|Motto||Declaratio Sermonum Tuorum Illuminat (Latin)|
|Motto in English||The Revelation / Announcement of Your Words Illuminates|
|Established||November 14, 1866|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Endowment||US $663.5 million|
|President||Robert A. Oden, Ph.D.|
|Location||Northfield, Minnesota, USA|
|Campus||Rural, 1,040 acres (4.2 km2)|
|Colors||Maize and Blue|
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The College currently enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. Robert A. Oden is the current President. In 2009 U.S. News and World Report ranked Carleton College the 8th best liberal arts college in the United States.
The school was founded on November 14, 1866, by the Minnesota Conference of Congregational Churches as Northfield College. The first students enrolled in fall 1867. In 1870, the first college president, James Strong, travelled to the East Coast to raise funds for the college. On his way from visiting William Carleton of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Strong was badly injured by a train. Impressed by Strong's survival, Carleton donated US$50,000 to the fledgling institution in 1871, and the Board of Trustees renamed the school in his honor.
The first two graduates, James J. Dow and Myra A. Brown, were married six months after their 1874 graduation on Christmas Day. On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang, led by outlaw Jesse James, attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield. Joseph Lee Heywood, Carleton's Treasurer, was acting cashier, and was shot dead for refusing to open the safe door. Carleton later named a library fund and the group of donors who have named Carleton in their wills after Heywood.
In its early years under the presidency of James Strong, Carleton reflected the theological conservatism of its Minnesota Congregational founders. In 1903, modernist religious influences arrived when the trustees hired Yale Divinity School graduate William Sallmon as college president. Sallmon was opposed by conservative faculty members, who forced Sallmon out by 1908. The trustees, however, hired another theologically liberal Yale Divinity School graduate, Donald J. Cowling, as his successor. In 1916, under Cowling's leadership, Carleton began an official affiliation with the Minnesota Baptist Convention that lasted until 1928, when the Baptists severed the relationship as a result of fundamentalist opposition to Carleton's liberalism, including the college's support for teaching about evolution.
In 1942, Carleton purchased land in Stanton, about 10-mile (16 km) east of campus, to use for flight training. During the war, several classes of male students went through air basic training at the college. The Stanton Airfield remains open, having been sold by the college in 1944.
The Reformed Druids of North America was founded at Carleton in 1963, initially as an effort to be excused from attending the then-required weekly chapel service, and later as legitimate spiritual exploration; meetings continue to be held in the Carleton College Cowling Arboretum.
The popular early computer game The Oregon Trail was first created, and later developed, by students at Carleton in 1971.
Academically, Carleton has been nationally recognized as a leading undergraduate institution. It has ranked in the U.S. News and World Report's college rankings as one of the top ten U.S. liberal arts schools. According to 2008 U.S. News and World Report rankings, Carleton College is the #8 liberal arts college in the United States.
Carleton College is part of the Annapolis Group, which has made a group statement asking members not to participate in ranking surveys. President Robert Oden stated on September 7, 2007, "We commit not to mention U.S. News or similar rankings in any of our new publications, since such lists mislead the public into thinking that the complexities of American higher education can be reduced to one number."
Carleton participates in the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)'s University and College Accountability Network (U-CAN), a co-operative effort on the part of colleges to provide data for school comparison on a variety of bases.
On average, the middle 50 percent of first-year students received 1330-1490 on the SAT Critical Reading and Math Sections, with over three quarters ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating classes.
Carleton has enrolled more students in the National Merit Scholarship Program than any other liberal arts college in the country  and its Class of 2012 includes 93 National Merit Scholars (which includes both Carleton sponsored and external National Merit Scholars) among its 493 students.
Among American liberal arts institutions, Carleton College is a leading source of undergraduate students pursuing doctorates. It has also been recognized for sending a large number of female students to graduate programs in the sciences.
The school's nearly 150 active student organizations include three theatre boards (coordinating as many as ten productions every term), longform and shortform improv groups and a sketch comedy troupe, seven a cappella groups, four choirs, at least seven specialized instrumental ensembles, five dance interest groups, two auditioned dance companies, a successful Mock Trial team, a nationally-competitive debate program, seven recurring student publications and a student-run KRLX radio station employing more than 200 volunteers each term.
In 5 of the last 12 years, Carleton College students received the Best Delegation award at the World Model United Nations competition.
The College's format-free student-run radio station, KRLX, founded in 1947 as KARL, was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the nation's ten best college radio stations. KRLX broadcasts continually when school is in session.
The school has several a cappella groups. The oldest is all-male The Carleton Singing Knights, which has toured and recorded extensively over its more than 50-year history. The Knights performed a version of Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. The video on Youtube has received over four million views. It was this cover that prompted a student to make a video for the song, titled Daft Hands. The video became an internet sensation - it has been viewed over 31 million times on Youtube and resulted in the student's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a reprise performance.
The Knightingales, one of the all-female groups, are the second-oldest a-capella group on campus, and performed on a special radio performance hosted by Garrison Keillor from Dacie Moses House in 2005.
Carleton's history has given rise to several traditions. Some of these are pranks, such as painting the college's water tower. Most notably, a remarkably accurate likeness of President Clinton was painted the night before his commencement speech in 2000, and painted over by college maintenance very early the following morning. Administrative attitudes toward this particular phenomenon have changed over time. For liability-related reasons, even climbing the water tower is now considered a grave infraction. Streaking also remains a ubiquitous phenomenon, even and most impressively in winter temperatures that average about 15 °F (-9 °C), and occasionally reach lows around -40° (-40 °C).
More perplexingly, a bust of Friedrich Schiller, known simply as "Schiller", appears frequently, though briefly, at large campus events. The tradition dates back to 1957, when a student appropriated the bust from an unlocked storage area in the new Gould Library, only to have the bust stolen from him in turn, an exchange which soon escalated into a high-profile conflict that eventually took on by necessity a high degree of secrecy and strategy. These days, Schiller's appearance, accompanied by the shout "Schiller!", is a tacit challenge to other students to pursue in an attempt to capture the bust (which has, understandably, been replaced at least once; the currently circulating bust of Schiller was retrieved from Puebla, Mexico in the summer of 2003). In 2006, students created an online scavenger hunt, made up of a series of complex riddles about Carleton, ultimately leading participants to Schiller's hidden location. The bust was subsequently stolen from the winner of the scavenger hunt. At Commencement in 2006 the holders of the bust arranged for Schiller to "graduate." His name was called at the appropriate moment during the awarding of diplomas, the bust was pulled from the podium and prominently displayed.
The college campus was created in 1867 with the gift of two 10-acre (40,000 m2) parcels, one from Charles Goodsell and the other from Charles Augustus Wheaton. The campus sits on a hill overlooking the Cannon River, at the northeast edge of Northfield. To the north and east are athletic fields and the Cowling Arboretum, which were farm fields in the early years of the college. Beyond the Arboretum today is still largely agricultural land.
The center of campus is an open field called "the Bald Spot," which is used for ultimate frisbee in the warmer months and flooded for skating and broomball in the winter. Most of the campus buildings built before World War II surround the Bald Spot (the exceptions are Goodsell Observatory and Margaret Evans Hall).
Willis Hall, the first building on campus, was constructed beginning in 1869, completed in 1872. Originally it contained the men's dormitory, classrooms, library, and chapel. The building was gutted by fire in 1879, after which it was entirely rebuilt within the existing stone shell. The original front of the building became the rear entrance with the construction of Severance Hall in 1928. As new buildings were built, academic departments shifted in and out of the building. Beginning 1954 it was the college student union, until it was replaced in 1979 by the Sayles-Hill Student Center. It now houses the Economics, Political Science, and Educational Studies offices. The college's clock bell tower and the main college flagpole, along with the radio tower for KRLX, sit on the roof. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Goodsell Observatory was constructed in 1887 and was, at the time, the largest observatory in the state of Minnesota. It was named for Charles Goodsell, who donated much of the land on which Carleton was founded. Goodsell was built to replace Carleton's original observatory (built in 1877), which was razed in 1905 to make room for Laird Hall. From the late 19th century to the end of the World War II, Goodsell kept the time for every major railroad west of the Mississippi, including Northern Pacific Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, and the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba railroads. Goodsell also served as the headquarters of a state weather service from 1883 to 1886. The observatory is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Scoville Hall (originally Scoville Memorial Library) was completed in 1896, and was replaced as the college library by the Gould Library. It now houses the cinema and media studies department, the media center, and the academic support center. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Four nineteenth-century buildings have since been demolished: Gridley Hall was for many years the main women's dormitory. It was built in 1882 and demolished to make way for the Music and Drama Center in 1967. Williams Hall stood in front of Leighton Hall and was the college's first science building, built in 1880 and demolished in 1961. Seccombe House was located near the site of the current Skinner Chapel, and was used for music instruction from 1880 to 1914. The original Observatory was built 1878, was replaced as college observatory in 1887, and was demolished in 1905 to make way for Laird Hall
Skinner Memorial Chapel was completed in 1916. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Carleton built a new 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) Recreation Center in 2000, with a full indoor fieldhouse located above a fitness center including a climbing wall and bouldering wall.
The Cowling Arboretum, "the Arb", was initially created from lands purchased in the 1920s during difficult financial times by President Donald J. Cowling. It was first called "Cowling's Folly" but later became his legacy. After the closing of the Carleton Farm, its acreage was added to the Arboretum, and has been removed from cultivation in pieces since 1970. It consists of approximately 880 acres (3.6 km²) of restored and remnant forest, Cannon River floodplain, bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) savannah, and tallgrass prairie. The Arboretum is divided by Minnesota Highway 19 into the larger Lower Arb to the north (so called because it includes the Cannon River valley) and the smaller Upper Arb. There are pedestrian trails throughout the Arb, including the school's cross-country running and skiing courses, and a paved mixed-use bicycle/running trail in the Upper Arb.
Carleton is committed to environmentally conscious initiatives, and in October 2007, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, organization involved in research on the sustainability of higher education endowments, recognized Carleton as a leader in overall college sustainability for its environmentally sound practices and endowment transparency. In the College Sustainability Report Card 2008, which evaluates the 200 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the United States and Canada, Carleton received the highest evaluation grade of A-, putting the College in the category of College Sustainability Leader with Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Brown University, Middlebury College, University of Vermont and University of Washington. The Report Card also cited Carleton as an Endowment Sustainability Leader, along with Dartmouth College and Williams College . Carleton also receives approximately 40% of its energy from a wind turbine located near the college.
Carleton has athletic opportunities for students, including 19 varsity teams, 23 club teams, and dozens of intramural teams (including 40 separate broomball teams) forming every term. Carleton competes in NCAA Division III, meaning it offers no athletic scholarships.
Its men's and women's cross country teams has produced a number of all-Americans and one national championship (men's, 1980).
The Men and Women's Swimming and Diving program participates in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) conference.
The football team won the conference championship in 1992 with a 9-1 record and received one of 16 bids to the Division III National Championship Tournament.
In 2006, the men's basketball team tied the University of St. Thomas for the conference championship and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
In 2007, the women's golf program sent its first individual qualifier to the Division III Women's Golf NCAA Tournament.
In 2008, the men's soccer team won the conference championship, thereby receiving an automatic NCAA bid. They reached the Sweet 16 of the tournament, marking their most successful season in Carleton history.
The women's soccer team won the MIAC Playoffs in 2008, receiving an automatic NCAA bid. They attained the Elite 8 of the tournament, marking the first time in Carleton sports history.
Carleton hosted the only NCAA-sponsored metric football game in 1977. The game was dubbed the "Liter Bowl" and was measured in meters instead of yards. Carleton lost the game to St. Olaf by a score of 43-0. The event was the last to fill Carleton's Laird Stadium.
Turnout for teams like men's and women's rugby have exceeded 40 players per team.
The student-run Ultimate [frisbee] clubs have had the most competitive success; most notably, the Carleton (Men's) Ultimate Team (CUT) and women's team Syzygy have been national contenders every year, playing in the Ultimate Players Association College Division. CUT qualified annually for open nationals from 1989 to 2009 and won the National Championship in 2001 and then again in 2009. Syzygy qualified for women's nationals all but two years since 1989, winning the National Championship in 2001 and taking second place in 1998, 1999 and 2004.. The second mens Ultimate team, the Gods of Plastic (GOP or America's A Team), won the 2009 D3 national ultimate tournament.
The spring intramural softball league is known as Rotblatt, in honor (or open mockery) of player Marvin Rotblatt. Once a year a day-long game, also known as Rotblatt, contains the number of innings played coincident with the College's current anniversary. In 1997, Sports Illustrated honored Rotblatt in its "Best of Everything" section with the award, "Longest Intramural Event."
Pamela Dean's novel Tam Lin is set in a fictionalized Carleton College called "Blackstock College." Building names have been replaced with puns on their actual names (Watson Hall is renamed Holmes Hall, referring to Sherlock Holmes and his partner Doctor Watson).
The food fight scene from the movie D3: The Mighty Ducks was filmed in the Great Hall on the ground floor of Severance Hall.
Carleton College is mentioned in Wendy Wasserstein's play The Heidi Chronicles.