Lombard College

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Lombard College building, from an 1876 catalog

Lombard College was a college located in Galesburg, Illinois.


Lombard College was founded in 1853 by the Universalist Church as the Illinois Liberal Institute. In 1855, however, a major fire damaged much of the college, placing its future at risk, but a large gift from Benjamin Lombard, an Illinois farmer and businessman, rescued the institution, rechristened as Lombard University. The official name of the school was changed to Lombard College.

Lombard was coeducational from its founding, reflecting the Universalist philosophy. The institution was the seat of the Ryder School of Divinity from sometime in the 1880s until 1913. The very first chapter of the national sorority Alpha Xi Delta was also founded there in 1893.

Lombard College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910–1929.

The Great Depression proved to be too much for Lombard; the last class was graduated in 1930. While Lombard did not merge, some of its students transferred to nearby Knox College, and its alumni activities take place at Knox. Sigma Nu fraternity's Delta Theta chapter, which formed at Lombard in 1867 as the Delta Theta Society and became a part of Sigma Nu in 1891, continues its activities at Knox to this day. Until 1973, the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta also continued at Knox.

The former Lombard College building and campus is currently used as Lombard Middle School.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

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