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Juniata College is a private liberal arts college located in Huntingdonmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. It is named after the Juniata River — one of the principal tributaries of the Susquehanna River. In 1876 it became the first college founded by the Church of the Brethren and has been co-educational since that time. Juniata has a current enrollment of approximately 1,500 students from 28 states and territories and 26 foreign countries.


The Huntingdon Normal School was established by a young Huntingdon physician, Dr. Andrew B. Brumbaugh, and his two cousins, Henry and John Brumbaugh. Henry provided a second-story room over his local printing shop for classes while John lodged and fed the college's first teacher, Jacob M. Zuck, free for one year. Andrew was to "provide students and furniture".

Juniata's first classes were held on April 17, 1876 with Zuck teaching Rebecca Cornelius, Maggie D. Miller, and Gaius M. Brumbaugh, the only son of Andrew Brumbaugh. In 1879 classes moved into Founder's Hall, the school's first permanent building on the present day campus. The college was renamed "Juniata College" in 1893 for the nearby Juniata River and its watershed.

In 1895 Dr. Martin Grove Brumbaugh, an 1881 graduate from Huntingdon Normal, took over the active presidency of Juniata until 1901 whereby he continued in name only until 1910. During and after his tenure, Brumbaugh remained intimately connected to the college, and reacquired the presidency in 1924.

M. G. Brumbaugh died unexpectedly in 1930 while on vacation in Pinehurst, North Carolinamarker and was succeeded in his presidency by a former pupil at Juniata, Dr. Charles Calvert Ellis.

The current president of Juniata College is Dr. Thomas R. Kepple Jr.

Juniata was the first educational institution to have a contractual agreement with the United Nations.


The main campus area is , and the college manages a Baker-Henry Nature Preserve. The college has discussed building a retirement community on the site. Two new buildings since 2000 include the Von Liebig Center for Science and the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre. The newest building project on the campus is the renovation of Founders Hall, which was the first building on campus. Construction is projected to finish in June 2009 and with the use of underground geothermal energy. This building will be recognized as a LEED Silver building.

Other off-campus sites include the Baker Peace Chapel (designed by Maya Lin) and the Raystown Field Station, a reserve on Raystown Lakemarker. The Raystown Field Station includes a LEED Gold building and two lodges for semester-long residential programs, often focused on environmental topics.


Program of emphasis

Juniata College features a "Program of Emphasis" rather than the common Academic major. Within a certain course framework, students choose and create their own Program of Emphasis and graduate with a degree in it. There are designated Programs of Emphasis that follow a set of courses (e.g. Environmental Science, Communication and Anthropology, etc.) or students may create their own with the approval of two faculty advisors.

Areas of Study

Juniata is a liberal arts institution—it has strong programs in a variety of areas, from the natural sciences to the arts, social sciences and humanities. Many students enter Juniata for the strong science programs however find they enjoy world culture, international programs, peace studies, politics or a variety of other disciplines. This varied combination allows students to explore different facets of the world.

The strong academic tradition of Juniata College is made apparent in the success of its students. The school touts an impressive graduation rate, 79% of all students entering Juniata graduate, and of those, 96% do so within four years. Juniata also has a 95% acceptance rate to all postgraduate programs, including medical, podiatry, dental, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic and law schools.

Since 2003, Juniata has produced eight Academic All-Americans, five American Physiological Society Undergraduate Research Fellows, four Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholars, seven Fulbright Scholars, seven Goldwater Scholars, two Pickering Fellows, eight St. Andrew's Society Scholars and one Davies-Jackson Scholar. Juniata also perennially places at least one student as a Harvard Summer Research Scholar.

Nearly five percent of Juniata students design their own program of emphasis, and Juniata offers study-abroad opportunities in 20 countries.


Juniata is a Division III collegiate sports institution, and charter member of the Landmark Conference. Juniata athletes compete in the Landmark Conference except for football. The Juniata Eagles Football Squad is a member of the Centennial Conference. Juniata had a school record of five Academic All-Americans in 2004-2005 academic year and 38 All-American honors since 1998. In addition, College Hill sports 2 National Championships in Women's Volleyball (2004 & 2006) and 6 National Championships in Men's Volleyball (1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2009)

The Goal Post Trophy goes to the winner of the annual football game with rival Susquehanna University. It is a section of goal post from the post that was torn down after the 1952 Juniata-Susquehanna game. The visiting Indians (now Eagles) upset the Crusaders in Selinsgrove, and Juniata fans tore down the goal post after the game. At roughly 5 feet tall, it is one of the tallest trophies in college football.

Student life

Annual events

Juniata College has a tradition of campus-wide events dating back to its founding days.

  • Mountain Day, Established: 1896 — Mountain Day is the oldest tradition at Juniata and occurs on an unannounced fall day. The specific date of Mountain Day is not known to students nor faculty until the morning of the event; however, its possible date is a constant source of campus speculation. On Mountain day, all classes are canceled and both students and faculty are shuttled to one of the state parks in the area. The day includes a picnic lunch, nature walks, crafts, music, tug-of-war, and a faculty/staff vs. seniors co-ed flag football game.

  • Homecoming Weekend, Established: 1923 — Homecoming features alumni reunion activities, sporting events, and a class spirit competition. One of the highlights of the class spirit activity is the Lip Sync Competition, during which each class performs a medley of songs, complete with costumes, props, and sets. A unique aspect of Juniata's Homecoming celebration is the presentation of the Community Contribution Awards during half-time of the football game rather than having a Homecoming king and queen. The award recognizes students who have made outstanding community service contributions, both on-campus and in their local communities.

  • Family Weekend, Established: 1936 — Usually occurring on a weekend in September, Family Weekend is a chance for students' parents and families to visit the campus. The weekend is filled with activities such as picnics, sporting events, cultural events, tours, etc.

  • Storming of the Arch, Established: Mid-1940s — Storming of the Arch takes place on the second Wednesday of fall semester and is optional for any new freshmen. Freshmen gather on North Lawn with the intention of charging the Cloister Arch and making it through to the other side, a mission complicated by a group of upperclassmen - "defenders" of the Arch. Freshmen charge the Arch until they are all knocked down or someone gets through the gauntlet of upperclassmen. To date, no freshman class has made it through the Arch successfully. Storming of the Arch was canceled in the mid-90's due to the number of students being injured but was reinstated by several officers of the Men's rugby team who reorganized it as a charity event.

  • Madrigal dinner, Established: 1970 — Madrigal Dinner is one of the most popular traditions, with 600-700 students attending, and occurs on the last Saturday of fall semester. This holiday tradition starts with a meal served to the students by the faculty and staff of their choosing. After dinner, guests are entertained with performances by members of the campus community and the group participates in a holiday carol sing. This sing-along culminates with the singing of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with various sections of the dining hall acting out the different parts of the song. Tickets for the sections are sold first-come first-serve and students camp out during the week(s) prior in order to acquire their desired section (the "Five Golden Rings" section is very popular). The Madrigal "line" is typically an elaborate tent city on the lawn around the campus center. It is tradition for some to play pranks on the "line." These pranks in past years have included; blowing air horns throughout the night, water balloons, flooding the lawn where the tents are located, spreading empty beer cans around tents, playing recorded animal sounds, and glueing tent zippers shut.

  • Pig Roast, Established: 1986 — Pigroast is an annual barbecue held at Raystown Lake and is sponsored by the Men's rugby team with the support of the Women's Rugby team. This barbecue also serves as an opportunity for the men's rugby club to play a match against the alumni who return for the event. It started as a replacement activity after the school banned the annual Raft Regatta, another event held by the notorious rugby teams. This event is marked by the mass consumption of beer. Popular unofficial activities include keg stands and a keg toss. [note: although Pig Roast is very popular, it is not officially sponsored by the college]

  • Lobsterfest, Established: 1988 — Lobsterfest is held at the end of the first week of fall semester classes and welcomes students back to campus after summer break. Lobsterfest is a picnic that features small, watery lobsters as the main course and live entertainment. In addition, the Student Organization Fair is held during Lobsterfest during which new students have the opportunity to see and sign up for campus clubs.

  • Mr. Juniata Pageant, Established: 1997 — Sponsored by Circle K, the Mr. Juniata Pageant is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of beauty pageants with men from each class competing for the coveted Mr. Juniata crown. The categories include take-offs of formal wear, talent, and interviews.

  • All Class Night, Established: NA — For All-Class Night, each class performs an original production spoofing campus events and personalities. A professor serves as the MC and a panel of faculty and staff judge performances. The winning class takes home the All-Class Night Cup. Occasionally, the faculty and staff present a performance as well. Performances have included live sheep "show" on stage, students roller-skating down aisles, demonization of Staci Weber and William J. von Liebig, and the president of the college in dark sunglasses belting out a Blues Brothers song.


Notable alumni of Juniata include:

In the press

Juniata College is mentioned in the following publications: 2006 Princeton Review's Best 361 Colleges; Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives; Kaplan, Inc.'s Insider's Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges; Peterson's Competitive Colleges; Miriam Weinstein's Making A Difference College Guide: Outstanding Colleges to Help You Make a Better World; Barron's Best Buys in College Education; Leland Miles' Provoking Thought: What Colleges Should Do for Students; Elle Girl Magazine: Top 50 colleges that Dare to be Different; Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges; and Don Asher's Cool Colleges.

The college was listed as 1 of 13 "best performing" colleges according to a 2004 study by the Teagle Foundation. It was noted as an "overachieving college" based on an "exceptionally high graduation rate" and "has a high percentage of students who go to earn doctoral degrees and achieves those numbers through efficient use of resources."

Juniata College has also recently been in the midst of a tabloid scandal. Reality television star Jon Gosselin was photographed partying with Juniata students and was overheard complaining about his marriage, comments which were published nationally. Jon Gosselin currently resides in Huntingdonmarker with his mother during his separation from wife Kate Gosselin.


A History of the Juniata Valley, vol. 1, National Historical Association, Harrisburg, PA, 1936.

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