Monmouth College

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This article is about the college in Illinois. For the university in New Jersey, see Monmouth University. For the former Monmouth College in Oregon, see Western Oregon University.
Monmouth College
The Monmouth College Logo
Motto Sit Lux (Let there be Light)
Established April 18, 1853
Type Private
Religious affiliation Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Endowment $87.2 million [1]
President Clarence Wyatt
Admin. staff 128
Students 1,300 undergraduate
Location Monmouth, IL, USA
40°54′52″N 90°38′14″W / 40.91444°N 90.63722°W / 40.91444; -90.63722Coordinates: 40°54′52″N 90°38′14″W / 40.91444°N 90.63722°W / 40.91444; -90.63722
Campus Small town, 112 acres (45.32 ha)
Colors Red and White          
Athletics NCAA Division III
Nickname Fighting Scots
Mascot Big Red
Monmouth College is located in United States
Monmouth College
Monmouth College
Location in the United States

Monmouth College is a four-year coeducational private liberal arts college located in Monmouth, Illinois, United States. Monmouth is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution [2] and enrolls 1,300 students.[3] Students choose courses from 35 major programs, 30 minors and 16 pre-professional programs [4] in a core curriculum that features strong majors and a unique integrative learning course sequence that teaches students to be innovators and creative problem solvers.[5]

Monmouth College is one of 248 National Liberal Arts Colleges (out of 2,774 four-year U.S. colleges [6]) classified by U.S. News & World Report[7] and is included in Tier 1 of its Best Colleges Rankings.[8]

Parchment Student Choice Rankings, which uses a methodology "based on student enrollment decisions,"[9] ranks Monmouth 106th out of the top 500 four-year colleges in the United States.[10]

The college provides extensive programming to assist its students in achieving more after graduation and its efforts in this area have been recognized by Washington Monthly, which ranks Monmouth as 40th[11] (of 255 top four-year institutions) in Social Mobility. Another focus is on affordability and strong course offerings, which has led Washington Monthly to rank Monmouth 50th[11] in the areas of Service Staff, Course and Financial Aid Support.


Construction of Wallace Hall, Monmouth College, 1908

Monmouth College was founded on April 18, 1853, by the Second Presbytery of Illinois, a frontier arm of the Associate Reformed (Presbyterian) Church. The college currently celebrates this date annually as "Scholars Day," cancelling classes for a day of celebration and an honors convocation.[12] Founded as "Monmouth Academy," the school became Monmouth College after receiving a charter from the state legislature on September 3, 1856. The college remains affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of small, private liberal arts colleges. The college's motto "Sit Lux" ("Let there be Light") appears on its seal.

The first president, David Wallace was elected president of Muskingum College before he had received his own college diploma. Wallace built two mission churches in Massachusetts before assuming the Monmouth presidency.

Founded on the eve of the American Civil War, the college immediately faced a serious crisis. The college's campus was still under construction while virtually the entire male student body left for military service. Two hundred and thirty-two students, faculty members, and trustees served in the Civil War. A quarter of them were wounded and one in eight was killed.[13] Two were awarded the Medal of Honor, and Abner C. Harding, a college trustee who raised a regiment composed largely of MC students, was commissioned a brigadier general for his leadership in the defense of Fort Donelson in 1863.[14] President Wallace, believing that the college “must educate, whether there be peace or war,” kept classes in session for what was then a primarily female student body.

Unusual for the time, Monmouth was founded as a coeducational institution. When veterans returning to the college decided to form fraternities, a group of women was determined not to be outdone, and in 1867 established the first fraternity for women, known today as Pi Beta Phi. Three years later, another well-known women’s fraternity, Kappa Kappa Gamma, was founded at Monmouth.

World War II posed a crisis to the institution similar to that of the Civil War, as male students began enlisting in the service within a month of Pearl Harbor, and soon only a handful remained on campus. Through an arrangement with the Navy Department, the college survived by becoming a U.S. Naval Flight Preparatory School, and later offered a V-5 Navy Academic Refresher Unit program for officers. Courses were taught by Monmouth’s liberal arts faculty. The Navy later adopted adopted portions of Monmouth's curriculum for training programs nationwide[citation needed]. More than 2,000 Navy men went through Monmouth College, a number of whom would re-enroll at the college after the war funded by the G.I. Bill.

Monmouth’s chemistry department gained national prominence in the 1950s when longtime professor William S. Haldeman was recognized with a major award by the American Chemical Society[citation needed]. Because his financial circumstances kept him from personally pursuing graduate school, he became a champion for advanced study, helping 88 of his 343 chemistry graduates attain Ph.D.s by establishing his own revolving loan fund to pay their expenses. The students were widely known as “Haldy’s Boys” or sometimes “Haldy’s Girls.” The Steelman Report on Manpower for Research noted that Monmouth and four other small colleges—Hope, Juniata, St. Olaf and Oberlin—together had "produced more candidates for the doctor's degree in chemistry than Johns Hopkins, Fordham, Columbia, Tulane and Syracuse Universities combined.".[15]


Monmouth is a founding member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and a member of the Annapolis Group, which describes itself as a "nonprofit alliance of the nation's leading independent liberal arts colleges." Monmouth also continues its historical relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), although courses in religion are no longer required, and is an active member of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, of which President Mauri Ditzler served as chair in 2011-2012.[16] Chemistry at Monmouth is an approved baccalaureate program [17] by the American Chemical Society.


  • Rev. David Alexander Wallace — first president, 1856-1878
  • Rev. Jackson Burgess McMichael, D.D. — second president, 1878–1897
  • Rev. Samuel Ross Lyons, D.D. — third president, 1898–1901
  • Rev. Thomas Hanna McMichael, D.D. — fourth president, 1903–1936
  • Rev. James Harper Grier, D.D., LL.D. — fifth president, 1936–1952
  • Rev. Robert W. Gibson, B.D., D.D., LL.D. — sixth president, 1952–1964
  • G. Duncan Wimpress, Jr., Ph.D. — seventh president, 1964–1970
  • Richard Dengler Stine, Ph.D. — eighth president, 1970-1974
  • DeBow Freed, Ph.D. — ninth president, 1974–1979
  • Bruce Haywood, Ph.D. — tenth president, 1980–1994
  • Sue Ann Huseman, Ph.D. — eleventh president, 1994–1997
  • Richard F. Giese, Ph.D. — twelfth president, 1997–2005
  • Mauri A. Ditzler, Ph.D. — thirteenth president, 2005–2014
  • Clarence Wyatt, Ph.D. — fourteenth president, 2014-present

Academics and resources[edit]

Dedicated in 2013, Monmouth College's Center for Science and Business was designed to foster interdisciplinary discussion and cooperation.

Monmouth College offers 35 major fields of study and 16 pre-professional fields of study,[3] with 851 different courses offered in the sciences, arts, humanities, mathematics, computer sciences, social sciences, foreign languages, classics, and several interdisciplinary fields, including pre-medical and pre-engineering studies, and provides an unusually integrated core curriculum. The core curriculum includes four signature courses designed to aid students in making connections across disciplines and understanding their education as an integrated whole.

For freshmen, the only course requirement mandated by the curriculum is one of the first-year seminar courses called Introduction to Liberal Arts, which are usually limited to 16-18 and share a common focus on critical analysis and development of written and oral argument. Besides a first-year seminar course, the other 31 courses (usually four are taken per semester) required for graduation can be selected by the students themselves. To complete their major, students must adhere to departmental course requirements.

Upon entering the college, new students are assigned a faculty adviser. Each faculty adviser works with students to ensure a course of study that has both breadth and depth and is integrated across disciplines while still being intellectually fulfilling. Faculty advising continues for the remainder of each student’s education.

16 percent of Monmouth students in the class of 2013 were double majors[citation needed]. A small number of triple majors and interdisciplinary majors also exist. Within five years of graduation, more than 60 percent of Monmouth alumni attend graduate school or another form of ongoing education[citation needed].


Maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 and an average class size of 15 students, Monmouth places a high priority on meaningful interaction between students and their professors. Of the 130 faculty members, more than 85 percent hold the highest degrees in their fields. With the favorable student-to-faculty ratio, Monmouth classrooms are characterized by face-to-face interaction between professor and student that is, by design, frequent and with great depth. Outside the classroom professors often serve as academic advisers, student organization advisers and mentors.

Professors also draw students (even first-year students during the summer prior to their enrollment) into independent research or creative work, which results in original scholarly product. Under the mentorship of faculty, many science students participate in sophisticated graduate-level research using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and are listed as co-authors on faculty articles that appear in peer-reviewed journals. Students from all disciplines also have the opportunity to submit articles for publication in Monmouth College's Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research.[18]


The Princeton Review named Monmouth one of 155 higher education institutions it considers “Best in the Midwest” in its 2014 Best Colleges survey.[19] Indicating the breadth of its analysis, Monmouth’s highest ratings came in the areas of fire safety, financial aid and quality of life. (AC Online) has identified Monmouth College in the top 10 percent of Illinois colleges and universities for offering a high lifetime return on investment (ROI). Graduates of the schools listed enjoy the largest earnings advantage over non-degree holders over 30 years and earn more on average than graduates from 314 other Illinois schools[citation needed].

Monmouth was named a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs Magazine.[20]

Monmouth College has been honored as a College of Distinction by the Colleges of Distinction college guide.[21] The designation is given to honor excellence in student-focused higher education. Schools selected must excel in the Four Distinctions: engaged students, teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

Monmouth was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.[22]

Students and staff[edit]

Sign in front of campus
Wallace Hall

Student profile[edit]

  • Size: 1,360
  • Points of origin: 24 states; 9 countries
  • Diversity: 54.5% women; 44.5% men; 8% students of color; 2.6% international

Faculty profile[edit]

  • Size: 130 (92 full-time, 38 part-time)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Qualifications: 78 percent have Ph.D. or equivalent degree
  • Average Class Size: 18.4

Men's Fraternities[edit]

Women's Fraternities[edit]

Honorary societies[edit]


Monmouth College is a member of the Midwest Conference and the NCAA Division III. The college offers eleven varsity sports for men and eleven for women. The college has won the Midwest Conference men's all-sports trophy each of the last two years. Additionally, the college offers intramural sports to interested students.[23]

Monmouth Fighting Scots Logo.jpg

The athletic teams' nickname, Fighting Scots, was coined in 1928 by alumni secretary Harold Hermann (class of 1927) to reflect the Scotch-Irish heritage of the college's founders[citation needed]. "Fighting Scots" is a registered trademark of Monmouth College.

The Monmouth College men's track and field team placed third in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 26, 2007. It was the first national team trophy that a Monmouth College sports team has won. The following year, Monmouth's men's track and field team took second place in the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Monmouth's track program has produced nine individual national champions, the most recent of which was James Wilson, who won the NCAA Division III indoor long jump national title in 2013.

Monmouth College Football Field at dusk

Monmouth began its college football rivalry with Knox College in Galesburg in 1888, making it the sixth oldest college football rivalry in the country.[citation needed] The two schools play annually for the Bronze Turkey trophy in November (originally on Thanksgiving). ESPN's Jeff Merron has classified the trophy as the fifth most unusual in college football.[24] The Bronze Turkey has been stolen several times and was at one time buried under the old MC indoor track for six years[citation needed]. Monmouth leads the series with 56 wins, 50 losses and 10 ties.

The Monmouth College football team has appeared in the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2005 Monmouth college went 10-0 in the regular season, but lost in the first round to St. Johns 62-3. In 2008 the Scots went 10-0 in the regular season. In the first round they beat Aurora University 42-13, to win their first post-season game in school history. They lost in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs to Wartburg College 30-28. The 2009 team also posted an undefeated regular season, but fell to the University of St. Thomas, 43-21, in the playoffs. Monmouth qualified for the NCAA postseason with a 10-1 record in 2011, again meeting St. Thomas in the first round. The Tommies downed the Scots 38-10.

Monmouth's football team boasts two former quarterbacks currently in the National Football League. Through 2013, Alex Tanney '11 has played for Kansas City, Dallas and Cleveland. Mitch Tanney '06 is director of analytics for the Chicago Bears.

The newest varsity sport—water polo—was added for both men and women in 2013.

Monmouth College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1921-1937.

Men's varsity teams[edit]

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Indoor Track
  • Outdoor Track
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Water Polo

Women's varsity teams[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Indoor Track
  • Outdoor Track
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Notable alumni[edit]

Strategic Plan[edit]

Monmouth College unveiled a new strategic plan on March 1, 2012. Entitled "Fulfilling the Promise," the document is based on four guiding principles that will inform decision-making at the institution for the next five years. The principles are: 1. Build an environment that promotes active learning; 2. Inspire students to lead and serve society using democratic principles; 3. Prepare students to solve complex problems; and 4. Guide students to discover meaningful careers and purpose in life.[25]


Monmouth College Center for Science and Business

The 112-acre (45.32 ha) college campus has undergone $120 million in new construction and renovations since 1997. Bowers Hall, a residence hall built in 2001, was the first new dormitory in more than 30 years. The college purchased an apartment complex near the campus in 2003 and Pattee Hall, built on the north side on the campus, was completed before the Fall of 2005. Gracie Peterson Hall, a modern coed dorm opened in the fall of 2007. The Peacock Athletic Complex was built in 2000 and is in walking distance from the campus. The college also built new tennis courts in 2003 and reopened the completely renovated Dahl Chapel and Auditorium containing a 500-seat recital hall/auditorium as well as music rehearsal space. In the fall of 2008, the first phase of the April Zorn Memorial Stadium was completed, enlarging the seating capacity to 2,600 and adding a state-of-the-art press box.

The largest building on campus is the 155,000-square-foot (14,400 m2) Huff Athletic Center. It encompasses the college's old Glennie Gymnasium and includes a brand new field house with indoor tennis courts and track, natatorium, fitness complex, wellness suite, locker and training rooms, classrooms and offices.

The Center for Science and Business, a $40 million, 138,000-square-foot (12,800 m2) academic building, opened in 2013. The Center houses the departments of accounting, biology, chemistry, mathematics & computer science, psychology and political economy & commerce. The college maintains additional facilities including a state-of-the-art digital television studio and media (computer) lab; the Wells Theater and downtown Fusion experimental theater, hosting dramatic productions; a web-based radio station, and the recently renovated Hewes Library, complete with a wide range of print and electronic information resources, computing facilities, and a digital classroom. There is also an art gallery housing the James Shields collection of art and antiquities and a coffee shop. Nearby is the LeSeur Nature Preserve, a 16.5-acre (67,000 m2) nature preserve located a short 10 minute walk from campus.

The Minnie Billings Capron Classics Room located on the first floor of Wallace Hall, the main classroom building, honors the mother of Keith Capron. Keith Capron endowed a classics chair in honor of his mother, who attended Monmouth College for one year. He also donated the funds to create the modern, technologically-equipped Capron Room, including a library and display of classical artifacts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. ^ "Carnegie Classifications - Monmouth College". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "About the College". Monmouth College. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "About the College". Monmouth College. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ Huber, Mary Taylor; Hutchings, Pat (2004). "Integrative Learning: Mapping the Terrain." (PDF). American Association of Colleges and Universities. pp. 1–17. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Fast Facts". U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions: 2014 Best Colleges Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "National Liberal Arts Colleges Tier 1". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "How It Works". Parchment Student Choice Rankings. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Monmouth College Admissions Statistics and Chances". Parchment Student Choice Rankings. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Liberal Arts College Rankings 2013 2nd Page". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Scholars Day returns on Scots Day; Honors Convo also on tap". 1 April 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Monmouth College in the War of the Rebellion". Monmouth College Oracle. 30 May 1911. p. 6. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "HARDING, Abner Clark, (1807 - 1874)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Steelman, John R. (11 October 1947). "Manpower for research, Vol. 4 of Science and Public Policy: A Report to the President". The President's Scientific Research Board. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ditzler elected chair of APCU". Monmouth College. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "ACS Approved Programs". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research". Monmouth College. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  19. ^ citation needed
  20. ^ "Monmouth College". G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Schools. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Colleges of Distinction". Colleges of Distinction. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Honor Roll". Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Monmouth College Wellness Office. "Intramural Sports". Retrieved on 2011-03-05.
  24. ^ "Page 2 Blog: 'These Really Stand Out in the Case'" Retrieved on 2014-01-23.
  25. ^ Retrieved 6 February 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]