Harcum College

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Harcum College
Established 1915
Type Private
President Jon Jay DeTemple
Students 1,600
Location Bryn Mawr, PA, USA
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Campus Suburban 14 acres (0.057 km2)
Colors Purple and White          
Athletics NJCAA Division I
Nickname Bears
Website www.harcum.edu

Harcum College is a two-year independent residential college located on Philadelphia’s Main Line in Bryn Mawr, PA. Harcum, “the College of Possibilities,” Philadelphia region's oldest independent, two-year college, was founded in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1915 by Edith Hatcher Harcum and her husband Marvin. It was the first college in Pennsylvania authorized to grant associate degrees.


Edith Hatcher, daughter of prominent Virginia clergyman and educator Dr. William E. Hatcher, was a talented concert pianist. In 1913, Edith Hatcher married Octavius Marvin Harcum. After the birth of their first child, Edith wrote "the concert career did not offer a chance for family stability" so they chose a venture that would combine "my talents as an educator and artist and his business vision and ability."

They opened the Harcum Post Graduate School on October 1, 1915 in Melville Hall with three students and five pianos. Edith's goal was to "start a school where the individual talent of each girl would be treated as an integral part of her education." Though her expertise was in the fine arts, Edith was also committed to providing a strong academic program.

In its early years, Harcum was a university preparatory school, giving students the skills needed for college study. It quickly grew, soon adding junior college-level courses. Mr. Harcum, or "Uncle Marvin" as the students called him, was the first President. When he died in a car accident in 1920, Edith assumed the Presidency. She remained in that post for more than 30 years.

File:Melville Hall.jpg
Harcum's Melville Hall

Leadership was eventually assumed by Philip Klein and Dr. Henry Klein. In 1956, Pennsylvania granted Harcum permission to be the first junior college in the Commonwealth's history to confer the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees. Tremendous building and expansion occurred in the 1960s with the addition of the Academic Center, Pennswood Hall, and Klein Hall. Historically a women’s college, Harcum began admitting male students during the 1970s and became officially co-educational in 2003.

Today, Harcum serves traditional and non-traditional students interested in Allied Health Science, Business and Human Services, with both a commuter and residential experience. Dr. Henry Klein served on Harcum's Board of Trustees for more than 50 years, holding the record for the longest serving board member at any university or college in the United States of America.


Harcum College offers over 20 degree programs. Noncredit courses are offered through the Office of Continuing Studies. Courses are offered at Harcum’s Bryn Mawr campus, at partnership sites, and online.

Degree Programs

Harcum College offers degrees in fields like Allied Health Science, Business, Human Services, Design, and Education.

Continuing & Professional Studies

Harcum's Office of Continuing Studies offers certificate programs, professional development programs, and accelerated degree programs. The programs are designed for working professionals who wish to continue their education while maintaining full-time employment. Certificate and professional development programs are offered at the Bryn Mawr campus; accelerated degree programs are offered at several locations throughout the surrounding five-county region.

Main Campus

Harcum’s main campus is located in Bryn Mawr, PA on the Philadelphia Main Line. The main campus buildings stretch along Montgomery Avenue, including the historic Melville Hall, Klein Hall, Bedford Hall, The Academic Center (which includes Harcum’s Library), historic Richter Hall and Pennswood Hall — the college’s main residence hall.

Also on campus is the college’s Cohen Dental Center, a 16-chair clinical facility which houses the Dental Clinic, Dental Laboratory, and classrooms.

The Veterinary Services building houses the Animal Care Facility and Animal Center Management Program offices.

The Harcum Music School was founded in 1985 when Medley Music of Bryn Mawr transferred ownership of their teaching division to Harcum College. The school officially moved to Harcum's Bryn Mawr campus in 1990. The Harcum Music School is open to Harcum students as well as community members who wish to learn a musical instrument, take intermediate or advanced lessons, collaborate with other musicians, or play in front of a live audience.

The Kevin D. Marlo Little Theatre -- named after Kevin D. Marlo, son of Harcum Trustee Dennis Marlo and an aspiring actor and who was killed during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center—is an historic theatre that was restored and revived in 2011 in an effort to reconnect students and community to the arts. Kevin D. Marlo Little Theatre

Local attractions include various shops and restaurants on Lancaster Avenue and the Main Line’s Suburban Square.

The campus is connected to center city Philadelphia by the Paoli/Thorndale Line of Regional Rail.


Harcum offers men and women’s basketball and indoor and outdoor track & field as well as women’s volleyball and women’s soccer. The College also has an official Cheerleading Squad.

The athletic teams are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The College's official mascot is "Hatcher the Bear", named after founder Edith Hatcher Harcum.

External links