Oglethorpe University

Oglethorpe University
Oglethorpe University
Oglethorpe 2007 Logo.jpg
Motto Nescit Cedere
Established 1835
Type Private
Endowment $24,000,000[1]
President Lawrence Schall, J.D. Ed. D.
Students over 1000
Location Brookhaven, Georgia
Campus Suburban, 100 acres (400,000 m²)
Mascot Stormy Petrel
Affiliations nonsectarian
Website http://www.oglethorpe.edu
Oglethorpe University Historic District
Location: 4484 Peachtree Rd. NE. Atlanta, Georgia
Built: 1929, 1940, 1915
Architect: Leavitt, Charles W. Jr., Morgan and Dillon
Architectural style: Late Gothic Revival
NRHP Reference#: 94000779
Added to NRHP: 1994

Oglethorpe University is a private liberal arts college in Brookhaven, Georgia, an inner suburb of Atlanta. It was chartered in 1835 and named after James Edward Oglethorpe, the state's founder.



The carillon bells atop Oglethorpe's Lupton Hall

Oglethorpe University was originally chartered in 1835 in Midway, just south of the city of Milledgeville, then the state capital. The school was built and, at that time, governed by the Presbyterian Church, making it one of the South's earliest denominational institutions. The American Civil War led to the school's closing from 1862 to 1866.

The college followed the relocation of the capital to Atlanta. In 1870, it began holding classes at the present site of Atlanta City Hall. Plagued by financial difficulties, however, the school closed its doors two years later.

Oglethorpe College was re-chartered as a non-denominational institution in 1913. In 1915 the cornerstone to the new campus was laid at its present location on Peachtree Road in Brookhaven. The person behind rebuilding Oglethorpe was Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, whose grandfather, Professor Ferdinand Jacobs, had served on the faculty of Old Oglethorpe. Jacobs would serve as president for nearly three decades.

In the early 1940's Oglethorpe University had a medical school. Under the direction of Dr. John Bernard, the university was given several elephants for research, who had been poisoned by the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. After the students had finished dissecting the animals they were buried under what is known today as the Philip Weltner Library.

Oglethorpe University became Oglethorpe College in 1965, and reclaimed the designation "university" several years later. Many of Oglethorpe's campus buildings were built in a distinctive Gothic revival architecture style. This area of the 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


In December 2009, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) fully reaffirmed the University's accreditation. [2]

Oglethorpe University's Coat of Arms

Oglethorpe's collegiate coat-of-arms is emblazoned with three boars' heads and the inscription Nescit Cedere, meaning "He does not know to give up."

Points of interest

The Conant Performing Arts Center, completed in 1997, serves as the permanent home of Georgia Shakespeare.

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art opened in 1994 and is located on the top floor of the Philip Weltner Library. The two galleries and gift shop cover 7,000 square feet. Bringing in thousands of visitors each year, the museum has become an important point of interest in Atlanta's art community.

In 1994, Lupton Hall, Phoebe Hearst Hall, Lowry Hall and Hermance Stadium were added to the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, a historic district including part or all of the 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oglethorpe University is home to the Crypt of Civilization, the first and most complete time capsule ever created, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Scheduled to be opened in 8113 AD, it is located in the basement of Phoebe Hearst Hall.

Oglethorpe University is home to the International Time Capsule Society, a repository of time capsule projects worldwide.

Goodman Cafe was added to the university in Fall 2011, and is housed in Goodman Hall. The cafe serves a variety of hot and cold drinks, muffins, mini cheesecakes, and mini carrot cakes. It is completely student-funded by the Student Government Association.

Greek life


Chi Phi
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Kappa Sigma


Alpha Sigma Tau
Chi Omega
Sigma Sigma Sigma

Events and traditions

Oglethorpe Day

Early February. Campus events celebrate the anniversary of James Oglethorpe's founding of the colony of Georgia. The annual "Petrels of Fire" race, an homage to Trinity College's Great Court Run portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire, features students attempting to run the 270-yard (250 m) perimeter of the Academic Quad before the Lupton Hall belltower finishes its noon chimes.

Boar's Head

Omicron Delta Kappa initiates during Oglethorpe's Boar's Head Ceremony
First Friday of December. Modeled after the Boar's Head Gaudy of Queen's College, Oxford, Boar's Head is the traditional start to the Christmas season at Oglethorpe. Festivities include a concert featuring the University Singers, other student organizations and performers from the community, as well as the lighting of the University's Christmas tree. Newly initiated members of Omicron Delta Kappa receive recognition and, as a rite of initiation, kiss the ceremonial boar's head.

Battle of Bloody Marsh

The "battle" is a tug-of-war between a student team and a faculty–staff team, organized by the student government's programming board, that takes place in the fall on the Academic Quad. The name refers to the 1742 battle in which the forces of General Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish troops in South Georgia.

Eggs AM Breakfast

Occurs both fall and spring semesters on the Tuesday Dead Day before finals start the next day. Faculty members cook up a delicious breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon and hash-browns for the students. The students attend at 9 pm and thoroughly enjoy their faculty-cooked free meal and take a little time off between study sessions.

Carillon Ceremony

In the week before graduation, seniors are invited to climb the Lupton Hall belltower to ring a carillon bell in celebration of their academic achievements in an event sponsored by the alumni office.


Women's Basketball at Oglethorpe

The university offers NCAA Division III competition in 14 sports, and competes as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The school's most successful athletic program is its men's golf team, which is perennially among the nation's best. Oglethorpe won the national NCAA title in 2009, after finishing fourth in 2006.

Oglethorpe's historic Hermance Stadium is also used by the St. Pius X baseball team.


Thornwell Jacobs chose an unusual mascot to represent Oglethorpe's athletic teams. The university's mascot is the Stormy Petrel, a seabird said to have been admired by James Oglethorpe for its hardiness and courage. It is the only bird known to fly into a hurricane; the oil on its wings provides a coating against the harsh winds and rain. In March 2002, ESPN's David Lloyd named the Stormy Petrel as one of the most memorable college mascot names of all time, second only to the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz.[3]

Student Media

  • The Carillon, alumni magazine
  • The Stormy Petrel, student newspaper.
  • The Yamacraw, yearbook. Its name comes from Yamacraw Bluff, the landing site of James Oglethorpe's 1733 colonial expedition. Now defunct.
  • The Tower, literary magazine
  • Telefunkin Magazine, Student magazine
  • The Oglethorpe Night Cap, evening degree program newsletter
  • OU Radio, the web-based radio station

Notable alumni

  • Douglass Alexander, class of 1968; president of the fundraising consulting firm Alexander, Haas, Martin & Partners. Firm lead the fundraising efforts that brought the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta. Has appeared on Georgia Trend's list of most influential Georgians.
  • Dr. Robin Hoffman, class of 1970, current President of DeKalb Technical College
  • Luke Appling, member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame; class of 1932.[4]
  • Bobby Baker, class of 1979; Georgia Public Service Commissioner.
  • Jocelyn Baker, class of 1991; Director of Communications for MARTA.
  • David-Matthew Barnes, class of 2006; novelist, playwright, poet, and filmmaker.
  • Samuel Earl Blackwell, class of 1929; founder of Celebrity Services, Inc.
  • Jazz musician John G. Blowers, Jr.; former drummer for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band.
  • Josh Caray, class of 2004; play-by-play announcer for South Atlantic League Rome Braves.
  • Sidney Lanier, class of 1860; poet of post-Civil War era.
  • Michael Morrison, class of 1991; founder of the Inserection Adult Fantasy chain.
  • Benjamin M. Palmer, class of 1852; first national moderator of Presbyterian Church, based in New Orleans.
  • Vincent Sherman, class of 1925; acclaimed Hollywood film director with more than 30 movies to his credit, including Mr. Skeffington (1944) and The Young Philadelphians (1959).
  • Susan Soper, class of 1969; former executive editor of Atlanta INtown magazine; former features editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Charles Longstreet Weltner, class of 1948; former U.S. representative, Georgia Supreme Court Justice and recipient of the Profiles in Courage Award.
  • Jenna Lea, Member of the Politics faculty at Loras College.

References in popular culture

See also

External links



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