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Wilmington College

Wilmington College is a private career-oriented liberal arts institution established by Quakers in 1870 in Wilmington, Ohio, United States. The college is accredited by the North Central Association, Higher Learning Commission (in Chicago). Wilmington College is known for its Agriculture program (one of only two in Ohio), its Athletic Training program, and its Education program.


1870 Quaker Way
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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Quaker Church (Society of Friends)
Campus Housing
Quaker Man
Green And White
Ohio Athletic

College History


In August 1870, a group of local Quakers purchased, for $11,334 at an auction, an unfinished building and adjacent land that was to become Wilmington College. This property represented the failed attempt by local brothers to establish Franklin College in Wilmington during the especially challenging economic times following the Civil War. It also represented the Quakers� appreciation for higher education, their vision for the future and a perseverance to see that vision realized. The new institution opened the following April and in 1875 graduated its first class of students � all four of them. The fledgling College adopted as its guiding principle the central testimony of the Religious Society of Friends: the supreme value of the individual or �that of God in every man.�The original building, the present-day College Hall, featured an auditorium on the third floor with a seating capacity for 750 people. It was used for special College chapel activities, lecture courses, commencement, the staging of dramatic productions and even as a gymnasium for basketball games. In the early years, College Hall housed essentially the entire College, including dormitory rooms for students and faculty members. As the College gained a firmer footing, new buildings were erected to house students and serve as academic facilities. Some especially unique structures included the observatory, from which a 12-inch reflecting lens telescope was installed in first a wooden observatory in 1888 and later a brick structure. The observatory today rests atop Kettering Science Hall. Another distinct facility is the Simon Goodman Memorial Carillon, which, dedicated 50 years ago, features a 35-bell carillon cast at the request of Pope Pius XII for the Vatican�s pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World�s Fair. The carillon, which is housed in a 60-foot tower, was renovated in recent years and 23 of its bells are automated for programmed music and the ability to be played from remote locations. In more recent years, the College built the Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center as part of the $7.6 million Oscar F. Boyd Cultural Arts Center. The QHC hosts programs and exhibits of special interest to Friends and those interested in Quaker-related topics and testimonies. The QHC also features the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse and a statue depicting the famous Friends� story of Isaac and Sarah Harvey�s trip to visit President Lincoln.During the College�s formative period (1871-1903), the average enrollment was 100 students. Separate dormitories, each with its own dining hall, were provided for men and women. There were very limited student activities outside of classes and those were usually religious in nature. Also, there were no intercollegiate athletics. The period of 1903 to 1915 is known as the �transition period.� Academically, there was a shift from the classical courses to the natural and social sciences. The first �secret societies,� a.k.a. fraternities and sororities, appeared with the formal College acceptance of Gamma Phi Gamma and Delta Omega Theta. The so-called �period of expansion� occurred under the leadership of President J. Edwin Jay, under whose tenure Lebanon Normal University merged with Wilmington College and teacher training was introduced into the curriculum. This came with a marked increase in enrollment and expansion of academic departments, organized athletics and numerous student organizations and activities. After Jay left the presidency, dancing was allowed on campus and athletics took on a more prominent role on campus.

College Specialty


The purpose of Wilmington College is to educate, inspire, and prepare each student for a life of success and service.



The alumni association of National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio (NNU) was merged with the Wilmington College Alumni association, subsequent to the merger of the two institutions upon NNU's closure in 1917. Willis Todhunter Ballard, Western novelist J. Brent Bill, American author Clement L. Brumbaugh (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Keith Cassidy, actor, member of Equity and of the Society of American Fight Directors Horatio C. Claypool (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Myers Y. Cooper (NNU), governor of Ohio Satch Davidson, Major League baseball umpire Francis B. De Witt (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Andr� De Shields, American actor Lucien J. Fenton (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio William T. Fitzgerald (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio John W. Harreld (NNU), a U.S. Representative and Senator from Oklahoma Cordell Hull (NNU), a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt; winner of the Nobel Prize in 1945 for his part in founding the United Nations Isaac C. Ketler (NNU), Presbyterian scholar, founder of Grove City College Seth J. Kittay, film and television series distributor Andrew Armstrong Kincannon (NNU), Chancellor of the University of Mississippi Monroe Henry Kulp (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania John J. Lentz (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio John A. McDowell (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Thomas Corwin Mendenhall (NNU), an autodidact US physicist and meteorologist Sidney Mishkin, partner in the Mishkin & Fall law firm (retired) Gary Mitchner, American poet Edward E. Moore (NNU), Indiana state senator and Los Angeles City Council member Joseph Haines Moore, American astronomer Stephen Morgan (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Will E. Neal (NNU), a U.S. Representative from West Virginia Miner G. Norton (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio Stanley Plumly, a Guggenheim award and multiple Pushcart Prize-winning author, and Poet Laureate for the state of Maryland James D. Post (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Ohio David Raizk, multi-term mayor of Wilmington Robert Randolph, American poet John M. Robsion (NNU), a U.S. Representative and Senator from Kentucky Charles W. Sanders, Ohio politician Gary Sandy, star of the television series WKRP in Cincinnati Roy Joe Stuckey, past president of Jamestown College, North Dakota Tyrone C. Taylor, founder and president of Capitol Advisors on Technology Robert E. Touchton, judge in the Office of Hearings and Appeals for the Social Security Administration in Cincinnati (retired) Nick Wiget, announcer for the Harlem Globetrotters W. D. Twichell (NNU, Class of 1883, civil engineering), Texas surveyor George M. Wertz (NNU), a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania