Whittier College

Last updated
Whittier College
Former name
Whittier Academy (1887–1901)
Motto Latin: Lux, Poesis, Veritas, Pax, Amor Eruditionis
Motto in English
Light, Creativity, Truth, Peace, and Love of Knowledge
Type Private liberal arts college
Established1887;134 years ago (1887)
Religious affiliation
Secular (historically Quaker [1] )
Endowment $112.9 million (2019) [2]
President Linda Oubré
Academic staff
Students1,987 (Fall 2016)
Undergraduates 1,681(Fall 2017) [3]
Postgraduates 76 (Fall 2017) [3]
Location, ,
United States
Campus Suburban, 75 acres (30 ha)
Colors    Purple & Gold
Athletics NCAA Division IIISCIAC
Nickname The Poets
Affiliations Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group
MascotJohnny Poet
Website www.whittier.edu
Whittier College in 1912 WhittierCollege-1912.jpg
Whittier College in 1912
Hoover Hall and Library Whittier college.jpg
Hoover Hall and Library

Whittier College is a private liberal arts college in Whittier, California. As of fall 2019, the college had approximately 1,700 (undergraduate and graduate) students. [3]



Whittier College, founded in 1887, was named for the Quaker abolitionist and poet John Greenleaf Whittier. [4] Since that time, the institution has grown into a distinctive, national liberal arts college. It serves a diverse student population with unique, widely praised curricula. The college campus has about 1,700 students who live there and study with more than 100 faculty. It emphasizes small, interactive classes led by full-time faculty members.

Although the college has maintained no formal affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends since the 1940s, the social values of its Quaker heritage—respect for the individual, freedom of conscience, integrity, justice, and internationalism—strongly influence its ethos. From its beginning, these views dictated that the college open its doors to persons of both sexes as well as all races and cultures.


Whittier College is a four-year liberal arts institution. Nearly half of the student body is Latinx and students of color constitute about 70% of the college's campus population, making Whittier one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. A majority of students hail from California but the college also draws students from the Pacific Northwest, East Coast, Midwest and Hawaii, as well as international students. As of 2017, there are students from at least 27 states and 14 countries. [3]

Whittier offers over 30 majors and 30 minors in 23 disciplines, and claims emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. Students may also apply for entry into the Whittier Scholars Program, in which each student, under the guidance of a faculty member, designs their own major and course of study based on individual interests and career goals. Professional internships and service projects are required or recommended as part of many academic programs. Study abroad is offered in semester- or year-long affiliated programs. There is also an optional January interim session, which is a four-week intensive "mini-semester" that typically involves fieldwork and faculty-led international travel.

Whittier College hosts a Faculty House Program, which is modeled after similar programs at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. In this program, faculty are selected as faculty-in-residence for a multi-year term, live in houses located on-campus, and create and host in their homes educational and social programs around a specific theme, such as health and society, writers and writing, alumni connections, and Spanish culture.

Additionally, the college's graduate program in education offers both credential and Master of Arts in education degree programs. Broadoaks Children's School – a private, non-profit demonstration school on the Whittier campus – serves as a learning laboratory for Whittier faculty and students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School was located on a satellite campus in Costa Mesa, California. [5] It started in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles in 1966 as Beverly Law School. In 1975, Beverly College joined Whittier with the law school moving to Costa Mesa in 1997. Whittier Law School has 4,500 alumni, practicing in 48 states and 14 countries. The school was accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) beginning in 1978 and was a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) beginning 1987. [6]

On April 19, 2017, the Law School announced that it would stop admitting students and begin the process of shutting down. [7] The school ceased operations in July 2020. [8]


University rankings
Forbes [9] 344 (2016)
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report [10] 127
Washington Monthly [11] 83

Student life

View from the Turner Residence Hall Whittier College Turner Residence Hall View.jpg
View from the Turner Residence Hall

Whittier College has approximately 80 registered, student-run organizations. The college also has Societies similar to fraternities and sororities. There are 11 societies: the Franklin Society (male), the Lancer Society (male), the Orthogonian Society (male), the William Penn Society (male), Palmer Society (female), the Ionian Society (female), the Metaphonian Society (female), the Thalian Society (female), the Athenian Society (female), the Sachsen Society (coed), and the Paragonian Society (gender neutral). Most of these societies began as literary societies.

Other campus groups include student publications, the Quaker Campus newspaper and television; the student-run radio station, KPOET Radio; Video Productions Studios; and the Whittier College Sports Network. [ citation needed ]


Southwest Quadrant Whittier 006a.jpg
Southwest Quadrant

The Whittier Poets compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) of NCAA Division III. The school has fielded sports teams for over 100 years. Its current teams include football, men's and women's basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, lacrosse and water polo, women's softball and volleyball, and men's baseball and golf.

The history of the Whittier football program began in 1907, and since the inception of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1915, the Poets have captured 26 conference titles. From 1957 to 1964, Whittier won eight straight SCIAC football titles under the direction of coaches George Allen (1951–1956), Don Coryell (1957–1959), and John Godfrey (1960–1979). Their most recent championships came back-to-back in 1997 and 1998. Twenty-three Poets have earned All-American honors, the most recent coming in 2007. The football program plays out of Newman Memorial Field, which seats 7,000. Whittier maintains a century-long football rivalry with Occidental Tigers. The two schools play for the shoes of 1939 All-American Myron Claxton.

The Whittier men's lacrosse program was established in 1980. That year, the Poets became a member of the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL). From 1980 to 1999, Whittier won ten championships. As a result of their success, Whittier decided to become the first and only NCAA lacrosse program on the west coast. In 1990, they were recognized by the NCAA, but continued to compete in the WCLL. The Poets were the team to beat throughout the 1990s and it was not until 2000 when Whittier made the decision to make their mark on the national scene by leaving the WCLL and focus on being selected for the NCAA tournament. The lacrosse team has been a national contender every year since 2000 in the NCAA, as a quarter-finalist in 2003, and a semi-finalist in 2004.

The Whittier men's water polo team has been ranked ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Polls (CWPA) in Division III no fewer than four times. Starting in 2004, another time in 2009, and two years in a row starting in 2013 and 2014. On the season the Poets finished 23–10 and ranked No. 1 in the country among Division III programs. Whittier shared the top honor with Redlands and was ranked No. 18 in the Men's National Collegiate Top 20 Poll—a poll that ranks all divisions of collegiate water polo.

The Whittier cross country team made its mark in 2016. For the first time in program history, the Whittier College Men's Cross-Country team earned a national ranking announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Purple & Gold ranked #32 out of 400 teams. T

The Whittier men's and women's swimming and diving teams earned Academic All-American status—the women for the fourth straight year and the men for the first time, after the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced the programs who achieved this honor for the 2015 Fall Semester. Five hundred forty-seven swimming and diving teams representing 354 colleges and universities have been named College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-American Teams. The awards are in recognition of teams that achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2015 fall semester. That is up 40 teams from the previous fall semester. The women's team finished with a 3.35 overall G.P.A. and the men had a 3.00 G.P.A.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni include former U.S. President Richard Nixon; actress Andrea Barber, known from the television comedy Full House and Fuller House; social media entrepreneur Cassey Ho; actors and brothers Geoff Stults, and George Stults; author Jessamyn West; and Susan Herrman, who was one of two white female "student Freedom Riders" who sought to desegregate interstate bus travel in the South in 1961.[ citation needed ]








Notable people


Related Research Articles

Saint Marys College of California

Saint Mary's College of California is a private, Catholic college in Moraga, California. It is affiliated with the Catholic Church and administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Santa Clara University Private non-profit Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. Established in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California and has remained in its original location since its establishment. The university's campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís which traces its founding to 1776. The campus mirrors the Mission's architectural style and provides a fine early example of Mission Revival architecture. The university is classified as a "Doctoral/Professional" university by Carnegie Classification.

Worcester Academy Independent, day and boarding school in Worcester, MA, United States

Worcester Academy is a private school in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is one of the country's oldest day-boarding schools. A coeducational preparatory school, it belongs to the National Association of Independent Schools. Situated on 73 acres, the academy is divided into a middle school, serving approximately 150 students in grades six to eight, and an upper school, serving approximately 500 students in grades nine to twelve, including some postgraduates. Approximately one-third of students in the upper school participate in the school's five- and seven-day boarding programs. Currently, there are approximately 80 international students enrolled from 28 different nations. The academy is mildly selective, accepting approximately 65% of all applicants.

State University of New York College at Cortland

The State University of New York College at Cortland is a public college in Cortland, New York. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union is a private university in Alliance, Ohio. Founded in 1846, the university was affiliated with the Methodist Church until the spring of 2019. Mount Union has an enrollment of 2,209 undergraduate students, divided approximately equally between men and women.

Riverside City College

Riverside City College (RCC) is a public community college in Riverside, California. The college is part of the Riverside Community College District, as well as the larger California Community Colleges System.

Rockhurst High School Private, all-male school in Jackson County, Missouri , USA

Rockhurst High School is a private, Roman Catholic, Jesuit, all-boys, preparatory school founded in 1910 along with Rockhurst College, in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. It moved away from the College in 1962 to a campus on State Line Road in Kansas City. Rockhurst is accredited by the North Central Education Association and is a member of the North Central Education Association of Independent College Preparatory Schools, the Jesuit Secondary Education Association, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

St. Marys Preparatory Private, all-male school in Orchard Lake Village, Michigan, United States

St. Mary's Preparatory is a Catholic secondary school for boys in the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake Village, Michigan.

Southwestern University is a private university in Georgetown, Texas. Formed in 1873 from a revival of collegiate charters granted in 1840, Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas. Southwestern offers 40 bachelor's degrees in the arts, sciences, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Music. It is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Public university in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, United States

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a public university in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Manhattan College private Catholic college of liberal arts and science, business, and engineering in New York City

Manhattan College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in the Bronx in New York City. After originally being established in 1853 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools as an academy for day students, Manhattan College was officially incorporated as an institution of higher education through a charter granted by the New York State Board of Regents. In 1922, the College moved from Manhattan to the Riverdale section of the Bronx, roughly 6.4 miles (10.3 km) north of its original location on 131st Street in the Manhattanville section of Manhattan.

Dean College Private college in Franklin, Massachusetts, United States

Dean College is a private college in Franklin, Massachusetts. It offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and continuing and professional education and certificates.

Chapman University American private university in Orange County, California

Chapman University is a private research university in Orange, California. It encompasses ten schools and colleges, including Fowler School of Engineering, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Fowler School of Law, and Schmid College of Science and Technology, and is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". The university says that it is not a Christian college, but has had a relationship with the Disciples of Christ since the university's founding and the United Church of Christ since 2011.

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College is a public community college in Clairemont Mesa in San Diego, California. It is part of the California Community Colleges and the San Diego Community College District. It is the largest community college in the city of San Diego and the 16th largest community college in the state.

Fresno City College is a public community college in Fresno, California. It is part of the State Center Community College District within the California Community Colleges system. Fresno City College operates on a semester schedule, offering associate degrees and certificates.

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University (EOU) is a public university in La Grande, Oregon. It is part of the Oregon University System. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees. Most students obtain a B.S. degree, which requires one quarter of science, whereas a B.A. degree requires two years of a foreign language. In 2016, the university also began work to introduce a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree with a vocational bent.

Allan Hancock College

Allan Hancock College is a public community college in Santa Maria, California.

Chabot College

Chabot College is a public community college in Hayward, California. It is part of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.

Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College (BC) is a public community college in Bakersfield, California. BC serves about 22,000 students each semester or 31,000 annually, and offers Associate degrees, certificate programs, and is one of fifteen California Community Colleges offering a Baccalaureate Degree. It is part of the Kern Community College District (KCCD), which is itself part of the California Community Colleges system.

Del Oro High School School in Loomis, Placer County, CA, United States of America

Del Oro High School is located in Loomis, California, and is a part of the Placer Union High School District. Del Oro High School opened for instruction of freshmen and sophomores on September 28, 1959, one week after Colfax opened. It was founded in 1958 and currently has over 1600 students attending.


  1. "Facts & Figures | Whittier College". www.whittier.edu.
  2. As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Whittier College". Whittier College. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  4. "John Greenleaf Whittier Society". Whittier College. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. "Whittier Law School - A Southern California ABA Accredited Law School". www.law.whittier.edu.
  6. "History". www.law.whittier.edu.
  7. "Whittier Law School Won't Enroll New Students". Inside Higher Ed. April 20, 2017.
  8. https://www.whittier.edu/about/lawschool.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  10. "Best Colleges 2021: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  11. "2020 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  12. "100 Notable Books of 2008". The New York Times . November 26, 2008.

Coordinates: 33°58′41″N118°01′47″W / 33.97809°N 118.02960°W / 33.97809; -118.02960