|Motto||Seeking truth. Building strength. Inspiring service. Together.|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Evangelical Lutheran Church in America|
|President||Dr. John R. Swallow|
|Nickname||Red Men and Lady Reds|
|NCAA Division III – CCIW|
Carthage awards bachelor's degrees with majors in more than 40 subject areas and master's degrees in two areas. Carthage has 150 faculty. It is the coordinator for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.
Carthage College was founded by Lutheran pioneers in education, and chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on Jan. 22, 1847 and was known as The Literary and Theological Institute of the Lutheran Church in the Far West, which was soon shortened to Lutheran College and known locally as Hillsboro College. With a two-person faculty and 79 students, Hillsboro promised "a course of study designed to be thorough and practical, and to embrace all the branches of learning, usually pursued in the best academies and colleges."
In 1852, the college moved to Springfield, Illinois, and assumed the name of Illinois State University. During this period, Abraham Lincoln served briefly on the Board of Trustees from 1860 to 1861, while his son Robert Todd Lincoln was a student in Illinois State University's preparatory academy from 1853 to 1859. Illinois State University's enrollment dwindled during the Civil War, and in 1870 the college moved again, this time to the rural, west-central city of Carthage, Illinois, where the college acquired its current name.
After years of financial challenges, shifts in Lutheran synodical support, and searches for a suitable location, Carthage's Board of Trustees voted unanimously in 1957 to open a campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The lakeshore campus was dedicated on October 14, 1962.
By 1962, the college launched an era of growth. The next decade brought a period of continuous expansion. Enrollment increased fivefold, endowment tripled, and physical assets increased 600 percent. In Fall 1995, Carthage enrolled 1,527 full-time students, setting a new record. Intensive national searches have built a teaching-oriented faculty holding Ph.D.s from major graduate programs across the country. Since 2001, the College has invested more than $130 million in new construction, major renovations and technological acquisition.
In 2001, the Hedberg Library opened its doors, adjoining the H. F. Johnson Center for the Fine Arts. The library won Wisconsin Library of the Year in 2004. The library also won the Highsmith Award in 2007 for Family Fun Night, a program for community members that encourages learning for children from 2–13. The former Ruthrauff Library was renovated into the A. W. Clausen Center for World Business, opening in 2004.
The Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center opened in 2001, and the former Physical Education Center was rebuilt and renamed the Tarble Arena, opening in 2009.
In Fall 2011, a new student union opened on the site of the former W. F. Seidemann Natatorium. It houses a new press box, new bleachers, a new and larger bookstore, new dining options, a campus "living room", a new dining room, a 200-seat theatre, an art gallery, and a gaming area. In April 2012 the student center was formally dedicated and named the Campbell Student Union in honor of retiring President F. Gregory Campbell and his wife, Barbara, for their 25 years of service to Carthage. President Campbell retired in August 2012.
The Oaks, a new student residence village overlooking Lake Michigan, opened in 2012, containing six villas with semi-private suites and a media lounge on each floor.
In Fall 2015, a new science center opened in the newly renovated David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Natural and Social Sciences. Originally built in 1962, the former Science Hall was renovated and renamed in honor of David A. Straz, Jr., in 1995. The latest $45 million expansion added a new planetarium, twelve new science labs, new classrooms, faculty offices, and student gathering and exhibition spaces.
In Fall 2018, the newest residence hall, The Tower, was opened. The Tower provides students with apartment-style style suites with personal bathrooms, as well as media lounges on each floor and communal kitchens on every other floor. The new building also presented students with the Terrace, a new studying space with televisions, laptop bars, and a functioning fireplace.
Carthage has had 23 presidents since its founding:
- Francis Springer — 1847-55
- Simeon W. Harkey — 1855-57, 1862–66
- William M. Reynolds — 1858–62
- Simeon W. Harkey — 1862-66
- David Loy Tressler — 1873–80
- J. A. Kunkelman — 1881–83
- J. S. Detweiler — 1883–84
- E.F. Bartholomew — 1884–88
- Holmes Dysinger — 1888–95
- John M. Ruthrauff — 1895–1900
- Frederick L. Sigmund — 1900–09
- Harvey D. Hoover — 1909–26
- N. J. Gould Wickey — 1926–29
- Jacob Diehl — 1929–33
- Rudolph G. Schulz — 1935–43
- Erland Nelson — 1943–49
- Morris Wee — 1950–51
- Harold H. Lentz — 1952–76
- Erno J. Dahl — 1977–86
- Alan R. Anderson — 1986–87
- F. Gregory Campbell — 1987–2012
- Gregory S. Woodward — 2012–2017
- John R. Swallow — 2017–present
Carthage offers a Bachelor of Arts in more than 40 areas of study and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Carthage also partners with master's level institutions to offer dual-degree programs in engineering, occupational therapy, chiropractic and pharmacy.
The academic calendar spans two 14-week semesters, separated by a month-long January term. The college has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1916. Carthage also offers three master's degree programs in education, business design and innovation, and Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy.
Undergraduate tuition for the 2019–20 academic year was $45,100 (excluding books, personal expenditures, and health insurance). On Sept. 17, 2019, the college announced that it was resetting the sticker price of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year by 30% to $31,500. The college made this decision in an effort to make its pricing more transparent and to attract students that may have been deterred by the high listed tuition.
In fall 2016, Carthage had enrollment of 2,818 undergraduate students and 112 graduate students. The student body is 55 percent female and 45 percent male. 70% of applicants are accepted for admission.
All Carthage students are required to take Western Heritage, a year-long course sequence in which they read, discuss, and write about major Western texts. The reading list includes works by Plato, Homer, Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, and W. E. B. DuBois, in addition to the Bible.
All students must complete a senior thesis. This capstone project can take the form of a research project, music recital, art exhibit, or some other original demonstration of scholarship or creativity.
During January Term, known on campus as "J-Term", participating students select one class and attend it daily. In addition to on-campus courses, many students travel with faculty on study tours in either January or the summer months. Destinations in 2016 included Cuba, Nicaragua, and World War II battle sites in Europe. All students must complete two J-Term courses, including one during their freshman year.
In The Princeton Review's 2016 rankings, Carthage was among 159 schools listed as a Best Midwestern College.
The Old Main Bell
For decades, the Old Main Bell sat in the tower at the top of Old Main, the first building on the campus in Carthage, Illinois. After athletic victories, students would race down Evergreen Walk to ring the bell. When Carthage moved from Illinois to Wisconsin in the 1960s, the Tau Sigma Chi fraternity helped move the victory bell to Kenosha. In 2004, the victory bell found a new home in the scoreboard on Art Keller Field.
Kissing Rock has been a part of Carthage since 1913. Dennis Swaney and other members of the Class of 1913 found the 2 ½-ton chunk of granite in a farmer's field and moved the stone to the campus. Stationed prominently at the entrance to Evergreen Walk, the rock quickly became part of Carthage life. One tradition recounts that any woman sitting on the rock was obligated to kiss the man who found her there and countless marriage proposals have been made and accepted near it. Members of the Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity moved Kissing Rock to the Kenosha campus in the mid-1960s. It now sits facing Lake Michigan between Lentz and Tarble Halls.
Today, Kissing Rock is a multifaceted symbol of the Carthage spirit. Students paint the Rock to promote their organizations and causes, publicize upcoming events, and celebrate. Kissing Rock has served as a memorial to beloved alumni, an expression of protest against injustice, a tribute after 9/11, and more.
The Christmas Festival has been a part of Carthage's holiday season since 1974. Every year at the start of December, Carthage hosts a musical celebration of the birth of Christ for the community. The event highlights student vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as performances by students in Carthage's Theatre Department.
Carthage offers 27 NCAA Division III sports.
- Cross Country
- Track and Field (Indoor and outdoor)
- Cross Country
- Track and Field (Indoor and outdoor)
- Water Polo
About a third of Carthage students are involved in varsity intercollegiate athletics, and another third participate in the many intramural and club sports offered. Club sports include men's bowling, and co-ed curling and ice hockey.
The men's baseball team has averaged over 35 wins per season from 1990 to 2010, with an overall record of 702-237. They have been invited to the NCAA Division III World Series several times, finishing third in 2009.
Since 1990, Carthage has claimed eight outright CCIW divisional titles, one divisional-title tie, nine conference crowns, 16 NCAA regional berths, including nine-straight from 1992 to 2000, six regional titles, third-place finishes in both the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division III baseball championships and fourth place in both 1995 and 1997. For his efforts, Coach Augie Schmidt has been named American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports NCAA Division III Central Regional "Coach Of The Year" nine times (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009), won the ABCA/Louisville Slugger Conference Award seven times from 1993 to 1999, and has been named CCIW "Baseball Coach of the Year" on 10 occasions (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009).
In 2004, the Red Men football team set a school record for most wins in a season, going 11-2. That season was also the first time the Red Men made the NCAA Division III playoffs since the school joined the NCAA in 1976. The team was coached by Tim Rucks. Carthage went on to win their first two games of the playoffs defeating Alma College and Wooster College. The Red Men then lost to Mount Union College. The Red Men finished the 2004 season ranked 5th in the nation.
Mike Yeager became the head coach beginning with the 2012 season.
In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled that Carthage, along with several other colleges, would be ineligible to host NCAA-sanctioned playoffs and tournaments because their nickname, "Redmen", was perceived as an offensive reference to Native Americans. A decision was made to rename the Carthage men's teams the "Red Men". This is in accordance with the circa 1920 origin of the name—the team's red uniform jersey—while removing any possible controversial connotations. In conjunction with the rearticulation of the name, a new logo for the team replaced the traditional feathered Carthage C. It includes a torch, a shield, and a C.
Carthage College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912 to 1941. After competing as an independent for five years, the school became a founding member of the College Conference of Illinois, now known as the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, in 1946, a membership it has maintained to this time.
In men's volleyball, Carthage became a founding member of the single-sport Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) in 2011. In 2014, the CVC amicably split along regional lines, with Carthage and the CVC's other Midwestern members forming the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. The team then moved into the CCIW in 2020.
In women's water polo, Carthage is a member of the single-sport Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Conference since the team's inception in 2010.
- George A. Anderson – U.S. Representative from Illinois
- J. Arthur Baird – Athlete and coach
- Alden W. Clausen – former President of the World Bank
- Caroline Bartlett Crane - American Unitarian minister, suffragist, civic reformer, educator and journalist
- Tony D'Souza - novelist
- Scott C. Fergus - Wisconsin State Representative
- Daniel L. Gard - U.S. Navy admiral
- Steve Hanson - NFL player for the Louisville Colonels and Kansas City Blues/Cowboys
- John Hay - American statesman, diplomat, author, journalist, Secretary to the President of the United States, and assistant to Abraham Lincoln
- David Holliday - Broadway, film, and television actor
- Alie "Muffy" Israel - track and field sprinter
- James L. Jelinek, 8th Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota.
- Jim Jodat - NFL player for the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and San Diego Chargers
- Susan Lee Johnson - historian and professor
- William George Juergens - former United States federal judge
- Laura Kaeppeler - 2012 Miss America Winner
- Rick Kehr - NFL player for the Washington Redskins
- Jon Kukla - author and historian
- Scott M. Ladd - Iowa Supreme Court justice
- David J. Lepak - Wisconsin State Representative
- Paul Miller - MLB player
- Fernando Sanford - founding faculty member and physics professor at Stanford University
- Marie Sarantakis - author
- Ross H. Trower - Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Navy
- John Wager - NFL player for the Portsmouth Spartans
- Adam Walker - NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings
- A. Gilbert Wright - Zoologist
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