College named one of most beautiful campuses

Staff report


Grove City College was named one of the nation’s most-beautiful Christian college campuses.

The college was No. 2 on the list of “Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities of 2016” compiled by Christian Universities Online. The website praised Grove City College’s “charming, park-like campus,” “unique and beautiful buildings” and “traditional yet unique feel ... that suits its natural surroundings well.”

While the college is dedicated to the principles of faith and freedom, aesthetics have long been a priority on campus. Joseph Newton Pew, one of the GCC’s early benefactors and chairman of the board of trustees at the turn of the last century, said: “Make the campus beautiful, for that in itself is an education.”

The college’s 188-acre campus is laid out according to a master plan conceived in the 19th century by Isaac C. Ketler, the college’s founder and first president, and designed in the 1930s by the Olmstead Brothers, the same landscape architectural firm that designed New York’s Central Park.

The design embraced “a commitment to visually compelling and accessible green space that restores and nurtures the body and the spirit of all people,” according to records. It continues to inspire a sense of community and common vision in the college’s students, faculty and staff.

Gothic-style architecture, brick-and-stone exteriors and rich wood paneling are characteristic of most buildings on campus. Towering trees, wide lawns and inviting courtyards round out the physical plant.

The ranking is a departure from most college “best-of” lists in that it “focuses purely on location and aesthetics rather than the facts or figures normally used to evaluate schools,” according to Christian Colleges Online.

Schools were evaluated and scored based on continuity of campus, architectural style, signature buildings and natural setting.

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