Earlham College is a national, selective Quaker liberal arts college in Friends' belief in equality, everyone addresses each other at Earlham by his or her first name, without the use of titles such as "doctor" or "professor."

While Earlham is primarily a residential undergraduate college, it does have two graduate programs — the master of arts in teaching and the master of education — which provide a route for teacher licensure to students with liberal arts undergraduate degrees. Additionally, there are two associated institutions located adjacent to the Earlham campus: Earlham School of Religion, a Christian graduate theological school in the Quaker tradition, and Bethany Theological Seminary, an independent Brethren institution offering graduate and non-degree programs.

Earlham College is listed in Loren Pope's, Colleges That Change Lives.

Campus, Curriculum and Community[]

Earlham College sits on an 800 acre (3.2 km²) campus, the majority of which is undeveloped Japanese studies, and peace and global studies. The Earlham libraries are known for their course-biological sciences and 26th in the percentage of students going on to Ph.D. programs in all fields. Earlham is known for its "Languages" program where a full year of a language is taught intensively for one semester. Earlham recently began offering two semesters of modern Arabic.

Earlham has an extensive outdoor education program, which features its own indoor climbing ropes challenge course. Earlham also has a state-of-the-art equestrian center that is student-run.

Earlham ranks schools of its Bahá'í students, and a large number of students affiliated with mainline Protestant denominations. There are also atheists, agnostics, and non-denominationalists. Between 10 and 20 percent of the student population belongs to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

The faculty at Earlham provide approximately 12:1.

Earlham College has a Morioka, Japan, a program in which about twelve to fourteen students teach English in grade schools in Morioka.

Earlham College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association.

Earlham has an entirely student-managed public radio station, WECI 91.5FM.

The Joseph tours are available upon request.

Earlham College remains the only American institution of tertiary education that allows students to study aardvarks extensively in their native habitat in the Kakamega Forest[1].


Earlham College is also a member of the cross country and has an ultimate frisbee team. The athletics teams are known as the Quakers. They originally had been the Fightin' Quakers; although the name was meant tongue-in-cheek, it was changed in the 1980s to the Hustlin' Quakers after the college's board of regents decided that it was inappropriate for Quakers to fight. In the 1990s, the name was changed again to simply Quakers. Among the student body, the chant sometimes sung publicly is

Fight, Fight, Inner Light!
Kill, Quakers, Kill!
Knock 'em Down, Beat 'em Senseless!
Do It til We Reach Consensus!


Fight, Fight, Inner Light!
Kill, Quakers, Kill!
Beat 'em, Beat 'em, Knock 'em Senseless!
Tell Me, Do We Have Consensus?

A popular cheer that was emoted by the Earlham College Fightin' Quakers football cheerleaders (circa 1979), when the opposing team had pocession of the ball, was:

Fight exuberantly!
Fight exuberantly!
Compel them to relinquish the ball!

The Hash[]

Earlham has the only student-run Hash House Harriers running group, founded in 1989 and still continuing at present (2007). While only loosely connected with national organizations, the student group maintains weekly runs and has been described by visitors as the "Galapagos of Hashes" for the creativity and development of hashing practices. The Hash run takes place on the "back campus" during all seasons.

Wilderness Programs[]

Earlham was one of the first colleges in the country to initiate student and faculty led wilderness programs, back in 1970. These programs were designed for incoming first-year and transfer students who received credit for them. The program is divided into the Water August Wilderness and the Mountain August Wilderness and lasts for approximately two weeks; the former canoes in Wabakimi Provincial park in Ontario and the latter hikes in the Uinta Mountains in Utah. Students in the past have taken ice climbing, white water kayaking, rock climbing and canoeing for credit. The program leads backpacking and canoeing trips to places like Big Bend National Park and runs a May Term (a condensed three week term after the spring semester) course which trains students to lead its August Wilderness program. Some of these students go on to lead wilderness courses for Outward Bound and similar organizations after graduation.

Non Consensus Issues[]

A great deal of effort is made at Earlham to stress its emphasis upon reaching consensus on any issue of importance. For example, student organizations are strongly encouraged not to operate according to majority vote or steering committee but instead to adopt Quaker-based consensus governance. This principle supposedly guides the institution as a whole [1].

Therefore, when matters exist for which consensus is not reached among all members of the Earlham community, the lack of consensus, in and of itself, can become an issue. Thus, these matters are known as "non consensus issues."

Student Life Issues[]

Earlham's "dry campus" policy is controversial among members of the student body and some faculty members. Drinking is fairly commonplace; some students refer to the campus as "pleasantly moist."

Tension sometimes arises between students and the Quaker Indiana and Western Yearly Meetings over issues of sexuality. Western and, to an even greater degree, Indiana Yearly Meeting tend to be more conservative on issues such as condom distribution, pregnancy, and homosexuality. This tension has been a recurrent feature of Earlham life for decades.

Earlham College only recently developed a progressive pregnancy policy, despite its progressive reputation. Before this there were few explicit guidelines in the event that a student became pregnant. The new policy states that pregnant women may reside in on-campus housing, but are also offered a housing exemption if they so desire.

There is no Greek system on campus- the closest thing might be theme halls and houses. Themes include Japan House, French House, German House, Spanish House, Environmental House, Quaker House, Interfaith House, the Cunningham Cultural Center (African/African-American House), Creative Writing House, International House, Middle Eastern House, the Jewish Cultural Center, Peace House, Miller Farm, etc. Theme halls include single gender halls (known as the Nunnery and Monastery), a co-op hall, Polyglot Hall (for language-lovers), and a Chef's Hall.

Most students stay on-campus during the weekends. This is partly because most students come from outside Indiana. Also, the Student Activities Board, Earlham Film Series, student bands, theater productions, etc. offer a variety of activities on the weekends.

Visiting Speakers[]

Other points of contention were political, mostly involving the invitation of conservative speakers to campus. While some students are hostile to these speakers because of their political views, other students enjoy the chance to hear speakers with divergent points of view.

In late editor of The Weekly Standard, was hit in the face with an ice cream pie by a student during a lecture he gave on campus [2]. This event made national and international news and was carried by many leading news outlets. Many students and applauded when Kristol resumed his talk.

Other conservative (and Republican Senator political pundit Ann Coulter's visit to Earlham in November, 2001 was much more provocative, however.

While there have been some notable exceptions, the invited to Earlham reflect left-leaning viewpoints. A short list of radicals visiting campus in recent years include Cornel West, Bell Hooks, Rashid Khalidi, Frances Moore Lappé, Gerry Adams, Hanan Ashrawi, Ralph Nader, Jackson Katz, Angela Davis, Anthony Romero, Leslie Feinberg, Adam Shapiro, Dianne Nash, George Lakoff, Victoria Jackson Gray Adams, Michael Shellenberger, Howard Zinn, Nikki Giovanni, Ali Abunimah, Helena Cobban and Margaret Cho.

In addition, Earlham has hosted a wide variety of well-known (and less well-known) entertainers, often with a politicized theme. Recent entertainers have included Chicago Kings, Bitch and Animal, Jessica Delfino, Melissa Ferrick, Alix Olson, Wesley Willis, The Second City, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Matisyahu,The Dekel Boro Jazz Trio and many others.

External links[]

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