Juniata College is a private liberal arts college located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. It is named after the Juniata River — one of the principal tributaries of the Susquehanna River. In 1876 it became the first college founded by the Church of the Brethren and has been co-educational since that time. Juniata has a current enrollment of approximately 1,600 students from 28 states and territories and 26 foreign countries.
The Huntingdon Normal School was established by a young Huntingdon physician, Dr. Andrew B. Brumbaugh, and his two cousins, Henry and John Brumbaugh. Henry provided a second-story room over his local printing shop for classes while John lodged and fed the college's first teacher, Jacob M. Zuck, free for one year. Andrew was to "provide students and furniture".
Juniata's first classes were held on April 17, 1876 with Zuck teaching Rebecca Cornelius, Maggie D. Miller, and Gaius M. Brumbaugh, the only son of Andrew Brumbaugh. In 1879 classes moved into Founder's Hall, the school's first permanent building on the present day campus. The college was renamed "Juniata College" in 1893 for the nearby Juniata River and its watershed.
In 1895 Dr. Martin Grove Brumbaugh, an 1881 graduate from Huntingdon Normal, took over the active presidency of Juniata until 1901 whereby he continued in name only until 1910. During and after his tenure, Brumbaugh remained intimately connected to the college, and reacquired the college's presidency in 1924, after having served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1915-1919.
M. G. Brumbaugh died unexpectedly in 1930 while on vacation in Pinehurst, North Carolina and was succeeded in his presidency by a former pupil at Juniata, Dr. Charles Calvert Ellis.
The current president of Juniata College is Dr. Thomas R. Kepple Jr. He retired in 2013.
The main campus area is 110 acres (0.45 km2), and the college manages a 315-acre (1.27 km2) Baker-Henry Nature Preserve. Two new buildings since 2000 include the Von Liebig Center for Science and the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre. The newest building project on the campus is the renovation of Founders Hall, which was the first building on campus. Construction was finished in the summer of 2009 and uses underground geothermal energy to heat and cool the building. This building will be recognized as a LEED Gold building.
Other off-campus sites include the Baker Peace Chapel (designed by Maya Lin) and the Raystown Field Station, a 365-acre (1.48 km2) reserve on Raystown Lake. The "cliffs" also offer some beautiful scenery of the Juniata River. The college also owns the Raystown Field Station which includes a LEED Gold building and two lodges for semester-long residential programs, often focused on environmental topics.
Juniata College features a "Program of Emphasis" rather than the common Academic major. Within a certain course framework, students choose and create their own Program of Emphasis and graduate with a degree in it. There are designated Programs of Emphasis that follow a set of courses (e.g. Environmental Science, Communication and Anthropology, etc.) or students may create their own with the approval of two faculty advisors.
Juniata is a liberal arts institution. It has strong programs in a variety of areas, from the natural sciences to the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Many students who enter Juniata for the strong science programs, however, find that they enjoy world culture, international programs, peace studies, politics, or a variety of other disciplines. This varied combination allows students to explore different facets of the world.
The strong academic tradition of Juniata College is made apparent in the success of its students. The school touts an impressive graduation rate: 79% of all students entering Juniata graduate; of those, 96% do so within four years. Juniata also has a 95% acceptance rate to all postgraduate programs, including medical, podiatric, dental, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, and law schools.
Since 2003, Juniata has produced eight Academic All-Americans, five American Physiological Society Undergraduate Research Fellows, four Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholars, seven Fulbright Scholars, seven Goldwater Scholars, two Pickering Fellows, eight St. Andrew's Society Scholars, and one Davies-Jackson Scholar. Juniata also perennially places at least one student as a Harvard Summer Research Scholar.
Nearly forty-five percent of Juniata students design their own program of emphasis, and Juniata offers study-abroad opportunities in 30 countries.
Juniata is a Division III collegiate sports institution. It is well known for its volleyball program (Men's and Women's) and is also a charter member of the Landmark Conference. Juniata athletes compete in the Landmark Conference except for volleyball and football. The Juniata Men's Volleyball Team competes in the Continental Volleyball Conference (formerly it competed in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association winning several titles under, both, Division I and Division III sanctioning). The Juniata Eagles Football Squad is a member of the Centennial Conference. Juniata had a school record of five Academic All-Americans in 2004-2005 academic year and 38 All-American honors since 1998.
In addition, "College Hill" sports 2 National Championships in Women's Volleyball (2004 & 2006). Men's Volleyball boasts one EIVA Championship as an NCAA Division I exception (1992) and 6 National Championships as a Division III powerhouse (1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2009).
The Goal Post Trophy goes to the winner of the annual football game with rival Susquehanna University. It is a section of goal post from the post that was torn down after the 1952 Juniata-Susquehanna game. The visiting Indians (now Eagles) upset the Crusaders in Selinsgrove, and Juniata fans tore down the goal post after the game. At roughly 5 feet tall, it is one of the tallest trophies in college football..
Juniata College has a tradition of campus-wide events dating back to its founding days.
Notable alumni of Juniata include:
In the press
Juniata College is mentioned in the following publications: 2006 Princeton Review's Best 361 Colleges; Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives; Kaplan, Inc.'s Insider's Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges; Peterson's Competitive Colleges; Miriam Weinstein's Making A Difference College Guide: Outstanding Colleges to Help You Make a Better World; Barron's Best Buys in College Education; Leland Miles' Provoking Thought: What Colleges Should Do for Students; Elle Girl Magazine: Top 50 colleges that Dare to be Different; Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges; and Don Asher's Cool Colleges. In 2009, Forbes rated it 75th of America's Best Colleges.
The college was listed as 1 of 13 "best performing" colleges according to a 2004 study by the Teagle Foundation. It was noted as an "overachieving college" based on an "exceptionally high graduation rate" and "has a high percentage of students who go to earn doctoral degrees and achieves those numbers through efficient use of resources."
A History of the Juniata Valley, vol. 1, National Historical Association, Harrisburg, PA, 1936.