Wittenberg University

Wittenberg University
Wittenberg University
Motto Having Light, We Pass It On To Others
Established 1845
Type Private
Religious affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment $88.5 million[1]
President Mark H. Erickson
Provost Christopher M. Duncan
Academic staff 196 full-time[2]
Students 2,000
Postgraduates 70
Location Springfield, Ohio, United States
Campus Small city, 114 acres (46 ha)
Colors Red and White            
Athletics 23 varsity teams, NCAA Division III, Member North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)
Mascot Tiger
Website http://www.wittenberg.edu/

Wittenberg University is a private four-year liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio serving 2,000 full-time students representing 37 states and approximately 30 foreign countries.[3] Wittenberg is nationally distinguished by its strong interdisciplinary programs in East Asian[4] and Russian Area Studies[5]



Main entrance to the University

Wittenberg was founded in 1845 by a group of pastors in the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio. Reverend Ezra Keller was the principal founder and first president of the college. Its initial focus was to train clergy. One of its main missions was to "Americanize" Lutherans by teaching courses in English instead of German, unlike Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The first class originally consisted of eight students at the beginning of the academic year, but grew to seventy-one by the end. With a faculty of one professor and two tutors, classes were held in Springfield, Ohio in a church on land that was donated. This area was selected due to being located on the National Road, which made Springfield an agricultural and industrial center. In 1874, women were admitted, and, the following year, blacks were also admitted. The name came from Wittenberg University, located in Wittenberg, Germany, the town where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses.[6]

Wittenberg University's Guest House

Hamma Divinity School

In 1978, Wittenberg's Theological Seminary, successively known as Hamma Divinity School and Hamma School of Theology, merged with the Joint Synod controlled Evangelical Lutheran Seminary (now the Trinity Lutheran Seminary) of Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. This represented a one hundred and eighty degree reversal from the original founders’ desire to separate from the German synod and to emphasize use of the English language in teaching. The reunited schools became Trinity Lutheran Seminary as it is known today. It is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It became independent, administratively but not geographically, from Capital University in 1959. The seminary cooperates with the Methodist Seminary in Delaware, Ohio, and the Pontifical Josephinum in Columbus by sharing faculty and student courses.

Rev. Luther Alexander Gotwald, D.D. (1833–1900), Professor of Theology in the Hamma Divinity School was famously tried for and unanimously acquitted of heresy by the Board of Directors at Wittenberg on April 4 and April 5, 1893, which put on trial many key issues that Lutherans still debate today. Wittenberg attained a national perspective and found a place in the mainstream of American higher education.[7]

Presidents of Wittenberg

  • Ezra Keller (1844–1848)
  • Samuel Sprecher[8] (1849–1874)
  • John B. Helwig (1874–1882)
  • Samuel Alfred Ort (1882–1900)
  • John M. Ruthrauff (1900–1902)
  • Charles G. Heckert (1903–1920)
  • Rees Edgar Tulloss (1920–1949)
  • Clarence Charles Stoughton (1949–1963)
  • John Nissley Stauffer (1963–1968)
  • G. Kenneth Andeen (1969–1974)
  • William A. Kinnison (1974–1995)
  • Baird Tipson (1995–2004)
  • William H. Steinbrink (Interim President)
  • Mark H. Erickson (2005–Present)

On May 27, 2011, in an official University press-release, it was announced that President Mark H. Erickson would be stepping down at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, allowing "the university’s Board of Directors the appropriate amount of time to conduct a national search for Wittenberg’s next president" [9]

About Wittenberg

Myers Hall was the first building at Wittenberg built in 1846

Wittenberg offers more than 70 majors and special programs. Eight pre-professional programs are offered to students, 70 percent of whom eventually pursue graduate studies. The University's science facilities are housed in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. Krieg Hall is the home of the music department.[10] Wittenberg's art department is housed in Koch Hall.[11] Thomas Library contains 367,000 volumes and provides access to OhioLINK,[12] a consortium of Ohio college and university libraries as well as the State Library of Ohio. The library houses the Kemper Special Collection Area which contains the Luther-Reformation Collection with more than 400 items written by Martin Luther and his contemporaries between 1517 and 1580.[13] The library was built 1956 to the designs of Thomas Norman Mansell of Mansell, Lewis & Fugate of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.[14]

Departments and programs

  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Computational Science
  • Computer Science
  • Chinese
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Early Childhood Development
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Financial Economics
  • Film studies
  • French
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • German
  • Global Studies
  • Health/Fitness/Sport
  • Health Science
  • History
  • Honors Program
  • International Studies
  • International Relations
  • Interdepartmental Majors
  • Journalism
  • Japanese
  • Languages
  • Liberal Studies (Community School of Education)
  • Neuroscience
  • Management
  • Marine Science
  • Marine/Aquatic Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Piano Performance
  • Political Science
  • Pre-Chiropractic
  • Pre-Dentistry
  • Pre-health
  • Pre-Law
  • Pre-Optometry,
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Pre-Veterinary
  • Pre-Modern and Ancient World
  • Pre-Theology
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Russian and Central Eurasian Studies
  • School of Community Education
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Theatre & Dance
  • Violin Performance
  • Urban Studies
  • Woman Studies
  • WittSems
  • Women's Studies
  • Writing
  • Zoology

Academic buildings

Blair Hall

Blair hall is where the education department is housed for the university. Undergraduates and Graduate students take classes in this building if they are planning to pursue to become a teacher. The Springfield-Wittenberg Teacher Institute and Upward Bound are both housed in Blair.

The education department has another building which used to be the former Springfield City School administration office at 49 E. College Ave, which is now owned by Wittenberg University.[15]

Recitation Hall

Recitation Hall is where many of the administrative offices for the university are housed. These offices include, admissions, financial aid, the president's office, provost's, student employment, university communications (Wittenberg's Media office for Wittenberg Magazine, Press office, New Media, Sports Media, and Publications office), and human resources. Recitation hall also has its own chapel. This was the second building constructed on campus. In 1883 classes were held in Recitation Hall. There is a second building behind Recitation hall which serves as the university's police and security headquarters, the campus switchboard and the transportation office.[16]

Synod Hall

This building is home to the Economics department, Upward Bound, and The Solution Center. The Upward Bound school offices have been re-located to Synod. The Upward Bound is a high school program for students in low-income areas of the city to receive a high level education from college professors while in high school.


In 2010, Princeton Review ranked Wittenberg 11th in the nation for "Best Classroom Experience," and 15th in the nation for "Professors Get High Marks."[17] In addition, Princeton Review ranked the college's campus the 18th most beautiful in the nation in 2009.[18] The University continues to rank in the top 120 liberal art colleges in the US.

In 2011, US News & World Report ranked Wittenberg the 114th best Liberal Arts college in the US.

Wittenberg University was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 176th best university in the country out of a survey of 6,000 colleges and universities.[17]

The university also has top programs in Communication. The communication program was named by the National Communication Association as Nation's Best program.[19] Along with that Wittenberg University has been named one of only 23 institutions in the nation by the Fiske Guide to Colleges for "Small Colleges and Universities Strong in Drama." The elite ranking places Wittenberg alongside such schools as Juilliard, Vassar|, Oberlin, Otterbein and Princeton.[20]

In the last 10 years, Wittenberg faculty members have won 16 Fulbright awards, more than any other liberal arts college in the state of Ohio. Chronicle of Higher Education says the university is one of 11 bachelor’s programs with more than two professors doing research under Fulbright auspices.[21]


Wittenberg ended the 2009 fall sports season ranked 16th among more than 430 NCAA Division III schools in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings, administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)[22]

Student Organizations

Anime Club, Chemistry Club, Chinese Dragon Dance Team, Colleges Against Cancer/Relay for Life, College Democrats, College Republicans, Comic Book Club, East Asian Studies Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Mock Trial, New York Times Discussion Group, Outdoors Club, Pep Band, Pocket Lint Improvisational Comedy, POWER (Parliament of the Wittenberg Environmental Revolution), Pre-Health Club, Sailing Club, Society of Physics Students, Student Global AIDS Campaign, Student Senate, Swing Dance Club, Union Board, University Communications, Wittenberg Art League, Wittenberg Role-Playing Guild, Wittenberg Rugby, Wittenberg Student Dance Company (WSDC), WUSO radio station, WittMen Crew A Capella, Student newspaper The Torch, Wittenberg Film Club, Diversity Club, Planned Parenthood, and Younglife.[23]

Center for Civic and Urban Engagement

On September 24, 2008, Wittenberg opened the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement. Its purpose is to help coordinate community service projects. Their mission is to also be the partnership between the university and the city, state and federal governments. Warren Copeland, Springfield mayor and the university's professor of religion and director of the urban studies, is the faculty director.[24]

The East Asian Institute for International Studies

The East Asian Institute for International Studies at Wittenberg University manages an internship program, provides export development services, and organizes programs and events focusing on international business and East Asia. The Institute supports and cooperates with Ohio's export development network.[25]

GLBT & Ally Center For Diversity

This is the center on the north side of the campus which helps promote diversity and acceptance to the community of gay, lesbian, transgenders, or other groups.

Springfield Peace Center

This center is located on Wittenberg University's campus and is a non-profit organization. Its goal is educating for peace and teaching alternatives to violence. They hold classes for adults and youth students and hold camps throughout the year. They do ask for donations to help fund the programs.[26]

Wittenberg radio station

The University has its own student run 24 hour radio station on 89.1FM.[27] 89.1 WUSO, has started simulcasting the Dayton classical station WDPR Monday through Friday mornings from 6 am until 10 am. The station broadcasts news, politics, sports, food, music shows. The Tiger Sports Network broadcasts the sports programming.[28] Its studios are located in the basement of Firestine Hall on Woodlawn Ave. The radio station broadcasts throughout the Springfield area. The radio station went through an upgrade on their website to allow audio streaming.

The launch of a new media program called the Integrated Media Corps has recently developed. Wittenberg University has ten students that create and produce news videos, sports highlight videos for WDTN-TV (Dayton NBC), WHIO-TV (Dayton CBS), WKEF-TV (Dayton ABC) and the university web, record news stories for WUSO, the student run radio station, and write press releases for the university website. The program also has began broadcasting sports programs on WIZE-AM in Springfield.

Wittenberg Online Radio

Wittenberg University has recently launched a new radio station for athletics broadcasting. The radio station currently is only internet only. To listen to Wittenberg's athletic radio programming visit the Tiger Sports Network website.

The Wittenberg Torch

The Torch is Wittenberg University's student run newspaper which comes out on campus every Tuesday. The newspaper has a staff of news reporters, editors, viewpoint writers and sports writers.

Wittenberg Medial Facilities

The Wittenberg Health and Counseling services office is located in the basement of Shovlin Hall. For athletic students, services are also available at the Excel Medicine Sports' office located in the Health, Physical, Education and Recreation building located on Bill Edwards Drive.

Residence life

Wittenberg has 7 residence halls on campus, including: Tower Hall, Myers Hall, Firestine Hall, Ferncliff Hall, Woodlawn Hall, New Residence Hall and Polis House. The oldest residence hall is Myers Hall. This was the first campus building when the university opened. Myers Hall is now a National Historic Site for its history. The newest residence hall is called New Residence Hall, which opened in 2006. The Polis House is the international residence hall on campus. International students, International Studies students, or language majors may choose to live in this residence. Students who are at junior or senior standing have the option to live in the university-provided on-campus apartments or off campus in apartments or rental houses.[29]

The Benham-Pence Student Center houses most of the university's dining services. The main floor of the student center houses Post 95 which offers four different options, including Grill 95, Sandilla's sandwich and cafe, Jazzman's cafe, and Ariba Mexican. "Founders", the university pub, is located in the basement of the student center and was opened in during the 2009/2010 school year. The Center Dining Room (also known as the "CDR" by students) is located on the second floor of the Student Center along with the faculty dining room. Breakfast and lunch are also served in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center's "Simply To Go" a la carte cafe.

Greek life

Wittenberg also has an active Greek Life on campus.

Fraternities include:

Sororities include:

Secret Societies

Wittenberg is also known for its secret societies. One of the most famous secret societies is The Shifters. They are easily identified by the paper clips worn on their clothing, usually around the collar of their shirts. [30][31]

Recent Commencement speakers

  • Helen Thomas - 154th Commencement speaker (1999)
  • Fred Mitchell '69 - 155th Commencement speaker (2000)
  • John E. McLaughlin '64 - 156th Commencement speaker (2001)
  • Bill Press - 157th Commencement speaker (2002)
  • Judith Viorst - 158th Commencement speaker (2003)
  • Caroll Spinney - 159th Commencement speaker (2004)
  • Lois Raimondo '81 - 160th Commencement speaker (2005)
  • Mark Mathabane - 161st Year Commencement speaker (2006)
  • Juan Williams - 162nd Year Commencement speaker (2007)
  • Dave Hobson - 163rd Year Commencement speaker (2008)
  • Richard Stengel - 164th Year Commencement speaker (2009)
  • Zackie Achmat - 165th Year Commencement speaker (2010)
  • Doug Ulman - 166th Year Commencement speaker (2011)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2010NCSE_Public_Tables_Endowment_Market_Values_Final.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.petersons.com/collegeprofiles/Profile.aspx?inunid=9758&sponsor=1&orderLineNum=1154070-1&tabid=10007
  3. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/admission/facts.html
  4. ^ http://www9.wittenberg.edu/news/2010/03/wittenberg-celebrates-40th-anniversary-of-east-asian-studies-program/
  5. ^ http://www.petersons.com/college-search/wittenberg-university-000_10000338.aspx
  6. ^ http://www.oh-palam.org/Wittenberg.pdf
  7. ^ "Wittenberg History". Wittenberg University. http://www4.wittenberg.edu/about/history.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  8. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Sprecher, Samuel". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. 
  9. ^ http://www9.wittenberg.edu/news/2011/05/wittenberg-president-mark-erickson-to-step-down-in-2012/
  10. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/tour/krieg.html
  11. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/admission/tour/koch.html
  12. ^ http://oracle-web.petersons.com/ccc92/display_pdf?p_instance_id=144293.pdf
  13. ^ http://www6.wittenberg.edu/lib/
  14. ^ "Thomas Norman Mansell" American Architects Directory, Third Edition (New York City: R.R. Bowker LLC, 1970), p.593.
  15. ^ http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/wittenbergs-blair-hall-to-undergo-renovations-169051.html
  16. ^ http://www.petersons.com/collegeprofiles/Profile.aspx?inunid=9758
  17. ^ a b http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/wittenberg-university-among-best-colleges-in-nation-858013.html
  18. ^ http://www.princetonreview.com/WittenbergUniversity.aspx
  19. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/features/2010/communication//
  20. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/news/2009/09_30.html
  21. ^ www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/wittenberg-fulbright-program-receives-national-recognition-996824.html?cxtype=rss_local-news.
  22. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/news/athletics/news/2009releases/ncaaallsportsfall09.pdf
  23. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/student_development/student_center_and_student_activ.html
  24. ^ http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/24/sns092508witt.html
  25. ^ http://eai.wittenberg.edu/?page_id=4
  26. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/peacecenter/information.html
  27. ^ http://www.wuso.org/index.php
  28. ^ http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/hp/content/oh/story/news/local/2009/03/05/sns030609wuso.html
  29. ^ http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/student_development/residence_life/
  30. ^ "Spheres of Success". Wittenberg Magazine Online. http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/university_communications/magazine/volume2/issue4/wittworld.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  31. ^ "Some Education". Wittenberg Magazine Online. http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/university_communications/magazine/volume2/issue3/feature4.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  32. ^ McGinn, Andrew (January 6, 2011). "The year foreign films came to Springfield". Springfield News-Sun. http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/entertainment/ohio-theater-arts/the-year-foreign-films-came-to-springfield-1047439.html. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  33. ^ Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-hed_rmarshalldec24,0,2137832.story. 

External links

Coordinates: 39°55′59″N 83°48′51″W / 39.93314°N 83.81415°W / 39.93314; -83.81415

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