Carthage College

Carthage College is a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Situated in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the campus is an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan and is home to 3,000 full-time and 200 part-time students.

Carthage awards bachelor's degrees with majors in more than 40 subject areas and master's degrees in two areas. Carthage has 150 faculty.[3] John R. Swallow is the president of Carthage, the 23rd in its history.

Carthage is the coordinator for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.[1]

Carthage College
Carthage College seal
MottoSeeking truth. Building strength. Inspiring service. Together.
liberal arts college
AffiliationEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
Endowment$107 million[2]
PresidentDr. John R. Swallow
Academic staff
Location, ,
NicknameRed Men and Lady Reds
Sporting affiliations
Carthage College logo


Carthage College was founded in 1837 by Lutheran pioneers in education in the small town of Hillsboro, Illinois, as The Academy. It was renamed in 1847 as The Literary and Theological Institute of the Lutheran Church in the Far West, which was soon shortened to Lutheran College.[4] With a two-person faculty and 79 students, Hillsboro promised "a course of study designed to be thorough and practical, and to embrace all the branches of learning, usually pursued in the best academies and colleges."[5]

In 1852, the college moved to Springfield, Illinois, and assumed the name of Illinois State University.[6] During this period, Abraham Lincoln served briefly on the Board of Trustees from 1860 to 1861,[7] while his son Robert Todd Lincoln was a student in Illinois State University's preparatory academy from 1853 to 1859.[8] Illinois State University's enrollment dwindled during the Civil War, and in 1870 the college moved again, this time to the rural, west-central city of Carthage, Illinois, where the college acquired its current name.[9]

The Great Depression and World War II lowered enrollment to 131 students in 1943,[10] but enrollment increased again after the war as a result of the G.I. Bill.

After years of financial challenges, shifts in Lutheran synodical support, and searches for a suitable location, Carthage's Board of Trustees voted unanimously in 1957 to open a campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin.[11] The lakeshore campus was dedicated on Oct. 14, 1962.[12]

By 1962, the college launched an era of growth. The next decade brought a period of continuous expansion. Enrollment increased fivefold, endowment tripled, and physical assets increased 600 percent. In Fall 1995, Carthage enrolled 1,527 full-time students, setting a new record. Intensive national searches have built a teaching-oriented faculty holding Ph.D.s from major graduate programs across the country. Since 2001, the College has invested more than $130 million in new construction, major renovations and technological acquisition.


In 2001, the Hedberg Library opened its doors, adjoining the H. F. Johnson Center for the Fine Arts.[13] The library won Wisconsin Library of the Year in 2004.[14] The library also won the Highsmith Award in 2007 for Family Fun Night, a program for community members that encourages learning for children from 2–13.[15] The former Ruthrauff Library was renovated into the A. W. Clausen Center for World Business, opening in 2004.

The Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center opened in 2001, and the former Physical Education Center was rebuilt and renamed the Tarble Arena, opening in 2009.

In Fall 2011, a new student union opened on the site of the former W. F. Seidemann Natatorium. It houses a new press box, new bleachers, a new and larger bookstore, new dining options, a campus "living room", a new dining room, a 200-seat theatre, an art gallery, and a gaming area. In April 2012 the student center was formally dedicated and named the Campbell Student Union in honor of retiring President F. Gregory Campbell and his wife, Barbara, for their 25 years of service to Carthage. President Campbell retired in August 2012.

The Oaks, a new student residence village overlooking Lake Michigan, opened in 2012, containing six villas with semi-private suites and a media lounge on each floor.

In Fall 2015, a new science center opened in the newly renovated David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Natural and Social Sciences.[16][17] Originally built in 1962, the former Science Hall was renovated and renamed in honor of David A. Straz, Jr., in 1995.[16] The latest $45 million expansion added a new planetarium, twelve new science labs, new classrooms, faculty offices, and student gathering and exhibition spaces.

In Fall 2018, the newest residence hall, The Tower, was opened. The Tower provides students with apartment-style style suites with personal bathrooms, as well as media lounges on each floor and communal kitchens on every other floor. The new building also presented students with the Terrace, a new studying space with televisions, laptop bars, and a functioning fireplace.


Carthage offers a Bachelor of Arts in more than 40 areas of study and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.[18] Carthage also partners with master's level institutions to offer dual-degree programs in engineering, occupational therapy and pharmacy.

The academic calendar spans two 14-week semesters, separated by a month-long January term. The college has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1916.[19]


In fall 2016, Carthage had enrollment of 2,818 undergraduate students and 112 graduate students. The student body is 55 percent female and 45 percent male. 70% of applicants are accepted for admission.[20]

Western Heritage

All Carthage students are required to take Western Heritage, a year-long course sequence in which they read, discuss, and write about major Western texts. The reading list includes works by Plato, Homer, Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, and W. E. B. DuBois, in addition to the Bible.[21]

Senior thesis

All students must complete a senior thesis. This capstone project can take the form of a research project, music recital, art exhibit, or some other original demonstration of scholarship or creativity.[22]

January term

During January Term, known on campus as "J-Term", participating students select one class and attend it daily. In addition to on-campus courses, many students travel with faculty on study tours in either January or the summer months. Destinations in 2016 included Cuba, Nicaragua, and World War II battle sites in Europe. All students must complete two J-Term courses, including one during their freshman year.[23]


The Institute for International Education placed Carthage no. 4 among baccalaureate institutions for student participation in short-term study abroad in 2013-14.[24]

In The Princeton Review's 2016 rankings, Carthage was among 159 schools listed as a Best Midwestern College.[25]

From 2008 through 2016, 17 students from the college won Fulbright fellowships.[26] In 2016, the college was named a top Fulbright producer.[27]


The college has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. In fall 2016, the college employed 160 full-time professors and 162 part-time faculty members.[28]

Carthage in Chicago

In 2014, the college launched the Carthage in Chicago program. Participating students spend a semester in Chicago, securing an internship or pursuing a major academic project while living and taking classes in the city. Housing and classroom space are located at HI-Chicago.[29]

Continuing studies

Adult students can pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting, criminal justice, management, or marketing. Classes meet one evening per week for seven weeks.[30]

Available graduate degrees include the Master of Education, with 13 areas of concentration, and a Master of Social Work offered at Carthage in partnership with Loyola University Chicago.[31]


The Old Main Bell

For decades, the Old Main Bell sat in the tower at the top of Old Main, the first building on the campus in Carthage, Illinois. After athletic victories, students would race down Evergreen Walk to ring the bell. When Carthage moved from Illinois to Wisconsin in the 1960s, the Tau Sigma Chi fraternity helped move the victory bell to Kenosha.[32] In 2004, the victory bell found a new home in the scoreboard on Art Keller Field.[33]

Kissing Rock

Kissing Rock has been a part of Carthage since 1913. Dennis Swaney and other members of the Class of 1913 found the 2 ½-ton chunk of granite in a farmer's field and moved the stone to the campus.[34] Stationed prominently at the entrance to Evergreen Walk, the rock quickly became part of Carthage life.[35] One tradition recounts that any woman sitting on the rock was obligated to kiss the man who found her there and countless marriage proposals have been made and accepted near it. Members of the Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity moved Kissing Rock to the Kenosha campus in the mid-1960s.[36] It now sits facing Lake Michigan between Lentz and Tarble Halls.

Today, Kissing Rock is a multifaceted symbol of the Carthage spirit. Students paint the Rock to promote their organizations and causes, publicize upcoming events, and celebrate. Kissing Rock has served as a memorial to beloved alumni, an expression of protest against injustice, a tribute after 9/11, and more.[37]

Christmas Festival

The Christmas Festival has been a part of Carthage's holiday season since 1974.[38] Every year at the start of December, Carthage hosts a musical celebration of the birth of Christ for the community. The event highlights student vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as performances by students in Carthage's Theatre Department.[39]


Carthage offers 22 NCAA Division III sports.


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball


  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo

About a third of Carthage students are involved in varsity intercollegiate athletics, and another third participate in the many intramural and club sports offered. Club sports include men's bowling, women's bowling, and co-ed curling and ice hockey.


The men's baseball team has averaged over 35 wins per season from 1990 to 2010, with an overall record of 702-237.[40] They have been invited to the NCAA Division III World Series several times, finishing third in 2009.

Since 1990, Carthage has claimed eight outright CCIW divisional titles, one divisional-title tie, nine conference crowns, 16 NCAA regional berths, including nine-straight from 1992 to 2000, six regional titles, third-place finishes in both the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division III baseball championships and fourth place in both 1995 and 1997. For his efforts, Coach Augie Schmidt has been named American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports NCAA Division III Central Regional "Coach Of The Year" nine times (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009), won the ABCA/Louisville Slugger Conference Award seven times from 1993 to 1999, and has been named CCIW "Baseball Coach of the Year" on 10 occasions (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009).


See List of Carthage Red Men head football coaches

In 2004, the Red Men football team set a school record for most wins in a season, going 11-2.[41] That season was also the first time the Red Men made the NCAA Division III playoffs since the school joined the NCAA in 1976. The team was coached by Tim Rucks. Carthage went on to win their first two games of the playoffs defeating Alma College and Wooster College. The Red Men then lost to Mount Union College.[42] The Red Men finished the 2004 season ranked 5th in the nation.[43]

Mike Yeager became the head coach beginning with the 2012 season.[44]


In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled that Carthage, along with several other colleges, would be ineligible to host NCAA-sanctioned playoffs and tournaments because their nickname, "Redmen", was perceived as an offensive reference to Native Americans. A decision was made to rename the Carthage men's teams the "Red Men". This is in accordance with the circa 1920 origin of the name—the team's red uniform jersey—while removing any possible controversial connotations.[45] In conjunction with the rearticulation of the name, a new logo for the team replaced the traditional feathered Carthage C. It includes a torch, a shield, and a C.

Conference affiliation

Carthage College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912 to 1941. After competing as an independent for five years, the school became a founding member of the College Conference of Illinois, now known as the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, in 1946, a membership it has maintained to this time.

In men's volleyball, Carthage became a founding member of the single-sport Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) in 2011. In 2014, the CVC amicably split along regional lines, with Carthage and the CVC's other Midwestern members forming the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.

In women's water polo, Carthage is a member of the single-sport Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Conference since the team's inception in 2010.


Carthage has had 23 presidents since its founding.

  • Francis Springer — 1847-55
  • Simeon W. Harkey — 1855-57, 1862–66
  • William M. Reynolds — 1858–62
  • Simeon W. Harkey — 1862-66
  • David Loy Tressler — 1873–80
  • J. A. Kunkelman — 1881–83
  • J. S. Detweiler — 1883–84
  • E.F. Bartholomew — 1884–88
  • Holmes Dysinger — 1888–95
  • John M. Ruthrauff — 1895–1900
  • Frederick L. Sigmund — 1900–09
  • Harvey D. Hoover — 1909–26
  • N. J. Gould Wickey — 1926–29
  • Jacob Diehl — 1929–33
  • Rudolph G. Schulz — 1935–43
  • Erland Nelson — 1943–49
  • Morris Wee — 1950–51
  • Harold H. Lentz — 1952–76
  • Erno J. Dahl — 1977–86
  • Alan R. Anderson — 1986–87
  • F. Gregory Campbell — 1987–2012
  • Gregory S. Woodward — 2012–2017
  • John R. Swallow — 2017–present[46]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


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External links

Coordinates: 42°37′25″N 87°49′12″W / 42.623487°N 87.819948°W

1920 Central Michigan Normalites football team

The 1920 Central Michigan Normalites football team represented Central Michigan Normal School, later renamed Central Michigan University, as an independent during the 1920 college football season. In their first and only season under head coach Joe Simmons, the Central Michigan football team compiled a 4–3–1 record, shut out four of eight opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 166 to 41. The team's victories were against Ferris State (80–0 and 34–0), Olivet (7–0), and Hope (17–0), and the tie was with Detroit City College (6–6). The team lost to the 1920 Michigan State Normal Normalites football team (6–7), the Michigan Agricultural frosh team (6–14), and Hillsdale (10–14).Coach Simmons was a recent graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he earned 16 varsity letters in four sports. He later coached high school football in Milwaukee.

Alden W. Clausen

Alden Winship "Tom" Clausen (February 17, 1923 – January 21, 2013) was President of the World Bank from 1981 to 1986. He was also president and CEO of Bank of America in 1970 and again in 1986.

Alice L. Kibbe

Dr. Alice Lovina Kibbe (27 June 1881 – 21 January 1969) was an American botanist, and Professor and Chair of Biology at Carthage College in Carthage, Illinois from 1920 to 1956. She was noted in the region as a natural historian, philanthropist and traveler, and for her role as an early female academic leader.

Augie Schmidt

August Robert Schmidt IV (born June 28, 1961, in Kenosha, Wisconsin) is the current head coach of the Carthage College baseball team. He was a minor league baseball shortstop from 1982 to 1986.

Ben Mathis

Ben Mathis was an American football coach. He served as the head football coach at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin for one season, in 1901, compiling a record of 1–1. His coaching record at Carthage was 1–1.

Carl Sundberg

Carl Sundberg was an American football coach. He served as the head football coach at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin for one season, in 1906, compiling a record of 3–2.

Forest Loudin

Forrest Allen Loudin (February 26, 1890 – September 15, 1935) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach. He was an alumnus of the University of Iowa, where he played football. Previously he had also coached and taught science and athletics high school in Iowa.Loudin was the head football coach at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin for four seasons, from 1916 until 1920, compiling a record of 8–13–2.Loudin was also professor of Mathematics and Physical Director at his time at Cathage. He died at Keokuk, Iowa in 1935 of an illness contracted during his overseas service in World War I.

Gregory S. Woodward

Gregory S. Woodward is the current president of the University of Hartford.

He is also president emeritus of Carthage College.

Illinois State University (Springfield, Illinois)

Illinois State University of Springfield, Illinois is a former institution of higher learning which has no connection, other than coincidence of name, with the present Illinois State University located in Normal, Illinois.

The school was founded as The Academy in Hillsboro, Illinois in 1837, becoming Lutheran College in 1847. The college moved to Springfield in 1852, obtaining a new charter, receiving generous funding from the city residents, and changing the name to Illinois State University. Among the students at the institution during the period it was in Springfield were Robert Todd Lincoln and John Hay. Abraham Lincoln was briefly a member of the Board of Trustees.The college relocated again in 1870, moving to Carthage, Illinois and assuming the present name of Carthage College. It remained in Carthage until 1964, when the school moved to its current campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin which had opened in 1962.

John Antaramian

John Martin Antaramian (born September 21, 1954) is a Wisconsin politician and mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin.Born in Kenosha, Antaramian graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside and served in the Wisconsin State Assembly for ten years. In 1992, Antaramian was elected Mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin and served for sixteen years. In 2008, he retired and started a consulting business. He was a visiting professor at Carthage College before returning to the mayoral office in 2016.

John Bocwinski

John Bocwinski (born November 22, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was an Argentine-American soccer defender who was a member of the U.S. Olympic soccer team at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Laura Kaeppeler

Laura Marie Kaeppeler (born March 2, 1988) is an American beauty pageant titleholder crowned Miss America 2012 on January 14, 2012, representing the state of Wisconsin. Kaeppeler was the first woman representing Wisconsin to win Miss America since Terry Anne Meeuwsen won Miss America 1973. She is one of the Board of Directors for the Miss America Organization.

Lewis Omer

Lewis Omer (August 28, 1876 – January 3, 1954) was an American football, basketball, and track coach.Omer was born in 1876 in Clayton, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1902.After graduating from Illinois, Omer became a school teacher. He then coached track and worked in the athletic department at Northwestern University from 1911 to 1917. He joined the United States Army in 1917, reached the rank of major, and was discharged in 1921.From 1921 to 1936, Omer was the athletic director at Carthage College in Carthage, Illinois. He was also the head coach for the Carthage Red Men football team for 15 seasons, from 1921 until 1935 compiling a record of 50–52–18. Omer later served as a mathematics professor at Carthage.

Paul LaVinn

Lincoln Paul LaVinn (January 2, 1915 – August 10, 1975) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach.

Ralph McKee

Ralph McKee was an American football coach. He was the first head football coach at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, serving for six seasons, from 1895 to 1900, and compiling a record of 20–5–1.

Robert Larsen

Robert Larsen (born June 9, 1931) is a former American football coach and college athletic director.

Stewart Clark

Stewart McCullough Clark (April 12, 1890 – 1974) was an American football and basketball coach. He served as the head football coach at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin from 1915 to 1919 and at Western State College of Colorado—now known as Western State Colorado University—from 1928 to 1929, compiling a career college football coaching record of 10–19. Clark was also the head basketball coach at the University of Wyoming from 1924 to 1928, tallying a mark of 43–24. He was a brother of Potsy Clark.

Susan Lee Johnson

Susan Lee Johnson is an American historian.

Thomas Carr (paleontologist)

Thomas D. Carr is a vertebrate paleontologist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2005. He is now a member of the biology faculty at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Much of his work centers on tyrannosauroid dinosaurs. Carr published the first quantitative analysis of tyrannosaurid ontogeny in 1999, establishing that several previously-recognized genera and species of tyrannosaurids were in fact juveniles of other recognized taxa. Carr shared the Lanzendorf Prize for scientific illustration at the 2000 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference for the artwork in this article. In 2005, he and two colleagues described and named Appalachiosaurus, a late-surviving basal tyrannosauroid found in Alabama. He is also scientific advisor to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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