Hiram College: Wikis


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Hiram College
Hiram Seal.png
Motto Fiat Lux
Motto in English Let there be light
Established March 1, 1850
Type Private, Liberal Arts College
Endowment US$72.6 million[1]
President Thomas V. Chema
Faculty 73 full-time (Fall, 2008)
Undergraduates 1,240 (Fall, 2008)
Postgraduates 30 (Fall, 2008)
Location United States Hiram, Ohio, United States
41°18′37″N 81°08′46″W / 41.31028°N 81.14611°W / 41.31028; -81.14611
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)
Former names Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (1850-1867)
Colors Red & Blue          
Nickname Terriers
Athletics NCAA Division III NCAC
Affiliations Annapolis Group,

Disciples of Christ,

Shoals Marine Lab
Website www.hiram.edu
HIRAM logo.png

Hiram College (pronounced /ˈhaɪ.rəm/ HYE-rəm) is a private liberal arts college located in Hiram, Ohio. Founded by Amos Sutton Hayden of the Disciples of Christ Church in 1850, the institution has, since its first days, been nonsectarian and coeducational, and throughout its existence Hiram College has sustained this egalitarian tradition of educating men and women from diverse backgrounds. U.S. President James A. Garfield was a student, instructor, and principal of the institution while it was still the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute.[2] Today the College is known for its unique academic calendar and extensive study abroad program. Hiram College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Hiram is listed in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives.


Founding and History

Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, Hiram, 1858

The Disciples of Christ founded the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute as a nonsectarian, coeducational preparatory school in 1849. Hiram was chosen as the site of the institution because this area of the Western Reserve seemed to be "healthful and free of distractions."[3]

The Institute's original charter was authorized by the state legislature on March 1, 1850, and the school opened on November 27, 1850 despite the fact that the building was not yet completed. 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. The school attained collegiate rank in 1867 and changed its name to Hiram College.[3]

WREI faculty and wives in 1858. Pictured are (left to right): James A. Garfield, Mrs. Everest, Harvey W. Everest, Hannah S. Morton, J. Harrison Rhodes, John M. Atwater, and Lucretia Rudolph Garfield. Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918) married James A. Garfield in 1858.

The first principal of the Institute (equivalent to today's president of the College) was Amos Sutton Hayden (1813-1880), who served from 1850 until 1857. Almeda A. Booth (1823-1875) served as principal of the Ladies' department and as a faculty member of English, Classics, and Mathematics from 1851 until 1866. She was one of Garfield's more influential teachers and remained close friends with him until her death. Garfield, himself, after completing his degree at Williams, returned to Hiram to join the faculty in 1856, as a classical scholar teaching Greek and Latin, along with such subjects as mathematics and geology. In 1857, he became principal of the Institute. Although he left Hiram in 1861 to take up the Civil War command of Company A of the 42nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment recruited from Hiram, Garfield's name appeared in the Institute's catalogues until 1863.[3]

Three years after the Institute attained collegiate rank and became known as Hiram College, Burke A. Hinsdale, who had been a student of Garfield's, was appointed president. Because of the fairly brief terms of the two presidents who preceded him, Hinsdale is known as the first permanent president of Hiram College. During his administration (1870-1882), the College achieved higher academic standing and established an ideal model for intellectual honesty and sound scholarship that gained national recognition. Hinsdale gathered around him the nucleus of a strong faculty who continued to serve the College for the next half century.[3]

In September 2004, Thomas V. Chema was appointed as the 21st president of Hiram College.


Hiram employs a unique academic calendar consisting of two, 15-week semesters further divided into two sessions- a 12-week, during which students take three academic courses, and a 3-week, when students focus on a single intensive course [1].

Hiram College Library, designed to resemble a Lake freighter. The clockworks can be seen on the top floor.

The College was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's premier undergraduate honor society, in 1971. Represented within the College's enrollment are twenty-three countries, twenty-six states and more than twenty-five different religions. More than 50% of students study abroad at least once en route to their degree. Hiram has implemented a Tuition Guarantee system, which ensures that the annual cost for tuition will not increase between the first year a student is enrolled at Hiram and the student's senior year.


In the Press

Education writer Loren Pope included Hiram in his influential book Colleges That Change Lives. He praised the College writing "Concern for the student's personal as well as academic welfare is one of the qualities that makes Hiram such an exceptional college." [2] The Princeton Review notes Hiram's strengths saying "Uniformly strong science programs set this tiny liberal arts college apart from many otherwise fine schools of similar size. Want proof? Over the past ten years, Hiram's medical school acceptance rate has been among the highest in the nation." - The Princeton Review (2002).


As a liberal arts college, Hiram specializes in the education of undergraduate students, though the college does have a small graduate program. Hiram confers the following degrees: BA, BSN (nursing), MA (interdisciplinary studies). Students also have the option of a dual degree plan in engineering between Hiram and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, or the School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Martin Common, with Gerstacker Science Hall in the background.

Majors: Accounting and Financial Management, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Humanities, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Studies, French, History, Management, Mathematics, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology/Anthropology, Spanish, Studio Art/Art History, Theatre Arts

Additional minors: Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Exercise/Sport Science, Gender Studies, International Studies, Public Leadership, Photography, Urban Studies, Writing

Pre-professional programs: business, dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, podiatry, seminary, veterinary

Top five majors: biology; management; biomedical humanities; accounting; education

Hiram's strengths as an institution relate to its small class sizes, which affords students significant involvement in lectures. Hiram's education plan also focuses on international study experiences, independent study opportunities, and faculty-guided research projects. Currently, almost all majors require some form of extensive independent project or apprenticeship experience, and in most cases, a public defense/presentation of the work, in order to complete the degree requirements.

Centers of Excellence

Hiram is home to six research centers/ institutes which seek to "apply interdisciplinary approaches to complex, multi-faceted questions that do not lend themselves to straightforward solutions."[4] These centers serve as forums for confronting various challenges encountered by society. They bring to campus notable scholars and authors and create research opportunities for students.

Center for the Study of Ethics & Values

Examines moral issues within the liberal arts and society at large.

Mahan House, home of the Center for Literature, Medicine, & Biomedical Humanities

Center for Literature, Medicine, & Biomedical Humanities

Examines health care issues through the study of literary works, brings to campus notable scholars and authors within medical ethics.

Center for Deciphering Life's Languages

Examines issues within molecular, cellular, and developmental biology with emphasis on genomics, facilitates research.

Center for the Study of Nature & Society

Examines the impact of humans on nature and vice versa, facilitates biological and environmental research.

Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing & Literature

Examines literary works and techniques across disciplines.

Garfield Institute for Public Leadership

Examines matters of foreign and domestic public policy.


Hiram College Athletic Complex
Athletics logo
Athletics logo

The school's sports teams are called the Terriers. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Hiram College basketball team, competing as the United States national team, won the 1904 Olympic gold medal in St. Louis.

Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, and track & field. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, track & field, and volleyball. Hiram used to compete in men's and women's tennis, but no longer does so at the varsity level. It has been rumored that Hiram would begin competition in both men's and women's lacrosse, but no timetable has been set for the creation of these teams. Among the most popular club sports at Hiram is men's rugby, which competes against other area colleges and in the annual alumni rugby match.

The football team snapped a 26-game winless streak in 2008, recording 3 victories to finish in seventh place in the NCAC. Men's soccer was seeded #2 entering the 2008 NCAC tournament, but lost in the semifinal game to #3 Wittenberg. Hiram's only NCAC championship so far occurred in volleyball in 2005.

Student organizations

Association for Computing Machinery(ACM)

The Hiram College undergraduate chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery is a club for technology enthusiasts and students with interest in computer science. Its activities include participation in the ACM Programming Contest, the regular sponsorship of computer games playable over Hiram's local area network (LAN) and the hosting of speakers of interest to the technology community. The Hiram College Association for Computing Machinery meets periodically throughout the academic year.

Greek clubs

In order to preserve the egalitarian character of the college, it was decided that Hiram would have no national fraternities or sororities. There are, however, Greek social clubs. No affiliations with any national fraternities are intended or implied. Greek social clubs at Hiram are restricted from using the same Greek letters as any national organization.

Established in 1929, Phi Gamma Epsilon (or "Phi Gams") is currently the oldest existing Greek social club at Hiram College. Probation threatened the existence of the club in the mid 1980s, but the group survived and now claims to boast a strong, visible presence. The Phi Gams have sponsored a number of events, including an annual Toga Party and Spaghetti Dinner. The group's mascot, Buck PhiGam, is a Viking whose likeness is represented in a painting the group believes was created in the 1920s. Phi Beta Gamma, their sister group, often co-sponsors a number of these events.

The Kennedy Center

Another one of the social clubs at Hiram College is Delta Chi Lambda. The Delta Chi Lambdas is made up of all female students. This club was once disbanded but now is back. It is currently one of the largest Greek social clubs at Hiram. The brother group is Lambda Lambda. After a shortage of members, they are currently rebuilding their program.

Kennedy Center Programming Board

The Kennedy Center Programming Board (KCPB) is one of Hiram's largest student organizations. Although its establishment is unknown, yearbook pictures of events and members can be found as far back as the early 1970s. KCPB is responsible for programming student activities on campus. KCPB receives its funding from the student activity fund which each student pays into each year. Some of the annually notable programs are Homecoming, Spring Fest, Campus Day, Game Room Tournaments, and Coffee Houses. In 2006/2007, Student Senate created a new position, Vice President of Activities. This person serves as the chairman/chairwoman of KCPB. This merger allowed Student Senate to relinquish its programming sector and focus on student and college issues.

Terrier Productions

Terrier Productions is Hiram College's film and video production club. They tape events on campus, create promotional advertisements for other clubs, and work on other creative projects—including talk shows, music videos, student body polls, and short movies. This group broadcasts over a local, closed-network cable channel and Youtube[3].

Terrier Sound Marching Band

Hiram College created its first marching band in Spring of 2006 emerging from an already established pep band. After intense fund raising, the students raised just over $10,000 to purchase marching band music and instruments in just less than six months. The first marching band in Hiram College history sprang from student initiative. The Terrier Sound Marching Band (TSMB) made its first official appearance at the Hiram’s season-opening football game against Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, September 2, 2006. In the summer of 2007, the marching band purchased its first official marching band uniforms after a generous donation. The band can be seen performing on the steps of the Kennedy Center (Student Union) before the home football games.

Notable alumni

James A. Garfield
Vachel Lindsay



  1. ^ http://www.nacubo.org/documents/research/NES2008PublicTable-AllInstitutionsByFY08MarketValue.pdf
  2. ^ "James A. Garfield". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=G000063. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  3. ^ a b c d "History of Hiram College". Official Hiram College web site. Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/visitors/about/historyofhiram.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03.  
  4. ^ "Centers of Excellence at Hiram College". Official Hiram College web site. Hiram College. http://excellence.hiram.edu/. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  5. ^ James J. Green, The Life and Times of General B. D. Pritchard (Allegan: Allegan County Historical Society, 1979), p. 2.

External links

Coordinates: 41°18′37″N 81°08′46″W / 41.310255°N 81.146145°W / 41.310255; -81.146145


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