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|Motto||Pro Christo et Patria|
Motto in English
|For Christ and Country|
|Affiliation||Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America|
|President||Calvin L. Troup|
|96 full time|
|Location||Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Campus||Suburban, 55 acres|
|Colors||Old Gold and White|
|Affiliations||NCAA Division III, Presidents' Athletic Conference|
|Mascot||Turbo the Tornado|
Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. 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." In 1967, the board of trustees adopted the "Foundational Concepts of Christian Education," which continues to guide the institution. The college's undergraduate core curriculum emphasizes the humanities and the formation of a Reformed Christian worldview.
Geneva College was founded in 1848 in Northwood, Ohio, by John Black Johnston, a minister of the RPCNA. The college was founded as "Geneva Hall", and 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 Rapp Technical Design Center was completed in 2002. A major project to reroute Pennsylvania Route 18, which runs through the campus, was completed in November 2007. Improvements to Reeves Stadium and the construction of a campus entrance and pedestrian mall were completed in time for the fall semester in 2009.
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."
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. This mandate, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is commonly known as "Obamacare", has also been criticized by other religious groups as well as the owners of the retail chain Hobby Lobby.
For decades, both the college campus and Beaver Falls residents themselves had been wanting Pennsylvania Route 18 re-routed, as the route made a sharp s-turn through the campus. The s-turn was only 800 feet between the two turns, and while it would obviously cause problems for pedestrians (most of whom were students at the campus), it was also a danger for semi-trucks as well as drivers who would dangerously speed around the s-bend.
After several years, a deal was finally reached, and PennDOT acquired the necessary land via eminent domain to straighten the road. Homeowners near the campus as well as a local car wash sold their property to PennDOT for the new right-of-way, which in itself caused controversy. Opponents pointed out how Geneva refused to give up some of its land (most of which at the time was underdeveloped) while at the same time doesn't have to pay taxes to the city.
PennDOT also tried acquiring a local pizza shop, Pizza Dude, for the southern end of the new right-of-way, but the owner didn't want to sell the property since it would potentially lose business from the college students as well as no other suitable property nearby that would adequately replace his old building, a former Burger Chef location. PennDOT and the owner agreed to a compromise in which the owner got to stay on his property, but had to tear down the front portion of the building (which, for the time being, eliminated seating at the building) so that the right-of-way would have enough clearance from the building. The owner also gave up a portion of his parking lot, but the building itself would be protected by a grandfather clause requiring a certain length between a road and a building since it was a pre-existing building. In 2010, Pizza Dude moved on its own to downtown Beaver Falls, and the building is currently vacant.
During construction, there was also controversy about the unused land between the new roadway and the old one, since Geneva didn't own all of the property. Geneva wanted the state to give the land the college didn't own for free. However, the state refused, but later sold the land (as well as the former Route 18 alignment, which became a private access road for the university) to Geneva. After construction of the new right-of-way was complete and opened, Geneva shrunk part of the southern end to a one-lane road (in order to make room for the expansion of Reeves Field) and put a sidewalk in where the northern end used to make the first bend in the s-turn, permanently blocking access to the s-bend. A traffic light was installed at the intersection along the new alignment with Geneva R.P. Church, requiring students to cross the street at the light.
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. 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.
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.
Geneva College is a member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Council of Independent Colleges, and National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. 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.
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. The Golden Tornadoes compete as a member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Geneva 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.
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.
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 from the entire campus. 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. 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 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.
Full-time undergraduate students between ages 17 and 23 are required to live in college housing, with the exception of commuters and some seniors. Six dorms -- Clarke, Geneva Arms, McKee, Memorial, Pearce, and Young -- house resident students. 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.
The following structures are owned by the college, but currently not being used for any activities or events.