Hiram College
MottoFiat Lux
Motto in EnglishLet there be light
EstablishedMarch 1, 1850
TypePrivate Liberal Arts College
Religious affiliationChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)
EndowmentUS$54.9 million[1]
PresidentThomas V. Chema
Academic staff73 full-time (Fall 2011)
Undergraduates1,334 (Fall 2011)
LocationHiram, Ohio, United States
<span class="geo-dms" title="Maps, aerial photos, and other data for Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator.">Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. / ,
CampusRural college town, 110-acre (0.45 km2) main, 390-acre (1.6 km2) J.H. Barrow Field Station, 10-acre (0.040 km2) Northwoods Field Station (the U.P. of MI)
Former namesWestern Reserve Eclectic Institute (1850-1867)
ColorsRed & Blue          
AthleticsNCAA Division III NCAC
AffiliationsAnnapolis Group Shoals Marine Lab

Hiram College (/ˈhrəm/ HY-rəm) is a private liberal arts college located in Hiram, Ohio. It was founded in 1850 as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute by Amos Sutton Hayden and other members of the Disciples of Christ Church. The college is nonsectarian and coeducational. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Hiram's most famous alumnus is James A. Garfield, who also served as a college instructor and principal, and was subsequently elected the 20th President of the United States.[2][3][4]


On June 12, 1849, representatives of the Disciples of Christ voted to establish an academic institution, which would later become Hiram College.[5] On November 7 that year, they chose the village of Hiram as the site for the school because the founders considered this area of the Western Reserve to be "healthful and free of distractions".[6] The following month, on December 20, the founders accepted the suggestion of Isaac Errett and named the school the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute.[5]


Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, Hiram, 1858

The Institute's original charter was authorized by the state legislature on March 1, 1850, and the school opened several months later, on November 27. Many of the students came from the surrounding farms and villages of the Western Reserve, but Hiram soon gained a national reputation and students began arriving from other states. On February 20, 1867, the Institute incorporated as a college and changed its name to Hiram College.[5][6]

During the years before it was renamed Hiram College, 1850–1867, the school had seven principals, the equivalent of today's college presidents. The two that did the most in establishing and defining the nature of the institution were Disciple minister Amos Sutton Hayden, who led the school through its first six years, and James A. Garfield, who had been a student at the Institute from 1851–1853 and then returned in 1856 as a teacher. As principal, Garfield expanded the Institute's cirriculum. He left the Institute in 1861 and in 1880 was elected the 20th President of the United States.[6]

In 1870, one of Garfield's best friends and former students, Burke A. Hinsdale, was appointed Hiram's president. Although there were two before him, Hinsdale is considered the college's first permanent president because the others served only briefly. The next president to have a major impact on the college was Ely V. Zollars, who increased enrollment significantly, established a substantial endowment and created a program for the construction of campus buildings. Later presidents who served for at least 10 years were Miner Lee Bates, Kenneth I. Brown, Paul H. Fall, Elmer Jagow, and G. Benjamin Oliver.[6]

In 1931, shortly before Hiram celebrated the 100th anniversary of Garfield's birth, there was a debate in the community about changing the name of the school to Garfield College. There were strong advocates on both sides of the issue. Among the 2,000 guests at the centennial celebration were three generations of Garfield's family, including two of his sons. The idea of changing the college's name was not mentioned at the event and the idea was abandoned.[7]

Principals and presidents

File:Faculty 1858.jpg

James A. Garfield (left), his wife Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (right) and other faculty, 1858.

The following is a list of the school's leaders since its founding in 1850.[6]

Principals (Western Reserve Eclectic Institute)

  • 1850-1856 - Amos Sutton Hayden
  • 1857-1861 - James A. Garfield
  • 1861-1864 - Harvey W. Everest (Pro Tem)
  • 1864-1865 - C. W. Heywood (acting)
  • 1865-1866 - Adoniram J. Thomson (managing)
  • 1866-1867 - John M. Atwater

Presidents (Hiram College)

  • 1867-1868 - Silas E. Shepard (acting)
  • 1868-1870 - John M. Atwater (acting)
  • 1870-1882 - Burke A. Hinsdale
  • 1883-1887 - George M. Laughlin
  • 1887-1888 - Colman Bancroft (acting)
  • 1888-1902 - Ely V. Zollars
  • 1902-1903 - James A. Beattie
  • 1903-1905 - Edmund B. Wakefield (acting)
  • 1905-1907 - Carlos C. Rowlison
  • 1907-1930 - Miner Lee Bates
  • 1930-1940 - Kenneth I. Brown
  • 1940-1957 - Paul H. Fall
  • 1957-1965 - Paul F. Sharp
  • 1965-1965 - James N. Primm
  • 1966-1966 - Wendell G. Johnson (acting)
  • 1966-1985 - Elmer Jagow
  • 1986-1989 - Russell Aiuto
  • 1989-1989 - James Norton (interim)
  • 1990-2000 - G. Benjamin Oliver
  • 2000-2002 - Richard J. Scaldini
  • 2003–present - Thomas V. Chema


As of the 2011–12 academic year, Hiram's student body consists of 1,334 undergraduates from 35 states and 30 foreign countries[8] Of the 73 full-time faculty, 95-percent hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field.


Hiram is a member of the Annapolis Group, which has been critical of the college rankings process, especially the U.S. News and World Report rankings methodology. Hiram President Thomas V. Chema is among the signatories of the Presidents Letter.

Hiram was ranked #167 among National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report in 2012.[9] At the same time, Hiram is currently ranked #67 among Liberal Arts Colleges by Washington Monthly.[10] Also, in 2012, Forbes ranked Hiram at #197 among all colleges and universities in the U.S., and #39 in the Midwest.[11] Hiram has regularly been included in The Princeton Review Best Colleges guide,[12] and is one of only 30 schools included in Loren Pope's book Colleges That Change Lives.[13]


File:Martin Commons.jpg

Martin Common, with Gerstacker Science Hall in the background.

Hiram specializes in the education of undergraduate students, though the college does have a small graduate program. Hiram confers the following degrees: BA, BSN (nursing), MA (interdisciplinary studies). Students also have the option of a dual degree program in engineering between Hiram and Case Western Reserve University, through which they can earn a degree from both schools in five years.[14]

File:Garfield Institute Hiram.jpg

Koritansky Hall, home of the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership.

Majors: Accounting and Financial Management, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Humanities, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics, Education, Educational Studies, English, Environmental Studies, French, History, Management, Mathematics, Music, Neuroscience, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art/Art History, Theatre Arts

Additional minors: Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Exercise/Sport Science, Gender Studies, International Studies, Public Leadership, Photography, Writing

Pre-professional programs: dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, podiatry, veterinary

Its education plan also includes international study and independent study opportunities, and faculty-guided research projects. Currently, almost all majors require some form of extensive independent project or apprenticeship experience.

Hiram has seven Centers of Distinction for interdisciplinary studies. They include: Center for Deciphering Life's Languages, Center for Engaged Ethics, Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, Center for Literature and Medicine, Center for the Study of Nature and Society, Garfield Institute for Public Leadership, and Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature.[15]


The school's sports teams are called the Terriers. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the North Coast Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, and track & field. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, track & field, and volleyball.

The Hiram College basketball team won the gold medal in the collegiate division of the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis.[16][17] It was the first time that basketball was part of an Olympics; it was included as a demonstration sport and no foreign teams participated.[16][17]

The Cleveland Browns held their training camp at Hiram College from 1952 through 1974, making it the longest-tenured training site in the team's history.[18][19]

Residence life

The college's residential complexes include The Quad (Agler Hall, Dean Hall, New Quad, Peckham Hall, and Gray-Bancroft), The Hill (Bowler Hall, Henry Hall, Miller Hall, and Whitcomb Hall), Booth-Centennial, East Hall, and the Townhouses.[20] They are managed by resident directors (RDs), resident managers (RMs), and resident assistants (RAs).

Student clubs and organizations

Hiram has nearly 100 registered student clubs and organizations.[21] Club categories include academic, musical, polictical and activism, publications and communications, religious, special interest and service, and sports and recreational. There are also Greek social clubs, as the college does not allow national fraternities and sororities. Campus programming organizations include Student Senate and the Kennedy Center Programming Board (KCPB). Since 1971, Hiram has maintained a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society for the liberal arts. The school has also had a chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society, since 1962.


The Kennedy Center student union

Programming organizations

Student Senate is the elected student governing body of the college. It serves as a liaison between students and the school's administration, and oversees all student clubs and organizations, collectively called the Associated Student Organizations (ASO). The Kennedy Center Programming Board (KCPB) falls under the auspices of Student Senate, and is responsible for planning educational, social, recreational, and cultural programs.


The following are a listing of campus clubs, by category, as of Fall 2011.[21] The list may not be all-inclusive.

Academic: American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Astronomy Club, Chemistry Club, Education Club, English Society, Ethics Bowl Team, Fine Arts Guild, French Club, Hiram College Association for Computing Machinery (HCACM), Hiram Student Nurse Association, Hiram Writers' Association, History Club, Institute of Management Accountants, Investment Club, Natural History Club, Medicus, Philosophy Forum, Physics Club, Pre-Law Club, Psychology Club, Sociology Club, Spanish Club, Speech and Debate Club, Veticus

Greek Social: Delta Chi Lambda, Greek Council, Kappa Sigma Pi, Lambda Lambda Lamda, Phi Beta Gamma, Phi Gamma Epsilon, Phi Kappa Chi

Musical: United Voices of Hiram Gospel Choir, Terrier Sound Marching Band

Political and Activism: Model United Nations, Political Engagement Club, Students Against Social Injustice

Publications and Communications: The Advance (student newspaper), Hiram College Community Radio, Yearbook

Religious: Dove and Chalice, Interfaith Council, The Net, Newman Club, Hillel, Hiram Islamic Society, Religious Studies Symposium

Special Interest and Service: African American Student Union, American Sign Language Club, Anime Club, B-Side Cafe, Chess Club, Circle K, Club H.I.G.H. (Hiram’s Intelligent Ghost Hunters), Fashion Show Committee, Fiat Lux, G-Free (Gluten Free Awareness), Habitat for Humanity, HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness), Holistic Well-Being, Independent Film Appreciation Club, Intercultural Forum, PAMO - Increasing African Awareness in Hiram, Presence and Respect for Youth Sexual Minorities (PRYSM), Relay For Life, Rotaract Club of Hiram College, Strategy Games Club, Stone Soup Vegetarian Coop, Student Environmental Action Committee, Students Organized for Sustainability, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, TASC Force (Terriers Actions for Smart Choices), Theatre Guild, Trading Card Club, TRUE, Video Games Club

Sports and Recreation: Bowling Club, Dance Team, Equestrian Team, Fitness Club, High Steppers, Hip Hop Terriers, Men's Rugby, Jiu Jitsu, Outdoors Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, Sky Diving Club, Soccer Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Women's Rugby

Notable alumni and faculty

File:James Abram Garfield, photo portrait seated.jpg

James A. Garfield

File:Vachel Lindsay 1912.jpg

Vachel Lindsay


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2009_NCSE_Public_Tables_Endowment_Market_Values.pdf. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  2. "History of the College". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/about/history. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  3. "James A. Garfield Collection". Biographical Note. Hiram College. http://library.hiram.edu/index.php/finding-aids/personal-papers-finding-aids/1335-james-a-garfield-collection. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  4. Smith, Diane (November 11, 2009). "Head and shoulders above: Hiram College unveils reconnected Garfield statue". Record-Courier. http://www.recordpub.com/news%20local/2009/11/11/head-and-shoulders-above-hiram-college-unveils-reconnected-garfield-statue.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Historical Facts". Hiram College. http://alumni.hiram.edu/?page=history. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "History of the College". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/about/history. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  7. "Portage Pathways: Forces of Tradition Prevailed Over Bid to Honor Garfield". Record-Courier. January 5, 2013. http://www.recordpub.com/opinion/2013/01/06/portage-pathways-forces-of-tradition-prevailed-over-bid-to-honor-garfield.
  8. "Hiram College Profile". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/about/profile. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  9. "U.S. News Rankings 2012- Hiram College". U.S. News and World Report. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/hiram-college-3049. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  10. "Washington Monthly Rankings 2012- Hiram College". Washington Monthly. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2012/liberal_arts_rank.php. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  11. "Forbes Rankings 2012- Hiram College". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/colleges/hiram-college/. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  12. "Princeton Review Best Colleges 2012- Hiram College". The Princeton Review. http://www.princetonreview.com/hiramcollege.aspx. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  13. "Colleges that Change Lives- Hiram College". Colleges that Change Lives. http://www.ctcl.org/colleges/hiram. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  14. "Engineering Dual Degree program". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/majors-and-minors/physics/dual-degree-program. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  15. "Centers of Distinction". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/academics/centers-of-distinction. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Could Be The Start Of Something Big". Sports Illustrated. November 29, 1999. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1017810/index.htm.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "A Look Back: Hiram Men’s Basketball Team Captures Olympic Gold in 1904". Hiram College. http://news.hiram.edu/?p=17. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  18. King, Steve (July 30, 2010). "Looking Back at Camp History". Clevelandbrowns.com. http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/news/article-1/Looking-Back-at-Camp-History/d26cfb6d-315f-4a60-b4f3-5e491bd98a92.
  19. "Cleveland Browns Training Camp Locations". Pro-football-reference.com. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/training-camps.htm. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  20. "Residence Life". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/campus-life/life/residence-life. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Clubs and Organizations". Hiram College. http://www.hiram.edu/get-involved/clubs-and-organizations/campus-organizations. Retrieved December 5, 2012.

External links

Template:Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) postsecondary educational institutions

<span class="geo-dms" title="Maps, aerial photos, and other data for Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator.">Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. Template:Coord/dec2dms/dExpression error: Unexpected >= operator. / ,

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.