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Harcum College
Harcum Logo Purple.jpg
Established 1915
Type Private
President Jon Jay DeTemple
Students 1,153
Location Bryn Mawr, PA
Colors Purple and White            
Nickname Bears
Athletics NJCAA Division I

Harcum College is a two-year independent residential college located on Philadelphia’s Main Line in Bryn Mawr, PA. Harcum, “the College of Possibilities,” Philadelphia region's oldest independent, two-year college, was founded in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1915 by Edith Hatcher Harcum and her husband Marvin. It was the first college in Pennsylvania authorized to grant associate degrees.


Mission Statement

Harcum College seeks to provide men and women with outstanding career preparation that will meet or exceed the standards of their chosen professions. At Harcum self-realization and preparation for participative citizenship are also of great importance. Intent upon remaining among the foremost independent two-year colleges in America, Harcum aims at providing every student with the opportunity not only for a rewarding career, but also for a fulfilling life.


Edith Harcum in 1937

Edith Hatcher, daughter of prominent Virginia clergyman and educator Dr. William E. Hatcher, was a talented concert pianist. In 1913, Edith Hatcher married Octavius Marvin Harcum. After the birth of their first child, Edith wrote "the concert career did not offer a chance for family stability" so they chose a venture that would combine "my talents as an educator and artist and his business vision and ability."

They opened the Harcum Post Graduate School on October 1, 1915 in Melville Hall, with three students and five pianos. Edith's goal was to "start a school where the individual talent of each girl would be treated as an integral part of her education." Though her expertise was in the fine arts, Edith was also committed to providing a strong academic program.

In its early years, Harcum was a preparatory school, giving students the skills needed for college study. It quickly grew, soon adding junior college-level courses. Mr. Harcum, or "Uncle Marvin" as the students called him, was the first President. When he tragically died in a car accident in 1920, Edith assumed the Presidency. She remained in that post for more than 30 years.

Harcum's Melville Hall

Leadership was eventually assumed by Mr. Philip Klein. In 1956, Pennsylvania granted Harcum permission to be the first junior college in the Commonwealth's history to confer the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees. Tremendous building and expansion occurred in the 1960s with the addition of the Academic Center, Pennswood Hall, and Klein Hall. Historically a women’s college, Harcum began admitting male students during the 1970’s, and became officially co-educational in 2003.

Today, Harcum serves a variety of traditional and non-traditional students interested in Allied Health Science, Business and Human Services, while offering both a commuter and residential experience.


All instruction at Harcum is by professionals in their field; all students are given the opportunity to complete a career-related work experience either through required internships, clinical or practicum experiences, or service learning activities; all programs integrate liberal learning throughout their curriculum; and all students graduate with both career-specific and life-enriching skills. Programs are also offered online and at several sites throughout the Philadelphia region.

Degree Programs

Harcum degree programs are divided into three distinct centers: Allied Health, Business & Professional Studies, and Human Services. See a complete list of programs here.

Continuing & Professional Studies

Harcum also offers a variety of Continuing & Professional Studies on-campus and online courses and certificate programs. See Continuing & Professional Studies courses and certificates here.

Main Campus

Flags on Harcum's main walkway

Harcum’s main campus is located in Bryn Mawr, PA on Philadelphia’s beautiful Main Line. The main campus buildings stretch along Montgomery Avenue, including the historic Melville Hall, Klein Hall, Bedford Hall, The Academic Center (which includes Harcum’s Library), historic Richter Hall and Pennswood Hall—the college’s main residence hall.

Also on campus is the college’s Cohen Dental Center, a 16-chair clinical facility with state of the art facilities, which houses the Dental Clinic, Dental Laboratory and classrooms. The Veterinary Services building houses the Animal Care Facility and Animal Center Management Program offices.

Local attractions include various shops and restaurants on Lancaster Avenue and the Main Line’s Suburban Square—accessible by train or bus.

The campus is connected to center city Philadelphia by the R5 (SEPTA) Regional Rail.


The Harcum Bears logo

Harcum College provides a variety of opportunities for students interested in an intercollegiate athletics program. Harcum offers athletic competition in men and women’s basketball and indoor and outdoor track & field as well as women’s volleyball and women’s soccer.

The athletic teams are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

External links

Coordinates: 40°01′16″N 75°18′45″W / 40.0211°N 75.3125°W / 40.0211; -75.3125



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