Albion College

Albion College

Infobox University
name=Albion College

motto=Lux Fiat - "Let there be Light"
endowment=$160 million
president=Dr. Donna M. Randall
colors=Purple and Gold
students=1,970 (all undergraduate)
campus=small town, convert|225|acre|km2
website= []

Albion College is a private liberal arts college located in Albion, Michigan. Related to the United Methodist Church, it was founded in 1835 and was the first private college in Michigan to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It has a student population of about 1900.

The school's sports teams are called the Britons and the school colors are purple and gold. They participate in NCAA's Division III and the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

Albion College is a member of the Great Lakes College Association and the Michigan Campus Compact, an organization dedicated to encouraging student volunteerism.


The origin of Albion College lies not in the city of Albion, but about convert|10|mi|km southeast of the present location of the college. On March 23, 1835, Methodist Episcopal settlers in Spring Arbor Township obtained a charter for the Spring Arbor Seminary from the Michigan Territorial Legislature. Foundations for a building were begun in 1837 at a location about convert|3|mi|km southwest of the current village of Spring Arbor but were soon abandoned due to the economic turmoil caused by the Panic of 1837. No classes were ever held at the Spring Arbor location. The trustees applied to move the seminary to Albion in 1838, and the legislature approved the move in 1839.

With 60 acres (243,000 m²) of land donated by Albion pioneer, Jesse Crowell, the cornerstone was laid for the first building in 1841. In 1843, now named the Wesleyan Seminary, classes were first held in the local Methodist Church. In 1844, classes began in the newly constructed Central Building, which was rebuilt as the present Robinson Hall in 1907.

The Albion Female Collegiate Institute was founded in 1850 by the Wesleyan Seminary Corporation. The two schools merged in 1857 under the name The Wesleyan Seminary and Female College at Albion.

On February 25, 1861, both schools were completely merged under the name Albion College when the school was fully authorized by the State legislature to confer a full four-year college degree upon both men and women.


Albion College offers approximately 25 academic majors leading to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. In addition to the academic majors, numerous concentrations, academic institutes, and special programs are offered. These include the Environmental Institute, Fritz Shurmur Education Institute, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service, the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Professional Management, the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Institute, and pre-professional programs in engineering, medicine, and law.

The Albion College student body is composed of approximately 1,970 students. The student to faculty ratio is 14:1. The average class size of 19 is comparable to other small liberal arts colleges. Albion College employs more than 130 full time faculty, of whom more than 95% have earned the highest degree offered in their field.

Albion College offers many opportunities for students to travel and study at other institutions. Programs are offered in Philadelphia, Chicago, London, Heidelberg, Tuebingen, Tokyo, Japan, Seoul, South Korea, Capetown, South Africa, Aix-en-provence, France, Ballyvaughan, Ireland, Athens, Greece, Brussels, Belgium and Paris.

Albion College appears on the US News & World Report list of America's Top Liberal Arts Colleges.

Construction on a new science complex recently ended. The new Kresge Hall and remodeled Palenske Hall, Putnam Hall and the Norris Center house the Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science departments of the college.

Campus life

Albion College's convert|225|acre|km2|sing=on campus houses 93% of the students that attend the college in four dormitories (Wesley Hall, Seaton Hall, Whitehouse Hall, and the Mitchell Towers), a dormitory that focuses on foreign languages and international programs (the Gerstacker International House) aka "I-House", upper-class apartments (the Mae Harrison Karro Residential Village, Munger Place, the Burns Street Apartments, and the Briton House Apartments), three women-only housing options (Octagon House, Ingham Hall, and Dean Hall), a Christian house (Fiske Hall), six fraternity houses, and numerous annexes. In addition to campus housing, several students live at The Goodrich Club, a co-op founded in 1932. Wesley and Seaton Halls traditionally house mostly first-year students. Wesley Hall is, by far, the largest residential building on campus with over 450 residents. Mitchell Towers and Whitehouse Hall typically are home to Sophomores and some Juniors. The Mae Karro Residential Village (commonly called "The Mae") houses Seniors. The majority of rooms in Wesley and Seaton Halls house two students with residents of each hallway sharing one community bathroom. All other dormitories have suite-style housing with two rooms sharing one bathroom between them.

Albion's campus is home to well over 100 student organizations. These groups — dedicated to academia, politics, sports and recreation, diversity awareness, and community service — are a large part of student life at Albion College. Groups such as "The Midnight Runners", The Albion Croquet League, College Democrats, Habitat for Humanity, and "Break the Silence" are examples of some of the prominent groups on campus. Intramural sports are another large part of campus life, with four season and about ten sports offered annually.

In 2006 Albion College designated one of the schools annexes as the "Environmental House." Since this time the students who live in the house have worked towards self sustainability and raising environmental awareness on campus.

The convert|144|acre|km2|sing=on Whitehouse Nature Center plays an important role in classroom instruction at Albion College and offers its facilities and services as an environmental education area to public schools and the community. The Whitehouse Nature Center features six self-guided trails, 400 plant species, 168 bird species, 25 acres of oak-hickory and flood-plain forest, a tall-grass prairie and spring in the Adele D. Whitehouse Wildflower Garden, an arboretum of Michigan trees and shrubs, 34 acres of farmland and research projects, and an interpretative building with classrooms, observation room, porch, and restrooms.

The recently constructed Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center is the only equestrian center owned by a private college in Michigan. The convert|340|acre|km2|sing=on facility features a state-of-the-art 81 stall barn, a grass outdoor competition arena, a sand outdoor riding arena, a 100x400ft indoor riding arena, on-site instructional facilities, three instructors, many school horses, and three competing teams. The teams compete in IDA dressage competitions and IHSA hunt seat and western competitions. In the last two years, Albion has had several riders advance to regional and zone champions with IHSA hunt seat and 2 riders compete at the IDA national championships.

The Albion College Music Department offers students numerous ensembles in which to participate. The "British Eighth", the Albion College Marching Band is one of the most visible examples of the school's mascot. The "British Eighth" wears uniforms reminiscent of those worn by the British Royal guards at Buckingham Palace. Under the direction of current Director of Bands Dr. Sam "Mac" McIlhagga, the band has increased in size to approximately 80 members. The British Eighth achieved national recognition by marching in the 2006 Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Albion College Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, and Briton Singers perform regularly throughout the school year. The Jazz Ensemble is particularly active in performing in the Albion community.


The Albion College Britons field 18 intercollegiate teams, nine for men and nine for women. Albion College is a charter member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and competes in the NCAA's Division III. Men's sports at Albion include cross country, football, golf, and soccer in the fall, basketball and swimming and diving in the winter, and baseball, tennis, and track and field in the spring. The Albion women compete in cross country, golf, soccer, and volleyball in the fall, basketball and swimming and diving in the winter, and softball, tennis, and track and field in the spring.

Albion won the NCAA Division III football championship in 1994. During the 2005 season, both the men's and women's basketball teams advanced to the Division III playoffs. Throughout the 2006 season, the men have been ranked in the top 10 by [] since the beginning of the season.

National Championships:
* 1994 - Football - NCAA Division III

Greek life

Albion College is home to six general purpose social fraternities and seven general purpose social sororities. The six social fraternities each lease a house from the college. These essentially identical buildings are occupied by members of Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Nu, Sigma Chi, and Tau Kappa Epsilon. The seven social sororities at Albion College do not live in their lodges, but rather hold meetings and other events there. The social sororities at Albion are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, and Phi Mu.

More than 40% of Albion College students are members of a social Greek organization.

The song Sweetheart of Sigma Chi was written in 1911 by Byron D. Stokes (Albion, 1913) and F. Dudleigh Vernor (Albion, 1914), and first performed by Harry Clifford (Albion, 1911)while undergraduates at Albion College.

Albion College is also home to nearly a dozen honorary, professional, service, and special interest fraternities. They include Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Phi Omega, Sigma Xi, Theta Alpha Phi, Kappa Kappa Psi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Sigma Alpha, Psi Chi, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Sigma Gamma Epsilon.


In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that several colleges, including Albion, were artificially inflating their annual alumni giving rates, reporting one-time alumni contributions as if they were given over 5 years, improving the statistics used in the US News & World Report rankings. [Daniel Golden. "Math Lessons: To Boost Donor Numbers, Colleges Adopt New Tricks; Sinking Alumni Stats, Zeal for Rankings Spur Rate Inflation." Wall Street Journal, 2 March 2007, p.A1.]

Notable alumni and friends

*Bob Bemer, 1940, computer scientist
*Bruce C. Berndt, 1961, mathematician
*J Harlen Bretz, 1906, geologist
*Prentiss Marsh Brown, 1911, U.S. Senator from Michigan
*David L. Camp, 1975, U.S. Representative from Michigan
*Barbara Ann Crancer, 1960, Missouri state circuit court judge and daughter of former Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa
*Philip Campbell Curtis, 1930, surrealist-inspired painter.
*Michael David, 1964, president of Dodger Theatricals, producer of the Tony Award-award winning Broadway musical "Jersey Boys"
*Harriet G. Eddy, 1896, early California library organizer
*William C. Ferguson, chairman (retired), NYNEX NKA Verizon Communications
*Matthew Gillard, politician, member of the Michigan House of Representative
*Daniel Henney, 2000, Korean model and actor, most notably in "My Name is Kim Sam Soon"
*Robert E. Horton, 1897, hydrologist
*Arnold G. Langbo, chairman (retired), Kellogg Company
*Sherry Hood Livingston, 1959, former chancellor, University of Massachusetts-Boston
*John S. Ludington, 1951, Chairman Emeritus, Dow Corning Corporation
*Thomas Ludington, 1976, judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and Albion College trustee
*Patrick Maher, 1989, American author
*Geoffery Merszei, CFO of Dow Chemical Company
*Forest Ray Moulton, 1894, astronomer
*, 1964, General manager of Gordon Food Services, main supplier to Baldwin dining hall.
*Doug Parker, 1984, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Airways
*Mark Schauer, 1984, Michigan state senator
*Jon Scieszka, 1976, children's book author
*Anna Howard Shaw, attended 1872-1875, civil rights leader, first female Methodist minister in the U.S.
*Richard M. Smith, 1968, chairman and editor-in-chief, "Newsweek"
*William K. Stoffer, 1974, chief executive officer, Albion Machine and Tool Company, Mayor of Albion 1984-86
*Robert M. Teeter, 1961, Republican pollster
*Hazen Graff Werner, 1920, bishop of the United Methodist Church
*Edwin B. Winans, attended in 1840s, U.S. Representative and Governor of Michigan
*Leonard F. "Fritz" Shurmur, 1956, former college and National Football League football coach


*Dr. Donna M. Randall (2007 - )
*Dr. Peter T. Mitchell(1997 - 2007)
*Dr. Melvin L. Vulgamore (1983 - 1997)
*Dr. Bernard T. Lomas (1970 - 1983)
*Dr. Louis W. Norris (1960 - 1970)
*Dr. William W. Whitehouse (1945 - 1960)
*Dr. John Lawrence Seaton (1924 - 1945)
*John Wesley Laird (1921 - 1924)
*Dr. Samuel F. Dickie (1901 - 1921)
* John Ashley (1898 - 1901)
*Lewis Ransom Fiske (1877 - 1898)
*William B. Silber (1870 - 1871)
*J.L.G. McKown (1869 - 1870)
*George Beiners Jocelyn (1864 - 1869 and 1871 - 1877)
*Thomas H. Sinex (1854 - 1864)
*Ira Mayhew (1853 - 1864)
*Clark T. Hinman (1846 - 1853)
*Rev. Charles Franklin Stockwell (1843 - 1845)

Note: William C. Ferguson served as interim president for six months in 1997.


* [ Albion College History]
* [ Historical Albion Michigan]
* [ Michigan Historical Markers] entries for Albion College (S0212) and Spring Arbor Seminary (L1910)
* [ History of Spring Arbor Township]
* [ Albion College fact sheet]
* [ Albion College Athletics]

External links

* [ Official website]

Notes and References

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