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Goucher College
Motto Gratia et Veritas
"Grace and Truth"
Established 1885
Type Private
Endowment U.S. $149.4 million[1]
President Sanford J. Ungar
Faculty 146
Undergraduates 1,475
Postgraduates 900
Location Towson, Maryland, USA
Campus Suburban 287 acre (1.2 km²)
Athletics 17 varsity teams
Mascot Gopher
Goucher College
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. Historic District
Haebler Memorial Chapel, a non-denominational chapel in the heart of Goucher College
Location: 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd., Towson, Maryland
Area: 287 acres (116 ha)
Built/Founded: 1921
Architect: Moore & Hutchins; Sasaki, Hideo, et al.
Architectural style(s): Modern Movement
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: August 28, 2007
NRHP Reference#: 07000885[2]

Goucher College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college located in the northern Baltimore suburb of Towson in unincorporated Baltimore County, Maryland, on a 287 acre (1.2 km²) campus. The school has approximately 1,475 undergraduate students studying in 31 majors and six interdisciplinary programs and about 900 students studying in graduate subjects. It was one of the first colleges to embrace internships and allow its students to take a more individualized approach. In 2004, Newsweek called Goucher the college with the happiest students.[3]

Recently, Goucher College has instituted a study-abroad requirement—each undergraduate must complete at least one study-abroad experience. To help students fulfill this requirement, the college offers a wide range of three-week "intensive courses abroad," as well as semester and year-long programs, in concert with vouchers of $1,200 to subsidize the costs.



The school was founded in 1885 as a women's college, by Methodist ministers Dr. John Goucher and John B. Van Meter, with the assistance of Goucher's wife Mary Cecilia Fisher Goucher. Originally called The Woman's College of Baltimore, the school was renamed in 1910 in honor of its founding members and benefactors.[4]

The original campus was in the southern part of what is now the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore City. Goucher moved to its present suburban location in 1953. The college has been co-educational since 1986. Its former home, known as the Old Goucher College Historic District, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[2]

Campus demographics

Female students still predominate on the undergraduate level at about 67%. This number is higher at the graduate level, where almost 81% of the students are female. About 11.5% of the undergraduate population are either African-American, Asian, Hispanic or Native-American. At the graduate level, the number is about 8.5%. Goucher has the 15th highest percentage of Jewish students in the country with 30% identifying as Jewish.[5]

Two of the most popular majors are communications and psychology. Politically, most students lean toward the Democratic side of the spectrum. [1]


The Goucher College campus is proximate to downtown Towson, though the 287-acre (1.16 km2) campus is separated from it by surrounding woods owned by the school. The academic buildings appear generally at the north side of campus, and the residential buildings are located to the south. Most buildings are clad in tan-colored stone called Butler Stone. As a part of a recent expansion plan, a new residence hall was built in 2005, while next to it under construction is the Athenaeum, a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) multipurpose facility featuring an expansive modern library. The grounds are slightly hilly and include hiking and riding trails in the woods. Newsweek magazine described the campus as "unusually bucolic".[6]

In a marked shift away from traditional collegiate layout characterized by symmetry and quadrangles, the designing architectural firm Moore and Hutchins elected to group buildings together into informal zones based on function. For this reason, the campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[7]


Deer population

In a fenced area with no natural predators, the wooded area on campus is host to approximately 200 deer. A biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources estimated the 287-acre (1.16 km2) woods as only being able to support 40 deer. Goucher's response in winter of 2007 has been to hire bowmen to thin the population by about 50 deer. Reasons cited are to maintain the health of the remaining deer and other animals, reduce the risk of car crashes, protect landscaping and prevent the spread of Lyme disease. Some students and community members have objected to the hunting.[8]


Rankings and notable faculty

In 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Goucher college #105 in its annual rankings of national liberal arts colleges. The college's ranking has fluctuated from #93 to #111 in recent years. Its most well-known faculty members include Jean H. Baker and Julie Roy Jeffery of the History Department; President Sanford J. Ungar; and authors Madison Smartt Bell and Elizabeth Spires, who oversee the college's Kratz Center for Creative Writing. Goucher is one of 40 schools profiled in the book Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope.

Undergraduate level

In fall 2006, the college launched a liberal education curriculum that outlines requirements that reflect the core values that underpin a liberal-arts education. These include: an international experience; proficiency in English composition and in a foreign language; and solid foundations in history, abstract reasoning, scientific discovery and experimentation, problem-solving, social structures, and environmental sustainability. There are special introductory courses for freshmen to orient them to the campus, as well as college life at Goucher. Undergraduate students are expected to fulfill an off-campus learning requirement either through an internship or a study-abroad experience. A popular choice among many Goucher students is to participate in a "three-week intensive" course abroad made up of an on-campus classroom component followed by three weeks abroad during the winter or spring. Goucher also allows students to participate in semester and yearlong study-abroad programs offered by other schools. Goucher recently announced that starting with the class of 2010 all students will be required to have at least one study-abroad experience to graduate, thus making it the first college to require such an experience of its students. Goucher is also well-known for its creative writing, dance, pre-med, and the peace studies departments.

Graduate level

Goucher offers the following graduate programs:

Certificate and continuing education programs

  • Historic Preservation Certificate Program
  • Post-Baccalaureate Premed Program (having a 96% acceptance rate to medical school over its entire history)
  • Teacher's Institute
  • Educational Technology Certificate

Extracurricular activities

Goucher offers many student-run clubs in different areas such as the Chem Club (the oldest continuously-operating club on campus) the French club, the theater club the philosophy club, a pirate club, and a student-labor action committee. It has a bi-weekly school newspaper called The Quindecim, a literary arts journal called Preface, and a student-run quarterly newsmagazine called The Goucher Review. The Bubble is an all-purpose student-life blog. Also notable is Goucher Student Radio, which contains a host of student, staff, and faculty programming and expands each year. It is accessible through Goucher's website as streaming media. Students from the college are also credited with founding Humans vs. Zombies, a game similar to tag that is played generally on college campuses.


Goucher competes in NCAA Division III, fielding men's and women's teams in lacrosse, soccer, basketball, track and field, cross country, swimming, and tennis, as well as women's teams in field hockey, volleyball, and coed equestrian sports. In 2007 the college joined the Landmark Conference after competing as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference from 1991 to 2007.

Other programs on campus

Goucher has served as a campus for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth summer program for gifted students.

Notable alumni


External links

Coordinates: 39°24′31″N 76°35′33″W / 39.40848°N 76.59239°W / 39.40848; -76.59239


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