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The College of Wooster

The College of Wooster is a private liberal arts college primarily known for its emphasis on mentored undergraduate research. It has roughly 2,000 students and is located in Wooster, Ohio, United States.



1189 Beall Ave
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Fighting Scots
Black Old Gold
North Coast

College History


Founded as The University of Wooster in 1866 by Presbyterians, the institution opened its doors in 1870 with a faculty of five and a student body of thirty men and four women. Wealthy Wooster citizen Ephraim Quinby donated the first 22 acres (89,000 m2), a large oak grove situated on a hilltop overlooking the town. After being founded with the intent to make Wooster open to everyone, the university's first Ph.D. was granted to a woman, Annie B. Irish, in 1882. The first black student, Clarence Allen, began his studies later in the same decade. In the pre-dawn hours of December 11, 1901, a fire destroyed the five-story 'Old Main' building, the centerpiece of the campus. Within two years, it was replaced by several new buildings which (after substantial renovations within the last 30 years) remain the primary structures for the classes, labs, and faculty offices. These include Kauke Hall (the iconic center of campus), Scovel, Severance (which together form a large courtyard in front of Kauke Hall), and Taylor Hall. About ten years after the fire and rebuilding, there were eight divisions, including a medical school whose faculty outnumbered those in the college of arts and sciences. However, the university had gradually begun to define itself as a liberal arts institution and, in 1915, after a bitter dispute between the faculty and the Trustees, chose to become The College of Wooster in order to devote itself entirely to the education of undergraduate students in the liberal arts. The enrollment of the college is kept intentionally small, around 2000 students, to allow for close interaction between faculty and students. In the 1920s, William Jennings Bryan, a prominent Presbyterian layman, attacked the college for its teaching of evolution, which had been championed by president Charles F. Wishart, and called for the General Assembly of the church to cut off funding to the college. But Wishart defeated Bryan for the position of Moderator of the General Assembly, and the college continued to teach evolution. The College 240-acre (0.97 km2) has an unusual tree endowment, established in 1987, which supports tree conservation, maintenance, and a tree replacement program. The Oak Grove, a pleasant green space near the center of campus, plays host to commencement ceremonies each May. Several of the Grove's trees are older than the college itself, including an eastern black oak near Galpin Hall that dates to 1681, as well as a 1766 white oak. Each senior class plants a class tree in the Oak Grove on the day before graduation.

College Specialty


The College of Wooster is a community of independent minds, working together to prepare students to become leaders of character and influence in an interdependent global community. We engage motivated students in a rigorous and dynamic liberal education. Mentored by a faculty nationally recognized for excellence in teaching, Wooster graduates are creative and independent thinkers with exceptional abilities to ask important questions, research complex issues, solve problems, and communicate new knowledge and insight.



Debra Allbery, English (1979), poet (Walking Distance), winner of the 1990 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Frederic Lauriston Bullard (1891), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Boston Herald, Lincoln historian, writer (Famous War Correspondents) Caitlin Cary, English (1990), Alt-Country musician, member of the band Whiskeytown. Ted Celeste, member of Ohio House of Representatives Vince Cellini, Speech (1981), Current host on The Golf Channel and former anchor for CNN Sports. J.C. Chandor, Cultural Film Studies (1996), film director, Margin Call (2011) Arthur Holly Compton, Physics (1913), Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Chancellor of Washington University from 1945 to 1953 Karl Taylor Compton, Philosophy (1908), President of MIT from 1930 to 1948, Member of the National Academy of Sciences. Wayne A. Cornelius, Political Science (1967), Founder of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego. Mary Crow, English (1955), Poet Laureate, State of Colorado John Dean, Political Science (1961), White House Counsel (1970�1973) to President Richard Nixon. Eugene DePasquale, Political Science (1993), member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Stephen R. Donaldson, English (1968), New York Times bestselling science fiction author (Thomas Covenant). David Dudley Dowd Jr., (1951), United States federal judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Charlie Earl, former Ohio state representative, candidate in the 2014 Ohio gubernatorial election Alfred William Edel, History (1957), news anchor for ABC Radio News and Voice of America. George Fitch, Economics (1970), politician and business consultant, cofounder of the Jamaican Bobsled Team, which debuted at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta Helen Murray Free, Chemistry (1945), Elected President of the American Chemical Society in 1993, Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000. Elizebeth Friedman, America's first female cryptologist, attended briefly but transferred elsewhere Stanley Gault, Geology (1948), Former CEO of Rubbermaid and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Mark F. Giuliano, Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation John Lawrence Goheen (1906), Missionary, agriculturist, writer (Glimpses of Ichalkaranji). George E. Goodfellow (1876), Physician, authority on gunshot wounds, first surgeon to perform a perineal prostatectomy. Divya Gopikumar, Psychology (2008), South Indian Actress Frederick Hinitt, Doctor of Divinity (1902), Presbyterian pastor, President of Centre College and Washington & Jefferson College. Daniel Howes, History (1983), business columnist for The Detroit News. Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie or Joey Bowie), Philosophy (1995), British film director of Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011), son of rock musician David Bowie. Isaac C. Ketler, Presbyterian scholar, founder of Grove City College Charles F. Kettering, inventor of electric automobile starter motor, Vice-President of General Motors Research Corporation, and namesake of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, attended Wooster but did not graduate. Donald Kohn, Economics (1964), Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve. Ping-Wen Kuo (1911) Prominent Chinese educator and statesman. Tim McCreight, Art (1973), artist and metalsmith, President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (1993�1994). Shannon Boyd-Bailey McCune, (1935) geographer and university administrator, President of the University of Florida and the University of Vermont. John McSweeney, (1912), member of the United States House of Representatives. David Means, English (1984), short story writer (Assorted Fire Events), winner of 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Erie Mills, (1975) Soprano and Educator Reggie Minton, Physical Education (1963), deputy executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, head basketball coach United States Air Force Academy (1985�2000). Blake Moore, History (1980), NFL lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers, CEO of Allianz Global Investors. John T. Morrison, (1887), sixth Governor of Idaho 1903-1905. Norman Morrison, Religion (1956), pacifist, Vietnam War protester. Mary Neagoy, English (1983), Former Senior Vice President of Communications for Nickelodeon. James V. Neel, Biology (1935), Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics University of Michigan, Albert Lasker Award Winner, National Medal of Science Winner, National Academy of Sciences Member -- 'Father of Modern Human Genetics.' Mark Stephens (aka Robert X. Cringely), History (1975), Technology journalist for Public Broadcasting Service. Merton M. Sealts, Jr., English (1937), Emerson and Melville scholar. James C. Stevens, Chemistry (1975), Distinguished Fellow at Dow Chemical, inventor of constrained geometry catalyst for polyolefin manufacture, member of the National Academy of Engineering Solomon Oliver Jr., Philosophy and Political Science (1969), U.S. District Court Chief Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. Larry Shyatt, Physical Education (1973), basketball coach, head coach of Clemson University and the University of Wyoming. Ronald Takaki, History (1961), historian, ethnographer, professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. George W. Thorn, Biology (1927), Chief of Medicine Bringham & Woman's Hospital Harvard University, NAS Public Welfare Medal Winner, Chairman Emeritus Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bill Townsend, Art (1986), Internet entrepreneur, politician, founder and chairman of The Amati Foundation John Travis, Chemistry (1965), preventive medicine physician, founder of first wellness center in US J. Campbell White was President of this college from 1915 to 1919.



Suburban, 240 Acres