Dickinson College

20 South College St.,
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 245-1231

Dickinson College was founded in 1783 by Benjamin Rush, a man who believed America needed educated revolutionaries to lead the nation. Less than a week after Dickinson College became chartered, the United States was guaranteed international recognition, making Dickinson the first college chartered in the new country. 

One college's main buildings, West College, also known as Old West, traces it roots to February 1803, when the college's main building burned to the ground. Benjamin Latrobe designed the new structure free of charge and, along with donations from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other prominent patriots, ensure the swift reconstruction of the building. The cornerstone of Old West was placed on August 8, 1803. The building hosted its first classes in November 1805 and housed it first undergraduates in 1810. Future US President James Buchanan, class of 1809, was among the first students to study in the new building. The building was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963 and today houses administrative offices and classrooms.

Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the college has many opportunities that are open to the public including student performing arts and athletics, special events, The Trout Gallery, the planetarium and nearby Dickinson College Farm. The campus is also known for its Civil War History. 

Historic Marker: A marker located on W. High St., near 74N intersection at campus, reads "Dr. Benjamin Rush envisioned a new type of education for post-Revolutionary America, a useful education in the liberal arts. Rush, with the assistance of Col. John Montgomery of Carlisle, founded Dickinson College to prepare an engaged citizenry able to meet the leadership needs of the new nation. Charted on September 9, 1783 and named for John Dickinson, the college was the first established west of the Susquehanna River."

To learn more about Dickinson College and living in Cumberland Valley, follow the Dickinson Perspective blog.

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