Heidelberg University (Ohio)

Coordinates: 41°06′53″N 83°10′01″W / 41.11472°N 83.16694°W / 41.11472; -83.16694
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heidelberg University
Former name
Heidelberg College (1850–1889, 1926–2009)
TypePrivate university
Established1850; 174 years ago (1850)
Religious affiliation
United Church of Christ
Endowment$51.4 million (2020)[1]
PresidentRobert H. Huntington

41°06′53″N 83°10′01″W / 41.11472°N 83.16694°W / 41.11472; -83.16694
Campus110 acres (44.5 ha)
Colors    Red, orange, black[2]
Sporting affiliations
MascotThe Student Prince

Heidelberg University is a private university in Tiffin, Ohio. Founded in 1850, it was known as Heidelberg College until 1889 and from 1926 to 2009. It is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.


Heidelberg University was founded by the German Reformed Church as Heidelberg College in 1850 in Ohio. It is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, the successor to that denomination. In the mid-nineteenth century, there were a significant number of German immigrants in Ohio. The German Reformed Church had seventy-four churches in the state when members decided to establish the college. The college had five students enrolled in the first classes. By the end of the year, 149 students were enrolled.[3]


On the morning of October 25, 2008, the Heidelberg College Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to transition to Heidelberg University. The name change went into effect at the beginning of the 2009–2010 academic year.

From a historical perspective, this decision marks the second time the institution has been named Heidelberg University. In 1889, the decision was made to change from college to university, which remained until 1926, when the name Heidelberg College was returned.

— James A. Troha, Ph.D.

Interim President

Heidelberg College

According to a statement issued by former interim President Dr. James Troha to all Heidelberg students: "In considering the transition from college to university, the board and senior administrators addressed such issues as competition and trends in higher education and the perception of "university" among prospective students in the U.S. and abroad. Thorough research of both internal and external audiences indicated strong support to become Heidelberg University."


Heidelberg is situated on 110 acres (44.5 ha) enclosed in Tiffin, Ohio, the county seat of Seneca County, in northwestern Ohio. The campus is located on the east side of Tiffin on College Hill, within a half mile of downtown Tiffin.


University Hall

Heidelberg's campus includes 26 buildings, 10 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture ranges from pure Greek Revival and Victorian Gothic to English Gothic and the functional style. Many of the buildings are formed in gray Bloomville limestone with cut Bedford stone for trim, bringing a sense of overall unity to the various styles.


Heidelberg offers 36 undergraduate courses of study, four graduate programs, 16 minors, and 13 pre-professional programs. The university has an honors program, The Life of the Mind, that focuses on four thematic components: the artist, the citizen, the scholar, and the scientist.

Its American Junior Year program at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, is the oldest exchange program between an American university and a German university. Heidelberg is also home to the renowned National Center for Water Quality Research and The Center for Historic and Military Archaeology.


Eighty-five percent of the senior faculty members hold a doctorate or the highest degree in their core competency. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1 and the average class size is 20 to 25.[4]

Student life[edit]

1920s felt school pennant


Students are culturally and geographically diverse, originating from all parts of the country. Eight percent of the students come from other countries. Fifty-three percent are male and forty-seven percent are female.

Roughly eighty-five percent of students live in campus-owned housing, which includes seven traditional residence halls, senior apartments, and an average of ten Cooperative Learning Communities (CLCs). CLCs are themed houses that provide students with the opportunity to develop initiatives and programs that will benefit the Heidelberg and/or greater-Tiffin communities.[5]

Greek life[edit]

Heidelberg University has ten different social Greek organizations: five fraternities, four sororities, and one co-ed society. Each of the Greek organizations is local and specific only to Heidelberg University. They are governed by the Greek Life Council. In addition to this, Greek Life is accompanied by a chapter of the Order of Omega, an honorary Greek life organization.


Heidelberg is affiliated with NCAA Division III athletics and is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Heidelberg is the oldest member of the Ohio Athletic Conference which is the third oldest conference in the Nation and was founded in 1902. Heidelberg has won 46 Ohio Athletic Conference championships in the history of the athletic program which dates back to 1892. The school is known for its distinctive "Student Prince" mascot, originating from the Sigmund Romberg operetta of the same name. On September 5, 2008, a redesigned "Student Prince" mascot was unveiled.

Heidelberg University's long and storied history of intercollegiate athletics dates back to 1892, when The Berg beat Findlay in football, 20–0. Since then, the athletic program has grown to 22 teams competing at the NCAA Division III level in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Heidelberg adds varsity swimming and esports. Men's and Women's Swim returns to Heidelberg University starting for the 2023-2024 Season. The Swim Teams will be HU's first to compete at the varsity level since the early 1980s. Heidelberg will be the sixth Ohio Athletic Conference school to sponsor swimming.[6]

Esports, short for electronic sports, is an organized competition between universities in a variety of video games.[7]

Volleyball has qualified for the NCAA Tournament eight times (2007–2012, 2015–2016). They have won six OAC regular season titles (1986, 2009–2011, 2013, 2015) and two tournament titles (2010, 2015).

Heidelberg Student Princes football team

On the gridiron, the Student Princes won the 1972 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl under the guidance of head coach Pete Riesen. Their longest stretch of success was under the tutelage of College Football Hall of Famer Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann. The Fox led The Berg to a record of 102-18-4 in 14 seasons. After falling on hard times in the 2000s, head coach Mike Hallett turned the program around. Hallett snapped a nation-worst 36-game losing streak in the first game of the 2007 season. By 2012, Hallett guided the Student Princes into the Division III Tournament.

Recently, the football program helped rewrite the NCAA record books. On November 16, 2013, tailback Cartel Brooks set an NCAA All-Divisions record with 465 yards of rushing in a win over Baldwin Wallace. On November 3, 2018, punter Austin Baker set a D-III record with a 95-yard punt in a loss at John Carroll.

Men's cross country has had four-straight seasons of qualifying for the NCAA Championship, (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and seventh overall in school history (1997, 1998, 1999). They also captured their fourth OAC Championships in 2009, which added to their titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The Berg men's cross country team also was honored by the USTFCCCA in 2009 by having the second highest GPA in NCAA DIII and the fourth highest in the nation among all cross country teams in any division.

Wrestling has had five straight successful seasons in the OAC, and placed as high as sixth in the nation in the past five years. They captured OAC Tournament Championships in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The wrestlers were also OAC Regular Season Championships in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Baseball has also had success over the past decade with two Regional titles, and seven OAC Championships. They were OAC Tournament Champions 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010; and Regular Season 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2019. Also in 2010, they captured their first NCAA Regional Championship and finished fourth in the nation at the NCAA DIII Baseball World Series. Heidelberg hosted, and won, the first-ever Mideast Super Regional in 2019—sweeping The College of Wooster.

The men's track and field team also had success when it placed 14th in the nation in 2007. The team also captured its third OAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship in 2010, adding it to the championship years of 1999 and 2000.

The Heidelberg men's running program (Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field) in the 2009–2010 school year finished as the 14th best program among NCAA DIII schools because of their high event finishes at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Notable alumni[edit]


  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 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Graphic Standards | Heidelberg University". Archived from the original on July 30, 2012.
  3. ^ "History & Mission". Heidelberg University. July 6, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "Heidelberg College: Facts About Heidelberg". Archived from the original on July 19, 2007.
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions | Heidelberg University". Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Heidelberg adds varsity swimming and esports".
  7. ^ "Heidelberg adds varsity swimming and esports".

External links[edit]