Whittier College is a private liberal arts college in Whittier, California. As of 2003, the college has 1,535 enrolled students.
The liberal arts university was founded in 1887 by members of the Religious Society of Friends, who named it after Friends (Quaker) poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Student athletes at Whittier College are known today as the Poets in his honor. The college is no longer affiliated with the Friends, though it does retain some of their ceremonial traditions.
Whittier College is one of the more diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, serving students not only of different ethnic and geographic backgrounds, but also of a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. Minority and international students make up nearly half (49%) of the student body. Whittier College has over sixty student-run organizations and clubs, the college also has four local fraternities (called "societies"): The Franklin Society, The Lancer Society, The Orthogonian Society (founded by Richard Nixon when he was a student), and the William Penn Society; as well as five local sororities: The Palmer Society, The Ionian Society, The Metaphonian Society, The Thalian Society, and The Athenian Society; and one coed society, the Sachsen Society. Other long-standing campus groups include the Artorian Order of the Knights of Pendragon (A.O.K.P.). Former President of the United States Richard Nixon remains the college's most well-known and controversial alumnus. That a U. S. President graduated from Whittier is mentioned in many of the college's advertising documents--but that President's name is usually carefully omitted, until recently.
An event reminiscent of their famous alumnus occurred at Whittier College in 2002 when an electronic bugging device was found in the office of the college newspaper, the Quaker Campus. The discovery quickly made headlines on the Drudge Report, the Student Press Law Center and other media outlets due to the similarity to the bugging of the Democratic National Convention in 1972 that brought down Nixon's presidency in the Watergate scandal. The source of the QC wiretap was never conclusively proven, but one strong theory suggested that disgruntled members of the student government planted the bug to spy on student journalists during the early 1990s, when ongoing tensions between the faculty and the Orthogonian Society were reported in the newspaper.
The Whittier College Poets compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) of NCAA Division III. The school has fielded sports teams for over 100 years. Its current teams include football, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, lacrosse and water polo; women’s softball and volleyball; and men’s baseball and golf.
The football program plays out of Newman Memorial Field, which seats 7,000.
The Whittier Lacrosse Program was established in 1980. In 1980, the Poets became a member of the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL). From 1980 to 1999, Whittier won ten championships. As a result of their success, Whittier decided to become the first and only NCAA lacrosse program on the west coast. In 1990, they were recognized by the NCAA, but continued to compete in the WCLL. The Poets were the team to beat throughout the 90’s and it was not until 2000 when Whittier made the decision to make their mark on the national scene by leaving the WCLL and focus on being selected for the NCAA tournament. The LAX team has been a national contender every year since 2000 in the NCAA, as a quarter-finalist in 2003, and a semi-finalist in 2004.
Whittier Law SchoolEdit
Whittier College maintains a satellite campus for law studies in Costa Mesa, CA. Whittier Law School was founded in the Hancock Park Section of Los Angeles in 1966 as Beverly Law School. It became Whittier Law School in 1975 and moved to Costa Mesa in 1997. Whittier Law School now boasts a network of 4,000 alumni practicing in 48 states and 14 countries. Whittier Law School has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1978 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) since 1987. However, at its meeting on August 4-5, 2005, the ABA placed Whittier Law School's accreditation under a two-year probation, effective August 9, 2005.
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