Ann Arbor, MI – The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), a non-profit organization comprised of twelve selective, private, liberal arts colleges in the Midwest, will celebrate its 45th anniversary this month. In 1962, during a meeting funded by the Ford Foundation’s Fund for the Advancement of Education, twelve presidents came to the understanding that they could accomplish more as a collective than as individual institutions.
At that time, Byron K. Trippet, President of Wabash College, noted that those in attendance were drawn together “by common interests in improving the work we do in the basic liberal arts studies [and] that we can develop significant innovation in education by working together which we could not so well accomplish working alone.”
It was during this meeting in Cleveland, OH the GLCA was formally established and the Board of Directors created. In 1962 the GLCA was incorporated in the State of Michigan with the following institutions as founding members:
Albion College, Albion, MI
Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH
Denison University, Granville, OH
DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
Earlham College, Richmond, IN
Hope College, Holland, MI
Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI
Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN, and
The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH
Today, these twelve original institutions still maintain active membership in the consortium by continuing the ideals of the founding members to identify and support common purposes among faculty, administration and students.
GLCA provides member schools with innovative programming and distinctive initiatives and opportunities for faculty, staff and students. Accomplishments over the 45 years include the development of some of the first international study-abroad programs as well as domestic programs focusing on urban and experiential learning; programming and support of diversity as well as Women’s Studies; the GLCA Academic Leadership Innovation Initiative (GALI) for faculty development; a center for information technology in education; and an impressive array of disciplinary and interdisciplinary workshops. The list of accomplishments for GLCA is far-reaching and has involved the full range of challenges and opportunities which have faced colleges, faculty, staff and students.
The future of GLCA will be equally innovative, including a Diversity Summit in April 2008 and a range of new initiatives in environmental sustainability, global education, and teaching effectiveness. The GLCA looks forward to the next 45 years of addressing challenges facing higher education, developing programs that build communities of interest, and accelerating momentum on critical issues.
The work of the GLCA has been supported by many foundations and organizations, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, Asian Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Exxon, FIPSE, Sloan Foundation, Ford Foundation, I.B.M., Japan Foundation, Lilly Endowment, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Science Foundation, The Teagle Foundation, The Pew Memorial Trust, U.S. Information Agency, U.S. Office of Education and Union Carbide Corporation.
Celebratory announcements will be made on the GLCA website.