Eureka College Information

From Wikipedia

Table of Contents ⇨
Eureka College
Eureka College (logo).jpg
Motto"The Moment of Discovery"
Type Private College
Affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
President Jamel Santa Cruze Wright
40°42′50″N 89°16′05″W / 40.714°N 89.268°W / 40.714; -89.268
EUREKA COLLEGE Latitude and Longitude:

40°42′50″N 89°16′05″W / 40.714°N 89.268°W / 40.714; -89.268
Campus112 acres (0.45 km2) rural
ColorsMaroon and Gold          
NicknameRed Devils

Eureka College is a private, non-profit Christian college in Eureka, Illinois, related by covenant to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). [1] Popular majors include education, business, history, political science, communication, and the fine and performing arts. Enrollment in 2010–11 was approximately 785 students.

Eureka College was the third college in the United States to admit men and women on an equal basis. Abraham Lincoln spoke on campus in 1856. The college's most famous alumnus, Ronald Reagan, graduated in 1932 with a degree in economics and sociology, and it has continued to be closely associated with his legacy. In 2010, Eureka College was designated as a national historic district by the National Park Service. [2]


Collage of historical Eureka College images from 1904 with the presidential residence in the top left, President Hieronymus in the top right, a general view of the campus in the center, the Linda Woods Young Ladies Hall in the bottom left, and Burgess Memorial Hall in the bottom right.
Eureka College in 1904

The college was founded in 1848 by a group of abolitionists who had left Kentucky because of their opposition to slavery and was originally named the Walnut Grove Academy. [3] [4] It was chartered in 1855. [5] When the school was founded, it was the first school in Illinois (and only the third in the United States) to educate women on an equal basis with men. Abingdon College merged with Eureka in 1885. [6]


Eureka College athletic teams, known as the Red Devils, participate at the NCAA Division III level. [7] There are teams for men's and women's soccer, basketball, golf and track, as well as football, volleyball, baseball and softball. Eureka has competed as a member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since 2006. Eureka was a member of the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference until the spring of 2006. Eureka College was also a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910 to 1942. On September 1, 2012 Eureka College quarterback Sam Durley set an NCAA record with 736 passing yards in Eureka's 62–55 victory over Knox College. That beat the old record of 731 yards set by a Menlo College quarterback in 2000. [8]


Eureka College Administration and Chapel
Eureka College Main Building flickr.jpg
Administration Building
Eureka College is located in Illinois
Eureka College
Location300 College Ave.
Eureka, Illinois
Coordinates 40°42′50″N 89°16′09″W / 40.7139°N 89.2691°W / 40.7139; -89.2691
Area2.8 acres (1.1 ha)
Architectural styleItalianate, Georgian, Federal
NRHP reference # 80001426 [9]
Added to NRHPMay 31, 1980
  • The Eureka College campus is 112 acres (0.45 km2). [1]
  • Burrus Dickinson Hall, Administration building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. [10]
  • The Chapel is the building where Ronald Reagan gave his first public speech. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. [11]
  • The Melick Library houses the Eureka College Archives. President Reagan gave a speech at its opening.
  • The Reagan Athletic Complex (before 2015, known as the Reagan Physical Education Center or the Reagan Gym) was dedicated in 1970 by brothers Neil Reagan '33 and Ronald Reagan '32 and named in their honor. The center houses the basketball court, a swimming pool, weight rooms, and a state-of-the-art exercise center. In 1982, President Reagan announced the START treaty proposal in the Reagan Gym during the commencement address to the class of 1982. In 2015, The Bonati Fitness Center and Reagan Center Pool underwent renovation. These renovations included the rebuilding of the previously aged gym.

Ronald Reagan

Eureka College is the smallest college or university in American history to graduate a future U.S. President with a bachelor's degree. Among its alumni throughout history are forty-two college and university presidents, seven Governors and members of U.S. Congress, and the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, class of 1932. [12] Among more than 4,900 American institutions of higher learning today, only 23 have given a future U.S. President an undergraduate diploma.

The college's "Reagan Forward" initiative was launched by Eureka College President J. David Arnold in 2008.

Ronald Reagan is the only president born, raised and educated in the state of Illinois. [13] Reagan's relationship with his alma mater began in 1928 when he entered as a freshman from Dixon, Illinois, at age 17. Following his graduation on June 10, 1932, with a joint major in economics and sociology, [14] Ronald Reagan returned for visits on twelve recorded occasions. He served on the board of trustees for three terms, stayed connected to his fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon, communicated with his football coach and mentor Ralph "Mac" McKinzie, and helped support fund-raising drives including with his own financial commitments to the college. Reagan gave three commencement addresses at Eureka College in 1957, 1982 and 1992. [15] He dedicated the Melick Library building in 1967 and the Reagan Physical Education Center in 1970. When he died in 2004, Eureka College was one of three officially designated recipients of memorial gifts by his family.

In 1982, President Reagan told a Eureka College audience, "Everything that has been good in my life began here." [16] He made similar statement at several other public speeches.

Eureka College has created programs related to Ronald Reagan, with a goal of enhancing the educational experience for its students:

  • In 1982, Eureka College established the Ronald W. Reagan Leadership Program with President Reagan's blessing and assistance to provide scholarships, having awarded 128 four-year full tuition scholarships to designated Reagan Fellows. [17]
  • In 1994, Eureka College established a museum named after Reagan to hold and interpret many items which he donated to the college during his lifetime, under the leadership of founding curator Dr. Brian Sajko.
  • In 2000, Eureka College dedicated the Reagan Peace Garden with a gift from central Illinois philanthropists Anne and David Vaughan to commemorate his important commencement speech at Eureka College in which Reagan called for nuclear arms reductions between the Soviet Union and the United States.
  • In 2008, Eureka College's president, J. David Arnold, launched a new effort known at "Reagan Forward" to build on the Reagan legacy with the unanimous backing of the board of trustees.
  • In 2008, Eureka College launched the Ronald W. Reagan Society to raise support for the college as a living legacy of Ronald Reagan and a national monument to American opportunity his story represents; more than 1,000 donations had been received in 2011.
  • On March 27, 2009, Eureka College hosted former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, the man of whom President Ronald Reagan famously demanded "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," in reference to the Berlin Wall that held citizens of East Berlin captive by threat of violence by the Communists. President Gorbachev visited the section of the Berlin Wall on display in the Reagan Peace Garden on campus. President Arnold gave President Gorbachev an honorary degree during a convocation in which students asked the former Soviet leader questions. [18]
  • On March 31, 2009, Eureka College gave Nancy Reagan an honorary degree from her husband's alma mater at a private ceremony in the private quarters of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. [19]
  • On November 9, 2009, Eureka College celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with speaker General P.X. Kelley USMC (Ret.). [20]
  • Throughout 2010–11, Eureka College organized the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration whose honorary chairman was Governor Jim Edgar of Illinois. [21]
  • On May 14, 2011, Eureka College held its 150th commencement coinciding with the year-long Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich delivered the commencement address. [22]
  • January 13–15, 2011, Eureka College hosted an academic conference entitled "Reagan and the Midwest," designed to emphasize the study of the roots of Ronald Reagan. More than 15 scholars and authors attended including Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese III, journalist Fred Barnes, author Craig Shirley, author Peter Hannaford, and Midwest scholar Andrew Cayton. [23]
  • In 2011, Eureka College dedicated the Mark R. Shenkman Reagan Research Center and College Archives within the Melick Library on campus. Funded by its namesake, the center is collecting and maintaining every book and doctoral dissertation ever written about Ronald Reagan as a resource for scholars, students, and public. [24]
  • On March 28, 2012, Eureka College named James A. Baker III as an Honorary Reagan Fellow of Eureka College at a dinner ceremony hosted by the Ronald W. Reagan Society at the Union League Club of New York. [25]
  • In celebration of the 103rd anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birthday, February 6, 2013, Eureka College announced a $1 million gift from the estate of President Reagan's brother Neil Reagan (Eureka College Class of 1933) and sister-in-law Bess. [26]
  • On April 9, 2013, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court visited Eureka College where she was named an Honorary Reagan Fellow and gave a speech about her relationship with President Reagan. [27]
  • The Honorable George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, Treasury, Labor and Director of [OMB] was named Honorary Reagan Fellow at a Ronald W. Reagan Society ceremony in San Francisco in November 18, 2014. [28]

Ronald Reagan Museum

Ronald Reagan on the Eureka College Football Team, 1929

The Ronald W. Reagan Museum, located within the Donald B. Cerf Center, contains a collection of objects and memorabilia largely donated by Reagan. The items are from his times as a student, actor, athlete, Governor of California and President of the United States. Admission is free. [29]


In the U.S. News & World Report 2010, Eureka was ranked as a Tier 1 "regional college" in the Midwest. [30] "Regional college" refers to smaller institutions that draw most students from the surrounding area and focus on undergraduate education, but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. [31] [32]


About 55 percent of the students at Eureka are women, while about 45 percent are men. One percent of the students are Native American, one percent are Asian, 8 percent are African-American, and 89 percent are white. One percent of the students are international, but 92 percent of the students are from the state of Illinois. Sixty-eight percent of students live on campus.

Eureka also offers four-year, full-tuition scholarships to two students interested in pursuing ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Ministry Fellows receive two on-site mentorships exploring ministry, are expected to live on campus, maintain a 3.0 GPA, fully participate in ECMF activities, and display exceptional leadership, spiritual growth and maturity. [33]

Greek life

As of 2009, 33% of male students are in social fraternities, while 42% of female students are in social sororities.



  • Phi Omega, Alpha Chapter - Local Sorority
  • Delta Delta Pi, Alpha Chapter - Local Sorority
  • Delta Zeta, Pi Chapter

Notable speakers and visitors

Notable alumni

Many former students at Eureka College have gone into politics and made important contributions to science.

Honorary degree recipients

Notable faculty




  1. ^ a b "Eureka College | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  2. ^ Anonymous. "Eureka College listed to National Register of Historic Places - Peoria, IL". Woodford Times. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  3. ^ Callary, Edward. 2009. Place Names of Illinois. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, p. 116.
  4. ^ Eureka College, Campus News Archived 2011-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Discover Eureka College Archived 2012-01-24 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "BACKTRACKING". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Eureka College Athletics - Eureka, Illinois - Undergraduate Search at". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  8. ^ "Division III QB sets NCAA single-game passing record". Yahoo!Sports. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  9. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  10. ^ "The Council of Independent Colleges: Historic Campus Architecture Project". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  11. ^ "National Register of Historical Places - ILLINOIS (IL), Woodford County". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  12. ^ "Education". Archived from the original on 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  13. ^ Dr. Brian Sajko. "The Ideal Alum". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  14. ^ "Famous Sociology Majors". Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  15. ^ "In Memoriam: Ronald W. Reagan". Archived from the original on 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  16. ^ Keen, Judy (2011-01-24). "Heartland lays claim to native son Reagan". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  17. ^ "A Q&A with Michael Thurwanger". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  18. ^ Michele Steinbacher (2009-03-28). "During Eureka visit, Gorbachev reflects on partnership with Reagan". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  19. ^ Anonymous (2009-03-31). "Eureka grants honorary degree to Nancy Reagan - Peoria, IL". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  20. ^ Anonymous. "Reagan appointment starts endowment - Peoria, IL". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  21. ^ Steinbacher, Michele (2010-09-07). "Edgar kicks off Eureka College's Reagan tribute". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  22. ^ McDowell, Jerry (2011-05-14). "Gingrich praises Reagan during speech at Eureka". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  23. ^ Steinbacher, Michele (2011-01-13). "Eureka set for 'Reagan and the Midwest' event". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  24. ^ "Eureka College gift to be used for Reagan Research Center". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  25. ^ EurekaCollegeMedia (17 April 2012). "Acceptance Remarks James A. Baker, III, Eureka College Honorary Reagan Fellow, March 28, 2012". Retrieved 21 July 2018 – via YouTube.
  26. ^ Adams, Pam. "Eureka announces major gift from Reagan brother's estate". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Google". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  28. ^ EurekaCollegeMedia (25 November 2014). "Secretary George P. Shultz, Honorary Reagan Fellow Ceremony, (San Francisco), November 18, 2014". Retrieved 21 July 2018 – via YouTube.
  29. ^ "Eureka". The Ronald Reagan Trail. 2008-09-28. Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  30. ^ "Regional Colleges", U.S. News & World Report College Ranking 2010
  31. ^ U.S. News Staff (2010-08-17). "How U.S. News Calculates the College Rankings - US News and World Report". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  32. ^ "Regional College Midwest Rankings | Top Regional Colleges Midwest | US News Best Colleges". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  33. ^ "the eureka idea". 2008-06-14. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  34. ^ "Oct 9". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Dec 8". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Nov 26". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois on September 28, 1967 · Page 11". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Sept 29". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  39. ^ Wikiquote:Ray Bradbury
  40. ^ "Sept 26". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-08-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title ( link)
  42. ^, Jerry McDowell. "Gingrich praises Reagan during speech at Eureka". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Edwin Meese III Remarks at Eureka College". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2014-08-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title ( link)
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2014-08-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title ( link)
  46. ^ "Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) Remarks at Eureka College". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Former Caterpillar CEO James Owens to discuss U.S. economy at EC presentation - Eureka College". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  48. ^ "Dr. Emik Avakian '48 a reason to invest". Eureka College. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  49. ^ "Jan 5". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  50. ^ "Nov 2". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  51. ^ "Nebraska Governor William Amos Poynter". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  52. ^ a b c, Lenore Sobota. "Banners honor Eureka alumni achievements". Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  53. ^ Yeager 63


  • Yager, Edward M., Ronald Reagan's Journey: Democrat to Republican, Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, ISBN  0-7425-4421-4

Further reading

External links