Hanover College

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Hanover College
Motto Philosophia pietati ancillans ("knowledge in service of piety/faith")
Type private coeducational liberal arts
Established 1827
Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment $137.3 million[1]
President Dr. Lake Lambert III
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,068[1]
Location , ,
Campus Rural: 640 acres[1]
Athletics 16 NCAA Division III teams
Colors Red and Blue
Nickname Panthers
Website www.hanover.edu

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Hanover College is a private liberal arts college, located in Hanover, in the U.S. state of Indiana, near the banks of the Ohio River. The college is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1827 by the Rev. John Finley Crowe, it is the oldest private college in Indiana. The Hanover athletic teams participate in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Graduates of Hanover are known as Hanoverians.


Founded in 1827 by Rev. John Finley Crowe, Hanover College experienced a turbulent early period. It has become an established institution of liberal arts education. In 2002, the College celebrated its 175th anniversary.

In the early 19th century, missionaries went to Hanover as part of the Second Great Awakening. Rev. John Finley Crowe served as pastor of the Hanover Presbyterian Church. He opened the Hanover Academy January 1, 1827, in a small log cabin near his home. Two years later, the state of Indiana granted a charter to the Academy. On November 9, 1829, the Academy’s Board of Trustees accepted a proposal by the Presbyterian Synod of Indiana to adopt the school, provided a theological department was established.

A two-story brick building was constructed to house both the Academy and the new Indiana Seminary. The state of Indiana issued a new charter to the Academy, creating Hanover College effective January 1, 1833. Under this charter, the college's Board of Trustees is independent of ecclesiastical control, but it has formally adopted the standards for Presbyterian colleges for Hanover. The association continues to this day.

In the 1830s, the College Edifice (now serving as the Hanover Presbyterian Church) was the center of a bustling, 3-acre (12,000 m2) campus. In 1834, 119 students attended Hanover Preparatory School (formerly Hanover Academy) and 101 students attended Hanover College, rapid growth from the six students of only seven years earlier.

In 1843 both the college's president and its trustees accepted a proposal from Madison city leaders to move Hanover College. The trustees dissolved the Hanover charter and established Madison University. However, John Finley Crowe purchased the college property and established the Hanover Classical and Mathematical School. Four months after Madison University was founded, its president had resigned and its students began to return to Crowe’s school. By May 1844, all of Madison’s students and faculty had made the trip five miles (8 km) to the west.

Hanover College was officially restored when Indiana's legislature granted a new charter to the college on Christmas Day. Crowe, who served as faculty to the college for more than 30 years and refused to have his name considered for the presidency, is quite accurately described as "twice the founder of Hanover College."

The Board of Trustees voted in 1849 to purchase a 200-acre (0.8 km2) farm one-half mile to the east of Hanover’s campus. This land, overlooking the Ohio River, serves as the centerpiece of the college campus today. By the mid-1850s, Classic Hall was constructed on a bluff known as the Point, and College classes were moved to that location. "Old Classic" would be Hanover’s signature building for more than 90 years.

The Civil War, especially the Confederate maneuvers known as Morgan's Raid, came close to campus; faculty and students were alerted that the troops might try to burn Classic Hall.

In 1870, Presbyterian Church officials proposed that Hanover College be merged with Wabash College, with Hanover becoming a women's school. The Hanover Board of Trustees rejected that proposal, as well as one from businessmen in 1873 that would have moved the college to Indianapolis and renamed it Johnson University.

During Hanover College’s first 50 years of operations, it had nine presidents, none of whom served for longer than nine years; five served three years or less. But after that, conditions stabilized: Daniel Webster Fisher would lead Hanover until his retirement in 1907. He was followed in the presidency by William A. Millis (1908–1929), Albert G. Parker Jr. (1929–1958), John E. Horner (1959–1987) and Russell Nichols (1987–2007), Sue DeWine (2007–). The college has had only five presidents in the last 102 years.

Hendricks, Thomas A., Library
Location College Dr. (Campus Rd.), Hanover, Indiana
Area less than one acre
Built 1903
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference # 82000043[2]
Added to NRHP February 26, 1982

This stability of leadership ushered in a new era of growth. Fisher oversaw the construction of five buildings, including Hendricks Library. Named for Thomas Hendricks, an alumnus who had served as U.S. vice president, it is now used for classes and is known as Hendricks Hall, the oldest classroom building on Hanover’s campus.

Albert G. Parker Jr. was inaugurated as Hanover’s 12th president November 27, 1929, less than one month after the stock market crash that precipitated the Great Depression. The economic hard times cut investment revenues and operational expenses had to be closely monitored. But this challenge provided the college with one of its greatest rewards.

On December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II. In just two years, Hanover’s enrollment plummeted to 164 students, including only 20 men. In the early morning of December 19, 1943 a huge fire destroyed most of Classic Hall. By 1946, the postwar enrollment at Hanover had more than rebounded. It had ballooned to 679 students, and the first great construction period of the college’s history was under way.

In 1947, Hanover began to admit women through its coordinate college, Long College for Women. Until the 1960s, all women who graduated from Hanover had their degree officially conferred by Long instead of Hanover. Long College operated until the two colleges fully merged in 1978, making Hanover officially coeducational.

Parker had announced that he would retire as Hanover’s president as of September 1, 1958, but died in March of that year. John E. Horner was named as an interim president and ended up serving 29 years. Hanover students say that Parker's ghost still haunts Parker auditorium.

Under Horner’s 29-year leadership, Hanover enjoyed unprecedented growth in its academic program, financial standing, and student enrollment. Soon after his arrival, he encouraged faculty members to reform their curriculum. Eventually Hanover divided its academic year into two 14-week terms, in which students took three classes, and a five-week Spring Term, in which students took one course of specialized, intensive study. With some modifications, it still serves as Hanover’s curricular model today.

By the mid-1960s, the campus expanded to more than 500 acres (2 km²) of land, enrollment topped 1,000 students, and Hanover’s assets approached $15 million.

In the late afternoon of April 3, 1974, a tornado roared through campus with devastating results. This tornado was part of the 1974 Super Outbreak of tornadoes that struck 13 states and one Canadian province that day. No one was killed or seriously injured, but 32 of the college’s 33 buildings were damaged, including two that were completely destroyed and six that sustained major structural damage. One of the completely destroyed buildings was a residence hall which had previously, back in 1890, served as the very first fraternity house in the entire Sigma Chi Fraternity. Hundreds of trees were down, completely blocking every campus road. All utilities were knocked out and communication with those off campus was nearly impossible.

Government officials estimated the damage at $10 million. Some wondered if Hanover College could survive. The Hanoverians, led by Horner, sprang into action. Winter Term ended one week early and students were dismissed, but many stayed to help faculty, staff and others clear the debris. The Board of Trustees met April 5 in emergency session and vowed to lead the efforts in rebuilding and improving Hanover College. They vowed to do so without any federal disaster assistance, continuing Hanover’s tradition of financial independence.

Within a week, roads were made passable and major services restored. Contributions poured in to cover Hanover’s $1 million in uninsurable losses; they raised this amount in three months. When Spring Term opened April 22, the college had full enrollment 19 days after the tornado. An editorial in The Indianapolis Star described the effort as "a private miracle." By spring 1975, replanting efforts completed Hanover’s recovery.

When Horner retired in 1987, Hanover’s endowment was more than $40 million. Russell Nichols was inaugurated as Hanover’s 14th president on September 26, 1987. He initiated actions to improve the Hanover experience for students both inside and outside the classroom. The number of full-time faculty was increased over a five-year period from 72 to 94, lowering the student-teacher ratio and allowing for more independent research and study. Six new academic majors were added.

In terms of amenities, students enjoyed a direct-dial telephone in each dorm room, ending years of having a campus operator direct all calls. More significantly, academic scholarships were increased for incoming and returning students.

In 1995 the $11 million Horner Health and Recreation Center was opened; it was named for the president emeritus and his wife. In 2000 a $23 million Science Center was dedicated, which now houses all of the college’s five natural sciences in the same facility.

In May 2006, Nichols announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2007 academic year. His accomplishments include the revision of the curriculum which expanded study abroad offerings. Additionally, he oversaw implementation of the Center for Business Preparation, an innovation program designed to link liberal arts education with business. In 2004, Hanover was awarded $11.4 million to start the Rivers Institute, a multi-disciplinary center to study all aspects of rivers throughout the world.

In the fall of 2007, Dr. Sue DeWine succeeded Nichols as president of Hanover College. She was formerly the provost at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, and is the 15th president of Hanover College.


Hanover College's campus overlooking the Ohio River

Hanover College is situated on 650 acres (2.6 km2) of land overlooking the Ohio River. The land features several climbing paths and cliffs, as well as the only view of the Ohio from which three bends in the river can be seen. The campus is characterized by the Georgian style architecture. The quad is crowned by the Parker Auditorium, named for the former Hanover College president, Albert Parker.

In the 1940s the college turned down plans to rebuild the Sigma Chi fraternity house as designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, because it did not match the Georgian Architecture.[3]

Much of the campus was heavily damaged in the April 3, 1974 tornado Super Outbreak, including several buildings that were destroyed. Damage to 32 of the 33 buildings totaled over $10 million. The campus lost hundreds of mature trees.[4] After 19 days, the campus reopened, with roads and most buildings made usable.

In 2008, Hanover was ravaged by the after effects of Hurricane Ike. Although most facilities stayed intact, both electricity and water were lost, and the campus was evacuated for a week.

Hanover College Business Scholars Program

Founded in 2005, the Business Scholars Program at Hanover College is an experiential business education program that lets students practice business skills and apply knowledge taught by faculty with extensive industry experience. Students admitted to the Program are called "Business Scholars". Admission into the Business Scholars Program at Hanover is competitive. In 2009, the Program admitted 48 new Business Scholars, a record number. Each Business Scholar combines a Hanover major in their area of interest with practical preparation in business and management. More than 19 majors are represented in the Program.

In addition to traditional coursework, Business Scholars complete a project-based internship, analyze business cases, participate in a consulting project for a real business, meet with numerous executives and not-for-profit leaders and participate in a variety of workshops, including resume writing, networking, interviewing, personal finance, and creative problem solving.

The Business Scholar Program is led by Gerald R. Johnson, Jr., a 1969 graduate of Hanover College. Prior to joining the Program, Johnson served as chairman of the board, chief executive officer (CEO), and director of Mercantile Bank Corporation (NASDAQ: MBWM).

Fraternal organizations

The eight national fraternities and sororities include:

Former chapters include:


Hanover College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III, and as a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). Their nickname is The Panthers. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and golf.

Presidents of Hanover College

  1. James Blythe, D.D. 1832–1836
  2. Duncan McAuley March to July 1838
  3. Erasmus D. MacMaster, D.D 1838–1843
  4. Sylvester Scovel, D.D. 1846–1849
  5. Thomas E. Thomas, D.D. 1849–1854
  6. Jonathan Edwards, D.D., LL.D. 1855–1857
  7. James Wood, D.D. 1859–1866
  8. George D. Archibald, D.D. 1868–1870
  9. George C. Heckman, D.D. 1870–1879
  10. Daniel Fisher, D.D., LL.D. 1879–1907
  11. William A. Millis, A.M., LL.D. 1908–1929
  12. Albert Parker, B.D., Ph.D. 1929–1958
  13. John Horner, Ph.D. 1958–1987
  14. Russell Nichols, Ph.D. 1987–2007
  15. Sue DeWine, Ph.D. 2007- 2015
  16. Lake Lambert, M.T.S., Ph.D. 2015–present

Notable alumni


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 As of June 30, 2011. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/hanover-college-1801
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External links