By NICK HILDEBRAND
GCC Senior Editor, Marketing and Communications
GROVE CITY, Pa. – With the completion last year of a $9 million renovation of Henry Buhl Library, Grove City College demonstrated that it is possible to preserve a campus landmark while transforming it to meet the needs of today’s students.
This year, the college will begin a similar process on the iconic Rockwell Hall of Science. Built in 1931, Rockwell was the first academic building on upper campus and its tower overlooking the Quad is one of Grove City College’s most-distinctive views.
The college expects to spend $40 million to bring the flagship building and its classrooms and laboratories into the 21st century. The improvements will allow Rockwell to serve future generations of students as well as it has previous ones.
As with the library renovation, the college is working with designers and contractors to reimagine spaces created decades ago for today’s collaborative, technology-centered education culture while respecting existing historical campus aesthetics.
In the case of Buhl Library, which opened in 1954, that meant reorganizing and realigning existing student study areas, creating new and flexible spaces for studying, teaching and student resources, radically increasing the number of electrical outlets, adding an Urban Trail Coffee Co. outpost, and many other improvements. Students love the new Buhl.
The building makeovers are part of a strategic plan to position Grove City College for success in a rapidly changing higher education environment.
Another element of the plan that was executed in 2022 was the creation of the new school of business, encompassing management and marketing, accounting and finance, entrepreneurship and economics. The new academic structure will focus on preparing graduates for rewarding careers and impactful service in the marketplace and is the result of an ongoing review of programs and majors.
Early fruit of that effort includes new undergraduate major programs, such as applied science and engineering and applied statistics, and the addition of an MBA program to a growing suite of graduate offerings. This fall the college will begin offering a master of science in accounting degree and an innovative 3+1 program in theology and Christian ministry that allows graduates to earn a baccalaureate and master’s degree in four years.
The college was recognized in 2022 as one of America’s top colleges and a “best value” by both The Princeton Review and Forbes based on academic quality, cost, and alumni earnings. Our career services office was ranked fourth-best in the nation by Princeton Review, reflecting the work it does on behalf of students and the college’s reputation among employers. More than 150 businesses and organizations recruited on campus last year and 97% of Grove City alumni are working or in graduate school within six months of graduation.
The college’s enrollment picture remains strong despite demographic and financial headwinds battering higher education. Prospective student applications are reaching a near 20-year high and the sizes of the last two freshman classes have aligned with goals for optimal enrollment.
Despite fiscal challenges stemming from the pandemic and high inflation, Grove City’s financial footing is sound, thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends and an institutional commitment to the value of stewardship.
As Grove City College develops new academic programs to better meet student interest, it remains committed to making sure every student has a firm grounding in the liberal arts and an understanding of the great ideas, events, and faith that shaped Western civilization.
Building on its strengths and holding fast to its values – excellence, faithfulness, community, stewardship, and independence – the college is historically committed to providing an excellent, affordable, and Christ-centered education.