American Football Database
Geneva College
MottoPro Christo et Patria
Motto in EnglishFor Christ and Country
TypePrivate college
Religious affiliationReformed Presbyterian Church of North America
EndowmentUS$28.6 million[1]
PresidentKenneth A. Smith
Academic staff96 full time[2]
LocationBeaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States
CampusSuburban, 55 acres
ColorsGold and White          
NicknameGolden Tornadoes
AffiliationsNCAA Division III, Presidents' Athletic Conference

Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States, north of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1848, in Northwood, Logan County, Ohio, the college moved to its present location in 1880, where it continues to educate a student body of about 1400 traditional undergraduates in over 30 majors, as well as graduate students in a handful of master's programs. It is the only undergraduate institution affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA).

The stated mission of the college is "to glorify God by educating and ministering to a diverse community of students for the purpose of developing servant-leaders, transforming society for the kingdom of Christ."[3] In 1967, the board of trustees adopted the "Foundational Concepts of Christian Education,"[4] which continues to guide the institution. The college's undergraduate core curriculum emphasizes the humanities and the formation of a Reformed Christian worldview.


File:Northwood Stone.jpg

Stone marking the original campus in Northwood

Geneva College was founded in 1848 in Northwood, Ohio, by John Black Johnston, a minister of the RPCNA. Originally called "Geneva Hall", the college was named after the Swiss center of the Reformed faith movement. After briefly closing during the American Civil War, the college continued operating in Northwood until 1880. By that time, the college leadership had begun a search for alternate locations that were closer to urban areas. After considering several locations in the Midwest, the denomination chose the College Hill neighborhood of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The college constructed its current campus on land donated by the Harmony Society. Old Main, the oldest building on campus, was completed in 1881.

The most recent major campus construction project to be completed was the construction of the Rapp Technical Design Center in 2002. A major project to reroute Pennsylvania Route 18, which runs through the campus, was completed in November 2007.[5] Improvements to Reeves Stadium and the construction of a campus entrance and pedestrian mall were completed in time for the fall semester in 2009.[6]

On December 15, 2006, the college filed a federal lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, alleging that a decision by the state to block the college from participating in the state sponsored CareerLink job service amounted to a violation of the college's First Amendment rights. In response, the state argued that the college's requirement that faculty and staff members subscribe to the Christian religion amounted to discrimination, to which the college responded that the faculty religious test constituted a bona fide occupational qualification under existing federal employment law. The lawsuit was co-sponsored by the Association of Faith-Based Organizations and argued by the Christian Legal Society.

In April 2007, the college reached a settlement with CareerLink in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. Geneva's right to access to CareerLink will be restored and the college will retain the statement on its employment applications stating, "Compliance with Geneva's Christian views is considered a bona fide occupational qualification ... and will have a direct impact on employment consideration."[7]

In February 2012, Geneva College President Ken Smith announced a new federal lawsuit against the Obama administration’s mandate that religious employers provide abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception to employees regardless of religious or moral objections.[8]


File:South End View of Geneva College.jpg

Geneva College is located in the College Hill neighborhood of Beaver Falls, to the north of downtown.

Two bodies oversee the administration of the college, the Board of Corporators and the Board of Trustees; while the Corporators are the official legal owners of the college, in practice most authority is delegated to the Trustees, who are elected by the Corporators. Both Boards drafted the philosophical basis on which the college rests, known as the Foundational Concepts of Higher Education.[9] The RPCNA still takes an active sponsorship and oversight role in the college: the college president, chaplain, and chairman of the Department of Biblical Studies must be members of the RPCNA, and all members of the Board of Corporators and the majority of the Board of Trustees must be RPCNA members. All professors and lecturers in the Department of Biblical Studies must subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and all full-time faculty and staff members must submit a written statement confessing faith in Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.


File:Geneva Old Main.jpg

Old Main, Geneva's central building

Geneva offers undergraduate degree programs in the arts and sciences, such as elementary education, business, engineering, student ministry, biology, and psychology. In 2006, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) rated the Business and Accounting undergraduates in the 95th percentile amongst American colleges.

Geneva offers a Degree Completion Program (DCP) for degrees in Human Resource Management, Community Ministry or Organizational Development for adult students mainly at off-campus locations. Geneva also established the Center for Urban Theological Studies in Philadelphia and has sister colleges in Taiwan (Christ College) and Korea (Chong Shin College and Theological Seminary).

Geneva also offers graduates studies in several fields. These include a Master of Business Administration, a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership, Masters of Education in Reading or Special Education, and Masters of Arts in Counseling or Higher Education.

Geneva established the Center for Technology Development in 1986 for providing research, prototyping and technical support to local industries and entrepreneurs. The Center was awarded first prize in the Consolidated Natural Gas Company’s Annual Award of Excellence competition in 1990.

Affiliations and accreditations

Geneva College is a member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Council of Independent Colleges,[10] and National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[11] Accreditations include the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, American Chemical Society and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.


File:Old Reeves.JPG

Reeves Field in 2006, before extensive renovations.

Geneva's sports teams are called the Golden Tornadoes. The college is a dual member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I.[12] The Golden Tornadoes compete as a member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Geneva formerly was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for many years, and competed in the now-defunct American Mideast Conference. Geneva joined the NCAA as a provisional member in 2007 and during the transition process was not eligible for post season play or conference Player of the Week honors until gaining membership in July 2011.[13]

The school offers a range of men's and women's varsity sports, including football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, track & field, cross country, tennis, and soccer.[14]


See List of Geneva Golden Tornadoes head football coaches

Football competition began in 1890 under head coach William McCracken. Over the years, the football team has amassed an all-time record of 496 wins, 437 losses, and 48 ties with five appearances in the Victory Bowl. The current football coach is Geno DeMarco.

Culture and traditions

Students must attend a designated number of weekly college-sponsored chapels to qualify for graduation. Alcohol is banned from the campus, and tobacco use is restricted to a purpose-built gazebo near Pearce Hall. Greek letter fraternities and sororities are not permitted.

One of the earliest college basketball games in the United States occurred at Geneva College on April 8, 1893 when the Geneva College Covenanters defeated the New Brighton YMCA.[15] Geneva commemorates this event through the athletic slogan of "The Birthplace of College Basketball". Geneva also has one of the oldest basketball courts in collegiate sports in the Johnson Gymnasium.

Geneva was founded by Scottish and Scots-Irish immigrants. Many names of campus buildings and areas bear Scottish names:

  • The main meeting area of the Student Center is called Skye Lounge after the Isle of Skye.
  • The restaurant-style eating area is called The Brig, short for Brigadoon, commemorating a play about a mythical Highland village.

Geneva sports teams were nicknamed the Covenanters until the 1950s. Members of the RPCNA are sometimes referred to as Covenanters because the denomination traces its roots to the Covenanting tradition of Reformation era Scotland. The modern sports nickname of Golden Tornadoes commemorates the "Golden Tornado" of May 11, 1914 when a major tornado struck the college, most notably taking the gold colored roof from the top of Old Main, which was the origin of the associated color. Although the storm caused significant damage to the campus, there were no serious injuries. College students and faculty rejoiced at what they believed was a sign of God's mercy.

Geneva's traditional sports rivalry is with Westminster College in nearby New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.[citation needed]



Offices and classrooms

File:GC Alexander Hall.jpg

Alexander Hall (street level entrance)

File:McCartney Library.jpg

McCartney Library

File:Old Main Geneva College.JPG

Old Main (West Entrance)

File:Johnston Gym 07.JPG

Johnston Gym

  • Alexander Hall — Admissions, financial aid, alumni relations, institutional advancement, and public relations offices (first floor) and main dining hall (second floor).[16]
  • Alumni Hall — Primary music building, including music department offices.[17]
  • Fern Cliffe — Faculty offices for political science, humanities, history and English departments.[18]
  • Johnston Gym — Built in 1911, Johnston Gym is primarily used for music and band purposes. Originally, per its name, it was used as the college gymnasium.[19]
  • McCartney Library — College library, built in 1930 and expanded in 1965, and named for Clarence E. Macartney. Its collection includes over 371,000 items including a special section of RPCNA historical documents.[20]
  • Northwood Hall — Classrooms and faculty offices for business and psychology departments, completed in 1998.[21]
  • Old Main — Classrooms, administration offices (including the president's office), and faculty offices. When Geneva moved to Beaver Falls, Old Main was the first classroom structure, completed in 1881.[22] It has been assessed as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.[23]
  • Rapp Technical Design Center — Technical classrooms and laboratories. Completed in 2002, it is the newest educational building on campus.[24]
  • Science and Engineering (S&E) — Technical classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices for engineering, chemistry, biology, physics and computer science departments.[25]

Sports and student life

  • Bagpiper Theatre — Theater hosting productions sponsored by the Communications Department.[26]
  • Merriman Athletic Complex — Track and field and soccer.[27]
  • Metheny Fieldhouse — Gyms, locker rooms, sports faculty offices, and other sports-related facilities.[28]
  • Jannuzi Tennis Courts — A pair of dedicated tennis courts.[29]
  • Reeves FieldFootball.[30] The field is also used by the Beaver Falls High School football team and was Joe Namath's home field during his high school days.[citation needed]
  • Student Center — Lounges, Brigadoon restaurant, Riverview Cafe coffee shop, student mail, fitness center and bookstore.[31]
  • WGEV — college radio station.[32]

Residence halls

Full-time undergraduate students between ages 17 and 23 are required to live in college housing,[33] with the exception of commuters and some seniors.[34] Six dorms — Clarke, Geneva Arms, McKee, Memorial, Pearce, and Young — house resident students.[35] Geneva Arms and Young are apartment-style options divided into men's and women's wings. The college also operates six smaller houses, primarily for upperclassmen.[36]

Other places on campus

The following structures are owned by the college, but currently not being used for any activities or events.

  • Geneva R.P. Church Building - Formerly the meeting place of the Geneva Reformed Presbyterian Church congregation, the buff colored brick building was sold to Geneva College when that congregation merged with the nearby First Reformed Presbyterian Church in the early 21st century. Though the building is owned by Geneva, it is only being used for some music practice rooms.


John Black Johnston 1848–1850
William Finney George 1850–1852
James Renwick Willson Sloane 1852–1856
Calvin Knox Milligan 1856–1858
John Calvin Smith 1858–1860
Nathan Robinson Johnston 1865–1867
Samuel John Crowe 1867–1871
William Milroy 1871–1872
Henry Hosick George 1872–1890
William Pollock Johnston 1890–1907
William Henry George 1907–1916
Renwick Harper Martin 1916–1920
Archibald Anderson Johnston 1920–1923
McLeod Milligan Pearce 1923–1948
Charles Marston Lee 1948–1956
Edwin Cameron Clarke 1956–1980
Donald William Felker 1980–1983
William Joseph McFarland 1984–1992
John H. White 1992–2004
Kenneth A. Smith 2004-

Notable Alumni

Cal Hubbard - NFL tackle and American League baseball umpire. Only person inducted in both Pro Football Hall of Fame and National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Silvio Anthony Ciccone - the father of the entertainer Madonna

Geneva Campus Gallery


  1. Yahoo Education
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Geneva College - Fast Facts
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. New Route 18 Open, Geneva College, 2007-11-19. Accessed 2007-11-27.
  6. 'Experience Geneva Night' mentions wrap-up of construction projects, Geneva College. Accessed 2009-08-31.
  7. [3], Beaver County Times
  9. Geneva College — Foundational Concepts, Geneva College. Accessed 2009-03-02.
  10. CIC membership directory, Accessed 2009-08-06
  11. Geneva's NAICU member profile, Accessed 2009-08-06
  12. "NCCAA Members". NCCAA. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  13. Brown, Gary (June 30, 2011). "DIII Membership Committee recommends four new active members". NCAA. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  14. Geneva College — Athletics, Geneva College. Accessed 2009-03-02.
  15. Carson, David M.(1997). Pro Christo et Patria. (2nd Ed.) Virginia Beach: The Donning Company ISBN 978-1-57864-006-5
  16. Alexander Hall, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  17. Alumni Music Hall, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  18. Fern Cliffe, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  19. Johnston Gymnasium, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  20. Geneva College - About the Library, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  21. Northwood Hall, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  22. Old Main, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  23. Geneva College, Pennsylvania Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Accessed 2009-09-06.
  24. Rapp Technical Design Center, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  25. The Science & Engineering Building, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  26. The Bagpiper Theatre, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  27. The Merriman Athletic Field Complex, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  28. Metheny Field house, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  29. Athletic facilities, Geneva College. Accessed 2010-01-22.
  30. Reeves Field, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  31. The Student Center, Geneva College. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  32. WGEV
  33. Geneva College. Geneva College 2009-2010 Student Handbook. Beaver Falls: Geneva College, 2009, p. 30.
  34. Geneva College. Geneva College 2009-2010 Student Handbook. Beaver Falls: Geneva College, 2009, pp. 36-37.
  35., Geneva College. Accessed 2009-10-02.
  36. [4] Accessed 2009-10-02

External links

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Coordinates: 40°46′16″N 80°19′16″W / 40.771°N 80.321°W / 40.771; -80.321