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The Principia is an educational institution for Christian Scientists, located on two campuses in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Facilities for early childhood through high school are located at The Principia School in West St. Louis County. Located about thirty miles away, on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Elsah, Illinois, is Principia College.


The Principia School

Founded by Mary Kimball Morgan, The Principia School was officially opened in 1898 in St. Louis. By 1906, The Principia had graduated its first high school class. In 1912, the Junior College was added, and became one of the first such colleges in the nation. The college moved to Elsah, Illinois in 1935, and the school later moved to its current location in the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country, Missouri.

Principia College

Principia College
Established 1910
Type Private
Endowment $367 million (USD)[1]
President Dr. Jonathan Palmer
Staff 66
Students 530
Location 1 Maybeck Place
, Illinois, 62028, United States
Campus Rural, 2,500 acres (10 km2)
Mascot Panther
Colors Blue and Gold

Principia College is a four-year private co-educational liberal arts college in Elsah, Illinois. The campus sits on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River between Alton and Grafton, located about thirty miles north of St. Louis. In 1934, Principia College graduated its first class as a full four-year institution. Emerging from the Principia Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools founded between 1898 and 1906, Principia College was established with a mission to "serve the cause of Christian Science." The college, however, has no official affiliation with the Christian Science church, nor does The First Church of Christ, Scientist, the denominational governing body, recognize or approve any school or college claiming to serve such a cause.

The student population is 490. There are ten student dormitories on campus: Anderson House, Rackham Court, Howard House, Sylvester House, Buck House, Brooks House, Ferguson House, Joe McNabb, Lowrey House, and Clara McNabb. The first six mentioned were designed by architect Bernard Maybeck in 1935, as was the campus' chapel.[2] Maybeck attempted to use different architectural styles and building techniques for each of these dormitories and for the chapel. In an effort to ensure success with his designs and materials, he experimented with them through the creation of a small building known affectionately by Principians as the "Mistake House."

The Principia College campus was once considered as the site for the United States Air Force Academy. The Air Force picked Colorado Springs, Colorado, instead. On April 19, 1993, the campus was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.

Principia is currently well-known for its solar car team and its Public Affairs Conference, the oldest student run public affairs conference in the country.

Principia's sports teams compete in the NCAA Division III in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and go by the "Panthers" nickname.

Notable Principia College alumni


External links

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