is private, coeducational, and residential college
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...
of liberal arts
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...
s founded in 1831. It is located in Granville, Ohio
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,167 people, 1,309 households, and 888 families residing in the village. The population density was 790.4 people per square mile . There were 1,384 housing units at an average density of 345.4 per square mile...
, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
, approximately 30 miles (50 km) east of Columbus
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...
, the state capital. Denison is a member of the Five Colleges of Ohio
The Five Colleges of Ohio is an academic consortium of five selective private liberal arts colleges in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1995 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions...
, the Great Lakes Colleges Association
The Great Lakes Colleges Association , is a consortium of 13 liberal arts colleges located in the states around the Great Lakes. The 13 schools are located in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana...
, and the North Coast Athletic Conference
The North Coast Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III athletic conference composed of schools located in the Midwestern United States. When founded in 1984, the NCAC was a pioneer in gender equality, offering competition in a then-unprecedented ten women's sports...
On December 13, 1831, John Pratt
John William Pratt was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1927 to 1936....
, the college's first president and a graduate of Brown University, inaugurated classes at the Granville Literary and Theological Institution. Situated on a 200-acre farm south of the village of Granville, it was the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny mountains. While rooted in theological education, the institution submitted students to the same literary and scientific instruction common to other colleges of the day. The first term included 37 students, 27 of whom hailed from Granville; nearly half of these students were under fifteen years of age. The school's first Commencement, which graduated three classical scholars, was held in 1840.
In 1845, the institution, which at this point was male-only, officially changed its name to Granville College. In 1853, William S. Denison, a Muskingum County farmer, pledged $10,000 toward the college's endowment. Honoring an earlier commitment, the trustees accordingly changed the name of the institution to Denison University. They also voted to move the college to land then available for purchase in the village of Granville.
In the years leading up to the Civil War, many students and faculty members at Denison University became heavily involved in the anti-slavery movement. Professor Asa Drury
Asa Drury was an American Baptist minister and educator primarily teaching at Granville Literary and Theological Institution in Granville, Ohio and the Western Baptist Theological Institute in Covington, Kentucky, and establishing the public schools in Covington...
, the chair of Greek and Latin studies, became the leader of a local anti-slavery society, while Bancroft House, now a residential hall, served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The roots of coeducation at Denison University began in December 1832 with the establishment of the Granville Female Seminary, founded by Charles Sawyer
Charles Sawyer may refer to:*Charles B. Sawyer, inventor of the commercial quartz crystal manufacturing process.*Charles E. Sawyer, personal physician to President Warren G. Harding*Charles H. Sawyer, Governor of New Hampshire...
a year before Oberlin launched the first coeducational college in the United States. The seminary was superseded by the Young Ladies' Institute, founded in 1859 by Dr. and Mrs. Nathan S. Burton. The Young Ladies' Institute was sold to Reverend Dr. Daniel Shepardson in 1868 and was renamed the Shepardson College for Women in 1886. Shepardson College was incorporated as part of Denison University in 1900, with the two colleges becoming fully consolidated in 1927.
In 1887, Denison inaugurated a master's program, with resident graduates pursuing advanced studies in the sciences. Within a few years, the institution considered offering graduate programs on the doctoral level. In 1926, the Board of Trustees formalized a new curriculum that would make Denison University an exclusively undergraduate institution.
In the wake of Shepardson College's incorporation, Denison University made plans for enlargement of its campus. In 1916, the college sought the expertise of the Frederick Law Olmsted & Sons architectural firm, the founder of which had designed Central Park in New York City. The resulting "Olmstead Plan" laid a foundation for expansion that has remained the guiding aesthetic for subsequent growth, establishing and maintaining a pedestrian-friendly campus, while also preserving scenic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Expansion during this period included the acquisition of land to the north and east, the transfer of Shepardson College to the east ridge of College Hill, and the development of a new men's quadrangle beyond the library.
During World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
, Denison was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program
The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II...
which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
While the college's origins were rooted in theological education, Denison University has been a non-sectarian institution since the 1960s. By 1970, the college reached its present size of approximately 2,000 students.
The campus size is about 900 acres (4 km²). This includes a 550 acre (1.4 km²) biological reserve just east of campus, where professors of sciences like geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...
can hold class. Notable landmarks include the following:
The first building in the ambitious "Greater Denison" plan, Swasey Chapel stands at the center of the campus. The chapel seats 990 and plays host to notable campus events such as baccalaureate services, lectures, concerts, and academic award convocations.
Built in 1937, Doane Library today houses more than 400,000 books and bound periodicals.
Swasey Observatory, which opened in June 1910, houses a 9-inch refracting telescope as well as two 8-inch reflecting telescopes.
The Bryant Arts Center opened in August 2009. The building originally was constructed in 1904 as a men's gymnasium and later became a student union; today, it is the home of the studio art and art history departments. The 45000 square feet (4,180.6 m²) facility has studios for ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and digital media, while also featuring fully electronic classrooms, open gallery spaces, an art history resource room, outdoor performance spaces, a common area for studio art seniors, and independent studios for faculty.
Slayter Union features lounges, a snack bar, bookstore, student mailboxes, a 302-seat auditorium, as well as offices for student organizations.
As of the 2011-12 school year, 2,162 students are enrolled at Denison. They come from 50 states, Washington, DC, and 35 countries. A full-time faculty of 212 professors makes the student-to-faculty ratio 10:1. Over the past several years, Denison University has made great strides in attracting a diverse student population, and multicultural students now represent 25 percent of the current first-year class. The college's students, faculty and staff were honored in 2008 by the State of Ohio for "promoting understanding, racial unity and the appreciation of diversity."
The university currently has a 49% acceptance rate; out of 4,720 applicants for the class of 2014, 2,328 were accepted and 625 enrolled.
Denison offers three types of degrees: B.A., B.S., and B.F.A. The most popular majors are Economics, Biology, Communication, Psychology, History, and English. Students can create their own major (called an interdepartmental major).
Denison is a strictly residential campus that features a mixture of historic and contemporary buildings. Housing options include single, double, triple, and quadruple rooms, as well as suites of six. However the eight and nine person rooms have been changed to six person suites. There are various apartments across campus and several satellite houses for seniors.
The Homestead, a student-run community with a focus on ecological sustainability is an alternative student housing option to dormitories and campus apartments. Twelve students live and work together each semester to promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Students living at the Homestead are responsible for cooking weekly meals, sharing chores, and attending weekly meetings. Career Services assists students and alumni with career exploration, experiential education, job searches, as well as graduate/professional school opportunities. Health and Counseling Services, located in Whisler Hall on the east side of the campus, has a staff of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists and social workers to provide health care to students. The Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs works with academic and administrative departments as well as with student organizations to foster mutual respect among the study body across ethnic-racial, cultural, religious, gender, (dis)ability and sexual orientation lines. The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life is dedicated to fostering religious understanding and spiritual enhancement within the Denison community. We support experiences for the care and expression of all recognized religious traditions on campus. In celebration of our diversity, we also offer inter-religious experiences and dialogue which are central to the mission of the College.
The Lilly Program provides opportunities for students in various settings to reflect upon their career paths and the relationship between their plans and personal values. Additionally, professional careers in religion may be explored, such as through internships. The Alford Center was established in 1997 through a bequest from local philanthropist John W. Alford. The Center provides resources and support for Denison students, faculty and staff to address community issues through volunteerism and service learning courses. The Center also administers an America Reads literacy program serving 10 Licking County elementary schools. In 2009, Denison students committed more than 37,000 hours to community service.
Denison Community Association (DCA) is a volunteer service organization, led by students and entirely student operated. DCA is the umbrella organization for 24 committees that recruit and train Denison students to volunteer at local community sites.
The Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) is the Denison student governing body, in which all students are members. The DCGA Student Senate is the primary representative body of students on Denison's campus, and it has been involved in various student initiatives: from postponing quiet hours in the fall of 2007 to drafting the Code of Academic Integrity adopted in the fall of 2009 to encouraging the University President to sign onto the Presidents' Climate Commitment. The DCGA Senate Finance Committee is responsible for financially supporting over 100 student clubs and organizations with a budget of over $800,000, providing the Denison community with opportunities to participate in athletics, write for several publications, volunteer in the local community, learn about various cultures, and attend well-known speakers, among other endeavors. They hold an annual Denison Day (or "DDay" for short) concert, which has featured artists such as Ben Folds
Benjamin Scott "Ben" Folds is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and television personality. From 1995-2000, Folds was the frontman and pianist of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. Since the group disbanded, Folds has performed as a solo artist and has toured all over the world...
, Rufus Wainwright
Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...
, The Roots
The Roots is an American hip hop/neo soul band formed in 1987 by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are famed for beginning with a jazzy, eclectic approach to hip hop which still includes live instrumentals...
, Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish is an American ska punk band from Huntington Beach, California, best known for the 1997 hit "Sell Out". The band gained mainstream recognition in the mid-to-late 1990s, during the third wave of ska with the release of the gold certified album Turn the Radio Off. Soon after, the band...
, and Mos Def
Dante Terrell Smith is an American actor and Emcee known by the stage names Mos Def and Yasiin Bey. He started his hip hop career in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics, after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. With Talib Kweli, he formed the duo Black Star, which...
The University Programming Council (UPC) is the main programming body on campus. It annually brings in concerts, comedians, hypnotists, and other forms of entertainment to campus. Other organizations on campus which bring speakers and films include the Denison Film Society
(DFS) and the Denison Lecture Series.
The campus radio station, WDUB
WDUB is a student-run, non-commercial, 100-watt college radio station registered by the Federal Communications Commission , owned and operated by Denison University in Granville, Ohio, USA...
, features 24 hour programming and broadcasts both on the airwaves 91.1 FM and online at www.doobieradio.com The station was notably featured in American Eagle stores across the country through the summer of 2009.
The Denisonian is the oldest student organization on campus and prints ten issues per semester.
Traditions and folklore
D-Day, the successor to the college's old Scrap Day, is a celebration of the entire college, held twice a year.
Kirtley Mather, Class of 1909, named the tallest peak in Alaska's Aleutian Peninsula "Mt. Denison." In 1978, a group of students, professors, and alumni successfully scaled the mountain—a feat repeated nearly 20 years later by another Denison group.
Denison has one of the few remaining college cemeteries in Ohio. Among those buried on Sunset Hill are Jonathan Going, the college's second president, and Elisha Andrews
Elisha Benjamin Andrews was an American economist and educator, born in Hinsdale, New Hampshire.-Academic life:...
, its sixth.
Denison is a member of the NCAA and the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) since the conference’s formation in 1984. As a part of the 10-member conference Denison boasts a league-record 11 Dennis M. Collins Awards which is given to the NCAC school that performs best across the conference’s 23 sponsored sports. Denison won nine consecutive All-Sports Awards between 1997–98 and 2005-06. Denison’s remaining two awards were earned in 1985-86 and 2008-09.
In 2001 the Denison Women’s Swimming and Diving team captured the school’s first NCAA Division III national championship by snapping Kenyon College’s streak of 17-consecutive national championships. Following this, the Denison Men's Swimming and Diving team defeated Kenyon to capture the 2011 NCAA National Title by 1 point ending the Lords' 31-year streak of championships.
In both men’s and women’s swimming and diving, Denison has posted 47 consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Division III championships. During that span, Denison has placed either second or third, nationally, 26-times.
Denison alumnus Woody Hayes ’35 spent three seasons as the head football coach at Denison from 1946-48. In 1947 and 1948 he guided the Big Red to undefeated seasons.
In 1954 Keith Piper took over as the head football coach, a position he would remain in for 39 seasons. Piper won a school record, 200 games and in 1985 he guided the program to their first 10-0 season with his antique single-wing offense. Denison qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs that season before falling to Mt. Union in the opening round.
Women’s basketball at Denison has emerged as a national contender under head coach Sara Lee. Denison’s 2010-11 squad completed the first 28-0 regular season in women’s basketball in the NCAC and have advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the seventh time in school history and their sixth time out of the last seven seasons.
The Denison men’s and women’s lacrosse programs have had their share of conference and national success. The two programs have combined for 28 NCAA Division III tournament berths. In 1999 and 2001 the Denison men’s lacrosse team advances to the semifinal (Final 4) of the NCAA Division III Tournament  and most recently, in 2009, the Big Red advanced to the national quarterfinals of the NCAC Tournament before falling to Gettysburg.
In 2008 the Denison women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA semifinals, eventually winning the consolation match to place third overall, marking the program’s best national finish. That same year the doubles team of sophomore Marta Drane and freshman Kristen Cobb advanced to the championship match of the Division III Doubles championship before falling to Brittany Berckes and Alicia Menezes of Amherst in the finals.
The Denison women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second time in school history in 2010. The previous appearance occurred in 2005. Overall the program has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 14-times.
Denison boasts 43 NCAA postrgraduate scholars and 58 Academic All-Americans.
Denison has ten fraternities and eight sororities. Fewer students are currently participating in Greek life than they have historically. In the 1980s, over 60% of the student body belonged to a Greek organization. Currently, Greek participation by students is about 40%, with more women participating than men. Greek organizations are governed by an Interfraternity Council
The North-American Interfraternity Conference , is an association of collegiate men's fraternities that was formally organized in 1910, although it began on November 27, 1909. The power of the organization rests in a House of Delegates where each member fraternity is represented by a single delegate...
and Panhellenic Council
The National Panhellenic Conference , founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 national women's sororities.Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae...
During the mid-1990s, in an effort to re-brand the college as more of an academic and less of a party institution, the college's trustees and then-President Michele Tolela Myers elected to make Denison a "non-residential" Greek system. The decision led to student and alumni uproar, with a low-grade riot erupting on the campus' "Fraternity Row" as a result. The decision turned most of the formerly-residential fraternity houses into general college residential halls, and each chapter was given lounge space in the basement of each respective house for official fraternity functions (including chapter meetings).
The fraternities include Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Phi Alpha is the first Inter-Collegiate Black Greek Letter fraternity. It was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Its founders are known as the "Seven Jewels". Alpha Phi Alpha developed a model that was used by the many Black Greek Letter Organizations ...
, Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi , often just called Beta, is a social collegiate fraternity that was founded in 1839 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA, where it is part of the Miami Triad which includes Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi. It has over 138 active chapters and colonies in the United States and Canada...
, Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...
, Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...
, Lambda Chi Alpha
Lambda Chi Alpha is one of the largest men's secret general fraternities in North America, having initiated more than 280,000 members and held chapters at more than 300 universities. It is a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference and was founded by Warren A. Cole, while he was a...
, Phi Beta Sigma
Phi Beta Sigma is a predominantly African-American fraternity which was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I...
, Phi Delta Theta
Phi Delta Theta , also known as Phi Delt, is an international fraternity founded at Miami University in 1848 and headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. Phi Delta Theta, Beta Theta Pi, and Sigma Chi form the Miami Triad. The fraternity has about 169 active chapters and colonies in over 43 U.S...
, Phi Iota Alpha
Phi Iota Alpha , established December 26, 1931, is the oldest Latino fraternity still in existence, and works to motivate people, develop leaders, and create innovative ways to unite the Latino community. The organization has roots that stem back to the late 19th century to the first Latino...
(Colony), Sigma Chi
Sigma Chi is the largest and one of the oldest college Greek-letter secret and social fraternities in North America with 244 active chapters and more than . Sigma Chi was founded on June 28, 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio when members split from Delta Kappa Epsilon...
, and Sigma Phi Epsilon
Sigma Phi Epsilon , commonly nicknamed SigEp or SPE, is a social college fraternity for male college students in the United States. It was founded on November 1, 1901, at Richmond College , and its national headquarters remains in Richmond, Virginia. It was founded on three principles: Virtue,...
. The sororities are Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African American college women. The sorority was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by a group of nine students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle...
, Delta Delta Delta
Delta Delta Delta , also known as Tri Delta, is an international sorority founded on November 27, 1888, the eve of Thanksgiving Day. With over 200,000 initiates, Tri Delta is one of the world's largest NPC sororities.-History:...
, Delta Gamma
Delta Gamma is one of the oldest and largest women's fraternities in the United States and Canada, with its Executive Offices based in Columbus, Ohio.-History:...
, Delta Sigma Theta
Delta Sigma Theta is a non-profit Greek-lettered sorority of college-educated women who perform public service and place emphasis on the African American community. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded on January 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University...
, Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma is a collegiate women's fraternity, founded at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, USA. Although the groundwork of the organization was developed as early as 1869, the 1876 Convention voted that October 13, 1870 should be recognized at the official Founders Day, because no...
, Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Alpha Theta , also known as Theta, is an international fraternity for women founded on January 27, 1870 at DePauw University, formerly Indiana Asbury...
, Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi is an international fraternity for women founded as I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its headquarters are located in Town and Country, Missouri, and there are 134 active chapters and over 330 alumnae organizations across the United States and...
, and Sigma Lambda Gamma
Sigma Lambda Gamma ' is a historically Latina-based national sorority with multicultural membership founded on April 9, 1990, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.-History:...
(Colony). Many of the former residential Fraternity Houses have been converted to other uses.
- John Pratt
John William Pratt was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1927 to 1936....
- Jonathan Going (1837–1844)
- Silas Bailey (1846–1852)
- Jeremiah Hall (1853–1863)
- Samson Talbot (1863–1873)
- Elisha Andrews
Elisha Benjamin Andrews was an American economist and educator, born in Hinsdale, New Hampshire.-Academic life:...
- Alfred Owen
Sir Alfred George Beech Owen was the son of Alfred Ernest Owen, who in 1910 became the sole-proprietor of the British engineering company Rubery Owen & Co....
- Galusha Anderson
Galusha Anderson was an American theologian. He was born at Bergen, New York, and was educated at the University of Rochester and the Rochester Theological Seminary. "He became distinguished as a preacher of the Baptist denomination, and was called in 1866 from his Church in St...
- Daniel B. Purinton (1890–1901)
- Emory W. Hunt (1901–1912)
- Clark W. Chamberlain (1913–1925)
- Avery A. Shaw (1927–1940)
- Kenneth I. Brown (1940–1950)
- A. Blair Knapp (1951–1968)
- Joel P. Smith (1969–1976)
- Robert C. Good (1976–1984)
- Andrew G. De Rocco (1984–1988)
- Michele Tolela Myers (1989–1998)
- Dale T. Knobel (1998–present)
Notable alumni include actors Steve Carell
Steven John "Steve" Carell is an American comedian, actor, voice artist, producer, writer, and director. Although Carell is notable for his role on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, he found greater fame in the late 2000s for playing Michael Scott on The Office...
, Hal Holbrook
Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr. is an American actor. His television roles include Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series Lincoln, Hays Stowe on The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher on Pueblo. He is also known for his role in the 2007 film Into the Wild, for which he was nominated for...
and Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Anne Affleck , better known as Jennifer Garner, is an American actress and film producer. Garner gained recognition on television for her performance as CIA agent Sydney Bristow in the thriller drama series Alias, which aired on ABC for five seasons from 2001 to 2006...
, football coach Woody Hayes
Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Denison University , Miami University , and Ohio State University , compiling a career college football record of 238–72–10.During his 28 seasons as the head coach of the Ohio...
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....
president George Bodenheimer
George Bodenheimer is the current president of ESPN Inc. and of ABC's sports division, known since 2006 as ESPN on ABC. He has been president of ESPN since November 19, 1998 and of the former ABC Sports since March 3, 2003...
, and former Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner
Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...