Lebanon Valley College: Wikis


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Lebanon Valley College
Current Lebanon Valley College Seal
Motto Libertas per Veritatem (The truth shall set you free)
Established February 23, 1866
Type Private Baccalaureate
Endowment US $47.6 million[1]
President Stephen C. MacDonald
Faculty 105 full-time
Undergraduates 1,765
Postgraduates 141
Location Annville, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Rural on 365 acres (1.48 km²)
Gender balance 60% women, 40% men
Colors Blue and white
Mascot Flying Dutchmen
Website www.lvc.edu

Lebanon Valley College (also referred to as "LVC", "Lebanon Valley" and "The Valley") is a small, liberal arts higher education institution situated in the heart of Annville in Lebanon County, 40 minutes east of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.



Lebanon Valley was founded on February 23, 1866, with classes beginning May 7 of that year and its first class graduating in 1870. Expenses at this time for a full year were $206.50 and remained relatively unchanged for the next 50 years.


Early History (1866-1897)

The College was founded by and initially associated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Today, Lebanon Valley College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which happened through a series of church mergers: The Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged with the Evangelical Synod of North America in 1946 creating the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB), which subsequently merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to create the United Methodist Church. 1 The ties to the Methodist Church are not as strong as they once were, which is evidenced by the lack of mandatory chapel services, but the church maintains a presence on the campus. Out of 34 colleges and academies founded by the United Brethren in Christ Church, Lebanon Valley was one of four to survive.

The campus began as a single building, the empty Annville Academy building, which was purchased for $4500 by five Annville citizens. They presented the building as a gift to the East Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church to settle the argument over where to establish a college. In a little over two months from its founding, 12 trustees were appointed, President Thomas R. Vickroy was elected, the building repaired and redecorated, a curriculum devised, faculty recruited, and classes begun. The college was entirely contained in that one building (class rooms, student residence, president's residence, and "dining hall") until 1868 when "North College" was opened at a cost of $31,500. The Annville Academy building became known as "South Hall" or "Ladies Hall" as the North College building was now the home to the men's dormitories.

A note worth mentioning: The college charter, granted in 1867, specifically stated that Lebanon Valley College was established for the education of both sexes. Indeed, Lebanon Valley College can claim that it has been coeducational longer than any other college east of the Allegheny Mountains. However, the curricula were different for men and women, a condition created from a compromise after an uproar in the founding church over the equal treatment of men and women. The "Ladies Course" included modern languages, painting, drawing, wax flower and fruit making, and music. By 1878, the college catalog began announcing that experience showed that there was no difference between men and women in their ability to master college courses, an unpopular idea at its time.

This was also the time of the founding literary societies: Philokosmian, Clionian, and Kalozetean, which bear no resemblance to their present fraternity and sorority selves. They met regularly to debate topics and discuss essays. Other activities included mixed socials, parades, the annual Chestnut Picnic, and other special events throughout the years.

Growth (1897-1948)

The College steadily grew during its first 35 years, and by 1904, the campus had expanded to include Engle Hall, home of the music department, and a partially-completed library funded by Andrew Carnegie. On Christmas Eve 1904, North College (not to be confused with the residence hall with the same name), which stood in the current footprint of the Administration/Humanities building, burned down. The next year, the College raised funds to rebuild and also began expanding the campus further, building not only a new Administration Building (the current Humanities Building), but also North Hall (a women's dorm, currently the site of Miller Chapel), Kreider Hall (a men's residence hall where the current Neidig-Garber Science Center is located), the central heating plant (still in existence), a science building, and a gymnasium. However, funding ran out, debt rose, and building halted on the gym and science buildings. President Hervin U. Roop resigned in disgrace on New Year's Day, 1906. It was not until President Lawrence W. Keister took office on June 12, 1907 that the debt situation was solved. Thanks to his fundraising efforts, the debt was eliminated by 1911. The college landscape remained relatively unchanged for the next four decades, though the cultural changes paralleled that of the rest of the country as it moved through World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the New Deal.

Mid-Century and Modern Day (1948-present)

World War II nearly proved to be the end of Lebanon Valley College. In the Fall of 1942, LVC's first wartime registration showed only 357 students enrolled. As the second semester began in 1943, there were only 282 students: 145 women and 137 men, the first time that women outnumbered men. 1943 Fall enrollment dropped again to only 199 students, 62 of which were on limited deferment, waiting to be called to active duty. This prompted one of the first capital campaigns to help the ailing college. The campaign to raise $550,000 received 91% support from current students. The money was to go toward an endowment and a real gymnasium, which bore the name of the president who initiated the campaign—Lynch Memorial. Right before the war ended, LVC enrollment hit bottom at 192 students. In 1946, however, enrollment ballooned to 683 students, more than 300 of which were ex-servicemen.

Enrollment steadily grew and by 1948, thanks to the G.I. Bill, it had reached 817 full-time students, far beyond the College's capacity. Eventually more facilities and residences were added to the College. Lynch Memorial Hall—which included the school's first proper gymnasium—was opened in 1953. In 1957, Science Hall (now the Derickson A apartments) was created out of the old Kreider Factory building on White Oak St., and Gossard Library also opened that year. In 1966, Miller Chapel was completed. The 1950s also saw the college expand north of Sheridan Avenue, with the Dining Hall (now East Dining Hall) built in 1958. All of the current traditional residence halls were built between the 1950s and 1970s as well—Mary Green (1956) and Vickroy (1960) in the 1950s-60s, Hammond and Keister Hall in 1965, and Funkhouser and Silver in the 1970s. Marquette and Dellinger were added in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

Enrollment also grew, although it had stagnated by the 1980s. Again, a highly energetic and innovative president, John Synodinos ushered in a period of growth and change with the bold introduction of merit scholarships and the renovation and beautification of a substantial portion of the campus which included the addition of the Arnold Sports Center and the Arnold Gallery. With the assistance of William J. McGill, senior vice president and the dean of the faculty, academic excellence continued to be emphasized, linkages were established with other institutions and schools, an international initiative undertaken and collaborative learning experiences developed. A new technologically advanced library was opened in January 1996.

Beginning in 1996 and building on the work of his predecessor, G. David Pollick’s eight-year presidency ushered in a period of continued extraordinary growth. There was a 40 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment with applications more than doubling. New undergraduate and graduate degree programs were added and there was a large increase in the number of first-year students who studied abroad. A major public relations focus to enhance the College's standing among peer institutions was followed by a major rebuilding and renovation effort on campus and the start of a $50 million campaign. Pollick oversaw a growth plan that added athletic teams, more than a dozen new campus buildings and athletic facilities, and the College's signature Fasick Bridge. These additions almost tripled the usable space of the College, including five new facilities: the Marquette and Dellinger Residence Halls, the student center, a gymnasium, and the Heilman Center. The revitalization of both Lynch Memorial Hall and Garber Science Center also were begun during this period.

2003 Arbor Day Celebration in front of the Humanities building. From left to right, Representative Mauree Gingrich (PA State Legislator), Dr. Susan Verhoek (Professor of Biology), and Dr. Stephen MacDonald (Dean of the Faculty at the time, and the current President of the college) with the campus in the background. The photo was taken between N. College Avenue and the Humanities Building facing West.

Today, the campus consists of 40 buildings, including the recently renovated Lynch Memorial Hall, the Vernon and Doris Bishop Library, a new 1,650-seat gymnasium, and the Heilman Center for physical therapy. Students reside in one of 25 residence halls which include traditional single-sex and co-educational dormitories and apartment-style residences. Students may also reside in special interest houses upon proposal and approval of LVC administration. A small number of upperclassmen are allowed to live off-campus, and a significant portion of the student body are commuter students as well. Undergraduate enrollment is now over 1,765 students.

The endowment of the college is forty-one million dollars.

Lost Lore and Traditions

Many college traditions have disappeared and been forgotten, much to the chagrin of most alumni. At most colleges and universities, there seems to be a compulsion to make fools of the freshman students. Lebanon Valley College was no different in this regard, as most of the traditions existed for this very reason.

Annual Murder This sophisticated form of hazing was played out each year in September. This elaborate hoax often gained the cooperation of faculty members and people in the town. During Freshman Week, the first-year students were informed about several student romances on campus through planned gossip. The story went that there was one ardent couple who were constantly together when not in class, but the girl had another upperclassman admirer. The couple argued over the love triangle and it ended in the girl walking off with her new boy. After that, there were public acts that involved the two boys fighting. The affair was all anyone would talk about. Then on a certain pre-arranged night, all freshman were ordered to stay in their rooms by student governing bodies. At 10pm, a drunk ex-boyfriend appeared at the men's dorm. He brandished a gun and staggered through the halls in search of his rival. He finally found him in one of the public archways of the building. Soon, several shots rang out and the victim fell to the floor with blood (ketchup) flowing from his mouth. Other upperclassmen took charge, sending confused and panicked freshmen in pursuit of the killer or for a doctor. A town physician would appear and call for an ambulance, only adding to the theatrics of the evening. Most other freshmen were rounded up and sent in groups to nearby hospitals to offer their blood for transfusion, but were left stranded. At the same time, the freshmen girls witnessed the girl in the triangle see the unconscious victim being taken away and go into a fit of hysterics. During the 1930s, a member of the staff was a Justice of the Peace. He presided over a fake hearing in a large classroom where freshman girls tearfully testified to what they thought they saw happen on campus that night. It was during that hearing that the truth was revealed when the three main actors walked into the room, arm in arm. The next day, the freshmen felt young and foolish, but were looking forward to the next year when they were able to play the same prank on new freshmen. The tradition died in 1946, when its last performance narrowly escaped tragedy when some ex-servicemen studying at LVC under the G.I. Bill threatened to take care of the villain causing trouble between the lovers.

Death League Perhaps a darker example of campus lore is the infamous Death League, a student organization whose members—mostly upperclassmen—were dedicated to making life miserable for freshmen. They often used the justification that it was discipline or that they were trying to "make men out of boys." They wore white robes and masks modeled after the Ku Klux Klan when they performed organization rites of passage. Favorite disciplinary tricks were brutal paddlings or lashing a victim to a tombstone in the cemetery and making him preach for two hours. Earlier in its history, many upperclassmen and several faculty members approved of the Death League because they saw it as serving a necessary function. Eventually, President Keister came down hard on the organization after a particularly bad beating took place. The result was that the Death League was officially abolished and its hazing activities forbidden. It has since faded into the past as a distant memory.

May Day A festive tradition, this pageant was begun in 1912. Each year, a May Queen would be elected and would watch over the festival with her court. Typical May Day activities took place, including the expected May pole. This tradition seems to have persisted for 55 years until the late 1960s.

Formal Dances Until October, 1931, dancing on the LVC campus was forbidden. One evening after a football game, President Gossard had decided to change the policy and allowed the students to dance with his blessing. From then on, the literary societies began holding annual dinner dances. Formal proms were organized and any opportunity for dancing was not overlooked.

List of Past Presidents

  1. Thomas Rhys Vickroy, 1866-1871
  2. Lucian H. Hammond, 1871-1876
  3. David D. DeLong, 1876-1887
  4. Edmund S. Lorenz, 1887-1889
  5. Cyrus J. Kephart, 1889-1890
  6. E. Benjamin Bierman, 1890-1897
  7. Hervin U. Roop, 1897-1906
  8. Abram Paul Funkhouser, 1906-1907
  9. Lawrence Keister, 1907-1912
  10. George Daniel Gossard, 1912-1932
  11. Clyde Alvin Lynch, 1932-1950
  12. Frederick K. Miller, 1951-1967 (Allan W. Mund Acting President, 1967-1968)
  13. Frederick P. Sample, 1968-1983 (F. Allen Rutherford Jr. Acting President, 1984)
  14. Arthur L. Peterson, 1984-1987 (William J. McGill Acting President, 1987-1988)
  15. John A. Synodinos, 1988-1996
  16. G. David Pollick, 1996-2004
  17. Stephen C. MacDonald, 2004-present


Consistently named to US News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges" list, LVC offers over thirty-five fields of study, as well as graduate and doctorate programs. Additionally, students may elect to engage themselves in a more international education through study abroad programs to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, England, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Northern Ireland, and Argentina, as well as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.


Lebanon Valley's athletic program began in the mid-1890s with baseball and then football in 1897. Men's and women's basketball were introduced in 1904. Currently, LVC is an NCAA Division III school that sponsors 21 intercollegiate programs and competes in the Commonwealth Conference (half of the two-conference Middle Atlantic Corporation). It also plays ice hockey in the ECAC West.

  • Baseball began in the mid-1890s. Not a perennial power, it last won a Commonwealth title in 2002. It plays its home games at beautiful McGill Park, which opened in 1999 and has earned national awards for its design and upkeep. The team competes in the Commonwealth Conference.
  • Men's Basketball has been the most successful program at LVC. Winners of the school's only national championship in 1994, it has been extremely successful since its inception in 1904. In 1953, the team, under legendary head coach George "Rinso" Marquette, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (which at that time was not split by divisions) after beating Fordham at the Palestra in Philadelphia in the first round. To this day, LVC is the smallest school to ever advance to the Sweet 16. The program won several conference titles in the 1970s, but the early 1990s were a renaissance period. By 1994, coach Pat Flannery, with junior national player of the year Mike Rhodes, led the team to the national championship by beating New York University (NYU) 66-59 in overtime. The team earned several more NCAA bids in coming years behind another national player of the year, Andy Panko, and in 2005 the team again returned, advancing to the second round. They play their home games at the new LVC Gymnasium after spending 50 years playing at Lynch Gymnasium. The team competes in the Commonwealth Conference.
  • Women's Basketball has recently found success under former head coach Peg Kauffman, earning multiple conference playoff berths and winning the ECAC Southern tournament in 2002-03. The team competes in the Commonwealth Conference. They are currently coached by Todd Goclowski.
  • Cross Country competes in the MAC.
  • Field Hockey became a national powerhouse under former head coach and former athletic director Kathy Tierney. The team made two straight Final Four appearances in 1996 and 1997. In 2001, the new LVC Field Hockey stadium opened, and it hosted the NCAA Final Four in 2003. The team won the ECAC Southern title in 2004. The team competes in the Commonwealth Conference. The team also made two straight Final Four appearances in 2006 and 2007 under current head coach Laurel Martin.
  • Football, which began in 1897, has traditionally been weak, winning its last conference title in 1969. However, since the 2004 season, which saw the return of Jim Monos as head coach, the Dutchmen have shown significant improvement on the gridiron. The squad went 6-4 in 2006, the first winning season for the Dutchmen in 14 years. In 2009, the Dutchmen set a program record for wins in a season, finishing 9-2. The Dutchmen also beat Salisbury University 37-21 in the 2009 ECAC Southwest Bowl, their first post-season game since the 1951 Burley Bowl. The all-time record as of 2009 is 391-532-37. The team competes in the MAC and plays its home games at Arnold Field.
  • Golf competes in the Commonwealth Conference.
  • Ice hockey was introduced in 1996 and found immediate success, winning the ECAC Northeast conference title in 2001, earning a berth in the NCAA tournament. The program shifted affiliation to the ECAC West in 2004-05. Since then, their record has been a dismal 12-120-3. They play home games at the 7,225-seat Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, approximately 15 minutes west of campus. Occasionally, home games are played at Giant Center, home of the Hershey Bears (AHL).
  • Indoor Track competes in the Arnold Arena in the MAC.
  • Men's and women's Lacrosse begins competition in spring 2010 and will compete at Arnold Field.
  • Outdoor Track competes at Arnold Field in the MAC.
  • Men's Soccer competes at Herbert Field in the Commonwealth Conference, coached by Charlie Grimes.
  • Women's Soccer competes at Herbert Field in the Commonwealth Conference, coached by Lauren Frankford.
  • Women's Softball competes at the LVC Softball Park in the Commonwealth Conference, coached by Stacey Hollinger. On October 1, 2009 the team was honored by NFCA for Academic Success. The team's GPA ranked them 40th among all 386 Division 3 schools playing softball. In addition, 9 team members were individually honored by the NFCA as Scholar-Athletes.
  • Men's and women's Swimming competes in the Arnold pool in the MAC
  • Women's Volleyball competes at the LVC Gymnasium in the Commonwealth Conference.
  • Men's and women's Tennis competes in the Commonwealth Conference.

Alma Mater

To Thee dear Alma Mater, this ringing song we raise
A song that's fraught with gladness, a song that's filled with praise
We cannot help but love Thee, our hearts are full and free
Full well we know the debt we owe, to dear old L.V.C.

We come from old New Hampshire, Where winter breezes blow
And from the sunny Southland, Where sweet magnolias grow
We've sung "Star Spangled Banner," To "Dixie" given a cheer
And now we raise this song of praise, To Alma Mater dear.

Ye Sons of Lebanon Valley, Put forth your strongest might
And let our Alma Mater, Win each and ev'ry fight
Lift high its royal banner, And keep its honor clear
And let our song with voices strong, Ring down thru many a year.

And when we're old and gray, dear, with children on our knee
We'll teach them how the alph'bet begins with LVC.
We'll teach their tiny fingers to point with pride and glee
The dearest place on earth to us is dear old LVC.

Famous alumni

External links


  • Lebanon Valley College - A century of life on campus, Edna J. Carmean. 1966. (Unpublished, but can be obtained from the archives at Lebanon Valley College.)
  • Wallace, Paul A. W. (1966) Lebanon Valley College: A Centennial History. Annville, PA: Lebanon Valley College Publishing.

Coordinates: 40°19′55″N 76°30′50″W / 40.332°N 76.514°W / 40.332; -76.514


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