Whittier College

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Whittier College is a private four-year residential liberal arts college located in Whittier, California.
WhittierCollege (1912) courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

History

The college was founded in 1887, by the Religious Society of Friends, or the Quakers. It was named after 19th century Friends (Quaker) poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. has been a place of academic innovation, where a community of learners pushes past constraints and "measured" ways of doing things, embracing the bold and the cutting edge. Whittier College grew from the academy and was chartered by the State of California in 1901 with a student body of 25.

Now a secular institution with no official affiliation with the Society of Friends, the College references its Quaker heritage and expresses a commitment to Quaker values, such as respect for the individual, fostering community and service, social justice, freedom of conscience, and respect for human differences. In its more than 100 year history, Whittier College has embraced and upheld these values as the foundation for its academic and social community.

In the 1940s, World War II and the call to enlist caused the college-bound and college-enrolled male population to sharply decline; so much so that Whittier College agreed to absorb the entire student body of neighboring Chapman University. Service projects and service clubs, focusing on aiding and comforting soldiers oversees and training in domestic camps, sprung up on the Whittier campus; these efforts included a toy, clothing, and candy drive for children in Japanese American Internment camps. As the war ended and veterans returned home, Whittier College's enrollment lists once again swelled. This began a prosperous time for the College, and a construction boom soon followed.

Most of the major buildings on campus have been built since the late 1940s—three in the 1940s and 1950s, seven in the 1960s, three in the 1970s and 1980s, and five since 1990. The latest addition to the campus, the Campus Center, was completed in 2008, while the Graham Athletic Center and Lillian Slade Acquatics Center completed a major renovation and expansion project at the start of 2012.

Whittier college

In 2002, an electronic bugging device was found in the office of the college newspaper, the Quaker Campus. The discovery made headlines on the Drudge Report, the Student Press Law Center and other media outlets due to the similarity to the bugging of the Democratic National Headquarters in 1972 that brought down Richard Nixon's, Whittier College's most notable alumnus, presidency in the Watergate scandal.

More than 40 percent of Whittier College undergraduates, and three of its four Rhodes Scholars, are from underrepresented ethnic and international groups. Students and faculty continue a long tradition of community service, echoing the Quaker conviction that helping others is a moral obligation. International study opportunities enrich every field and major, reflecting the Quaker idea that truth transcends the boundaries of race, culture, and nation. Whittier Law School, located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa, extends these educational values and core principles, preparing students for legal careers through a curriculum and practice that emphasizes social service, conflict resolution, international jurisprudence, and professional ethics.

Academics

Whittier College offers over 30 majors, minors, programs, and concentrations, and a design-your-own-major through the Whittier Scholars Program. The college's curriculum emphasizes an interdisciplinary "Liberal Education Program," which "prepares students to solve problems and communicate ideas in an increasingly complex and interdependent world community. It does this through its emphasis on cultural perspectives and the importance of connections between different fields of knowledge." [1]

Majors

  • Anthropology/Sociology
  • Art
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Child Development
  • Chinese
  • Economics
  • Engineering 3-2
  • English
  • Environmental Science
  • French
  • Global & Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Kinesiology & Nutrition Science
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Applied Philosophy
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Work
  • Spanish
  • Theatre & Communication Arts
  • Whittier Scholars Program

Minors

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Child Development
  • Chinese
  • Economics
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • French Cultural Studies
  • Global & Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Japanese
  • Kinesiology
  • Latino Studies
  • Liberal Arts of Organizational Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Scientific Computing
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Studio Art
  • Theatre & Communication Arts
  • Whittier Scholar Program

Athletics

Whittier College athletes are known as Poets, in honor of the college's namesake. The Poets compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) of NCAA Division III. The school has fielded sports teams for over 100 years. Its current teams include football, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, lacrosse and water polo; women’s softball and volleyball; and men’s baseball and golf.

Student Organizations

Societies

Whittier College has 11 local fraternities and sororities known as societies. The earliest of these societies were founded as literary groups. Each society must adhere to standards for scholarship, leadership, and service.

Associated Students of Whittier College

The Student Senate is the elected government of the ASWC (Associated Students of Whittier College) that consists of an Executive Cabinet, nine representatives, and six governing body chairs all who serve one-year calendar terms. There are also six standing committees, headed by a member of the Executive Cabinet, that help to conduct the regular business of ASWC. Any member of the ASWC can serve on a committee.

Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School, located on a satellite campus in Costa Mesa, California, started in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles in 1966 as Beverly Law School. In 1975, Beverly College joined Whittier with the law school moving to Costa Mesa in 1997. Whittier Law School has 4,500 alumni, practicing in 48 states and 14 countries. The school has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1978 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) since 1987.

References

  1. "Liberal Education Program. www.whittier.edu www.whittier.edu