|Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (1850-1867)|
|Motto||Fiat Lux (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Let there be light|
|Type||Private Liberal Arts College|
|Established||March 1, 1850|
|President||Lori E. Varlotta|
|81 full-time (Fall 2016)|
|Undergraduates||875 traditional, 215 weekend professional (Fall 2016)|
|Location||Hiram, Ohio, United States
|Campus||Rural college town, 110-acre (0.45 km2) main, 550-acre (2.2 km2) J.H. Barrow Field Station, 10-acre (0.040 km2) Northwoods Field Station (the U.P. of MI)|
|Colors||Red & Blue|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III -- NCAC|
|Affiliations||Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Annapolis Group Shoals Marine Lab|
Hiram College ( HY-r?m) 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. Hiram's most famous alumnus is James A. Garfield, who served as a college instructor and principal, and was subsequently elected the 20th President of the United States.
On June 12, 1849, representatives of the Disciples of Christ voted to establish an academic institution, which would later become Hiram College. 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". The following month, on December 20, the founders accepted the suggestion of Isaac Errett and named the school the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute.
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.
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 curriculum. He left the Institute in 1861 and in 1880 was elected the 20th President of the United States.
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.
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.
The following is a list of the school's leaders since its founding in 1850.
As of the 2016-17 academic year, Hiram's student body consists of 875 undergraduates from 31 states and 14 foreign countries. Of the 81 full-time faculty, 95-percent hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field.
Hiram was ranked #167 among National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report in 2012. At the same time, Hiram is currently ranked #67 among Liberal Arts Colleges by Washington Monthly. Also, in 2012, Forbes ranked Hiram at #197 among all colleges and universities in the U.S., and #39 in the Midwest. Hiram has regularly been included in The Princeton Review Best Colleges guide, and is one of only 40 schools included in Loren Pope's book Colleges That Change Lives.
Hiram specializes in the education of undergraduate students, though the college does have a small graduate program. Hiram confers the BA, BSN, and MA degrees. The college offers 33 majors and 40 minors for traditional undergraduates, in addition to pre-professional programs for specific fields. Interdisciplinary studies have also been a part of Hiram's curriculum for decades.
Hiram's curriculum requires all students to complete one course in each of nine academic areas: creative methods, interpretive methods, modeling methods, experimental scientific methods, social and cultural analysis, experiencing the world, understanding diversity at home, interdisciplinary, and ethics and social responsibility. 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.
The college's curriculum is currently marketed under the name Hiram Connect, which involves four steps: First-Year Colloquium/Foundations of the Liberal Arts, Declaration of Major, Experiential Learning, and a Capstone Project.
Hiram has five "Centers of Distinction" for interdisciplinary studies: Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, Center for Scientific Engagement, Center for Literature and Medicine, Garfield Institute for Public Leadership, and Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature.
The Hiram College basketball team won the gold medal in the collegiate division of the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. It was the first time that basketball was part of an Olympics; it was included as a demonstration sport and no foreign teams participated.
The college's residential complexes include Booth-Centennial, East Hall, Whitcomb Hall, Miller Hall, Bowler Hall, and the Townhouses. They are managed by resident directors (RDs), resident managers (RMs), and resident assistants (RAs).
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.
Hiram has close to 70 registered student clubs and organizations in eight categories: Academic, Greek Social, Musical, Political and Activisim, Publications and Communications, Religious, Special Interest and Service, and Sports and Recreation. Fraternities and sororities are not permitted on campus, but there are six Greek social clubs: Delta Chi Lambda, Kappa Sigma Pi, Lambda Lambda Lambda, Phi Beta Gamma, Phi Gamma Epsilon, Phi Kappa Chi, and Greek Social.
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.