Wilson College (Pennsylvania)
Overview
 
Wilson College, founded 1869, is a private, Presbyterian-related, liberal arts
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 women's college
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 located on a 300 acres (121.4 ha) campus in Chambersburg
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Chambersburg is a borough in the South Central region of Pennsylvania, United States. It is miles north of Maryland and the Mason-Dixon line and southwest of Harrisburg in the Cumberland Valley, which is part of the Great Appalachian Valley. Chambersburg is the county seat of Franklin County...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was founded by two Presbyterian ministers, but named for its first major donor, Sarah Wilson of nearby St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania
St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania
St. Thomas Township is a township in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,775 at the 2000 census.It is the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Fame member Nellie Fox.-Geography:...

.

Wilson College has about 840 students from 16 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries. It's known for its Women With Children program, which allows single mothers to bring their children to live with them on campus, as well as for its veterinary medical technician and equestrian programs, and its Fulton Center for Sustainable Living, which operates a 7 acres (2.8 ha) organic farm and a CSA (community-supported agriculture) that supplies community families and others with fresh, organic produce.
Encyclopedia
Wilson College, founded 1869, is a private, Presbyterian-related, liberal arts
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 women's college
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 located on a 300 acres (121.4 ha) campus in Chambersburg
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Chambersburg is a borough in the South Central region of Pennsylvania, United States. It is miles north of Maryland and the Mason-Dixon line and southwest of Harrisburg in the Cumberland Valley, which is part of the Great Appalachian Valley. Chambersburg is the county seat of Franklin County...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was founded by two Presbyterian ministers, but named for its first major donor, Sarah Wilson of nearby St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania
St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania
St. Thomas Township is a township in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,775 at the 2000 census.It is the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Fame member Nellie Fox.-Geography:...

.

Wilson College has about 840 students from 16 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries. It's known for its Women With Children program, which allows single mothers to bring their children to live with them on campus, as well as for its veterinary medical technician and equestrian programs, and its Fulton Center for Sustainable Living, which operates a 7 acres (2.8 ha) organic farm and a CSA (community-supported agriculture) that supplies community families and others with fresh, organic produce. Another special feature of Wilson College are the rich traditions that form an important part of campus life.

History

The college was founded by the Rev. Tryon Edwards and the Rev. James W. Wightman, pastors of Presbyterian churches in nearby Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown is a city in northwestern Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Washington County, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland. The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the...

, and Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Greencastle is a borough in Franklin County in south-central Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,722 at the 2000 census.-History:...

. The original charter was granted by the Pennsylvania Legislature on March 24, 1869. Wilson was one of the first colleges in the U.S. to accept only female students and was named for Sarah Wilson (1795–1871), who gave two large donations to help get the college started. Anna J. McKeag served as Wilson’s first woman president from 1911 to 1915.

In 1967 the Wilson College sailing team won the first Intercollegiate Sailing Association national championship held in a women's event (dinghy).

In the 1970s, two tropical storms, Agnes
Hurricane Agnes
Hurricane Agnes was the first tropical storm and first hurricane of the 1972 Atlantic hurricane season. A rare June hurricane, it made landfall on the Florida Panhandle before moving northeastward and ravaging the Mid-Atlantic region as a tropical storm...

 in 1972 and Eloise
Hurricane Eloise
Hurricane Eloise was the most destructive tropical cyclone of the 1975 Atlantic hurricane season. The fifth tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, Eloise formed as a tropical depression on September 13 to the east of the Virgin Islands...

 in 1975, caused flood damage to low-lying buildings on campus.

Although it nearly closed its doors in 1979, a lawsuit organized by students, faculty, parents and an extremely loyal alumnae association succeeded in allowing the college to remain open, making it one of the few colleges to survive a scheduled closing. (It subsequently adopted the Phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 as its mascot, to symbolize the college's survival.) Wilson has remained open as a women's college despite the trend towards turning women's colleges into coeducational institutions.

In 1982, Wilson began offering a continuing studies program to meet the needs of adults seeking post-secondary education. In 1996, the college was one of the first in the nation to offer an on-campus residential educational experience for single mothers with children. Beginning in summer 2006, Wilson offered its first graduate-degree program, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for certified elementary school teachers.

The first men to attend and to graduate from Wilson entered at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Men later became able to earn degrees from Wilson through the continuing education program, although the primary emphasis at the college remained its College For Women.

Campus

The Wilson College campus is located at the edge of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on both sides of the Conococheague Creek
Conococheague Creek
Conococheague Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, is a free-flowing stream that originates in Pennsylvania and empties into the Potomac River near Williamsport, Maryland. It is in length, with in Pennsylvania and in Maryland...

. The property was originally bought from Alexander McClure
Alexander McClure
Alexander Kelly McClure was a journalist, editor, writer, politician, and historian, active in Pennsylvania Republican Party politics, especially in the 1860s, and a prominent supporter, correspondent, and biographer of President Abraham Lincoln...

, whose home Norland, had been burnt in 1864 by Confederates under the orders of General Jubal Early. The home was rebuilt before being sold to the college. http://www.wilson.edu/wilson/asp/tour.asp?id=625&fragment=0&SearchType=and&terms=McClure

Academics

The college offers 27 majors, 23 areas of concentration, and 32 minors.
Majors include Accounting, Biology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Elementary Education, English, Environmental Studies, Equestrian Studies, Exercise and Sports Science, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, History and Political Science, International Studies, Mass Communications, Mathematics, Philosophy and Religion, Psychobiology, Psychology, Sociology, and Veterinary Medical Technology.

Facilities include the Penn Hall Equestrian Center, Helen M. Beach Veterinary Medical Center, and Fulton Center for Sustainable Living that operates an organic farm and demonstrates and educates about ways to live a sustainable life.

Student life

The college offers almost two dozen organized student groups ranging from Black Student Union to *Muhibbah ("unity among nations") Club. The modern dance troupe, Orchesis, puts on a performance every spring and fall, and there are periodic performances from the Kittochtinny Players (KP), the drama club, usually including a spring production and "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" improv comedy (The KP's improv group is known as "The All-American Kumquats"). The People's Republic of Art, the college's art club, takes frequent field trips to see art shows in the surrounding areas.

Additionally, the college provides students with opportunities for various volunteer activities through its Alternative Spring Break and the Curran Scholar program.

Traditions

Traditions are an important part of student life at Wilson. Sarah Wilson Week, held early in the fall semester, is a sort of spirit week in which freshmen are inducted into either the Evens or the Odds (according to their graduation years) and form bonds with their "Big Sisters" in their sister class and their "Sophomore Buddies" in a rival class. The Evens and the Odds are rivals, who participate in such things as color wars (Odds colors are red and black, Evens colors are green and blue) and song wars, led by Even and Odd songleaders.

A formal dinner and dance are held each winter (White Dinner) and spring (Spring Fling), and both have their own traditions. On one of the first warm days of spring, the Dean of Faculty calls Dean's Day by ringing the Edgar Hall bell to let students know that classes are cancelled so they can enjoy the warm weather.

The evening before the last day of classes is known as Senior Night. According to the tradition, if the professors cannot get into their offices then they will not be able to hold their last day of classes. Students first "decorate" the campus and their professors' offices, and then barricade themselves in the academic buildings, armed with waterguns and water balloons. Professors arrive the next morning armed with their own water weaponry and storm the office buildings, trying to get into their offices so that they can hold classes. Due to water damage sustained by the structure of Warfield Hall, water battles are no longer allowed in the building. Students instead devise a series of mental and physical challenges for professors to overcome before they are allowed into their offices.

Publications


External links

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