Arcadia University
Former name
Beaver Female Seminary (1853–1872)
Beaver College (1872–2001)
TypePrivate university
Established1853; 171 years ago (1853)
Endowment$85 million (2022)
PresidentAjay Nair
ProvostJeff Rutenbeck
Cheltenham Township
(Glenside mailing address)
, ,
United States

40°05′31″N 75°09′56″W / 40.0920°N 75.1655°W / 40.0920; -75.1655
Campus94 acres (380,000 m2)
Colors   Scarlet and Grey
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III (MAC Freedom Conference)

Arcadia University is a private university in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, with a Glenside mailing address. The university enrolls approximately 3,200 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students. The 94-acre (380,000 m2) Glenside campus features Grey Towers Castle, a National Historic Landmark; the university also includes a campus in Christiana, Delaware, as well as several centers around the world.


Beaver Female Seminary

The Arcadia University legacy begins in 1853, in Western Pennsylvania, when Sylvania Jones and Juliet A. Poundstone left their family homes in Lafayette County, to pursue an education. The students accompanied Dr. Sheridan Baker, principal at the Brownsville School they had attended, to the newly chartered Beaver Female Seminary.

Led by President Baker, Beaver taught liberal arts, ancient history, rhetoric, logic, and analogy during an era when few colleges for young women existed. In 1872 the school attained collegiate status, with the name of the Beaver College and Musical Institute.[1]

Beaver College

In the late 19th century, the college became coeducational for the first time. In 1907, Beaver College and Musical Institute is simplified to Beaver College. Enrollment was again limited to women.

In 1925, the college moved east across Pennsylvania to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, to the Beechwood Hall estate. This location afforded larger facilities, an adequate campus, and greater development opportunities, increasing enrollment but maintaining the advantages of a small college. In 1928, the Trustees secured a nearby estate in Glenside, Pennsylvania. This spacious property offered unique stone buildings, including the now iconic Grey Towers Castle.

Professor Benton Spruance was made full professor and chair of the Art Department in 1933, served on the Board of Trustees, and was involved with the Philadelphia Art Commission. In 1953, it led to a city ordinance requiring that one percent of construction costs for new public buildings be allocated to the creation and placement of artwork. This "percent for the arts" was a cornerstone for funding public art in the U.S.

In the summer of 1948, a Beaver College economics instructor, his wife, and 17 undergraduate women arrived in post-World War II Europe. The group sailed from New York City to Southampton, England, on a mission of education and discovering post-war rebuilding efforts. This post-World War II cohort was the precursor to what would be one of the largest and most renowned international study programs in the United States. Arcadia continues to be a pioneer in study abroad.

Beaver College constructed eight new campus buildings, established the Center for Education Abroad, and, in 1973, became coeducational again. In the mid-1960s the institution consolidated all campuses to Glenside.

In 1985, Dr. Bette Landman was appointed president, the first female president in the institution's history. Her tenure saw the dedication of the Kuch Athletic and Recreation Center, the establishment of Preview, joining the NCAA Division III, and, in 1992, membership of the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. Under her leadership, Beaver College achieved university status and was led through the transition from Beaver College to Arcadia University.[citation needed]

Arcadia University

On November 20, 2000, it was announced that Beaver College would become Arcadia University. The official change of name and status occurred at a formal ceremony on July 16, 2001. During the first quarter of the 21st century, the university established six academic colleges and schools, including the College of Global Studies as the first college of a university dedicated to international education.

In July 2022, the university expanded its campus size, purchasing 125 Royal Avenue, the site of the former Bishop McDevitt High School.[citation needed]


The university is in Cheltenham Township.[2] It has its own census-designated place, named Arcadia University,[3] and some university property extends into the Glenside CDP.[4] The university has a Glenside mailing address.[5]


Undergraduate programs

The university offers more than 65 fields of study in its undergraduate programs. Undergraduate majors are offered through the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Health Sciences, School of Education, and School of Global Business.

Graduate programs

Graduate and professional studies at Arcadia University range from liberal arts to professional degree programs. In May 2023, Arcadia launched fully redesigned hybrid and fully online graduate programs. The Doctor in Physical Therapy program can now be completed in hybrid mode of delivery, combining engaging online sessions, on-campus immersions, and hands-on clinical experiences to allow students across the country to earn their DPT without relocating. The School of Global Business’ online MBA program consists of a business core and a specialization in one of three concentrations.[citation needed]

Student life


Arcadia Knights
UniversityArcadia University
ConferenceMiddle Atlantic Conference
LocationGlenside, Pennsylvania, U.S.
ColorsScarlet and gray[6]

Arcadia University teams compete in the NCAA Division III within the MAC Freedom of the Middle Atlantic Conference.

Men's and women's sports teams include ice hockey, track and field, baseball, softball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. In 2025, the university has announced the addition of men's and women's wrestling.

Arcadia also competes in esports leagues for games including Overwatch, Valorant, Rocket League, Hearthstone, and Super Smash Bros.

Notable people


See also



  1. ^ "Arcadia University History".
  2. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Cheltenham township, PA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 1 (PDF p. 2/3). Retrieved 2024-02-06.
  3. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Arcadia University CDP, PA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2024-02-06.
  4. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Glenside CDP, PA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2024-02-06.
  5. ^ "Home". Arcadia University. Retrieved 2024-02-06. 450 S. Easton Road Glenside, PA 19038
  6. ^ "MAC Commonwealth Conference (1999-2000 through present)". Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  7. ^ Genova, Ryan. "Former Arcadia student Cosmo DiNardo's parents settle wrongful death suit with victims' families five years after their son's mass murder". Glenside local. Retrieved 17 February 2024.