- See Washington (disambiguation) for institutions with similar names.
is a private, independent liberal arts college
located on a 112 acre (45.3 ha
) campus in Chestertown, Maryland
, on the Eastern Shore
granted Washington College its charter in 1782. George Washington
supported the founding of WC by consenting to have the "College at Chester" named in his honor, through generous financial support, and through service on the College's Board of Visitors and Governors. Washington College is the tenth oldest college
in the United States
and was the first college chartered after American independence. The school became coeducational
Approximately 1,300 undergraduates
and 100 graduate students
attend Washington College, 47% from Maryland and the balance from 35 other states
and forty foreign nations. Approximately 8% of the American undergraduates are minority
students and approximately 8% are international citizens. Approximately 5% of the WC student body is "non-traditional" (25 years old or older). Approximately 80% of all students live in college residence halls; the rest commute either from off-campus housing or from home.
Tuition for the 07-08 year was $32,160 and total expenses per annum (including room, board, and fees) are $38,950. Approximately 85% of the student body receives some form of need-based financial aid or merit-based scholarship award. The cost of attendance has been rising in recent years, with the overall costs (including room and board) increasing by roughly $2,000 per year.
The school has over 90 student clubs. Freshmen, unless local, are required to live on-campus. On-campus housing is available for approximately 900 students. Most students (70-75%) stay on-campus over the weekend to participate in various social and recreational activities. Approximately 30% of students attend graduate school in the first year following graduation and approximately 45% do so within five years. Student/faculty ratio: 12/1. Average class size is 17. The school confers the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts (in English, Psychology & History).
The college awards the Sophie Kerr Prize, the largest monetary undergraduate award in the country. The graduating senior with the greatest literary potential is chosen by a faculty committee for this honor each year. The award has grown to over $60,000.
In 2005, Washington College inaugurated another literary prize, the George Washington Book Prize, administered by the college's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and awarded in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington's Mount Vernon. The prize is awarded annually to the most significant new book about the founding era. At $50,000, the prize is one of the most generous book awards in the United States.
The campus has hosted five U.S. presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and George H. W. Bush. Washington College is host to the Harwood Series, a collection of speaking engagements by national politicians, media pundits, and so forth. In recent years, Haley Barbour, Howard Dean, John McCain, James Carville, Chris Matthews, Ellen Sauerbrey, Donna Shalala, Eugene McCarthy, Cornel West, Birch Bayh, Gary Hart, Richard Lugar, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Karl Rove have appeared on campus. Recreationally speaking, WC attracts decent talent to entertain the student body: the Counting Crows, Bruce Hornsby, Eddy Arnold, Wayne Brady, Jason Mraz, DJ Kool, Guster, and Larry Hagman have all appeared on campus in one capacity or another recently. Because of its reputation as a liberal arts school with creative writing being a strength, writers such as John Barth, Ray Bradbury, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Robert Pinsky have given readings at the campus.
There are four fraternities and three sororities on campus: male Greek life includes Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, and Theta Chi. The Kappa Alpha, Theta Chi, and Phi Delta Theta housing can be found in the specialty housing known as The Quad (three buildings found at the center of campus). The female organizations are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Zeta Tau Alpha. In 2005, Kappa Alpha Order and Phi Delta Theta were found guilty of hazing as well as violating other college policies. Punishment for such crimes included both fraternities being removed from their respective housings and serving academic probation. Both fraternities served their probationary period, and have since been returned to their respective housing.
The campus newspaper of record is The Elm. Other campus publications include The Collegian (features) and The Medium (creative writing).
Many Washington College students celebrate May Day (May 1) by partying in the nude, mostly by the flagpole. The celebration takes place over two nights with hundreds participating.
Washington College has had a regional reputation for excellence for some time, especially in Maryland. However, under the new President, national recognition has been a goal. The fruits of this effort are visible with Washington College's recent ranking among the top Liberal Arts institutions in the United States according to U.S. News rankings.
Academic departments and programs
(+)=major; (#)=minor; (!)=academic program
- American Studies (+)
- Anthropology (+ #)
- Art (+ #)
- Behavioral Neuroscience (!)
- Biology (+ #)
- Black Studies (#)
- Business Management (+ #)
- Chemistry (+ #)
- Chesapeake Regional Studies (!)
- Computer Science (+ #)
- Creative Writing (#)
- Drama (+ #)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (#)
- Economics (+ #)
- Education (Elementary and Secondary) (!)
- Engineering (!)
- English (+ #)
- Environmental Studies (+)
- Foreign Languages (French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Italian) (+ #)
- Gender Studies (#)
- History (+ #)
- Human Development (+)
- Humanities (+)
- International Studies (+)
- Mathematics (+ #)
- Music (+ #)
- Nursing (!)
- Pharmacy (!)
- Philosophy and Religion (+ #)
- Physical Education (!)
- Physics (+ #)
- Political Science (+ #)
- Pre-Law (!)
- Premedical (!)
- Psychology (+ #)
- Sociology (+ #)
Notable alumni and affiliates
- For a complete list see List of Washington College alumni
The college boasts of a notable list of persons who served on the original Board of visitors and governors, including:
- George Washington, US President
- William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Maryland governor, and US Congressman
- Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence, US Congressman, and Supreme Court justice
- John Henry, US Senator
- Joshua Seney, US Congressman
- Robert Goldsborough, US Congressman
- Joseph Nicholson, US Congressman
Washington College is perhaps best known athletically for its men's lacrosse team. It has advanced to the NCAA Division III championship game eight times, winning the title in 1998. The men's tennis team won NCAA Division III national championships in 1994 and 1997.
- Baseball (M)
- Basketball (M, W)
- Field Hockey (W)
- Lacrosse (M, W)
- Rowing (M, W)
- Sailing (CoEd)
- Soccer (M, W)
- Softball (W)
- Swimming (M, W)
- Tennis (M, W)
- Volleyball (W)
Also it should be noted that Washington College hosted a Maryland Championship Wrestling event in 2001 with Jerry Lawler headlining. In addition, Tom Seaver once gave a talk.
- Caroline House -- This three-floor coed building houses men on the first floor, and women on the second and third floors.
- Cecil House -- This building is configured to accommodate four three-student suites and two six-student suites.
- Dorchester House -- This building is configured to accommodate four three-man suites and two six-man suites.
- East Hall -- The International House is a three-floor coed building that serves as a home for students interested in international relation and foreign language study. This theme house has a faculty advisor and has limited housing available for new students.
- Harford House -- This three-floor building is configured to accommodate four seven-person suites per floor.
- Kent House -- This is a two-floor building, co-ed by hallway.
- Middle Hall -- The Creative Arts House is a coed building for students interested in drama, music, visual art, literature, and the creative arts in general. Limited housing available for new students.
- Minta Martin -- This single-sex building houses women only; residents include but are not limited to members of the Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities.
- North Campus/Western Shore Residence Halls (Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's) -- These eleven buildings contain four apartment-style suites. Each suite contains four single bedrooms, two baths, a common area, and kitchenette. These halls are limited to upperclassmen. Two new apartment-style suite buildings, Sassafras and Chester, will open in the Fall semester of 2008.
- Queen Anne House -- This two-floor, co-ed building is home to the substance-free program. Alcohol and tobacco products are prohibited in this building.
- Reid Hall -- This three-floor building is for women only.
- Somerset House -- This four-floor building houses only men.
- Talbot House -- This building is configured to accommodate four three-student suites and two six-student suites.
- West Hall -- The Science House is a three-floor coed building that serves as a home for students interested in the natural sciences. This theme house has a faculty advisor and is limited to upperclassmen.
- Wicomico House -- This is a two-floor men's building. Men are housed on both floors. Until recently, it was a coed dorm with men housed on the first floor, and women on the second floor.
- Worcester House -- This is a two-floor coed building, housing men on the first floor and women on the second floor.
- Athey Field
- Benjamin Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center
- Cain Athletic Center
- Casey Swim Center
- Kibler Field at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium
- Schottland Tennis Pavilion
- Truslow Boat House (off-campus near Chester River)
- Washington College Softball Field
- Alumni House
- Bunting Hall
- Custom House
- Spanish House
- Brown Cottage
- Hodson Hall (Dining Hall, Cafe, Quick Shop Eatery, Hynson Study Lounge)(Currently undergoing renovations, to be completed August 2009)
- Hynson Pavilion (off-campus near Chester River)
- Hynson-Ringgold House (President's House)
- Nussbaum House
- White Cottage
George Washington Birthday Ball
: A college-wide dance where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college come together to celebrate George Washington's birthday. The event usually takes place on, or around, the actual date of George Washington's birth. Formal dress is required for all in attendance.
The All Campus Picnic: A carnival held for the students and community members before the beginning of the academic year.
The Renaissance Christmas Dinner: Held before the beginning of Winter Break and features performances by the Early Music Consort and Vocal Consort of the College.
War on the Shore: The annual men's lacrosse game, held in late spring between Washington College and Salisbury University, two of Maryland's Eastern Shore's undergraduate schools. Beginning in 2004, the winner of the game has been awarded the Charles B. Clark Cup.
May Day: Started in 1968 by Professor Bennett Lamond of the English Department, who retired in 2004. He brought a class out onto the green, where they read poetry and drank wine. Later that night some of the students returned, and May Day was born. Since then, May Day has become a two-night party on April 30 and May 1, often involving public nudity by a percentage of the student body. The event draws many students as spectators.
Past Washington College Presidents
- William Smith 1782-1789
- Colin Ferguson 1793-1805
- Hugh McGuire 1813-1815
- Joab G. Cooper 1816-1817
- Gerard E. Stack 1817-1818
- Francis Waters 1818-1823
- Timothy Clowes 1823-1829
- Peter Clark 1829-1832
- Richard W. Ringgold 1832-1854
- Francis Waters 1854-1860
- Andrew J. Sutton 1860-1867
- Robert C. Berkeley 1867-1873
- William J. Rivers 1873-1887
- Thomas N. Williams 1887-1889
- Charles W. Reid 1889-1903
- James W. Cain 1903-1918
- Clarence P. Gould 1919-1923
- Paul E. Titsworth 1923-1933
- Gilbert W. Mead 1933-1949
- Daniel Z. Gibson 1950-1970
- Charles J. Merdinger 1970-1973
- Joseph H. McLain 1973-1981
- Garry E. Clarke (acting), 1981-1982
- Douglass Cater 1982-1990
- Charles H. Trout 1990-1995
- John S. Toll 1995-2004
- Baird Tipson 2004-