MacDonald, 2004–2012
- Lewis Evitts Thayne, August 1, 2012–present
Consistently named to US News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges" list under the Regional College (North) and Best Value School categories. The Princeton Review also recognized the college as "A Best in the Northeast," and Lebanon Valley College was also named on Forbes' list of "America's Top Colleges.",  LVC offers over thirty-five fields of study, as well as graduate and doctorate programs, including Master of Business Administration, Master of Music Education, Master of Science Education, and Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Students at Lebanon Valley College also have the option to create their own major. Additionally, students may elect to engage themselves in a more international education through study abroad programs to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, England, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Northern Ireland, Argentina, London, and China as well as domestic programs in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Lebanon Valley College is a member of NCAA Division III, competing in the MAC Commonwealth Conference (half of the two-conference Middle Atlantic Conferences). It also plays ice hockey in the American Collegiate Hockey Associationas a member of the Division I Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League. LVC offers 24 intercollegiate sports. The athletic program began in 1893 with baseball and then football in 1897. Men's and women's basketball were introduced in 1904. LVC's teams are called the Flying Dutchmen, and its mascot is the Dutchman.
- Established 1893.
- 2002 Commonwealth Conference Champion
- Plays at McGill Field
- Cross Country
- Established in 1897
- 2009 and 2011 ECAC Southwest Bowl champions
- Has produced 11 all-Americans
- Plays at Arnold Field.
- Co-Champions with Lycoming in 2013 for MAC Division 3
- First NCAA Division 3 football appearance in school history
- Wittenburg University (OH) beat LVC in first round of tournament
- Played its first game under lights.
- Began play in 1965
- Hosts tournaments at Lebanon Country Club.
- Ice Hockey
- Established in 1988
- Competes at the Arnold Sports Center
- Was played as early as 1915 and has been sponsored several times since then, regaining varsity status for good in 1992
- Won six Commonwealth Conference titles since re-establishing, most recently in 2009.
- Track & Field (indoor and outdoor)
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Established in 1933
- Four NCAA Division III Final Four appearances (1996, 1997, 2006, 2007) with 16 NCAA appearances
- Former player Jocelyn Novak is the all-time NCAA Division III leader in goals and points
- Six-time MAC/Commonwealth Conference champion, most recently in 2006
- 45 All-Americans since 1987
- Plays at Arnold Field.
- Began play in 2013
- Hosts tournaments at Lebanon Country Club.
- Ice Hockey
- Established in 1996
- Plays home games at Herbert Field
- Established in 1989
- Competes at the Arnold Sports Center
- Began in 1994
- Won the 2009 Commonwealth Conference championship.
- Track & Field (indoor and outdoor)
Lebanon Valley College has several buildings in which students reside. These buildings include Mary Green, Keister, Hammond, Funkhouser, Silver, Stanson, and Vickroy. In addition to those 7 traditional dorms, Marquette, Dellinger, and Derickson A/B provide apartment style living for upperclassman students on campus. All dorms include co-ed living among the floors. Residential Assistants are assigned to each building to enforce rules and organize activities for the students.
- Rowland W. Barnes (class of 1962), the Fulton County, Georgia Superior Court judge, who was killed in his Atlanta courtroom on Friday, March 11, 2005. (LVC Memorial Project)
- Mark B. Cohen - Masters in Business Administration (2000), Democratic Representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
- Tom Corbett (class of 1971) - 46th Governor of Pennsylvania, 2011–2015. Pennsylvania Attorney General, 1995–1997, and from 2005 to 2011.
- Douglas Ebersole, Esq. (class of 1978), attorney, biotechnology consultant, entrepreneur, and investor; former attorney for Steve Jobs.
- Dr. Daniel W. Fox - B.S. in chemistry (1948), credited with inventing LEXAN polycarbonate, which is used in CDs, DVDs, and Nalgene products.
- Charlie Gelbert (class of 1928), former Major League Baseball player.
- Hinkey Haines - (class of 1919, transferred to Penn State University), former Major League Baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees, playing only in the 1923 season.
- Henry "Two Bits" Homan (class of 1924) former NFL quarterback who played with the Frankford Yellow Jackets in Philadelphia from 1925 until 1930.
- Horace Kephart (class of 1879), outdoorsman and author
- Roy Lechthaler - American football player
- Bruce Metzger - (class of 1935) - Princeton Theological Seminary professor, author, and theological scholar.
- Gary Miller (conductor) - conductor and gay activist
- Edgar Morgan (class of 1963), U.S. and international government official who founded the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation Consortium in Washington, D.C.
- Peter George Olenchuk - U.S. Army Major General.
- Andrew "Andy" Panko - Professional basketball player.
- John Sant’Ambrogio - (class of 1954), principal cellist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1968 to 2005; founder and artistic director of the Arts for the Soul summer vacation retreat in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
- Paul E. V. Shannon - (class of 1918), former Bishop of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, elected in 1957.
- W. Maynard Sparks - (class of 1927), former Bishop of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, elected in 1958.
- Frank Tulli - (class of 1966), former Republican Representative for the 106th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
- "NCSE PUblic Tables Endowment Market Values" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- The Flying Dutchmen, GoDutchmen.com, Lebanon Valley College Athletics. Accessed 26 June 2011.
- Intoccia, Jeff. Seven Feet Tall With Size 25 Clogs. GoDutchmen.com, Lebanon Valley College Athletics. Accessed 26 June 2011.
- "America's Best Colleges". U.S. News and World Report. 2007.
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - The Flying Dutchmen
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - McGill Field
- 1952-53 | College Hoopedia
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - LVC Gymnasium
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Union Canal Tunnel Park
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - LVC Captures ECAC Southwest Bowl Title
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Defense Leads LVC to ECAC South-West Bowl Title
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - LVC All-Americans
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Arnold Field
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Lebanon Country Club
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - LVC To Add Men's And Women's Lacrosse
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Herbert Field
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Arnold Sports Center and Heilman Center
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - 2013-14 Women's Tennis Coaching Staff
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Facilities
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Patrick Captures MAC Championship To Lead XC
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - Field Hockey Record Book
- Lebanon Valley’s Novak sets record | NCAA.com
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - W. Lax Captures First ECAC Championship
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - CHAMPS! LVC Clinches CC Title, NCAA Berth
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - LVC Softball Park
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - W. Track & Field Repeats As MAC Champions
- Lebanon Valley College Athletics - QUAD SQUAD! Volleyball Wins Fourth Straight CC Title
- Finding Aid for the Jim Casada Collection of Horace Kephart and George Masa MS.3452, University of Tennessee Special Collections Library finding aid. Retrieved: 4 October 2013.
- Joyce Wadler (June 25, 1998). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Baton Is Passed, but the Chorus Sings On". The New York Times.
- Lebanon Valley College - A century of life on campus, Edna J. Carmean. 1966. (Unpublished, but can be obtained from the archives at Lebanon Valley College.)
- Wallace, Paul A. W. (1966) Lebanon Valley College: A Centennial History. Annville, PA: Lebanon Valley College Publishing.
Media related to Lebanon Valley College at Wikimedia Commons