Arcadia University

Coordinates: 40°05′31″N 75°09′56″W / 40.0920°N 75.1655°W / 40.0920; -75.1655
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Arcadia University
Arcadia Official Seal.png
Former name
Beaver Female Seminary (1853–1872)
Beaver College (1872–2001)
TypePrivate university
Established1853; 170 years ago (1853)
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment$81.5 million (2020)[1]
PresidentAjay Nair
ProvostJeff Rutenbeck
Administrative staff
Students4,000 (2,400 undergraduate)
Location, ,
United States

40°05′31″N 75°09′56″W / 40.0920°N 75.1655°W / 40.0920; -75.1655
Campus76 acres (0.31 km²)
Division III (MAC Commonwealth conference)
Colors   Scarlet and Grey
MascotArchie (formally named Sir Castor)
Arcadia-Logo-Fnd1853 PMS201.jpg

Arcadia University is a private university in Glenside, Pennsylvania. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students.[2] The 76-acre (310,000 m2) campus features Grey Towers Castle, a National Historic Landmark.


Beaver Female Seminary[edit]

The school was founded in Beaver, Pennsylvania, in 1853 as Beaver Female Seminary.

Beaver College[edit]

By 1872, it had attained collegiate status, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was named Beaver College. The school admitted men from 1872 to 1907, then limited enrollment to women until 1972. In 1925, Beaver College moved east to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and changed its religious affiliation to Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1928, the school acquired the Harrison estate in Glenside, including Grey Towers Castle, the location of the current campus. The college operated both the Jenkintown and Glenside campuses until 1962, when it consolidated all activities to the Glenside campus. Some significant changes came in 1973, when the college launched its first graduate programs and began admitting men again.

Arcadia University[edit]

The rise of the Internet, with systems designed to filter out sexually explicit material, repeatedly blocked access to the college's website.[a] Research conducted by the institution also found that, because of its name, the institution appealed to 30% fewer prospective students.[3] In June 2001, trustees voted to apply for university status and to change the name.[4] In July 2001, upon attaining university status, Beaver College officially changed its name to Arcadia University.[5]

Today, Arcadia University operates on the main Glenside campus, at academic centers and offices around the world, and in Christiana, Delaware, where the university's Department of Medical Science opened a campus in 2006.[6]

There was a series of leadership changes at Arcadia in the years 2011–2017. In May 2011, Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III was named president of Arcadia. Less than two years later, during the school's spring break, he was fired without explanation by the board of trustees.[7] A petition was filed to demand answers from the board of trustees,[8] but no official reason was ever given. From 2013 to 2017, the university was led by Nicolette DeVille Christensen.[9] In December 2017, Ajay Nair, vice-president at Emory University, was named the university's 22nd president.[10]


Undergraduate programs[edit]

Grey Towers Castle
Grey Towers castle at Arcadia University

Arcadia University was ranked among the Princeton Review's "Best in the Northeast" in its "2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region."[11]

The university offers more than 80 fields of study[12] in its undergraduate programs. Undergraduate majors are offered in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Health Sciences, School of Education, and School of Global Business.[13] There is also an option for students to propose self-designed majors and minors, which may consist of courses offered in Glenside and through study abroad.[14]

Graduate programs[edit]

Graduate and professional studies at Arcadia University range from liberal arts to professional degree programs. Arcadia's Master's program in Forensic Science is accredited by FEPAC, and faculty are certified by the American Board of Criminalistics and the American Board of Forensic Toxicology.[15]

International programs and Study Abroad[edit]

The university is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its quality study abroad programs. For nine consecutive years, the Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education ranked Arcadia No. 1 in the nation for the percentage of undergraduate students participating in study abroad experiences at a master's level college or university.[16]

Student life[edit]


Arcadia Knights
UniversityArcadia University
ConferenceMiddle Atlantic Conference
LocationGlenside, Pennsylvania
ColorsScarlet and gray[17]

Arcadia University teams compete in the NCAA Division III within the MAC Freedom of the Middle Atlantic Conference.[18]

Arcadia competes in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Rocket League.

Men's sports teams include ice hockey, track and field, baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Women's sports teams include ice hockey, track and field, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.[19]

In a newly renovated 1,500-square-foot central competition arena, Arcadia competes in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Rocket League.[20]

Student organizations[edit]

As of spring 2018, Arcadia University has more than 60 active governing, academic, sport, cultural, media, religious, and service clubs and organizations.[21]

Notable people[edit]


Faculty and administration[edit]

  • Hank Brown, U.S. Senator from Colorado and interim President of Arcadia University
  • Cynthia S. Burnett (1840–1932), educator, lecturer, temperance reformer, and newspaper editor
  • Kelsey Koelzer, current women's ice hockey coach

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beaver" is a slang term referring to the pubic hair or vulva of a woman. See also Scunthorpe problem.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ Arcadia University Fact Book Arcadia University Fact Book Archived January 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Beaver College". NPR All Things Considered. March 1, 2000.
  4. ^ "Beaver College to change its name". BBC. November 2000. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  5. ^ "Arcadia University Student Handbook: History of Arcadia University". Arcadia University. August 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  6. ^ "Physician Assistant Campuses". Arcadia University. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  7. ^ Susan Snyder (3 April 2013). "Fired Arcadia president says he was "banned" from campus". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Tell the Students of Arcadia University why Dr. Carl Oxholm III was fired," (2013). Retrieved Jan. 25, 2022.
  9. ^ "Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen Named President of Arcadia University". The Bulletin. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  10. ^ Tiffany Pennamon (10 December 2017). "Dr. Ajay Nair Selected as Next President of Arcadia University". Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Best Colleges in the Northeast | The Princeton Review".
  12. ^ "Arcadia University - Rankings and Excellence". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Academics at Arcadia". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Arcadia University - Bachelor's Degrees and Programs". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Forensic Science | Arcadia University".
  16. ^ "Arcadia Again Ranked First in Nation by IIE for Study Abroad Participation | Arcadia University". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  17. ^ "MAC Commonwealth Conference (1999-2000 through present)". Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Middle Atlantic Conference Members". Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  19. ^ "Arcadia Athletics". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  20. ^ "Game On! Arcadia University Launches Esports Program for Fall 2019 | Arcadia University". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  21. ^ "Fast Facts About Arcadia | Arcadia University". Arcadia University. Retrieved 31 January 2017.

External links[edit]