Hiram College

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Hiram College
File:Hiram Seal.png
Former names
Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (1850-1867)
Motto Fiat Lux (Latin)
Motto in English
Let there be light
Established March 1, 1850
Type Private Liberal Arts College
Affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Endowment US$58.7 million[1]
President Lori E. Varlotta
Academic staff
73 full-time (Fall 2011)
Undergraduates 1,334 (Fall 2011)
Location Hiram, Ohio, United States
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Campus Rural college town, 110-acre (0.45 km2) main, 390-acre (1.6 km2) J.H. Barrow Field Station, 10-acre (0.040 km2) Northwoods Field Station (the U.P. of MI)
Colors Red & Blue          
Athletics NCAA Division IIINCAC
Nickname Terriers
Affiliations Annapolis Group Shoals Marine Lab
Website www.hiram.edu

Hiram College (/ˈhrəm/ HY-rəm) is a private liberal arts college located in Hiram, Ohio. It was founded in 1850 as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute by Amos Sutton Hayden and other members of the Disciples of Christ Church. The college is nonsectarian and coeducational. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Hiram's most famous alumnus is James A. Garfield, who also served as a college instructor and principal, and was subsequently elected the 20th President of the United States.[2][3][4]


On June 12, 1849, representatives of the Disciples of Christ voted to establish an academic institution, which would later become Hiram College.[5] On November 7 that year, they chose the village of Hiram as the site for the school because the founders considered this area of the Western Reserve to be "healthful and free of distractions".[6] The following month, on December 20, the founders accepted the suggestion of Isaac Errett and named the school the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute.[5]

Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, Hiram, 1858

The Institute's original charter was authorized by the state legislature on March 1, 1850, and the school opened several months later, on November 27. Many of the students came from the surrounding farms and villages of the Western Reserve, but Hiram soon gained a national reputation and students began arriving from other states. On February 20, 1867, the Institute incorporated as a college and changed its name to Hiram College.[5][6]

During the years before it was renamed Hiram College, 1850–1867, the school had seven principals, the equivalent of today's college presidents. The two that did the most in establishing and defining the nature of the institution were Disciple minister Amos Sutton Hayden, who led the school through its first six years, and James A. Garfield, who had been a student at the Institute from 1851–1853 and then returned in 1856 as a teacher. As principal, Garfield expanded the Institute's curriculum. He left the Institute in 1861 and in 1880 was elected the 20th President of the United States.[6]

In 1870, one of Garfield's best friends and former students, Burke A. Hinsdale, was appointed Hiram's president. Although there were two before him, Hinsdale is considered the college's first permanent president because the others served only briefly. The next president to have a major impact on the college was Ely V. Zollars, who increased enrollment significantly, established a substantial endowment and created a program for the construction of campus buildings. Later presidents who served for at least 10 years were Miner Lee Bates, Kenneth I. Brown, Paul H. Fall, Elmer Jagow, and G. Benjamin Oliver.[6]

In 1931, shortly before Hiram celebrated the 100th anniversary of Garfield's birth, there was a debate in the community about changing the name of the school to Garfield College. There were strong advocates on both sides of the issue. Among the 2,000 guests at the centennial celebration were three generations of Garfield's family, including two of his sons. The idea of changing the college's name was not mentioned at the event and the idea was abandoned.[7]

Principals and presidents

File:Faculty 1858.jpg
James A. Garfield (left), his wife Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (right) and other faculty, 1858.

The following is a list of the school's leaders since its founding in 1850.[6]

Principals (Western Reserve Eclectic Institute)

  • 1850-1856 - Amos Sutton Hayden
  • 1857-1861 - James A. Garfield
  • 1861-1864 - Harvey W. Everest (Pro Tem)
  • 1864-1865 - C. W. Heywood (acting)
  • 1865-1866 - Adoniram J. Thomson (managing)
  • 1866-1867 - John M. Atwater

Presidents (Hiram College)

  • 1867-1868 - Silas E. Shepard (acting)
  • 1868-1870 - John M. Atwater (acting)
  • 1870-1882 - Burke A. Hinsdale
  • 1883-1887 - George M. Laughlin
  • 1887-1888 - Colman Bancroft (acting)
  • 1888-1902 - Ely V. Zollars
  • 1902-1903 - James A. Beattie
  • 1903-1905 - Edmund B. Wakefield (acting)
  • 1905-1907 - Carlos C. Rowlison
  • 1907-1930 - Miner Lee Bates
  • 1930-1940 - Kenneth I. Brown
  • 1940-1957 - Paul H. Fall
  • 1957-1965 - Paul F. Sharp
  • 1965-1965 - James N. Primm
  • 1966-1966 - Wendell G. Johnson (acting)
  • 1966-1985 - Elmer Jagow
  • 1986-1989 - Russell Aiuto
  • 1989-1989 - James Norton (interim)
  • 1990-2000 - G. Benjamin Oliver
  • 2000-2002 - Richard J. Scaldini
  • 2003–2014 - Thomas V. Chema
  • 2014-present - Lori E. Varlotta


As of the 2011–12 academic year, Hiram's student body consists of 1,334 undergraduates from 35 states and 30 foreign countries.[8] Of the 73 full-time faculty, 95-percent hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field.


Hiram was ranked #167 among National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report in 2012.[9] At the same time, Hiram is currently ranked #67 among Liberal Arts Colleges by Washington Monthly.[10] Also, in 2012, Forbes ranked Hiram at #197 among all colleges and universities in the U.S., and #39 in the Midwest.[11] Hiram has regularly been included in The Princeton Review Best Colleges guide,[12] and is one of only 40 schools included in Loren Pope's book Colleges That Change Lives.[13]

Hiram is a member of the Annapolis Group, which has been critical of the college rankings process. Hiram is among the signatories of the Presidents Letter.


File:Garfield Institute Hiram.jpg
Koritansky Hall, home of the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership.

Hiram specializes in the education of undergraduate students, though the college does have a small graduate program. Hiram confers the BA, BSN, and MA degrees. The college offers 30 majors and 36 minors for traditional undergraduates, in addition to pre-professional programs for specific fields.[14] Interdisciplinary studies have also been a part of Hiram's curriculum for decades.[15]

Hiram's curriculum requires all students to complete one course in each of eight academic areas: creative methods, interpretive methods, modeling methods, experimental scientific methods, social and cultural analysis, experiencing the world, understanding diversity at home, and ethics and social responsibility.[16] Its education plan also includes international study and independent study opportunities, and faculty-guided research projects. Currently, almost all majors require some form of extensive independent project or apprenticeship experience.

Hiram has seven Centers of Distinction for interdisciplinary studies. They include: Center for Deciphering Life's Languages, Center for Engaged Ethics, Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, Center for Literature and Medicine, Center for the Study of Nature and Society, Garfield Institute for Public Leadership, and Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature.[17]


The school's sports teams are called the Terriers. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the North Coast Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, and track & field. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, track & field,volleyball, and tennis.

The Hiram College basketball team won the gold medal in the collegiate division of the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis.[18][19] It was the first time that basketball was part of an Olympics; it was included as a demonstration sport and no foreign teams participated.[18][19]

The Cleveland Browns held their training camp at Hiram College from 1952 through 1974, making it the longest-tenured training site in the team's history.[20][21]

Residence life

The college's residential complexes include The Quad (Agler Hall, Dean Hall, New Quad, Peckham Hall, and Gray-Bancroft), The Hill (Bowler Hall, Henry Hall, Miller Hall, and Whitcomb Hall), Booth-Centennial, East Hall, and the Townhouses.[22] They are managed by resident directors (RDs), resident managers (RMs), and resident assistants (RAs).

Student clubs and organizations

The Kennedy Center student union

Student Senate is the elected student governing body of the college. It serves as a liaison between students and the school's administration, and oversees all student clubs and organizations, collectively called the Associated Student Organizations (ASO). The Kennedy Center Programming Board (KCPB) falls under the auspices of Student Senate, and is responsible for planning educational, social, recreational, and cultural programs.[23]

Hiram has close to 100 registered student clubs and organizations in eight categories: Academic, Greek Social, Musical, Political and Activisim, Publications and Communications, Religious, Special Interest and Service, and Sports and Recreation.[24] Fraternities and sororities are not permitted on campus, but there are six Greek social clubs: Delta Chi Lambda, Kappa Sigma Pi, Lambda Lambda Lambda, Phi Beta Gamma, Phi Gamma Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Chi. The school newspaper is The Advance.

Since 1971, Hiram has maintained a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society for the liberal arts.[25] The school has also had a chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society, since 1962.

Notable alumni and faculty

James A. Garfield


  1. As of January 23, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved May 31, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "History of the College". Hiram College. Retrieved December 6, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "James A. Garfield Collection". Biographical Note. Hiram College. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Smith, Diane (November 11, 2009). "Head and shoulders above: Hiram College unveils reconnected Garfield statue". Record-Courier.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Historical Facts". Hiram College. Retrieved January 21, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "History of the College". Hiram College. Retrieved January 20, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Portage Pathways: Forces of Tradition Prevailed Over Bid to Honor Garfield". Record-Courier. January 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Hiram College Profile". Hiram College. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "U.S. News Rankings 2012- Hiram College". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved January 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Washington Monthly Rankings 2012- Hiram College". Washington Monthly. Retrieved January 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Forbes Rankings 2012- Hiram College". Forbes. Retrieved January 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Princeton Review Best Colleges 2012- Hiram College". The Princeton Review. Retrieved January 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Colleges that Change Lives- Hiram College". Colleges that Change Lives. Retrieved January 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Majors & Minors". Hiram College. June 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Interdisciplinary Studies". Hiram College. Retrieved June 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Core Curriculum". Hiram College. Retrieved June 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Centers of Distinction". Hiram College. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Could Be The Start Of Something Big". Sports Illustrated. November 29, 1999.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 "A Look Back: Hiram Men's Basketball Team Captures Olympic Gold in 1904". Hiram College. Retrieved July 27, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. King, Steve (July 30, 2010). "Looking Back at Camp History". Clevelandbrowns.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Cleveland Browns Training Camp Locations". Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Residence Life". Hiram College. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Campus Programming". Hiram College. Retrieved June 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Clubs and Organizations". Hiram College. Retrieved December 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Phi Beta Kappa". Hiram College. Retrieved June 23, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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