Wittenberg University is a private four-year liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio, US serving 2,000 full-time students representing 37 states and approximately 30 foreign countries.
Wittenberg was founded in 1845 by a group of pastors in the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio. German American Reverend Ezra Keller was the principal founder and first president of the college. Its initial focus was to train clergy. One of its main missions was to "Americanize" Lutherans by teaching courses in English instead of German, unlike Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The first class originally consisted of eight students at the beginning of the academic year, but grew to seventy-one by the end. With a faculty of one professor and two tutors, classes were held in Springfield, Ohio in a church on land that was donated. The city was selected for its location on the new National Road, was easily accessible by travelers once a chain of rocks to the west was successfully bridged, and had become a center for the railroads, with hundreds of trains each day. All of which was making Springfield an agricultural and industrial hub. In 1874, women were admitted, and, the following year, blacks were also admitted. The name came from Wittenberg University, located in Wittenberg, Germany, the town where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses.
Rev. Luther Alexander Gotwald, D.D. (1833–1900), Professor of Theology in the Hamma Divinity School was famously tried for and unanimously acquitted of heresy by the Board of Directors at Wittenberg on April 4 and April 5, 1893, which put on trial many key issues that Lutherans still debate today.
On May 27, 2011, in an official University press-release, it was announced that President Mark H. Erickson would be stepping down at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, allowing "the university’s Board of Directors the appropriate amount of time to conduct a national search for Wittenberg's next president".
Dr. Laurie M. Joyner was named as the university's 14th president effective July 1, 2012. She will become its first female president.
Wittenberg offers more than 70 majors and special programs. Eight pre-professional programs are offered to students, 70 percent of whom eventually pursue graduate studies. The University's science facilities are housed in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. Krieg Hall is the home of the music department. Wittenberg's art department is housed in Koch Hall. Thomas Library contains 400,000 volumes and provides access to OhioLINK, a consortium of Ohio college and university libraries as well as the State Library of Ohio. The library houses the Kemper Special Collection Area which contains the Luther-Reformation Collection with more than 400 items written by Martin Luther and his contemporaries between 1517 and 1580. The library was built 1956 to the designs of Thomas Norman Mansell of Mansell, Lewis & Fugate of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
Blair hall is where the education department is housed for the university. Undergraduates and Graduate students take classes in this building if they are planning to pursue to become a teacher. The Springfield-Wittenberg Teacher Institute and Upward Bound are both housed in Blair.
The education department has another building which used to be the former Springfield City School administration office at 49 E. College Ave, which is now owned by Wittenberg University.
Hollenbeck Hall is home to multiple departments, including the History, English, Foreign Languages, Political Science, International Studies, and Philosophy departments. The building is sectioned off into six wings, two per floor, which are separated by the Ness Family Auditorium in the center of the building. It is also where the Writing Center and Foreign Language Learning Center, two of the most often used and predominately student-run organizations are held.
The Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, likely the most modern building on campus, is home to all of the different Science and Mathematics departments. It also serves as a popular lunch location for students, as it includes a vendor on the first floor that can be used with the Wittenberg meal plans.
Recitation Hall is where many of the administrative offices for the university are housed. These offices include, admissions, financial aid, the president's office, provost's, student employment, university communications (Wittenberg's Media office for Wittenberg Magazine, Press office, New Media, Sports Media, and Publications office), and human resources. Recitation hall also has its own chapel. This was the second building constructed on campus. In 1883 classes were held in Recitation Hall. There is a second building behind Recitation hall which serves as the university's police and security headquarters, the campus switchboard and the transportation office.
This building is home to the Economics department, Upward Bound, and The Solution Center. The Upward Bound school offices have been re-located to Synod. The Upward Bound is a high school program for students in low-income areas of the city to receive a high level education from college professors while in high school.
The U.S. News & World Report for 2012 have Wittenberg ranked as the 121st best Liberal Arts college in the US, and Forbes Magazine ranked the schools as the 176th best university in the country.
In 2010, Princeton Review ranked Wittenberg 11th in the nation for "Best Classroom Experience", and 15th in the nation for "Professors Get High Marks". In addition, Princeton Review ranked the college's campus the 18th most beautiful in the nation in 2009.
The university also has top programs in Communication. The communication program was named by the National Communication Association as Nation's Best program. Along with that Wittenberg University has been named one of only 23 institutions in the nation by the Fiske Guide to Colleges for "Small Colleges and Universities Strong in Drama." The elite ranking places Wittenberg alongside such schools as Juilliard, Vassar, Oberlin, Otterbein and Princeton.
In the last 10 years, Wittenberg faculty members have won 16 Fulbright awards, more than any other liberal arts college in the state of Ohio. Chronicle of Higher Education says the university is one of 11 bachelor’s programs with more than two professors doing research under Fulbright auspices.
Wittenberg University teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Tigers are a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Wittenberg ended the 2009 fall sports season ranked 16th among more than 430 NCAA Division III schools in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings, administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)
Anime Club, Chemistry Club, Chinese Dragon Dance Team, Colleges Against Cancer/Relay for Life, College Democrats, College Republicans, Comic Book Club, East Asian Studies Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Mock Trial, New York Times Discussion Group, Outdoors Club, Pep Band, Pocket Lint Improvisational Comedy, POWER (Parliament of the Wittenberg Environmental Revolution), Pre-Health Club, Sailing Club, Crew, Society of Physics Students, Student Global AIDS Campaign, Student Senate, Swing Dance Club, Union Board, University Communications, Wittenberg Art League, Wittenberg Role-Playing Guild, Wittenberg Rugby, Wittenberg Student Dance Company (WSDC), WUSO radio station, WittMen Crew A Capella, Student newspaper The Torch, Wittenberg Film Club, Diversity Club, Planned Parenthood, and WUSS (Wittenberg University Speleological Society—The Caving Club), Younglife.
On September 24, 2008, Wittenberg opened the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement. Its purpose is to help coordinate community service projects. Their mission is to also be the partnership between the university and the city, state and federal governments. Warren Copeland, Springfield mayor and the university's professor of religion and director of the urban studies, is the faculty director.
The East Asian Institute for International Studies at Wittenberg University manages an internship program, provides export development services, and organizes programs and events focusing on international business and East Asia. The Institute supports and cooperates with Ohio's export development network.
This is the center on the north side of the campus which helps promote diversity and acceptance to the community of gay, lesbian, transgenders, or other groups.
This center is located on Wittenberg University's campus and is a non-profit organization. Its goal is educating for peace and teaching alternatives to violence. They hold classes for adults and youth students and hold camps throughout the year. They do ask for donations to help fund the programs.
The University has its own student run 24 hour radio station on 89.1FM. 89.1 WUSO, has started simulcasting the Dayton classical station WDPR Monday through Friday mornings from 6 am until 10 am. The station broadcasts news, politics, sports, food, music shows. The Tiger Sports Network broadcasts the sports programming. Its studios are located in the basement of Firestine Hall on Woodlawn Ave. The radio station broadcasts throughout the Springfield area. The radio station went through an upgrade on their website to allow audio streaming.
The launch of a new media program called the Integrated Media Corps has recently developed. A team of ten University students creates and produces news videos, sports highlight videos for WDTN-TV (Dayton NBC), WHIO-TV (Dayton CBS), WKEF-TV (Dayton ABC) and the university web, record news stories for WUSO, the student run radio station, and write press releases for the university website. The program also has began broadcasting sports programs on WIZE-AM in Springfield.
Wittenberg University has recently launched a new radio station for athletics broadcasting. The radio station currently is only internet only. To listen to Wittenberg's athletic radio programming visit the Tiger Sports Network website.
The Torch is Wittenberg University's student run newspaper which comes out on campus every Wednesday. The newspaper has a staff of news reporters, editors, viewpoint writers and sports writers.
The Wittenberg Health and Counseling services office is located in the lower level of Shovlin Hall. Athletic-related services are also available at the Excel Medicine Sports' office located in the Health, Physical, Education and Recreation building located on Bill Edwards Drive.
Wittenberg has seven residence halls on campus, including: Tower Hall, Myers Hall, Firestine Hall, Ferncliff Hall, Woodlawn Hall, New Residence Hall and Polis House. The oldest residence hall is Myers Hall. This was the first campus building when the university opened. Myers Hall is now a National Historic Site for its history. The newest residence hall is called New Residence Hall, which opened in 2006. The Polis House is the international residence hall on campus. International students, International Studies students, or language majors may choose to live in this residence. Students who are at junior or senior standing have the option to live in the university-provided on-campus apartments or off campus in apartments or rental houses.
The Benham-Pence Student Center houses most of the university's dining services. The main floor of the student center houses Post 95 which offers four different options, including Grill 95, Sandilla's sandwich and cafe, Jazzman's cafe, and Ariba Mexican. "Founders", the university pub, is located in the basement of the student center and was opened in during the 2009/2010 school year. The Center Dining Room (also known as the "CDR" by students) is located on the second floor of the Student Center along with the faculty dining room. Breakfast and lunch are also served in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center's "Simply To Go" a la carte cafe.
Wittenberg also has an active Greek Life on campus.
Wittenberg is also known for its secret societies. One of the most famous secret societies is The Shifters. They are easily identified by the paper clips worn on their clothing, usually around the collar of their shirts.