Hamilton College

name = Hamilton College

motto = Γνωθι Σεαυτον (Know Thyself)
established = 1793 as Hamilton-Oneida Academy, 1812 as Hamilton College
type = Private coeducational
endowment = $779 million USD
president = Joan Hinde Stewart
address = 198 College Hill Road
city = Clinton
state = NY
country = USA
undergrad = 1,780
postgrad =
faculty = 183
free_label = Annual Fees
free = $48,410 (2008–2009)
campus = Rural
nickname = Continentals
colors = Buff color box|#EECFA1 and Blue color box|#003366
affiliations = MAISA;
website= [http://www.hamilton.edu www.hamilton.edu]

Hamilton College is a private, independent, liberal arts college located in Clinton, New York. In 2007, U.S. News & World Report ranked Hamilton the 17th best liberal arts college in the United States. [http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1libartco_brief.php Annual report from US News and World report] .] The college is known for its emphasis on writing and speaking. The school was founded in 1793, chartered as Hamilton College in 1812, and has been coeducational since 1978, when it merged with Kirkland College.

Hamilton is sometimes referred to as the "College on the Hill", due to the school's location on top of College Hill, just outside of downtown Clinton. Hamilton College is considered to be one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, and is considered one of the "Little Ivies." A separate article listing notable Hamilton College alumni includes leaders in business, government, academics, arts, sports, and other fields.


Hamilton currently offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in any of over 50 areas of concentration. [ [http://www.hamilton.edu/academics/ Hamilton College Website, Academics Overview] ] Additionally, Hamilton students may study abroad. The College runs programs in China, France, and Spain, as well as programs closer to home in New York City and Washington, DC. Hamilton is well known for its unique "open" curriculum, for which there are no distributional requirements; students have nearly total freedom over their course selection. Hamilton College, Brown University and Smith College are institutions with such a policy. The college has a tradition of adherence to an academic honor code. Every student matriculating at Hamilton must sign a pledge to observe the Honor Code, and many examinations are not proctored. Hamilton has been part of the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admission since 2002. [ [http://www.hamilton.edu/admission/ApplicationProcess/requirements.html Hamilton College Website, Standardized Testing Requirements] ]


Hamilton began in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, a K-12 school, and was chartered as Hamilton College in 1812. Samuel Kirkland founded the College as part of his missions work with the Oneida tribe. The college is named for Alexander Hamilton, who was a member of the first Board of Trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy (though he never set foot on campus). Baron von Steuben, acting as Hamilton's surrogate, laid the college's cornerstone.Fact|date=May 2007

In 1978, the all-male Hamilton College merged with the all-female Kirkland College, which had been located adjacent to and founded by Hamilton; the primary public reason for the merger was Kirkland's imminent insolvency. It took nearly 7 years to fully complete the merger; female students were given the option of receiving a Kirkland diploma instead of a Hamilton diploma until 1979. Several former Kirkland faculty members teaching at Hamilton still fondly remember being part of a very different academic community prior to the merger.

Hamilton College is the third oldest college established in New York, after Columbia and Union.Fact|date=May 2007

Since the 1970s, Hamilton has been a member of the NESCAC athletic conference (despite being located outside of New England), which includes Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams.

Today, the original Hamilton campus is referred to by students and some school literature as the "light side" or "north side" of the campus. Formerly, the original side of campus was referred to as the "Stryker Campus" after its former president, [http://www.iment.com/maida/familytree/henry/bios/cmdrmtw.htm#mbwstryker Melancthon Woolsey Stryker] (or incorrectly "Striker Campus"). On the other side of College Hill Road, the original Kirkland campus is referred to affectionately as the "dark side" or as the "south side."

Campus life

The current Hamilton College campus consists of the original Hamilton College campus and the neighboring former campus of Kirkland College, known respectively as the light side and the dark side.

In the mid 1990s, the administration enacted a policy requiring all underclassmen to live in college housing (resulting in the closure of all fraternity houses and the Emerson Literary Society's house), and created social spaces for student use, improved funding for on-campus events, and pursued several other social life changes. This process caused a great deal of controversy — mostly surrounding the decision to preclude fraternities from exercising any use of their houses. As a result, the majority of fraternities felt they had no choice but to sell their houses to the college, though some fraternities refused to sell their houses until well into the next decade. As the college purchased the houses, it has carried out extensive renovations. Since the discussion, a few fraternities and sororities have had their charters revoked or suspended for extreme behavior (causing additional controversy among the students and alumni).


Nearly all students live in college-owned dorms. There are a variety of styles of residence halls, including former fraternity houses, suites, apartment style housing, and more traditional dormitory style housing. Hamilton currently offers a cooperative living option to students, as well as substance-free and quiet housing. [ [http://www.hamilton.edu/VirtualTour/life1.html Hamilton College Website, "Virtual Tour"] ]


There are currently ten fraternities, seven sororities, and one co-ed society active on the Hamilton College campus. Greek organizations still provide significant social capital despite the misappropriation of the houses following the 1995 Residential Life Decision, and fraternity members compose a majority of Trustees, and successful alumni in general. These fraternities comprise some of the oldest and most exclusive collegiate social organizations in the country; most with chapters only at elite eastern Colleges, including two of the "Union Triad" : Delta Phi and Sigma Phi. They consist of Alpha Delta Phi ( founded at Hamilton College ), Chi Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Phi, Delta Upsilon, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Psi Upsilon, Sigma Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Theta Delta Chi. The sororities are Alpha Chi Lambda, Alpha Theta Chi, Gamma Xi, Kappa Delta Omega, [http://students.hamilton.edu/ksa/Site/Welcome.html Kappa Sigma Alpha] , Omega Phi Beta, and Phi Beta Chi.

While all of the fraternities on campus are affiliated with national organizations, only one sorority (Omega Phi Beta) has a national affiliation. The other six sororities are unique to Hamilton.

Lambda Chi Alpha existed at Hamilton until 1958.

Hamilton also has a co-ed, non-Greek social society, the Emerson Literary Society.

Further information about each society may be found on the [http://www.hamilton.edu/college/Student_Activities/organizations.html?action=getOrgs&category=GO Hamilton College website] .

On-campus events

The changes have allowed the student community to increase the number and types of activities available on campus. The college has also provided significant funding for student activities through student-run organizations. College-sponsored student-run groups routinely bring music, movies, plays, and other performers to the college. The Hamilton College Student Assembly allocates over one quarter of a million dollars to student groups each year. The Student Activities Office, the President's Office, and other College offices provide additional funds for student groups.Fact|date=May 2007

Campus media

WHCL-FM: During the academic year, Hamilton students, faculty, and community members produce a variety of music, news, sports, and talk radio programs at FM frequency 88.7 The station is available through most of the Mohawk Valley region and online at [http://www.whcl.org WHCL.org] . It is the only radio station in Clinton.

The Spectator: Hamilton College's primary news publication is published weekly and is freely available in the campus dining halls, mail center, and library. Also online at [http://www.hamilton.edu/spectator hamilton.edu/spectator] . The Spectator covers campus, local, and national news as well as Hamilton sports and campus life. It is older than the New York Times,Fact|date=August 2007 which is the paper's official slogan.

The Daily Bull: A daily bulletin that features humor pieces, campus satire, cultural commentary, classified advertisements, and local weather. The Daily Bull is noted for being printed on yellow legal size paper, and is distributed on dining hall tables every morning.

The Wag: Hamilton's biannual satire magazine, published near the end of every semester. It features written and graphical satire of campus news and life. The Wag has also produced short feature films about the "Hamilton experience" in the past.

The Duel Observer: A weekly humor and satire publication that adopts the format of a parody newspaper (i.e. the Onion). The name "Duel Observer" is a reference to the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton which resulted in Hamilton's death.

HamPoll: Hamilton's Polling organization regularly surveys students and faculty. Recent surveys have asked about relationship dynamics, evaluations of academic departments, recycling habits, as well as political and social affiliations.

The Continental: A student-run magazine published a few times a semester. The magazine features fashion advice, party photos, and articles on a variety of subjects.

Annual events and traditions

Class and Charter Day: On the last day of spring term classes, all afternoon classes are cancelled for a campus wide picnic and party. Additionally, a ceremony is held during which students, faculty, and other members of the Hamilton community are recognized for their academic, leadership, and community-development accomplishments. During the ceremony, chosen students are also inducted into Hamilton's three prestigious and secret honor societies: Doers and Thinkers (13 rising sophomores), Was Los (6 rising juniors), and Pentagon (5 rising seniors). Class and Charter Day is also the biggest party day of the year at Hamilton.

Citrus Bowl: The Citrus Bowl is the first men's home hockey game of the season. Traditionally the game was called the Orange Bowl, and upon the first Hamilton-scored goal, oranges that students had smuggled into the rink were thrown onto the ice at the visiting goalie. This often resulted in a delay-of-game penalty against Hamilton while the ice was cleaned. In recent years, the orange throwing has been very strongly discouraged by the College administration and by NESCAC officials, but the event is still well attended. Orange T-shirts commemorating the event have been distributed in recent years.

FebFest: Rooted in the long standing tradition of the winter carnival at Hamilton, FebFest is a relatively recent revival at Hamilton. A week-long combination of performances, parties, free food, fireworks, and various other events, FebFest intends to keep student morale high during the winter.

May Day Music Festival: Started in 2004, May Day is an outdoor music festival sponsored by several on-campus organizations including the Hamilton College Independent Music Fund, WHCL, and the Hamilton College Campus Activities Board. Past performers have included: Citizen Cope, The New Pornographers, The Pharcyde, Dead Meadow, Tim Reynolds, The Virginia Coalition, Jennifer Gentle, Rainer Maria, Ted Leo, The Unicorns, J-Live, Catch-22 and Sleater-Kinney. It should be noted that the name "May Day" has no association with other May Day events and activities elsewhere in the world. Rather, the name simply refers to the fact that the festival is staged in early May or late April.

HamTrek: Started in 2004, HamTrek is an annual sprint-triathlon consisting of a 525-yard swim, 9-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run. Participants can compete individually, in unisex teams of 3, or co-ed teams of 3. Prizes are awarded to the winners of the different competing groups. Also, many athletic coaches now require their teams to compete. HamTrek takes place on Class and Charter day.


Like most small colleges in the United States, Hamilton is working to increase the diversity of its student body. See the Statistics section for more information.


Hamilton is a NCAA Division III school and has been a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference since 1971. The college sports teams are known as the Hamilton Continentals. Hamilton sponsors 28 sports, including: Baseball (M), Basketball (M&W), Crew (M&W), Cross Country (M&W), Field Hockey (W), Football (M), Golf (M), Ice Hockey (M&W), Lacrosse (M&W), Outdoor and Indoor Track & Field (M&W), Soccer (M&W), Softball (W), Squash (M&W), Swimming & Diving (M&W), Tennis (M&W), Volleyball (W).

Prior to the 1993-94 academic year, Hamilton sports teams could not participate in any national postseason tournaments. The rule was changed that year, allowing Hamilton to participate in Division III tournaments in various sports. On May 18, 2008, Hamilton won its first NCAA championship, when the women's lacrosse team defeated Franklin & Marshall 13-6 in the finals of the NCAA tournament.

About 30% of the Hamilton student body participates on the athletics program. In addition to varsity sports, Hamilton sponsors several club sports and intramural activities each year. Club sports include alpine skiing, curling, equestrian, figure skating, men's rugby, women's rugby, tae kwon do, ultimate frisbee, and women's golf. In 2008 the men's rugby team received fourth place in the national Division III tournament. All students have the opportunity to participate at a level enjoyable to them, including the creation of a streaking team in 2002.

Hamilton's mascot is a Continental, a soldier in America's Continental Army of the Revolutionary War. The college's colors are buff and blue, the colors of the Continental Army's uniforms. The college's namegiver, Alexander Hamilton played a central role in the Continental Army as General George Washington's Chief of Staff. At many sporting events Hamilton is represented by the Al-Ham (an abbreviation of Alexander Hamilton) pig. A large, anthropomorphic pig attired in a Hamilton football jersey and a Continental soldier's tri-corner hat, the pig was introduced in the early 2000s in attempt to positively boost school spirit and interest in Hamilton's athletics program.


During the summer of 2006, the school completed a 56 million dollar science building. The art department has separate studios for each of the studio arts taught, most of which are in the midst a 37.5 million dollar renovation project. Hamilton's athletic facilities include an ice rink, swimming pool, several athletics fields, a golf course, a three-story climbing wall, and a state of the art 10 Court Squash Center (opened in 2006), all of which are open to use by the student body.

Carol Woodhouse Wellin Performance Hall

The 700 seat hall hosts the College Orchestra conducted by Heather Buchman, Choir, Jazz Band, Oratorio Society, and Faculty Dance Concerts as well as guest artists from around the globe.

The Sage Rink

Hamilton College’s Sage Rink is America's second oldest indoor collegiate hockey rink after Northeastern University's Matthews Arena [http://www.hamilton.edu/applications/campus_tour/frame.html?DEP=Athletic&ID=SRINK Hamilton College - Campus Tour - Tour Pages ] ] . It was financed by the widow of industrialist Russell Sage, whose name graces a number of Central New York college edifices, including Russell Sage College. In addition to Continental mens and women's teams, youth hockey, high school teams, adult amateur efforts and the famous Clinton Comets, who dominated the semi-professional Eastern Hockey League in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, have played at the Sage Rink. [http://village.clinton.ny.us/content/History History of Clinton] .] It was renovated in 1993, when it received better lighting, ice-making equipment, and structural enhancements. The rink houses the college's Men's and Women's varsity hockey teams, intramural ice hockey, physical education classes, and local youth hockey games.

Bristol Swimming Pool

Complete in 1988, the pool was christened by a Guinness Book of World Records setting event in April 1989 when the world's longest swim relay was completed in the Bristol pool.Fact|date=May 2007

Steuben Field

Home to the Hamilton College football team, Steuben Field was founded in 1897, and is one of the ten oldest collegiate football fields in the United States. [http://www.nescac.com/Records/fbrecordbook.htm NESCAC Football Record Book] ]

Litchfield Observatory

IAU code 789, from which C. H. F. Peters discovered some 48 asteroidsFact|date=May 2007. The observatory burned down but is currently marked on campus by its telescope mount outside of the Suida Admissions house. The current observatory, a quarter of a mile from campus, is powered by solar energy and is open for student use.

Campus speakers

Hamilton hosts many different speakers on many different subjects. Notable recent speakers have included Salman Rushdie, Jared Diamond, Stanley Lombardo, Peter Meineck, Kenneth Miller, David Corn and the speakers of the Great Names series (see below).

The Sacerdote Great Names Series at Hamilton

Starting in 1996 "the Sacerdote Great Names Series" has brought some of the most sought after speakers to campus for presentations. While most of these have been in the form of speeches, they have also included concerts by B. B. King and Aretha Franklin.

To date the speakers that have been part of this series are:

* Jon Stewart, November 14, 2008 (announced)
* Aretha Franklin, April 5, 2008
* Al Gore, April 26, 2007
* Tom Brokaw, April 27, 2006
* Bill Clinton, November 9, 2004
* Bill Cosby, October 15, 2003
* Rudolph Giuliani, September 24, 2002
* Madeleine Albright, March 6, 2002
* Jimmy Carter, April 30, 2001
* Desmond Tutu, April 11, 2000
* Lady Margaret Thatcher, December 9, 1999
* B.B. King, October 20, 1998
* F.W. de Klerk, April 8, 1998
* Elie Wiesel, April 3, 1997
* James Carville, and Mary Matalin October 15, 1996
* Colin Powell, April 1, 1996

Facts and Figures about the College Community

Geographic diversity:

Hamilton students come from 46 U.S. states and 46 countries. [ [http://www.hamilton.edu/hamilton_at_a_glance/studentbody.html " Facts About Hamilton: The Student Body] ]

Hamilton College people can be found in a variety of sectors and places. Among them are thought leaders, winners of Nobel, Pulitzer and Tony awards, leading authors, artistic legends, the CEOs of major corporations (Procter & Gamble, LinkedIn,Saks Fifth Avenue and famous financiers.

Hamilton Faculty

Among the many distinguished members of the Hamilton faculty are:

Dennis Gilbert- Influential sociologist

Maurice Isserman-Historian of the left and mountaineering

Philip Klinkner- Expert on American Politics

Heidi Ravven- Scholar of Religion and Philosophy

Historical landmarks on campus

Hamilton College Chapel

The college's chapel is a historically protected landmark and is the only three story chapel still standing in America. [ [http://www.hamilton.edu/applications/campus_tour/frame.html?DEP=Social&ID=CHAPEL Hamilton College - Campus Tour - Tour Pages ] ] The chapel is topped by a signature quill pen weather vane, which represents Hamilton College's long standing commitment to producing graduates with exceptional writing and communication abilities.Fact|date=May 2007

Kirkland Cottage

The cottage was the original residence of Samuel Kirkland when he began his missionary work to the Oneida that resulted in the founding of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy. The cottage itself is completely original, although it was moved from its original location to its current place on the main quadrangle of the Hamilton Side. The cottage is currently used for matriculation ceremonies.

Birthplace of Elihu Root

This house originally belonged to the Root family and was the birthplace of Secretary of State Elihu Root. The house has since been renamed Buttrick Hall. Originally built in 1812 as the student dining hall, in 1834 it became the home of Horatio Buttrick, then superintendent of the Buildings and Grounds Department as well as registrar. Through Oren Root’s marriage to a daughter of Horatio Buttrick, the building became the birthplace of Elihu Root, U.S. secretary of state and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.Fact|date=May 2007 The house currently serves as office space for the President of the College and the Dean of Faculty.

Elihu Root House

The Elihu Root House house originally belonged to Elihu Root and served as his summer home. Formerly the home of the Office of Admission, it as of September 2007 is home to the Dean of Students Office, the Registrar, and the department of History.

College songs

* Carissima
* "We Never Will Forget Thee", the fight song of Hamilton College, often performed by the Hamilton College Buffers, an all-male student a cappella group. The Hamilton College Football team also sings a slightly modified version of this song upon winning a football game.


* In Act III of Thornton Wilder's play, "Our Town", the character Mr. Webb was returning on the early-morning train after having been away for several days in Clinton, New York, to make a speech at Hamilton College, his alma mater. Hamilton graduate Alexander Woollcott was friends with Wilder and convinced him to include the college.
* Hamilton was cited as the second most "preppy" college in the United States in Lisa Birnbach's "Official Preppy Handbook".

See also

* List of Hamilton College people


External links

* [http://www.hamilton.edu/ Official website]
* [http://hamiltonwiki.wikilot.com/wiki/Main_Page Hamilton College Wiki]
* [http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/directory/brief/drglance_2728_brief.php/ America's Best Colleges 2008, Hamilton College At A Glance]
* [http://www.gghamilton.org/ Graduates for a Greener Hamilton]
* [http://www.theahi.org/ Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (unaffiliated with Hamilton College)]
* [http://www.hcagr.squarespace.com/ Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform]

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