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Hamilton College
Latin: Collegi Hamiltonensis
Former name
Hamilton-Oneida Academy, Oneida Academy (1793–1812)
MottoΓνῶθι Σεαυτόν (Ancient Greek)
Motto in English
"Know Thyself"
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1793; 230 years ago (1793)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$1.27 billion (2022)[1]
PresidentDavid Wippman
Academic staff
195 (2022)[2]
Undergraduates2,000 (2022)[2]
Location, ,
United States

43°03′09″N 75°24′20″W / 43.052364°N 75.405657°W / 43.052364; -75.405657
CampusMidsize Suburb, 1,350 acres (550 ha)[2]
NewspaperThe Spectator
Colors  Continental Blue
Sporting affiliations

Hamilton College is a private liberal arts college located in Clinton, New York. It was originally established as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in 1793 and later received its charter as Hamilton College in 1812, in honor of Alexander Hamilton, one of its inaugural trustees, following a proposal made after his death in 1804. Since 1978, Hamilton has been a coeducational institution, having merged with its sister school, Kirkland College.

As an undergraduate college, Hamilton enrolls approximately 2,000 students as of the fall of 2021. The curriculum offers 57 areas of study, including 44 majors, as well as the option to design interdisciplinary concentrations. The student body consists of 53% female and 47% male students, representing 45 U.S. states and 46 countries. The acceptance rate for the class of 2026 was 11.8%.[2][4] Hamilton's athletic teams participate in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.


1885 Lithograph of Clinton with sights including Hamilton College identified drawn by L.R. Burleigh

Hamilton College traces its origins back to 1793, when it was established as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, a seminary founded by Rev. Samuel Kirkland.[5] The academy, located near the Oneida Nation's home, admitted both white and Oneida boys and was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, who collaborated with Kirkland in starting the school and served on its first Board of Trustees.[6] It received its charter from the New York Board of Regents in 1812. Originally its location on College Hill was in the town of Paris from 1793 to 1827, then in the town of Kirkland. Clinton was not incorporated until 1843.[7]

In 1812, the academy expanded its curriculum and became Hamilton College, making it the third-oldest college in New York State. Hamilton started its career as a college with an endowment of $100,000 (equivalent to $1,724,314 in 2022)—a very large sum at the time. The Academy buildings, grounds, and other property were valued at $15,000. To this sum were added subscriptions and parcels of land amounting to another $50,000. The New York State Legislature granted $50,000 to the new institution, and then supported it with $3,000 per year until 1850.[8]

Hamilton College as painted from a hot-air balloon by watercolor artist Richard Rummell in the early 1900s[9]

Over time, the college evolved into a more secular institution under the leadership of President M. Woolsey Stryker, who sought to distance Hamilton from its Presbyterian Church roots.[10]

The campus is divided into the "light side" or "north side" (original Hamilton campus)[11] and the "dark side" or "south side" (original Kirkland campus), separated by College Hill Road.

In 2002, President Eugene Tobin resigned after admitting improper attribution of quoted material in his speeches.[12] The same year, Professor Robert L. Paquette raised objections when a student group invited Annie Sprinkle, an actress and former pornstar, as a speaker.[13][14] Paquette later led an unsuccessful effort to establish the Alexander Hamilton Center on campus.[15] The center, now known as the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, is located off-campus in the village of Clinton.


Hamilton College boasts various athletic facilities, including an ice rink, swimming pool, multiple athletic fields, a golf course, a three-story climbing wall, and a ten-court squash center. The area around the campus first appeared as a census-designated place (CDP) in the 2020 Census with a population of 1,792.[16]

Daniel Burke Library

Daniel Burke Library

The Daniel Burke Library, designed by architect Hugh Stubbins, was finished in 1972 with a budget exceeding $5.5 million. Spanning around 80,000 square feet, it accommodates a collection of 500,000 volumes. The library serves as the home for the Information Commons and Information Technology Services, offering a diverse range of print and electronic resources.[17]

Kirner-Johnson Building

"KJ" was built in 1972 for Kirkland College.

The Kirner-Johnson Building, also known as KJ, is the hub for Hamilton's social science departments, the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, the Nesbitt-Johnson Writing Center, and the Oral Communication Center. It features a spacious, naturally illuminated two-story commons area that serves as a popular gathering spot for students to engage in studying or socializing during breaks.[18] To accommodate both activities, the center of the commons is adorned with four small waterfalls, providing a gentle background noise that promotes conversation while providing acoustic insulation for those who prefer a quiet study environment. The renovation and expansion project of the Kirner-Johnson building received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects in 2004, with its completion taking place in 2008.[19]

The Sage Rink

Sage Rink, located at Hamilton College and constructed in 1921,[20] holds the distinction of being the oldest indoor collegiate hockey rink in the United States. Although Northeastern University's Matthews Arena is older, having been initially built as a commercial arena, it was not acquired by the university until 1979. Sage Rink was funded by the widow of industrialist Russell Sage, whose name is associated with various educational buildings in Central New York, including Russell Sage College. Apart from hosting the men's and women's Continental teams, the rink has accommodated youth hockey, high school teams, adult amateur leagues, and the renowned Clinton Comets, who enjoyed remarkable success in the semi-professional Eastern Hockey League during the 1960s and early 1970s.[21]

Litchfield Observatory

"Litchfield Observatory" redirects here. For the other "Clinton" observatory in New York state, see Clinton B. Ford Observatory.

Litchfield Observatory, assigned observatory code 789, was the site where German-American astronomer Christian Peters made significant discoveries of approximately 48 asteroids. Although the original observatory was destroyed by fire, its legacy is commemorated on campus through the presence of its telescope mount near the Siuda Admissions and Financial Aid House. The current observatory, situated a quarter mile away from the main campus, operates on solar energy and provides access for student use. Constructed using rock sourced from the same quarry as the original building, the present observatory is positioned 100 feet from College Hill Road.

Newly renovated Chapel
Historic Hamilton College Chapel

Hamilton College Chapel

Main article: Hamilton College Chapel

The Hamilton College Chapel is a designated historical landmark and is notable for being the only remaining three-story chapel in the United States.[22]

Elihu Root House

Days-Massolo Center

In 2011, Hamilton College inaugurated the Days-Massolo Center with the objective of advancing diversity awareness and facilitating dialogue among the diverse range of cultures present on campus.[23] The center is named in honor of trustees Drew S. Days III and Arthur J. Massolo, who both made significant contributions to Hamilton College.[24]

A restful spot in the Root Glen
A restful spot in the Root Glen.

The Root Glen

The Root Glen is a wooded garden located on the premises of Hamilton College. This walking area has been developed over the course of three generations by the Root family, who are recognized for their contributions in scholarship, diplomacy, and art collecting. The Root Glen comprises both formal gardens and forest trails.

Adjacent to the Root Glen stands the Homestead, a building acquired and named by Oren Root in the 1850s. Oren and his wife Grace adorned the surroundings of the building with an assortment of trees, shrubs, and flowers. The property was later inherited by Oren's son, Elihu Root, who, along with the Roots, expanded the gardens. In 1937, Edward Root assumed responsibility for the garden from his father. Following her husband's passing, Grace Root established the Root Glen Foundation with the objective of utilizing the land for educational purposes and promoting the study of birds. In 1971, the foundation dissolved, and Grace chose to transfer ownership to Hamilton College. Presently, the maintenance of the Root Glen is overseen by the college's horticultural grounds staff, and an advisory committee is responsible for the selection of new shrubs and flowers as required.[25]


Hamilton College currently provides the Bachelor of Arts (abbreviated as A.B. or B.A.) degree across 55 fields of study.[2] Additionally, the college participates in dual-degree programs in engineering with the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University,[26] as well as the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.[27] Among the graduates in 2021, the most popular majors were as follows:[28]

While students are required to fulfill the courses for their chosen concentration, they enjoy substantial flexibility in selecting their other courses. Although no distribution requirements are in place, students must complete a quantitative and symbolic reasoning requirement, which can be satisfied through various departmental courses. Additionally, a writing requirement must be met, necessitating enrollment in at least three writing-intensive courses.[29]

Recognized as one of the 100 most selective colleges and universities in the United States,[30] Hamilton College is often referred to as one of the Little Ivies.[31]

Since 2002, Hamilton College has been involved in the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admissions.[32]


In the application cycle for the Class of 2026, Hamilton College received 9,899 applications and extended offers to 1,167 students, resulting in an acceptance rate of 11.8%, which is the lowest in the college's history. The Class of 2026 represents 35 states and 26 countries, contributing to the diversity of the student body. Overall, Hamilton College enrolls students from 47 states and 51 countries.[33] It is important to note that the college follows a need-blind policy for domestic applicants, meaning that financial need is not a factor in the admission decision-making process.[34]

Financial Aid

For the 2023–24 academic year, Hamilton College has established a total direct cost of $82,430. This includes specific amounts allocated to different categories, such as $65,090 for tuition, $9,120 for housing, $7,570 for food, and $650 for a student activity fee. Additionally, the college includes budgetary allowances of $800 for books and supplies, $1,000 for miscellaneous personal expenses, and $1,800 for travel expenses. These additional expenses are classified as non-direct costs.[35]

Hamilton College is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need for its students. Financial aid is provided to nearly half of all Hamilton students each year. On average, the financial aid award amounts to $53,597 and may include various forms of assistance such as scholarships, student loans, and work-study opportunities.[36]

Regarding U.S. citizens, Hamilton College practices a need-blind admission policy, meaning that the student's financial capability to afford tuition fees is not taken into consideration during the admissions evaluation process.[37] Furthermore, the college has a wide range of endowed scholarships, which account for 40% of their scholarship budget of nearly $46 million.[38]


Academic rankings
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[39]15
Washington Monthly[40]22
THE / WSJ[42]58

According to the annual ranking for 2021 conducted by U.S. News & World Report, Hamilton College is categorized as "most selective" in admissions. The college is tied for ninth overall and tied for 28th in the category of "Best Undergraduate Teaching" among "National Liberal Arts Colleges".[43] In 2019, Forbes ranked Hamilton College 59th in its America's Top Colleges ranking, which includes a diverse range of 650 schools, including military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges. Among liberal arts colleges, Hamilton College was ranked 25th.[44]

In the 2019 ranking by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Hamilton College secured the 11th position among the best-value liberal arts colleges in the United States.[45]

Student life and traditions


The majority of students at Hamilton College reside in dormitories owned by the college. The residence halls encompass a range of styles, including repurposed fraternity houses, suites, apartment-style housing, cooperative living, and traditional dormitory-style accommodations. Hamilton provides housing options that cater to students' preferences, such as substance-free and quiet housing.[46] While all residence halls are mixed-gender, some may have separate floors designated for a specific sex. In October 2010, the college implemented a gender-neutral housing policy, allowing students of any gender to share rooms designated for two or more occupants.[47]

Campus media

WHCL-FM is a radio station at Hamilton College that airs a diverse range of programming, including music, news, sports, and talk shows. Broadcasting at FM frequency 88.7, the station can be accessed by residents of the Mohawk Valley region and online at[48]

The Spectator, also referred to as The Spec, is Hamilton College's primary weekly news publication. It is distributed in various campus locations, such as dining halls, the mail center, and the library. The Spectator covers a wide range of topics, including campus news, local news, national news, Hamilton sports, and campus life. The publication is available online as well.[49] The Talisman, an early literary magazine, was published between 1832 and 1834, while The Radiator, considered the precursor to The Spectator, emerged in 1848. Described as "A Weekly Miscellany of General Literature, Science, and Foreign and Domestic Intelligence," The Radiator featured short stories, historical sketches, poetry, and news excerpts from both domestic and international sources. The Hamiltonian, the college yearbook, was first published in 1858. The Hamilton Literary Monthly, a literary journal, began its publication in 1866. The Campus, published from 1866 to 1870, was followed by Hamilton Life in 1899. In 1942, Hamilton Life transitioned into Hamiltonews, and in 1947, it eventually became The Spectator.[25]


Official Athletics logo
Hamilton's basketball court at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House

Approximately 35% of Hamilton's student body engages in varsity athletics. Alongside varsity sports, Hamilton also supports a range of club and intramural sports. Club sports include alpine skiing, curling, equestrian, figure skating, men's rugby, women's rugby, tae kwon do, ultimate frisbee (Hot Saucers), and women's golf. Notably, Hamilton's men's rugby team achieved fourth place in the national Division III tournament in 2008.[50]

One of Hamilton's long-standing football rivalries is with Middlebury College, dating back to 1911 and known as the Rocking Chair Classic.[51]


Hamilton College typically enrolls approximately 1,900 students, with 47% being male and 53% female as of 2019.[2] Around 60% of students originate from public schools, while the remaining 40% come from private schools.[citation needed] The student body in 2019 represented 45 U.S. states and 46 countries.[2]

Alumni and faculty

Main article: List of Hamilton College people

See also


  1. ^ NTS Public Tables
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Just The Facts". Hamilton College. Archived from the original on June 1, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  3. ^ "Hamilton College". Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  4. ^ College, Hamilton. "Class of 2026 Profile/Acceptance Rate". Archived from the original on 2022-07-21. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  5. ^ "Clinton (New York)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 530.
  6. ^ "Hamilton had championed a humane, enlightened policy toward the Indians...Through his interest in educating native Americans, Hamilton's name came to adorn a college." (Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, 2004, p. 337).
  7. ^ Richmond, Charles Alexander (1915). "Early Institutions of Learning in the Mohawk Valley". Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association. 14: 132–140. JSTOR 42890038.
  8. ^ Cunningham, Henry J. (1912). History of Oneida County New York from 1700 to the Present Time. Vol. I. Chicago: S. ). Clarke Publishing Company. p. 356.
  9. ^ Arader, Graham (2011-07-14). "Graham Arader: Icnonic College View of the Day: "Hamilton College" Richard Rummell (1848-1924)". Archived from the original on 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  10. ^ "Autonomy of Hamilton College – President Stryker Asserts the Institution's Independence of the Presbyterian Synod". The New York Times. 1893-12-22. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  11. ^ "Commodore Melancthon Taylor Woolsey and Susan Cornelia Tredwell". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  12. ^ Lewin, Tamar (October 3, 2002). "Hamilton President Resigns Over Speech". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Glenn Coin, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), September 25, 2002
  14. ^ "Hope at Hamilton College". The New Criterion. Archived from the original on 2021-01-28. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  15. ^ "Rejected by NY college, conservative center sets up off campus". October 20, 2007. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007.
  16. ^ "Hamilton College CDP, New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  17. ^ Foster, Holly (10 September 2012). "Daniel Burke Library Turns the Page on 40 Years". Hamilton College. Hamilton College. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Hamilton College". EwingCole. Archived from the original on 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  19. ^ "Alumni Review - Fall 2008 - The Kirner-Johnson Building - page 1 - Hamilton College". 2001-08-15. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  20. ^ "Sage Rink". Roaming The Rinks. 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  21. ^ "Village Of Clinton: History: History [Digital Towpath]". 2015-08-25. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  22. ^ "Hamilton College Virtual Tour - Chapel". Archived from the original on 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
  23. ^ "Hamilton Opens New Center and Names It For Two Trustees - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  24. ^ "Days-Massolo Center Dedicated - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  25. ^ a b "Root Glen History". Hamilton College. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  26. ^ "Combined Plan Program Experience - Columbia Undergraduate Admissions". Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Dual-Degree Program - Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth". Thayer School of Engineering. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Hamilton College". U.S. Dept of Education. Archived from the original on February 27, 2023. Retrieved February 27, 2023.
  29. ^ "Academic Regulations". Hamilton College. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Top 100 - Lowest Acceptance Rates". U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking. Fall 2019. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  31. ^ Elkjer, Brooke. "What Are the Little Ivies and NESCAC?". CollegeVine. Archived from the original on 2023-04-26. Retrieved 2023-04-26.
  32. ^ Office of Admission (2001-08-15). "Hamilton College Website, Standardized Testing Requirements". Archived from the original on 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
  33. ^ "Apply - Class of 2023 Profile - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2019-10-10. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  34. ^ "Need Blind - Home - Hamilton College". Hamilton College. Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  35. ^ "Admission & Aid - Cost - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2023-03-15. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  36. ^ "Financial Aid - Tuition & Financial Aid - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2023-03-27. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  37. ^ "Financial Aid - Applying for Financial Aid - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2023-04-08. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  38. ^ "Financial Aid - Scholarships and Grants - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2023-01-29. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  39. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  40. ^ "2021 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  41. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2022". Forbes. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  42. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  43. ^ "Hamilton College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on July 6, 2020. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  44. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. August 15, 2019. Archived from the original on October 2, 2022. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  45. ^ "Kiplinger's Best College Values". Kiplinger's Personal Finance. December 2017. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2014-09-16.
  46. ^ Hamilton College Website, "Virtual Tour" Archived September 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Gender-Neutral Housing Policy In Place - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  48. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on 2015-11-21. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  49. ^ "The Spectator - Home - Hamilton College". Archived from the original on 1997-12-21. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  50. ^ "HCRFC | Welcome". 2013-02-27. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  51. ^ Beck, Stan; Wilkinson, Jack (2013). College Sports Traditions: Picking Up Butch, Silent Night, and Hundreds of Others. Scare Crow Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0810891210.