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Monmouth College

Monmouth College is a four-year coeducational private liberal arts college located in Monmouth, Illinois, United States. Monmouth is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution and enrolls 1,300 students.


700 E Broadway


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Campus Housing
Big Red The Fighting Scot
White Red

College History


Monmouth College was founded on April 18, 1853, by the Second Presbytery of Illinois, a frontier arm of the Associate Reformed (Presbyterian) Church. The college currently celebrates this date annually as "Scholars Day," cancelling classes for a day of celebration and an honors convocation. Founded as "Monmouth Academy," the school became Monmouth College after receiving a charter from the state legislature on September 3, 1856. The college remains affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of small, private liberal arts colleges. The college's motto "Sit Lux" ("Let there be Light") appears on its seal. The first president, David Wallace was elected president of Muskingum College before he had received his own college diploma. Wallace built two mission churches in Massachusetts before assuming the Monmouth presidency. Founded on the eve of the American Civil War, the college immediately faced a serious crisis. The college's campus was still under construction while virtually the entire male student body left for military service. Two hundred and thirty-two students, faculty members, and trustees served in the Civil War. A quarter of them were wounded and one in eight was killed. Two were awarded the Medal of Honor, and Abner C. Harding, a college trustee who raised a regiment composed largely of MC students, was commissioned a brigadier general for his leadership in the defense of Fort Donelson in 1863. President Wallace, believing that the college �must educate, whether there be peace or war,� kept classes in session for what was then a primarily female student body. Unusual for the time, Monmouth was founded as a coeducational institution. When veterans returning to the college decided to form fraternities, a group of women was determined not to be outdone, and in 1867 established the first fraternity for women, known today as Pi Beta Phi. Three years later, another well-known women�s fraternity, Kappa Kappa Gamma, was founded at Monmouth. World War II posed a crisis to the institution similar to that of the Civil War, as male students began enlisting in the service within a month of Pearl Harbor, and soon only a handful remained on campus. Through an arrangement with the Navy Department, the college survived by becoming a U.S. Naval Flight Preparatory School, and later offered a V-5 Navy Academic Refresher Unit program for officers. Courses were taught by Monmouth�s liberal arts faculty. The Navy later adopted adopted portions of Monmouth's curriculum for training programs nationwide. More than 2,000 Navy men went through Monmouth College, a number of whom would re-enroll at the college after the war funded by the G.I. Bill. Monmouth�s chemistry department gained national prominence in the 1950s when longtime professor William S. Haldeman was recognized with a major award by the American Chemical Society. Because his financial circumstances kept him from personally pursuing graduate school, he became a champion for advanced study, helping 88 of his 343 chemistry graduates attain Ph.D.s by establishing his own revolving loan fund to pay their expenses. The students were widely known as �Haldy�s Boys� or sometimes �Haldy�s Girls.� The Steelman Report on Manpower for Research noted that Monmouth and four other small colleges�Hope, Juniata, St. Olaf and Oberlin�together had "produced more candidates for the doctor's degree in chemistry than Johns Hopkins, Fordham, Columbia, Tulane and Syracuse Universities combined."

College Specialty


As an undergraduate liberal arts college we recognize the close relationship of faculty and students to be fundamental to our learning environment. As a community of learners we strive to create and sustain an environment that is value-centered, intellectually challenging, aesthetically inspiring, and culturally diverse; and we hold as central our commitment to liberal arts education and to one another. We integrate a four-year program of general education with in-depth study in the major and a rich array of co-curricular activities in order to foster the discovery of connections among disciplines and of larger patterns of meaning. Through these experiences, we help our students explore multiple perspectives on the human condition and prepare themselves for rich personal and professional lives�for leadership, citizenship, and service in a global context. Monmouth College was founded in 1853 by pioneering Presbyterians. As a campus community we honor that heritage and value religious diversity as we explore the spiritual dimension of human existence and the relationship between faith and knowledge. As both observers and participants we seek to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the creative tension that exists among the principles of democracy, pluralism, equality, and freedom in our own nation and beyond. Statement of Purposes As an undergraduate liberal arts institution Monmouth College exists to: 1. Prepare students for rich personal and professional lives. 2. Prepare students for positions of leadership, service, and citizenship in a global context. 3. Promote awareness and exploration of the sometimes contradictory principles which exist in democracy, pluralism, equality, and freedom. 4. Create and maintain a learning environment which is value-centered, intellectually challenging, aesthetically inspiring, and culturally diverse. This includes: a) Providing students with a four-year general education program, in-depth study in the major, and a rich array of co-curricular activities. b) Fostering the discovery of connections among disciplines and of larger patterns of meaning. c) Promoting an understanding of a value system that is shaped by individual and collective experiences. 5. Explore the spiritual dimension of human existence and the relationship between faith and knowledge. 6. Introduce students to multiple perspectives on the human condition and promote self-awareness of global perspectives both through the curriculum and through campus life. 7. Foster and promote intellectual inquiry and critical analysis through mentoring relationships characterized by individual attention. 8. Develop creativity and skills in written and oral communication and artistic expression. 9. Understand the methods of inquiry and expression in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.



E. Irene Diggs (1927, deceased) - noted anthropologist and sociologist Hiroyuki Fujita (1992) - Founder, president and CEO of Quality Electrodynamics, LLP Kevin M. Goodwin (1980) - President and CEO of Sonosite, Inc. Roger Haynes (1982) - in 2007, Haynes was named the Division III Men's National Coach of the Year for the indoor season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He was inducted into the Monmouth M-Club Hall of Fame in 1997. Haynes also serves as Monmouth's Athletic Director and as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education Lon Helton (1972) - nationally syndicated country music radio host, CMA Country Countdown USA. Helton is a five-time CMA National Personality of the Year Keith Molesworth Chicago Bears NFL Quarterback 1931-1937 Jim Pate (1963, deceased) - retired Chairman & CEO of Pennzoil Harold "Red" Poling (1949, deceased) - Ford Motor Company Chairman & CEO, member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity ??? Chad Simpson (1998) - Micro Award-winning short and flash fiction author Charles A. Sprague (1910, deceased) Governor (1939-1943), editor and publisher of Oregon Statesman James Stockdale (1946, deceased) - Vice Admiral, US Navy & Former U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate, Medal of Honor recipient, member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity Joe Tait (1959) - longtime radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers Alex Tanney (2011) - National Football League quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Dwight Tierney (1969) - Senior Executive Vice President, Viacom & one of the Founders of MTV. William Trubeck (1968) - Retired Executive Vice President and CFO, H&R Block Helen Wagner (1938, deceased) - longtime star of the soap opera, As The World Turns. She uttered the show's first words in its debut in 1956. Zipporah Williams (2013) - professional basketball player for Women's American Basketball Association Chicago Lady Steam John Findlay Wallace (1872, deceased) - chief engineer of Panama Canal project and Illinois Central Railroad Charles F. Wishart (1894, deceased) President College of Wooster 1921-1944, Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly 1924



Small town, 112 acres (45.32 ha)