Illinois College is a small, private, residential, liberal arts college located in Jacksonville, Illinois. Affiliated with the United Churches of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA), Illinois College was established in 1829; though the second college to be created in the new state of Illinois, Illinois College was the first to conduct classes and to grant a baccalaureate degree. Founded by Rev. John M. Ellis, a Presbyterian missionary from the East, Rev. Ellis’ vision was to meet the need for a “seminary of learning” in the new state of Illinois. The College’s first president was Edward Beecher, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the highly influential anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. William Jennings Bryan, (class of 1881) is one of the College’s most notable alumni; Bryan served as a United States Congressman and was a three-time candidate for president of the United States.
Academic ProgramsIllinois College’s mission is to be a “community committed to the highest standards of scholarship and integrity in the liberal arts.” The College’s mission statement continues, declaring that Illinois College “develops in its students qualities of mind and character needed for fulfilling lives of leadership and service.” The College’s vision is to “build an international reputation for inspiring achievement and empowering students to make a difference in the world.”
Illinois College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1913. More than 80 academic programs are offered, including undergraduate majors in areas such as Accounting, Art, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, Education, English, Engineering, Environmental Studies Program, Finance, Gender and Women’s Studies, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Studies, Management Information Systems, Management and Organizational Leadership, Mathematics, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, Religion Sociology, Theatre, and more. Several pre-professional programs are also offered, including pre-law and several pre-medicine programs. In addition to these and other programs, Illinois College offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities including study abroad, internships, student-faculty research, and community service projects.
Student LifeIllinois College has a total enrollment figure of more than 950, nearly all of whom are undergraduate students. Noted for having a friendly campus, Illinois College sits on 80 acres of land which is centrally located within Jacksonville, a town with a total population of approximately 20,000. Due to its elevation in comparison to the surrounding area, Illinois College is often referred to as “On the Hilltop” or “The Hilltop”. As a residential college, student housing is offered in the form of several residence halls as well as campus apartments and housing.
More than 80 student-led clubs and organizations are recognized by Illinois College, including a number of Greek letter organizations. Illinois College is also one of the few college campuses which continue to support literary societies. Illinois College’s Student Activities Board (SAB) works to provide social programs and events to the campus community; sponsored events include bands, comedians, community service projects, lectures, trips, dances, and more. As an NCAA Division III school, Illinois College sponsors nearly two dozen varsity sports teams which compete in the Midwest Conference.