About Albion College
An independent, coeducational, residential college founded more than 160 years ago, Albion is committed to the liberal arts tradition. Historically related to the United Methodist Church, the College is dedicated to preserving the values of the past, to serving the needs of the present and to anticipating the goals of the future.
Albion's People and Programs
Albion's strength is the quality of its faculty and students. The stimulating atmosphere at Albion results in large measure from its faculty, who are dedicated to teaching and scholarship in the liberal arts setting. They have distinguished credentials--95 percent of the faculty have the Ph.D. or the highest appropriate professional degree in their field. Faculty are active in scholarly research and other professional endeavors, and often integrate that work into their teaching. Albion's students are also well qualified. Over the past five years, 70 percent have ranked in the top quarter of their high school graduating class. Their combined SAT scores average 1160, and their ACT composite score averages 25; both rank Albion students well above the national average.
The faculty and administrative staff at Albion are deeply committed to the careful education of students and to their development as lifelong learners and as human beings. Accordingly, most classes are small (the average class size is 18), and students have ample opportunity for individual attention. Further, professors spend many hours outside the classroom in individual tutorials, and in academic and career advising.
Through the core requirement, Albion addresses the need for breadth of knowledge and understanding of various modes of inquiry. Through more than 30 departmental, interdepartmental and individually designed majors and minors, students also undertake intensive work in one or more fields within the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences or fine arts. This broad exposure to the liberal arts encourages students to think critically and creatively, to develop their powers of written and spoken expression, and to deepen their understanding of moral and ethical issues.
Beyond these departmental offerings, students have the opportunity to join one of Albion's six Institutes to obtain real-world experience and prepare for a career, and to participate in a variety of interdisciplinary study programs. For further exploration and analysis of topics that interest them, they may pursue original research, with support from the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.
The core curriculum, and the majors and minors, Institutes, the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, and the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Study, are elements of "Liberal Arts at Work," Albion College's Vision for a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. (Each component of "Liberal Arts at Work" is described in further detail in the "Academic Programs" chapter of this catalog.) Wise choices from among these educational programs enable students to acquire the special qualifications they need for gaining entry to graduate and professional schools and for entering satisfying careers in many fields.
The College also offers curricular, residential and extracurricular programs that build a sense of community and stress opportunities for developing citizenship. On campus, the network of student organizations encourages the learning of group participation skills. The same organizations have community outreach programs that give Albion students the chance to operate as citizens of the City of Albion. Internships and off-campus programs--many conducted cooperatively with other colleges in the Great Lakes Colleges Association--involve students in regional, national and world citizenship as well.
Albion College is located in a small community, rich in ethnic diversity, that was founded in 1835 at the "forks" of the Kalamazoo River. Located in the heart of the City of Albion, the College has an unusually attractive and well-maintained campus.
Around its central quadrangle, numerous well-equipped classroom buildings, libraries and laboratories support learning and teaching. Just beyond, attractive residence halls, housing cooperatives, College-owned apartments and fraternity houses provide a variety of living arrangements for both independent and affiliated students and for small and large groups. A short walk leads to the largest of several well-groomed city parks, to the College's theatre and athletic facilities, and to our scenic 144-acre Whitehouse Nature Center.
An Albion education, then, is a distinctive composite of people and programs. The members of Albion's family, extended in time over more than 170 years and in space all around the globe--its students and alumni, its faculty and administration, its trustees and friends--have long attested to the value of this special blend. The achievement of Albion's program can be measured in the success of its graduates in living richly fulfilling lives, many of them as leaders in their fields and communities. The essence of the Albion philosophy and of an Albion education is truly captured by the phrase, "Liberal Arts at Work."
Albion College is accredited by such nationally recognized groups as:
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504
World Wide Web: www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
1707 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005-4701
World Wide Web: www.aacte.org
American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
World Wide Web: www.acs.org
National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, Virginia 20190
World Wide Web: www.arts-accredit.org/nasm/nasm.htm
Any current or prospective student who wishes to review the College's accreditation documents should contact the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
As part of the accreditation requirements for the North Central Association, Albion College has established assessment procedures for all academic programs as well as the general education requirement. The procedures are designed to assess the academic achievement of students as a group rather than individually. All students are required to participate in all assessment activities that the College deems necessary.
Albion College is also listed as a United Methodist-affiliated institution by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. More information may be obtained at 615/340-7399 or on the World Wide Web: www.gbhem.org/gbhem/colleg.html.
The Purpose of the College
Albion College is committed to liberal education in the arts and sciences. We believe such an education empowers individuals to live lives of constructive purpose and accomplishment, enriched by the confidence and pleasure that come from thinking logically, imaginatively and humanely. In light of this vision we seek to create and maintain, in a residential setting, a supportive, intellectually stimulating community which exhibits and prizes curiosity, creativity, dissent and diversity.
We believe in the fundamental worth of a broad exposure to intellectual and artistic achievement, to the best that has been thought and said about the world and our place in it. An Albion College education introduces students to classical modes of analysis, interpretation and argument; to unfolding scientific inquiry into the nature
of the physical world; to the ways in which contemporary debates derive from and extend an historical but continuing dialogue about enduring questions.
At Albion College we invite students to engage in ongoing conversations centered upon their cultural heritage, yet responsive to global concerns. We believe our students will find their own voices by paying attention to the finest expressions of Western and other intellectual and spiritual traditions. Far from inviting a passive acceptance of such traditions, we encourage students to question and challenge them, to evaluate ethically the social uses they serve and the ends they advocate. In our view, a liberal education is an education in active citizenship and service.
Teaching and learning are central to our mission. This means that while the faculty are productive in scholarly and creative endeavors, their primary commitment is to teaching--specifically, to fostering the intellectual engagement and growth of students. The primary responsibility of students at Albion College is to develop mastery in the methods by which knowledge is acquired, critically evaluated, and appropriately applied. We believe such an emphasis prepares students for a lifetime of learning and a multiplicity of possible careers by developing their broad reasoning, writing and speaking abilities. While the classroom is at the heart of our educational
mission, we believe that the entire College community should share in the learning experiences found in our residential setting and through involvement in out-of-classroom opportunities and experiences, including those in the City of Albion.
In recruiting new members to the College community, we seek men and women of intellectual promise from various racial, class, ethnic and geographic backgrounds, whose perspectives can contribute to a process of mutual education within and outside the curriculum. This aim can best be achieved in an environment where
individuals value differences and enter into constructive dialogue toward common goals. By pursuing our educational mission, we believe all members of the Albion community will grow in the capacity to work, live and serve effectively with others.
Approved by the Albion College Board of Trustees, October 30, 1993.
Albion College Diversity Statement
A liberal arts education, by definition, should liberate minds. This process is enhanced in a community that is committed to educational equity, diversity and unrestricted inquiry. We seek therefore to foster an environment of mutual respect, acceptance, appreciation and caring for all members of our community. To this end, Albion College condemns all forms of discrimination and harassment, while reaffirming our commitment to academic free speech. We also commit ourselves to the recruitment and retention of both women and minority faculty, staff and students, the integration of cultural diversity in the curriculum, and the development of a truly inclusive multicultural campus environment.
Approved by the Albion College Faculty and the Executive Committee of the
Board of Trustees, 1991-92.
The College has a pioneering heritage, originally serving the educational needs of settlers' children and Indians alike. Albion also is one of the earliest Midwest schools to introduce coeducation.
Thanks to the efforts of Methodists who were early settlers of Michigan Territory, the College was awarded a charter by the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1835. Early attempts at coeducation were made in 1850 when the legislature approved the founding of the "Albion Female Collegiate Institute." This school for women was controlled by the Wesleyan Seminary corporation until 1857 when the two schools merged under the name of "The Wesleyan Seminary and Female College at Albion."
On February 25, 1861, Albion was fully authorized by the State legislature to confer a full four-year college degree upon both men and women.
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. 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, and from 500 students in 1901, enrollment has grown to 1,900 students. Full-time faculty today number 126, and the College has over 17,000 living alumni.
Emphasis on excellence in liberal arts education became the Albion College hallmark through the years, and in 1940 Albion was the first private college in Michigan to be awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Today the College remains true to its liberal arts commitment.
Following an in-depth planning process under the leadership of President Peter T. Mitchell, Albion has developed a distinct and compelling Vision for its future. Central to "Liberal Arts at Work" is the enhancement of the College's liberal arts curriculum with the addition of the First-Year Experience, preprofessional Institutes, and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. The Vision implementation plan was formally adopted by the Board of Trustees in April 1999.
The campus itself has also changed dramatically in recent years. Since 1975, Albion has built the Herrick Center for Speech and Theatre, Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium, the Whitehouse Interpretive Center, Dean Aquatic Center, Mudd Learning Center, Olin Hall, Dow Recreation and Wellness Center, Kellogg Center, the Mae Harrison Karro Residential Village, the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building and Kresge Hall. In addition, Robinson and Vulgamore halls have been thoroughly renovated.
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-