Albion College has a pioneering heritage with a work ethic to match.
Albion College originally met the educational needs of the children of Native Americans and settlers in the area. In 1835, the College was awarded a charter by the Michigan Territorial Legislature, thanks to the efforts of Methodists who were early settlers in the Michigan Territory.
Always on the leading edge, Albion became one of the first schools in the Midwest to introduce coeducation. In 1850, the legislature approved the founding of the Albion Female Collegiate Institute, which was then controlled by its counterpart, the Wesleyan Seminary Corporation. But in 1857, the two schools merged under the name of the Wesleyan Seminary and Female College at Albion. Albion College was fully authorized by the state legislature to award four-year college degrees to both men and women on February 25, 1861.
From the time the cornerstone was laid for the first permanent building in 1840 until today, Albion College has remained on the same site, the original part of which is now affectionately called "the Quad." In 1861, there were only two classroom buildings. But by 1901, Albion had added a chapel, an observatory, a gymnasium, a chemistry building, and a library.
Today, Albion stands on 225 acres with more than 30 major buildings. Recently, we’ve completed tremendous additions that range from the Ferguson Administrative Building to our LEED-certified Science Complex. The aquatic, recreation, and learning centers are complemented by our 340-acre equestrian facility. Enrollment has increased from 500 students in 1901 to more than triple that number today. Full-time faculty currently totals 101, and the College has more than 23,000 living alumni.
Our growth and change are signs of our success, which we believe is founded on the things about Albion that have always remained the same. First, our emphasis on excellence in liberal arts education is our hallmark. Our commitment to a broad, rigorous foundation is complemented by our work ethic. We put students in the real world and ask them to research, participate, and lead. We expect them to do it well, to take it further, and to be more. Because Albion is where you turn thought into action. Where you learn how to live at the leading edge of who you are. Where you become your best self, ready to live a life of impact. And that’s Albion College today.
Albion's Principals and Presidents
Charles F. Stockwell, Principal, 1843-1845
Clark T. Hinman, Principal, 1846-1853
Ira Mayhew, Principal, 1853-1854
Thomas H. Sinex, President, 1854-1864
George B. Jocelyn, President, 1864-1869 and 1871-1877
J. L. G. McKown, President, 1869-1870
William B. Silber, President, 1870-1871
Lewis R. Fiske, President, 1877-1898
John P. Ashley, President, 1898-1901
Dr. Samuel Dickie, President, 1901-1921
John W. Laird, President, 1921-1924
Dr. John L. Seaton, President, 1924-1945
Dr. William W. Whitehouse, President, 1945-1960
Dr. Louis W. Norris, President, 1960-1970
Dr. Bernard T. Lomas, President, 1970-1983
Dr. Melvin L. Vulgamore, President, 1983-1997
Dr. Peter T. Mitchell, President, 1997-2007
Dr. Donna M. Randall, President, 2007-2013
Awards and Recognition
Albion College in the News
We're among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges and one of the "A+ Schools for B Students" (U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014).
Albion is one of The Best 378 Colleges (The Princeton Review, 2014).
We're featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges (2014).
We're one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges and a top-40 "bang for the buck" in Washington Monthly's College Guide, which rates schools based on their contribution to the public good (2013).
We’re listed as one of "America's Top Colleges" by Forbes (2013).
Our teacher education program has been recognized as a Model of Excellence by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (2013).
We’re recognized for being the first private college in Michigan to establish a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Our chapter of this national scholastic honorary society was founded in 1940—second only to the chapter at the University of Michigan.
Albion is recognized as a charter member of the Annapolis Group, which consists of approximately 130 leading national independent colleges. We work together to increase public recognition around the value of a liberal arts education.
Albion and the 12 other members of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (Allegheny, Antioch, Denison, DePauw, Earlham, Hope, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash, and Wooster) established its consortium in 1961.
Albion was a founding member of Michigan Campus Compact (1989), which is affiliated with the national Campus Compact that consists of 1,100 institutions dedicated to encouraging student volunteerism.
A charter member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Albion is the only college to have participated continuously in the conference since its founding in 1888. The MIAA is the oldest active collegiate athletic conference in the United States.
Albion Student Awards and Recognition
Incoming Class Profile
Our students are known and selected for their academic success: 30 percent of our first-year students rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 70 percent are in the top quarter. The middle 50 percent of Albion first-year students have an ACT score range of 22 to 28.
Over the last two decades, we’ve produced the following scholars:
Rhodes Scholar (Amy Wakeland, 1992)
Thirteen Fulbright award winners (Stephanie Krueger, 1993; Niko Kanagawa, 2004; Rebecca Anthouard and Natalie Corbin, 2006; Sarah Heddon and Brynn Howard, 2007; Grace Keeney, Erin McLeod, and Erica Schuster, 2008; Margaret Leiby, 2009; Sarah Julian and Katie Kirsch, 2012; Thomas Dukes, 2013)
Goldwater Scholar (Arthur Bragg, 1999; Stephanie Sanders, honorable mention, 2013)
Jack Kent Cooke Scholar (Samata Singh, 2002 and 2006)
Four Truman Scholars (Steven Chalk, 1989; Amy Wakeland, 1992; Shelly Fox, 1994; Christopher Carpenter, 1996)
Three Morris K. Udall Scholars (Catherine Game, 2007; Erica Tauzer, 2009; Pryce Hadley, 2011)
One of 26 EPA Environmental Management Fellows in summer 2006 (Catherine Fontana)
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellows (Diane Jackson Constan, 1996; Natalie Dubois, 1997; Arthur Bragg, 1999; Nicholas Whitney, 2000; Shauna Paradine Tschirhart, 2009; Stacy L. Capehart, 2010; Lisa A. Anderson, Meagan E. Bosket, Keith L. Zabel, 2011)
National Institutes of Health Scholar (Katie Pickworth, 2011)
RISE/DAAD Scholars (Shauna Paradine, 2008; Nick Herrman, 2011; Eric Fink and Alissa Reddy, 2013)
Gilder Lehrman History Scholar (Chelsea Denault, 2011)
George J. Mitchell Scholar (Catherine Fontana, 2008)
A team of Albion students placed second nationally in the 2012 AICPA Accounting Competition; another earned honorable-mention recognition as one of four schools in the 2011 Fed Challenge national finals. In addition, three Albion students served as Young Talent Panelists at the state of Michigan's 2013 Governor's Economic Summit; Genevieve Kukurugya-Rabaut was accepted in 2013 to the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), a program of the national government that provides American English teachers for the public school system; and a student team received a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006–07 to develop an educational program on energy conservation. Albion was one of only 42 institutions nationwide selected for the award.
Albion Athletics and Academics
Albion College has a history of producing successful scholar-athletes. Here are a few outstanding numbers in athletics:
12 Albion NCAA postgraduate scholars
122 student-athletes on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll for the 2009–2010 academic year
34 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships and more than 570 victories for Albion football—the league’s most successful team
29 Academic All-Americans in football since 1979
5 NCAA Division III champions in track and field since 1982
34 All-Americans in track and field since 1982
36 women and men from the Briton swimming and diving program have earned Division III All-America status since 1984
The 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009 women’s soccer teams won the MIAA championship, qualifying for the NCAA tournament
Men’s basketball won league titles in 2003 and 2005, and advanced to the round of eight in the 2005 NCAA Division III Championships
Women’s basketball shared the league title in 2005, and advanced to NCAA postseason play in 2004 and 2005
Women’s tennis earned four consecutive MIAA championships from 2005-2008, and finished first again in 2011
The men’s tennis squad, led by the MIAA's most valuable player and top student-athlete, competed in the NCAA Division III Championships in 2007
All of Albion College's 87 tenured or tenure-track faculty members hold a Ph.D. or the appropriate professional degree in their field. All Albion College classes are taught by fully qualified professors.
Since 1990, Albion faculty have received research and equipment grants from:
American Chemical Society
Andrew N. French, chemistry
Vanessa McCaffrey, chemistry
Kevin Metz, chemistry
Beckman Coulter, Inc.
Sheila Lyons-Sobaski, biology
Kenneth J. Saville, biology
J. Dan Skean, biology
Darren E. Mason, mathematics
Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Charles E. Moreau, physics
Ruth E. Schmitter, biology
Aaron J. Miller, physics
Andrew N. French, chemistry
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Vanessa P. McCaffrey, chemistry
Nicolle E. B. Zellner, physics
National Institutes of Health
Kenneth Saville, biology
National Science Foundation
William S. Bartels, geology
Lisa B. Lewis, chemistry
Timothy N. Lincoln, geology
Thomas I. Wilch, geology
Nicolle E. B. Zellner, physics
Pew Charitable Trusts
William S. Bartels, geology
Dennis C. Gaswick, chemistry
David G. Seely, physics
U.S. Department of Energy
David G. Seely, physics
Daniel S. Christiansen, economics and management
Vanessa P. McCaffrey, chemistry
Gregory M. Saltzman, economics and management
Kyle Shanton, education
Wesley A. Dick, history
National Endowment for the Humanities
Maureen Balke, music
Deborah E. Kanter, history
Judith A. Lockyer, English
Marcy S. Sacks, history
Robert H. Bartlett, M.D., ’60, Professor of General and Thoracic Surgery (Emeritus), University of Michigan. Pioneer of artificial life support systems. Medallion for Scientific Achievement, American Surgical Association (2002); member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.
Joyce Livak Benjamins, M.D., ’63, Professor of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Julie Brigham-Grette, Ph.D., ’77, Professor of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Past President, American Quaternary Association. Expert on the evolution of the Arctic climate.
Daniel Boggan, '67, Senior Vice-President (retired), National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis. Past President, National Forum for Black Public Administrators.
Robert J. Bruner, '99, City Manager, Birmingham, Michigan.
David L. Camp, J.D., '75, Member, U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee; Michigan's 4th District (R), Midland, Michigan.
Nancy J. Carpenter, Ph.D., '68, Director of Cytogenetics, Center for Genetic Testing, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Josh A. Cassada, Ph.D., '95, Astronaut Candidate, NASA, Houston, Texas.
Michael S. David, Jr., '64, Founding Partner, Dodger Productions, New York, New York. Producer of more than 100 plays and musicals on and off Broadway. Winner of 2006 Tony Award for best musical.
Cedric W. Dempsey, Ph.D., '54, President (Retired), National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Debra A. Fadool, Ph.D., '85, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; 2003 Women in Neuroscience Merck Young Investigator.
Michael J. Harrington, J.D., '85, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Global Pharmaceutical Operations, Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
George Heartwell, '71, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Cinthia Larkin Kazee, '88, Owner and President, Universal Network Development Corp. (telecommunications), Sacramento, California.
Andy Krafsur, '83, founder, Spira Footwear, El Paso, Texas.
Ann M. Lewicki, '56, Clinical Professor of Radiology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.; Founder, American Association for Women Radiologists.
Bernard T. Lomas, '46, President Emeritus, Albion College, Albion, Michigan.
Thomas L. Ludington, '76, Judge, U.S. District Court, Midland, Michigan.
Joel K. Manby, '81, President and Chief Executive Officer, Herschend Family Entertainment, Norcross, Ga.
Marty Nesbitt, '85, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Vistria Group, and treasurer for Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Chicago.
Amy Menken Nobile, '91, bestselling author of I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, Hingham, Mass.
Gary R. Noble, M.D., '57, Vice President of Medical and Public Health Affairs (Retired), Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rhodes Scholar. Former Associate Director/Washington, National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Former Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service.
Denise Cortis Park, Ph.D., '73, Director, Professor, Regents Research Scholar, Center for Vital Longevity, University of Texas, Dallas.
Douglas Parker, '84, Chief Executive Officer, American Airlines, Fort Worth, Texas.
Sherry Hood Penney, Ph.D., '59, Endowed Professor of Leadership, Center for Collaborative Leadership Development, College of Management, University of Massachusetts-Boston; Former Chancellor, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Boston, Massachusetts.
Stephen J. Quinn, '89, Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Tigers, Detroit, Mich.
Lawrence B. Schook, Ph.D., '72, Vice President for Research, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.
Jon Scieszka, '76, Popular and acclaimed author of children's books, including The Stinky Cheese Man; former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Library of Congress, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Richard M. Smith, '68, Chairman (Retired), Newsweek, New York, New York.
Dennis W. Wahr, M.D., '74, Medical Device Investor/Entrepreneur, President and CEO, Holaira, Inc., Plymouth, Minn.
Janet K. Welch, '71, Executive Director, State Bar of Michigan, East Lansing, Michigan.
James M. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., '77, John Herr Musser Professor of Research Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.