5 Questions for the Dean

Laurie Koehler, George Washington University

It should come as no surprise that The George Washington University is one of the most politically active campuses in the country.  The private research university, located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of the District of Columbia, is bordered by the White House, Potomac River, the Watergate complex, and the State Department and within walking distance of the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the capital's preeminent cultural institutions from the Smithsonian Institution to the National Air and Space Museum.

Deborah Thompson, Flagler College

Flagler College is one of the younger private liberal arts colleges, located in the oldest city in America. Founded in 1968, Flagler is located in the heart of St. Augustine, Florida, which was founded in 1565 by the Spanish -- 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years prior to the landing at Plymouth Rock.

The centerpiece of the 42-acre campus is the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, a grand resort built in 1888 by Henry Flagler, on the grounds of a former orange grove.  Today, the fully restored building, added to the National Historic Register in 1975, is considered a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture with beautiful grounds, hand-carved wood, imported marble, elaborate murals, and Tiffany stained glass windows, housing a women's residence hall, as well as administrative departments. If you're not lucky enough to get a room there, there are four other residence halls on the campus, as well as a library, a student center, an auditorium, a gymnasium, an art museum, and a laboratory and radio station for the Communication Department. And four of those buildings are historic structures as well.

University of Delaware's Jose Aviles Answers Six Questions

Delaware became the "First State" in 1787. But the University of Delaware can trace its roots to a small private academy founded 44 years earlier, in 1743, by the Reverend Francis Alison. The first class of Alison's "Free School" would include three individuals who later became signers of the Declaration of Independence -- George Read, Thomas McKean and James Smith. Today, the University of Delaware is a Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant, Carnegie Research University, located in the suburban community of Newark, midway between Philadelphia and Baltimore. The Declaration of Independence signers are memorialized on residence halls on the UD campus, described by the Washington Post, as "a stunning landscape of Georgian Colonial red-brick, white columned architecture to rival anything conceived by Thomas Jefferson."

Maureen McRae Goldberg of Occidental College Answers 8 Questions

February is Financial Aid Awareness month. As students and families research financial aid, fill out the FAFSA, and assess their options this month, we asked Occidental College's Director of Financial Aid Maureen McRae Goldberg "5 Questions." And she graciously answered eight for us.

Occidental College is a private liberal arts school located in the oak and eucalyptus covered hills of Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood. Designed by Rose Bowl architect Myron Hunt, the campus' stucco and red tile roofed Spanish Colonial architecture covers 120 acres. No surprise then that Occidental has been the setting for more than 80 movies and television shows -- from the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers to Star Trek III, as well as Glee, Parenthood and Arrested Development. It has also been a feature film stand-in for the real-life college campuses of Stanford and Princeton.

Leigh Weisenburger of Bates College Answers Six Questions

Bates College was founded in 1855 by abolitionists who believed strongly in freedom, civil rights and the importance of a higher education for all who could benefit from it. Several of the college's earliest students were former slaves. And its religion department was formed when the school merged with the Parsonfield's Cobb Divinity School, whose seminary served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

That mission of inclusivity is carried on today at the Lewiston, Maine, private liberal arts school -- there are no sororities or fraternities on campus, student organizations are open to all, and 95% of students live on campus, with residential life an important part of the academic experience.   

Dr. Robert Alexander of Millsaps College Answers Five Questions

Millsaps College, a private liberal arts school, located in Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1890 when Civil War veteran and businessman Major Reuben Millsaps made a personal gift of $50,000 -- matched by contributions from Mississippi Methodists -- toward the establishment of "a Christian college within the borders of our state."

Set on 100 acres in the heart of Mississippi's capital, today Millsaps is home to 910 undergraduate students, who come from 26 states and 23 countries. Named as both a College That Changes Lives and a Fiske Guide "best buy" school, the college has a faculty-student ratio of 1 to 9 and an average class size of 14.

Kasey Urquidez, University of Arizona

In its earliest days, University of Arizona had a bit of a Wild West aura. Students rode their horses to school, hitching them outside Old Main, the first building on campus. And a year after the first undergraduates arrived, the dean of students asked the Board of Regents to prohibit the use of firearms on campus.

In fact, Arizona was still a territory when the University of Arizona broke ground in 1885 on 40 acres of land with a $25,000 grant from the legislature.  The first students arrived in 1891 – 32 strong – along with six teachers. But only six were admitted to the freshmen class. The remaining 26 went to a specially established prep school since there were no high schools in the territory. Seventeen years later, the university students finally outnumbered those in the prep classes and more than 20 years later -- in 1912 -- Arizona became a state.

Jeannine Lalonde, University of Virginia

University of Virginia may well have the richest history of any institution of higher learning in the country. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 -- the first class entered in 1825 -- the Founding Father, third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence considered it to be one of his greatest achievements. The school was built on land purchased by the fifth President of the United States James Monroe. And when the cornerstone of the university's first building was laid, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and the fourth President of the United States James Madison were all in attendance.

Christopher Gruber, Dean of Admission at Davidson College, Answers Five Questions

"Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from cheating (including plagiarism). Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from stealing. Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from lying about College business. Every student shall be honor bound to report immediately all violations of the Honor Code …”  -- Davidson College Honor Code


The Davidson College Honor Code is central to the life of this private liberal arts college founded in 1837 by Presbyterians. Under the Davidson Honor Code, for example, students take unproctored, self-scheduled exams, permitting them to tackle tests with the timing they choose during exam periods. But its influence extends beyond take-home exams and test-taking so that as you walk the Davidson campus, you may see a note on a bulletin board or taped to a brick walkway describing an item, along with the finder's contact information so that the lost item can be recovered.

Rick Clark, Director of Admission, Georgia Institute of Technology

Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Institute of Technology joins us this month to answer five questions about one of the country's leading public research universities. GT or Georgia Tech, as it's known, opened its doors in 1888 with two buildings -- one for classrooms, the other housing a foundry, forge, boiler room and engine room. It was the culmination of a plan spearheaded by two former Confederate officers to found a school that would move the south from an agrarian past into the industrial age.