Haverford College is a private, liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
The college was founded in 1833 by area members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to ensure an education grounded in Quaker values for their young men. It is the oldest college or university in the United States with Quaker origins. Although the college no longer has a formal religious affiliation, the Quaker philosophy still influences campus life. Originally an all-male institution, Haverford began admitting female transfer students in the 1970's, and became fully co-ed in 1980 when the board of managers came to consensus on a proposal initiated by former president John R. Coleman. The reason for the delay was not because of a lack of interest in coeducation in prior years, but rather a concern for how such a change would impact Haverford's relationship with neighboring, all-female Bryn Mawr College. Today more than half of Haverford's students are women. All students at the college are undergraduates, and most live on campus. The current enrollment is 1168 students.
Haverford is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, which allows students to register for courses at both Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College. Haverford enjoys an especially close and storied relationship, familiarly referred to by students and professors as "Bi-Co" with sister school Bryn Mawr. It is also a member of the Quaker Consortium which allows students to cross-register at the College of General Studies (CGS) at the University of Pennsylvania. Haverford also has a 3-2 engineering program with Caltech which allows a dual degree from Haverford and Caltech.
Honor Code Edit
In 1896, the students and faculty of Haverford voted to adopt an Honor Code to govern academic affairs. Since then, every student has been allowed to schedule his or her own final exams. Take-home examinations are also common at Haverford. These exams may include strict instructions such as time limits, prohibitions on using assigned texts or personal notes, and calculator usage. All students are bound to follow these instructions by the Code..
Originally conceived as a code of academic honesty, the Honor Code had expanded by the 1980s to govern social interactions. The code does not list specific rules of behavior, but rather outlines a philosophy of trust, concern, and respect for others that students are expected to follow. When a student (or other community member) feels that another student has broken the Code, he or she is encouraged not to look the other way but rather to confront the possible offender and engage in a dialogue with him or her, before taking matters to an Honor Council which can help mediate the dispute. Ideally, many potential violations are worked out through dialogue (mediated or not) and common understanding.
Student government officers administer the Code, and all academic matters are heard by student juries. More severe matters are addressed by administrators. Abstracts from cases heard by students and joint administrative-student panels are distributed to all students by several means, including as print-outs in mailboxes. The trial abstracts are made anonymous by the use of pseudonyms, which are often characters from entertainment or history.
The student body convenes every semester in a plenary session. At these meetings, the Honor Code or Student Constitution can be amended, and at Spring Plenary it must be re-ratified by the entire student body.
The Honor Code is touted by the Office of Admissions, and every student is required to sign a pledge agreeing to the Code prior to matriculation. Unlike Honor Codes at institutions such as the University of Virginia and Brigham Young University, which are imposed on the students by the administration, the Haverford Honor Code is entirely student-run. The Code originated by a body of students who felt it necessary, and current Haverford students administer and amend it every year.
Haverford offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Students may choose among 31 majors in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. While nearly all of the departments are strong, and are complemented and enhanced by the offerings of neighboring Bryn Mawr College, Haverford's natural sciences are particularly noteworthy. In the 1950s, Haverford was the first institution in America to teach modern laboratory biology (molecular biology) to undergraduates. In addition, the only National Academy of Sciences member to teach at a liberal arts college is Professor Jerry Gollub in the Department of Physics.
In addition to majors and minors, Haverford offers concentrations: Africana studies, biochemistry, biophysics, computer science, East Asian studies, education, feminist and gender studies, health and society, Latin American and Iberian studies, mathematical economics, neural and behavioral sciences, and peace studies. Students may pursue pre-medical, pre-law or pre-business intentions through any major; special advising is offered in these areas.
All majors require thesis work of seniors, and students often incorporate their concentrations into the thesis work within their major.
An additional option is the "3/2 liberal arts and engineering" course of study. This allows students to take three years of liberal arts and science courses at Haverford and then two years of engineering courses at the California Institute of Technology.
Haverford placed ninth in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of U.S. liberal arts colleges in both 2006 and 2007.
The campus is a national arboretum. Its 216 acres contain a nature trail, a pinetum with 300 different conifers, a duck pond, historic trees of diverse species, sculpture, as well as flower and Asian gardens. The buildings on campus are mostly stone and reflect Quaker and colonial design principles. Recent renovations and additions within the last 5 years include a center for science (The Integrated Natural Science Center, or INSC) and a new athletics center (The Douglas B. Gardner '83 Integrated Athletic Center). Planned additions in the future include renovations for a larger humanities center, new performing arts space, a student center and a new dorm to decompress current housing.
Much of the student body (97%) lives on campus, where housing options include apartments, themed houses, and traditional dormitories. Various options for housing exist, including suites of singles, doubles, and triples. Housing policy is very liberal and many non-freshman suites are co-ed. In 2000, at the urging of Haverford's InQueery, co-ed roommate options were permitted for the first time.
Approximately 75% of faculty live on campus , which is unusual for liberal arts colleges.
Local attractions within walking distance include Wawa and IHOP. Merion Golf Club and Suburban Square are also located within walking distance.
Haverford is located on the Main Line about 10 miles west of Philadelphia. The school is connected to center city Philadelphia by the SEPTA R5 commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line.
- ↑ Physics and Astronomy: Options for Engineering at Haverford www.haverford.edu. URL accessed February 9, 2007.
- ↑ The Haverford College Arboretum's website www.haverford.edu. URL accessed May 02, 2007
- ↑ Bi-Co News: National media reacts to non-issue at Haverford URL accessed July 9, 2007.
- ↑ http://www.haverford.edu/admissions/onlinecampustour/hallbuilding.html
Student life Edit
Activities available at Haverford range from the usual small college options of improv comedy, to smaller adventures, such as tag or sardines in the sciences center.
Free music events are often presented in the basement of Lunt (a student dorm), adjacent to the always-popular Lunt Cafe. Professional funk, rock, blues, and jazz bands are brought in by the Federation of United Concert Series, a student organization. Student musicians have created a vibrant musical community on campus, forming a number of bands with eclectic styles. Haverford boasts practice facilities, a recording studio, and a record label, Black Squirrel Records, which releases compilation albums that feature Haverford student bands. Students also run their own radio station, WHRC Radio, which broadcasts streaming audio.
Student publications include the Bi-College News, a newspaper in collaboration with students at Bryn Mawr College that serves both campuses; The Haverford Review, a student literary magazine; Without a (Noun), the Haverford satire/humor magazine; the Haverford Journal, an academic journal; and The Record, the student yearbook.
Many students are involved in volunteering, either on their own or through Haverford's volunteer coordination organization, Eighth Dimension. Volunteer opportunities are especially plentiful due to Haverford's proximity to Philadelphia. Activism is also a part of student life, and groups such as the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), Students Toward a New Democracy (STAND), Amnesty International, College Republicans, and College Democrats have a presence on campus. The student body is overwhelmingly politically liberal, but is not without its vocal conservative elements. High value is placed in listening to many sides without disrespect or vitriol, in spirit with the Honor Code.
The college has regular college-sponsored events, such as a "Screw-Your-Roommate" Dance. Haverford has no fraternities or sororities, but Drinker House is considered to be the closest resemblance to one on campus.
In 2002, a group of students founded a computing club called FIG (a recursive acronym for FIG Is Good). Services provided by FIG include the college's student portal, Go!, server space for students, and an online discussion forum called the Go! Boards. Amid controversy, the boards have become a major venue for discussion on campus as well as providing a popular method of procrastination.
Of the nation's 357 "best" colleges, the Princeton Review ranks Haverford as #6 for Best Overall Undergraduate Experience. In addition, Haverford, unlike many of its peers, is located within easy travel of a large metropolitan center and the opportunities that Philadelphia offers.
Princeton Review placed Haverford on several other lists for the 2007 year. On the list for "Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates," Haverford ranks #8; "School Runs Like Butter," #17, "The Toughest to Get Into," #20, "Best Quality Of Life," #14, "Happiest Students," #16. 
Haverford College competes at the NCAA Division III level in the Centennial Conference.
The men's and women's cross country teams are perennial powerhouses in their division. Both the men's cross country and outdoor track and field teams have won the last 14 Centennial Conference championships. The women's team has captured the last three Conference titles. In 1997, Karl Paranya '97 became the first (and only) Division III athlete to run a four-minute mile, clocking 3:57.6. The history of Haverford track also includes former team captain Philip Noel-Baker '08, who later captained Great Britain's "Chariots of Fire" Olympic team upon which the movie is based.
The men's soccer team, the nation's oldest, won the first intercollegiate soccer match in 1905, beating Harvard College. It is also of interest to note that Harvard's team was founded by Haverford alumni in graduate school.
The first intercollegiate basketball game played east of the Mississippi River occurred in Ryan Gym in 1895 between Haverford and Temple University.
The fencing team has competed since the early 1930s and is a member of both the Middle Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association (MACFA) and the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association (NIWFA). Recently retired coach, David Littell, fenced in the 1988 olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In 2007, the Haverford Fencing team fenced an undefeated MACFA season (a school record) and won its third championship. Other championships were won in 1983 and 2004. Haverford is currently searching for a new coach to lead them in the 2007-2008 season.
Further reading Edit
- Haverford College Alumni Association. A History of Haverford College For the First Sixty Years of Its Existence. Philadelphia, Pa: Porter & Coates, 1892.
- Jones, Rufus Matthew. Haverford College: A History and Interpretation. New York: Macmillan, 1933.
- Kannerstein, Gregory, ed. The Spirit and the Intellect: Haverford College 1883-1983. Haverford, Pa.: Haverford College, 1983.
- Langlieb, David M. Haverford College Off the Record. Pittsburgh, Pa: College Prowler, 2005.
- Sharpless, Isaac. The Story of a Small College. Philadelphia, Pa: The John C. Winston Company, 1918.
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