Grove City College Timeline


1876 – Grove City College Founded

1876 – While many local people made significant contributions to the beginnings of Grove City College, the school was the dream and lifelong work of the Pew families and Isaac C. Ketler, the College’s first president. When he started, only 13 students were enrolled and by the turn of the century, the enrollment had grown to 660 students, the faculty was enlarged to 20 members and the campus had increased to 40 acres with four substantial buildings.

1895 - Joseph Newton Pew, founder of the Sun Oil Line Company, was elected President of the Board of Trustees and gave generously to the College. He served as Board President until his death in 1912.

1913 – Dr. Alexander T. Ormond, the College’s second president, expanded faculty and revised the curriculum, leading to degrees in Bachelor of Arts, literature and science, as well as Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy.

1916 – Dr. Weir Ketler was openly welcomed as the third president of Grove City College. He was a product of the school, a familiar and beloved professor and coach. During his tenure as president, Ketler led the College through some extremely difficult times for our country: an economic depression and two world wars. During World War II the enrollment dropped by more than 50 percent, but the College responded by operating several defense training programs for the government, making it possible for the school to survive.

1956 - Dr. J. Stanley Harker, a Presbyterian minister, returned to his alma mater in 1956 to become her fourth president. During his administration, the student body grew from 1,200 to 2,050 and the number of faculty members increased from 80 to 120. The curriculum of the school underwent extensive revision, the number of books in the library more than doubled, and eight buildings and several additions were constructed. Homecoming, Parents' Day and the sports program were expanded, and greater emphasis was placed on alumni and public relations.

1971 - Dr. Charles Sherrard MacKenzie was a newcomer to the College when he arrived in 1971. During his term of office there was an increased emphasis in religious life on campus and three major buildings were constructed: Mary Ethel Pew Dormitory, J. Howard Pew Fine Arts Center and the Weir C. Ketler Technological Learning Center. Perhaps the most significant change was the introduction of the Keystone Curriculum, which consisted of four courses required of all students, giving them a common grounding in the liberal arts tradition.

1977 - The College went to court over Title IX and its requirements. As part of the outcome, our student aid department became the entry point for federal control. As a result, we forbade our students from accepting Pell Grants.

1991 - At the time of Dr. MacKenzie's retirement, Dr. Jerry H. Combee was promoted to president from the position of academic dean at the College. Dr. Combee was instrumental in moving the College into a greater position of national recognition and prominence through a greatly expanded marketing and public relations program. The academic program was also strengthened, and he placed a great importance on improved relationships between the College and the community in which it is located.

1996 - Dr. John H. Moore came to Grove City College in June 1996 with an extensive resume and left a legacy of excellence and service. In October 1996, Moore led the College through its withdrawal from federal student loan programs, which completed the College’s break from federal ties. Soon after, Moore helped lead the first public capital campaign, Change & Commitment. As a result of the $60 million effort, the Hall of Arts and Letters, Student Activities Center and addition to the Pew Fine Arts Center were constructed. An experienced international educator, Moore also encouraged the College to prepare students for Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships and he instituted student exchanges to Japan and South Korea. Moore also kept the College at the forefront of technology and he and his wife, Sue, were instrumental in the College’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2001.

1996 - The federal Department of Education insisted that the College sign a complex participation agreement that exposed us to extensive regulations and that we disclose our financial reports. We then had no choice but to withdraw from their loan program and forbid our students from using Stafford/PLUS loans. To do otherwise would have ultimately resulted in federal control of the management of the College through regulations and other means.

1997 – The School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics was dedicated in honor of Albert A. Hopeman Jr., who served for 44 years on the Grove City College Board of Trustees.

2000 - The Change & Commitment Campaign launches, marking the College’s first major public campaign in its 130-year history. During this effort, donor participation among the College’s 23,000 alumni grew by more than 55 percent. In addition to the Breen Student Union, which was officially dedicated in October 2004, the Campaign funded a new $20 million academic building, a $4.5 million expansion of the J. Howard Pew Fine Arts Center, a planned multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the Carnegie Alumni Center and added $26 million to the endowment earmarked for scholarship aid.

2002 – The School of Arts and Letters was dedicated in honor of Dr. Alva J. Calderwood, a professor for 53 years and Dean of the College for 35 years.

2003 - Pittsburgh lawyer and businessman Dr. Richard G. Jewell ’67 assumed the presidency of Grove City College. Jewell, first elected to the College’s board of trustees in 1974, received the school’s Distinguished Service Award in 2001. Jewell graduated cum laude from Grove City with high honors in political science. In addition, he was captain of the 1967 swim team and a two-time Penn-Ohio College diving champion. He was the editor-in-chief of The Collegian, president of the Student Government Association, elected Grove City College Omicron Delta Kappa Man of the Year in 1967, and he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Phi social fraternity. Jewell was inducted into the college’s Swimming-Diving Hall of Fame in 1989.

2011 – In May 2011, Grove City College launched a $90 million capital campaign, focusing on providing more student scholarships, updating the science, engineering and mathematics buildings, and constructing a Christian Activities Building to house conferences, offices and student groups.

2014 Paul J. McNulty ’80 takes the helm as Grove City College’s ninth President. He is a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General and partner in the global law firm Baker & McKenzie. McNulty oversaw the prosecution of terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, set policy for prosecuting corporate fraud and is considered a leading expert on business ethics, corporate governance and regulatory risk management. McNulty served on the Grove City College Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2014. He received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater in 2007 and the Jack Kennedy Memorial Alumni Achievement Award in 1998. He also was awarded an honorary LLD in 2003 from Capital University School of Law where he received his juris doctorate degree in 1983. He began his legal career in 1983 as counsel for the House Ethics Committee. McNulty is the fourth alumnus to serve as President of the College.


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Alumni Council

​The Grove City College Alumni Council is a body of alumni who serve in an advisory capacity to the College on matters crucial to the College’s more than 25,000 living alumni. Each year, three Alumni Council members sit on the Board of Trustees.

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Seven vice presidents at Grove City College lead the strategic directives of the College—from fundraising to curriculum, and from facilities and technology to the financial viability of the institution.

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