Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College seal.png
Established 1848
Type Liberal arts college
Endowment US $140 million[1]
President Peyton Randolph "Randy" Helm
Academic staff 161 full-time and 109 part-time
Students 2,180


students (43% men, 57% women)
Location Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Suburban
Colors Cardinal Red and Gray
Mascot The Mule
Affiliations Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Muhlenberg College logo.png

Muhlenberg College is a private liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is named for Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America.



Muhlenberg College was initially established in 1848 as the Allentown Seminary by Reverend Samuel K. Brobst, a Reformed Lutheran minister. Reverend Christian Rudolph Kessler was the school's first teacher and administrator.[2] Between 1848 and 1867, the entity that is today Muhlenberg College operated as the Allentown Seminary, the Allentown Collegiate and Military Institute and the Allentown Collegiate Institute.[3] In 1867, the college moved into Trout Hall,[4] the former mansion of William Allen's son, James Allen, and was renamed after Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America. Muhlenberg's great-grandson, Reverend Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, served as president of the college from 1867 to 1876.[3] In 1905, the college purchased and relocated to a 51-acre (21 ha) tract located in Allentown's West End, the site of today's campus.[4] In 1910, seeing a need for evening study in the community, Muhlenberg College opened the Wescoe School and began offering adult education classes.


Muhlenberg's current 81-acre (33 ha) campus is located in a residential neighborhood in Allentown's West End. The campus includes numerous buildings with distinctive red doors in traditional European/Protestant style. The Library Building, now the Haas College Center, was built between 1926 and 1929. The Miller Tower, the distinctive dome and tower which sits on top of the Haas College Center, was inspired by Oxford University's Christopher Wren-designed Tom Tower. It is named for David A. Miller (Class of 1894), founder of Allentown's The Morning Call newspaper.[4] Muhlenberg's Polling Institute teams with the Allentown Morning Call to publish surveys of preferences and trends among Pennsylvanians, especially in the Lehigh Valley.[5]

In 1988, the college opened the Harry C. Trexler library, named for local industrialist Harry Clay Trexler.[4]

As of 2007, a new science building and an additional residence hall have been completed. In addition to the main campus, Muhlenberg maintains the 40-acre (16 ha) Lee and Virginia Graver Arboretum and a separate 40-acre (16 ha) wildlife sanctuary.[citation needed]

As of 2010, ongoing construction to expand Seegers Student Union and the dining facilities is nearing completion.


From 1867 to 1905, Muhlenberg College was located in Allentown's Trout Hall, a mansion built in 1770 by James Allen, son of William Allen. Muhlenberg's current campus opened in 1905.


Muhlenberg College offers Associate and Bachelor's degrees. The college offers an accelerated program, cross-registration, double major, honors program, independent study, internships, Army ROTC, student-designed major, study abroad, teacher certification, visiting/exchange student program and Washington semester.

Admissions and Rankings

39.8% of applicants were offered admission for the 2008-2009 academic year. 50% of the 2008-2009 freshman class were in the top 10% of their graduating class, 74% in the top 20% of their graduating class and 96% in the top 40% of their graduating class. Muhlenberg is primarily a regional college, with 77% of incoming freshmen coming from New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York.[6].

In their 2011 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked the college #81 among liberal arts colleges.[7] It was also ranked by US News and World Report as the 56th most popular liberal arts school in the US. Forbes Magazine also ranked Muhlenberg #110 on their list of best colleges in the United States. In addition, Princeton Review lists Muhlenberg as one of the best colleges in the northeast, out of a total number of 218 chosen schools. Also, as of 2011, the college's theatre program was ranked #1 in the nation and the college was chosen as one of the "Top 286 Green Colleges" in the country in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council. [8]

University rankings (overall)
Forbes[9] 132
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[10] 81
Washington Monthly[11] 146

Student life

There are more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus. In addition, the Muhlenberg Activity Council (MAC) is responsible for bringing events and activities to campus. The college arranges off-campus community service opportunities, as well as intramural and club sports for students. The performing arts are represented on-campus through various theatre, dance and music programs.

The college's official student-run print publication is The Muhlenberg Weekly. Established in 1883, the paper is published every week while school is in session. The Muhlenberg Advocate, an online, twice-monthly publication, not affiliated with the college, was established in 2000. The student-run radio station is WMUH, operated year-round by both students and volunteers from the surrounding Lehigh Valley community.

There are five sororities affiliated with the college: Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Zeta, Alpha Chi Omega, and Theta Nu Xi (colony), and four fraternities: Phi Kappa Tau, Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Tau Omega. College rules stipulate that students may not pledge to join a Greek organization until their sophomore year. There is also Kappa Kappa Psi, a band fraternity, as well as Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity; both of these can be pledged as freshman.


Muhlenberg College's on-campus stadium and field

Muhlenberg, a NCAA Division III school, participates in 22 intercollegiate sports and competes in the Centennial Conference as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The college also has club teams in both ice hockey and women's rugby union.

Both men's and women's teams exist for: basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track and field. In addition, there are men's teams in baseball, football, and wrestling; women have teams for softball, field hockey and volleyball.

Athletic facilities have been expanded in recent years; in 2004, a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) addition was built west of the field house. The tennis courts were built in 2003, as well as two fields in 1998 and 1997 respectively.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • Haps Benfer, theologist and athletic coach
  • William Dunham, mathematician
  • Ludwig Lenel, composer and organist
  • Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, former president, Muhlenberg College
  • Harry Hess Reichard, Pennsylvania German language scholar
  • Theodore Schick, philosopher


  1. ^
  2. ^ W.W.H. Davis. "History Of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Vol. II, Chapter XXVI, Schools And Education". Retrieved 2008-06-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Colby VP Randy Helm Named President Of Muhlenberg College". Muhlenberg College. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d Lindsey Aspinall. "The history of Haas College Center". The Muhlenberg Weekly. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  5. ^ Muhlenberg College polling site. Example: 2008 U.S. presidential tracking poll.
  6. ^ "'Berg at a Glance". Archived from the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  7. ^ " American's Best Colleges 2008". Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Princeton Review: Muhlenberg College". Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  9. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Washington Monthly Liberal Arts Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ Lauer-Williams, Kathy (June 7, 2009). "Designs on a Tony: Allentown Native Michael McDonald is Nominated for Broadway's Top Honor for Costumes for 'Hair'". The Morning Call 

External links

Coordinates: 40°35′52″N 75°30′35″W / 40.597727°N 75.509695°W / 40.597727; -75.509695

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