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Gettysburg College is a private four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvaniamarker, adjacent to the famous battlefieldmarker. Its athletic teams are nicknamed the Bullets. Gettysburg College has about 2,600 students, with roughly equal numbers of men and women. Gettysburg students come from 40 states and 35 countries.

The college is the home of The Gettysburg Review, a literary magazine.


Founding and early roots

Gettysburg College was founded in 1832 as a sister institution for the Lutheran Theological Seminarymarker. Both owe their inception to Thaddeus Stevens, a Radical Republican and abolitionist from Gettysburg. The college's original name was Pennsylvania College; it was founded by Samuel Simon Schmucker. Seven years after Gettysburg College was first founded, it established a medical school, which was located in Philadelphiamarker. The college was forced to close the medical school in 1861, when southern students withdrew, leaving it without adequate revenue.

Battle of Gettysburg

In June 1863, southern Pennsylvania was invaded by Confederate forces during the Gettysburg Campaign. Many local militia forces sprung up around the area between Chambersburgmarker and Philadelphiamarker to face the oncoming foe.

Among these units was Gettysburg's 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia Regiment (PEMR). Composed mostly of students from the College and Seminary, the 26th PEMR was mustered into service on June 22, 1863. Four days later, the students would see combat just north of town, skirmishing with troops of Confederate division commander Jubal A. Early. Neither side suffered heavy casualties, although about one hundred of the militiamen were captured.

During the Battle of Gettysburgmarker, Pennsylvania Hallmarker, or Old Dorm, was used as both a signal corps station and field hospital. Penn Hall is an interesting anomaly in the battle. Due to the geographic position it held, it was used by both Confederate and Union troops during the battle for signal work and surgery.

On November 19, 1863, College President Henry Louis Baugher gave the benediction at the ceremony opening the National Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg; speaking after Abraham Lincoln. Henry Baugher was the president of Gettysburg College from 1850 until his death in 1868.

Relationship with the Eisenhowers

Early in his military career, Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, lived in a house in Gettysburg that was near the college. Both were fond of the town, so they decided, after World War II, to retire to a working farm adjacent to the battlefield. It was here that President Eisenhower recuperated from his 1955 heart attack.

While living in Gettysburg, Eisenhower became involved with Gettysburg College. He served on the Gettysburg College Board of Trustees, and he was given an office by the college, which he used when writing his memoirs. Today, Eisenhower’s old office is named Eisenhower House” and houses Gettysburg College’s office of admissions. [56766] Meanwhile, Eisenhower’s grandson, David, and his granddaughter Susan continue a certain level of family involvement with the institution.


The college is located on a 200 acre (800,000 m²) campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is 36 miles (60 km) from Harrisburgmarker, 55 miles (80 km) from Baltimoremarker, 80 miles (130 km) from Washington, D.C.marker, 117 miles (190 km) from Philadelphia, and 212 miles (340 km) from New York Citymarker, and 425 miles (680 km) from Bostonmarker.

The college's main campus is roughly divided in half by Pennsylvania Hallmarker (administration). The northern half contains Plank Gym, Masters Hall (physics and astronomy), Musselman Library, the College Union Building, the College Dining Center, Briedenbaugh Hall (English), and several freshman dorms and fraternities. A section of this part of campus—known as "Stine Lake," is not actually a lake, but rather a quad located outside of the library. Prior to Musselman Library being built in the late 1970s, and due to Gettysburg's wet climate and drainage issues, the quad and library site would be prone to accumulating water, creating a large, muddy "lake" of sorts. Today, however, Stine Lake does not flood, but the name has stuck, to the confusion of first-year students. Additionally, the College Dining Center is known to students and faculty as "Servo," after a now defunct 1980s food service company, Servomation.

The southern half of the main campus includes McKnight Hall (languages), Glatfelter Hall (economics, managmenent, political science, mathematics, and others), Schmucker Hall (art and music), Kline Theater, and several fraternities. Over the last half-century, the campus has expanded considerably to include land to the east of North Washington Street and to the west of the traditional campus. Since approximately 96% of students live on campus, most of this additional land is dedicated to housing. It also includes the college chapel, the admissions building, a large gymnasium and field house complex, and several athletics fields. The college has also purchased or leased a large number of buildings for student housing, including residences on Washington Street, Carlisle Street, Middle Street, Stratton Street, and others.

Academic Facilities


Musselman Library houses the college collection of books, journals, videos, sound recordings, online publications, rare books, manuscripts, and digital collections. An online catalog, MUSCAT, provides a gateway to all library materials and is accessible through any computer terminal connected to the college network. In addition, the building contains a media theatre, computer lab, and media production center. Musselman Library is open around the clock when classes are in session. The library operates 24 hours a day on weekdays and selected hours during the weekends. In order to help facilitate late night studying, the library provides free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate at midnight to patrons who bring their own mugs.


Full network capabilities in all campus buildings and each residence hall room. Students have access to more than 1,300 computers and a complex system of workstations and laboratories. Wireless connectivity is available across 97% of the campus (the other 3% being the practice fields) and in all of the residence halls.


As an independent institution, the college operates under a charter granted in 1832 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The College is governed by a 39-member board of trustees comprising leaders from a range of professions and walks of life. Thirty of the College’s trustees are graduates of Gettysburg.

On the student level, adjudication of academic disputes takes place through an Honor Commission, which holds hearings in which students are given a chance to have their say on charges brought against them.

The Academic Honor Code has been in effect since 1957, and recently has been updated to fit better with today's technology.

Academic Programs

Anthropology, Art History, Art Studio, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, Globalization Studies, Greek, Health and Exercise Sciences, History, International Relations and Affairs, Japanese Studies, Latin, Management, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Music Performance, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Spanish, Spanish & Latin American Studies, Theatre, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies

Special Interest Programs (Minors):
African American Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Civil War Era Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, Education (elementary and secondary, with certification), Global/Area Studies, International Affairs Concentration, Law, Ethics, and Society, Neuroscience, Writing, Film Studies, Peace and Justice Studies

Greek Organizations

Fraternities: Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Alpha,

Sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho

Service Fraternities: Alpha Phi Omega

Music Sorority: Sigma Alpha Iota

Past Greek Organizations on Campus: Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Phi, Kappa Delta Rho, Rho Beta (local), Sigma Kappa, Theta Chi, Phi Kappa Rho (local), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Zeta Psi

Student Media

"The Gettysburgian" (Campus Print Newspaper), Channel 34 Gburg TV (Campus Television Station), WZBT 91.1 (Campus Radio Station)

Students and Faculty

Nearly 2,600 students (approximately one-half men and one-half women), representing 40 states and 35 foreign countries attend the college.

The college employs 180 full-time faculty, with 95% of the permanent faculty holding a doctorate or highest earned degree in their fields. The faculty includes noted Lincoln scholar Gabor S. Boritt, and the first double-Lincoln Prize lauereate, Allen Carl Guelzo, who directs the Civil War Era Studies program. The student/faculty ratio is 11:1, with an average class size of 18 students. The college hosts one of only 19 chapters of Phi Beta Kappa in Pennsylvania.


Twenty-four sports programs, for both men and women, participate in NCAA Division III. Gettysburg has earned the distinction of having the best win/loss record in the Centennial Conference for the past 12 years.

The college also offers an extensive array of club, intramural, and recreational programs. Twenty-five percent of Gettysburg's students participate in intercollegiate programs, which include twelve sports for men and twelve sports for women.

The Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness

The College broke ground on the new $25 million athletic center, named the Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness, on May 30, 2008. The 55,000 foot Center is an upgrade from the former athletic facility, known as the Bream/Wright/Hauser Complex, and mostly opened during October 2009. Bream/Wright/Hauser still exists next to the additions.

The Center features:
  • A natatorium, complete with eight lanes, four warm-up lanes, and enough space for 350 seated spectators
  • A 10,000 foot weight and cardio room complete with flat-screen TVs
  • Additional spaces for yoga, aerobics, spinning and martial arts classes
  • An upgraded training room with a Hydroworx pool
  • Rock climbing walls
  • A student lounge called "The Dive"

The Center is expected to be fully completed by late fall/early winter, when the climbing wall is complete. It has opened in phases:
  • The first phase was completed during the summer, when Bream/Wright/Hauser was overhauled. It was given new bleachers, an updated sound system, improved lighting and a new hardwood floor
  • The second phase, which finished in October 2009, included all of the additions except for the climbing walls
  • The third, and final phase, will be done when the climbing wall is finished

The Center was created in order to provide more opportunities for the high percentage of students who like to maintain their fitness regimens and engage in intramural, club sports programs, and exercise classes. About 25 percent of the student body participates in varsity sports, while over 75 percent are active in intramural sports. More space was needed, and the Center is important to improve life on campus.

John Jaeger, a 1965 Gettysburg College graduate, donated $1.2 million to encourage others to fund the project. Another important donor, Robert Ortenzio, provided the largest single gift by a living person in the history of the College, by giving $2 million.

"Loyalty Song"

Fair Gettysburg our Alma Mater, hear us praise thy name,
We'll ever lend our hearts and hands to help increase thy fame.
The honor of old Gettysburg calls forth our loyalty.
So cheer (Rah! Rah!) old G'burg's Bullets on to victory!

However, another rendition exists with a few differences:

Hail Gettysburg our Alma Mater, help us praise thy name.
We'll ever lend our hearts and hands to help increase thy fame.
The honor of old Gettysburg calls forth our loyalty,
So cheer (Rah! Rah!) our G'burg Bullets on to fight for victory!

Notable alumni

Civil War History activities

Due to its close relationship to a crucial battle in the American Civil War, Gettysburg College hosts a number of activities and awards:

  • Pennsylvania Hallmarker, located in the center of campus, was occupied by both Union and Confederate forces during the Battle of Gettysburgmarker. Today, a Civil War era-style flag (for the year 1863) flies above the building, which was used as a lookout position and a field hospital during the battle.

  • In 1982, professor and historian Gabor Boritt founded the Civil War Institute, which hosts annual seminars and tours on Civil War themes. Scholarships are granted to high school students and history teachers to attend the week-long summer event.

  • Since 1998, the Gettysburg Semester, a semester-long immersion in Civil War academic study has been offered.

  • Gettysburg College students may elect to pursue a unique interdisciplinary minor in Civil War Era Studies. Requirements include a general introduction course about the Civil War and a capstone senior-level seminar. Students must also select four classes of at least two disciplines. Some of the classes offered include (but are not limited to): military history, Economics of the American South, Civil War Literature, films about the Civil War, and Gender Ideology in the Civil War.

  • The Lincoln Prize has been awarded annually since 1991 for the best non-fiction historical work of the year on the Civil War.


External links

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