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Principia College

Principia College
Motto As The Sowing, The Reaping
Established 1912
Type Private
Endowment $620 million (USD)[1]
President Dr. Jonathan Palmer
Administrative staff
Students 480
Location 1 Maybeck Place
, Illinois, 62028, United States
Campus Rural, 2,500 acres (10 km2)
Mascot Panther, Thunder Chicken (Rugby)
Colors Blue and Gold
Website .eduPrincipiaCollege

Principia College (commonly referred to as Principia or Prin) is a private Christian Science."[2] According to the college, it has no affiliation with the Church of Christ, Scientist, but "the practice of Christian Science is the cornerstone of campus life." Students and staff are practicing Christian Scientists.[3]

Principia sits on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River between Alton and Grafton in the Metro East region of Southern Illinois, thirty miles north of St. Louis. The 2,500 acres (10 km2) acre campus is a designated National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Campus 3
    • Housing and student life facilities 3.1
  • Student life 4
    • Technology 4.1
    • Athletics 4.2
  • Alumni 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Although Principia College was born out of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy approved The Principia's reference as a Christian Science school.[4] Emerging from the Principia Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools founded between 1898 and 1906, Principia College was established with a purpose of "serving the Cause of Christian Science through appropriate channels open to it as an educational institution."[5][6] The college, however, has no official affiliation with the Christian Science Church and Christian Science is not taught as a subject, but its principles form the basis of community life at Principia.[7] The first Upper School class graduated in 1906 and it is from this class that a junior college was established, whose first alumni graduated in 1917. Principia College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association, since 1923.[8]

Following this time period architect Bernard Maybeck was commissioned to design a new college campus in Elsah, Illinois and by 1931 ground was broke on what would become Maybeck's largest commission.[4][9]

In 1934, Principia College graduated its first class as a full four-year institution and in 1935 the college was officially moved to its present-day location in Elsah. On April 19, 1993, the campus was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. The year 1998 marked centennial celebrations by the school. The Principia College campus was once considered as the site for the United States Air Force Academy though ultimately the Air Force chose a location in Colorado Springs, Colorado instead.


Principia College offers twenty-seven majors in the Harvard University, Northwestern University, Pepperdine University, Purdue University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Michigan and Yale University among others.[10] The most popular majors include mass communication, biology, sociology, anthropology, studio and fine art, and business administration.[11][12]

Principia offers various Study Abroad & Field Programs, International Student Programs, Conferences, and International Student Experiences.[13][14]

In their 2014 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Principia #139 in the National Liberal Arts Colleges and Forbes ranked the institution #328 overall. As of 2014, Principia College's annual tuition costs were $26,850. The school has an acceptance rate above 80%.[15][16]


Principia College campus

Housing and student life facilities

There are ten student dormitories on campus: Anderson House, Rackham Court, Howard House, Sylvester House, Buck House, Brooks House, Ferguson House, Joe McNabb, Lowrey House, and Clara McNabb. The first six mentioned were designed by former University of California, Berkeley professor and AIA Gold Medal winner Bernard Maybeck in 1935, as was the campus' chapel.[17] Maybeck attempted to use different architectural styles and building techniques for each of these dormitories and for the chapel. In an effort to ensure success with his designs and materials, he experimented with them through the creation of a small building known affectionately by Principians as the "Mistake House."[18]

Student life

Principia College has a diverse student composition and amount of organizations given its size. 20% of its students are international and represent thirty countries on six of the world's seven continents.[19] The college has forty student clubs and organizations, among these the Euphrates and Leadership institutes.[19][20] The Public Affairs Conference at the college is one of oldest student-led conferences in America and has been held annually since 1939.[21] The Principia College Speaker Series is a group of past, present, and future events that has featured United States President Jimmy Carter, American author and poet Maya Angelou, David McCullough, Elie Wiesel, American actor and director Robert Duvall, Val Kilmer, Coretta Scott King, and Margaret Thatcher among others.[22] In addition to the Public Affairs Conference Principia College holds a Pan-African Conference with a focus on human rights in Africa.[23]


Of the technological programs present at Principia College, most prevalent and distinguished is its study in solar energy. The college has competed in solar car world events since 1995 and finished second in the North American Solar Challenge of 2008 and seventh in the World Solar Challenge of 2009.[24]


Principia College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). The Principia Panther is the official mascot of Principia College and has been since its change from the Indian in 1984.[4] There are sixteen varsity athletic teams at Principia College of which men's sports are baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and rugby; and women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.[19]

In 1983, the women's tennis team won the NCAA Division III national championship.[4]

In 2013, the men's rugby team won the first ever Open Division USA Rugby 7s Collegiate National Championship, beating the University of Wisconsin-Stout 27-12 in the championship match.[25]


Notable Principia College alumni include:

See also


  1. ^ "Principia College". Web. U.S. News & World Report LP. 
  2. ^ Mary Kimball Morgan, Education at The Principia, The Principia Corporation, 2000, p. 227.
  3. ^ "Christian Science", Principia College.
  4. ^ a b c d e The Principia. "Timeline - The Principia Community". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Education at The Principia, by Mary Kimball Morgan
  6. ^ "Mission, Values, and Principles". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "About Principia College". January 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ The Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  9. ^ The Principia. "Maybeck". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  10. ^ The Principia. "Beyond College". Web. the Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Best College - US News (2012). "Principia College". Web. U.S.News & World Report LP. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Grove, Allen (2012). "Principia College profile". Web. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  13. ^ The Principia. "Abroads & Fields". Web. the Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  14. ^ The Principia. "Clubs & Organizations". Web. the Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  15. ^ 
  16. ^ 
  17. ^  
  18. ^ KETC: Living St. Louis: The Architecture of Principia College
  19. ^ a b c The Principia. "Fast Facts". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  20. ^ The Principia. "Institutes". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  21. ^ The Principia. "Public Affairs Conference". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  22. ^ The Principia. "Speakers and Events". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  23. ^ The Principia. "Pan-African Conference". Web. The Principia. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Weich, Susan (2 November 2011). "Solar car team from tiny Principia College competes in world race". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  25. ^ Wise, Chad (24 November 2013). "Principia takes first Men’s Open Division Championship at College 7s". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ 77 North Washington Street, The Atlantic Online, June 1997
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Peter Horton Biography". Web  
  30. ^ Steinberg, Avi (March 31, 2005). "Mindy Jostyn, 48; voice, talent treasured by fans, music stars". The Boston Globe. 
  31. ^ "Cinema-Television Department Faculty". Los Angeles: Los Angeles City College. 
  32. ^ "ROUSSELOT, John Harbin, (1927 - 2003)".  
  33. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "David Rowland, Maker of a Tidily Stacked Chair, Dies at 86", The New York Times, August 25, 2010. Accessed August 26, 2010.
  34. ^ "SHAYS, Christopher H., (1945 - )".  

External links

  • Principia College
  • Principia College official Athletics
  • Audio Recordings of the College's Radio Station in the 1970s
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