Nestled in the seat of Clinton County, the sleepy campus of Wilmington College houses a culturally rich history of religious tradition and student mobilization.
In 1870, a group Quakers - also known as the Society of Friends - purchased 14 acres of land and an unfinished building at a county auction, intending to establish an institution of higher learning. Five years later, Wilmington College graduated its first class of just four students.
During the college's first 70 years of operation, enrollment peaked at around a few hundred. However, the end of the second World War brought an influx of former soldiers enrolling on the G.I. Bill, and Wilmington's student population expanded six-fold.
This massive inpouring of undergraduates lead to shortage of on-campus housing. In 1948, Samuel Marble, the young and somewhat unconventional college president, responded by rallying students and leading an effort to build a dorm using voluntary labor. Marble Hall was constructed in the following two years, largely due to the efforts of students, faculty, and community members.
Today, Wilmington College's quiet grounds are illustrative of its deep Quaker roots in simplicity, peace, and public service.