|American Baptist Churches USA|
|Campus||Rural, 288 acres (1.17 km2)|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
Keuka College is a private college in Keuka Park, New York. Founded in 1890, the college emphasizes experiential learning as well as career and pre-professional education. It is classified among "Master's Colleges and Universities (small)" and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college offers both bachelor's and master's degrees on its home campus.
Keuka's Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) offers degree completion at more than 20 sites throughout Upstate New York, as well as through online courses. Since the early 2000s, Keuka has also become a major educational provider in the Pacific Rim, with more than 3,000 students pursuing Keuka degrees at partner universities in China and Vietnam.
The school is situated on Keuka Lake with more than a thousand feet of shoreline, including Point Neamo, a private beach with a boat house and equipment for checkout by college students and staff.
Keuka College was founded in 1890 by George Harvey Ball (1819-1907) who envisioned a college that would provide a high-level education to all deserving students, regardless of economic background. The first academic building was dedicated on August 14, 1890. In an article published the next day, The New York Times noted that the hall was built on "one of the most beautiful locations on the Keuka Lake," and that it was "a firm-looking building, four stories in height, of brick and stone." The freshman class in Fall 1890 consisted of eighty students.
The college faced financial troubles and decided to suspend active instruction in 1915. In 1919, Arthur H. Norton (after whom the Norton Chapel is named) was chosen as the President of Keuka and worked to revitalize the college. Under Norton, who would serve as president for the next 16 years, Keuka resumed instruction in 1921 as Keuka College for Women. During this trying time (1919-1921), Norton personally wrote more than 3,000 letters, published and mailed at least 10,000 pamphlets, made 66 speeches, and surveyed 76 colleges in order to advance Keuka's cause. Dr. Gertrude Martin, former dean of women at Cornell University, became a Keuka trustee and advised the now women's college. The Ball Brothers—founders of what would become the Ball Corporation, a S&P 500 company, and benefactors of Ball State University—were among the key supporters of Keuka at this time. Years earlier, with their father in poor health, the young Ball brothers "found a friend and confidant in their uncle," George Harvey Ball. When the Ball brothers' father, Lucius Styles Ball, died, Uncle George provided financial support and some measure of stability to the young Ball brothers. George Harvey Ball also provided his nephews with funds that helped launch their successful enterprise. The Ball brothers expressed their gratitude to their uncle by supporting Keuka College, donating land and providing funds. In recognition of this, the first academic building was renamed Ball Hall (Ball Memorial Hall) in 1921 after founder and first President George Harvey Ball and the Ball Brothers The Ball Family also supported Hillsdale College in Michigan. In 1924, Hegeman Hall and Richardson Hall (later renamed Harrington Hall) were built. Both of these buildings remain key buildings on campus today, flanking Ball Hall.
During World War II, Keuka College expanded its nursing program in order to provide professionally trained nurses for the war effort, due in no small part to the personal correspondence between Keuka President J. Hillis Miller and the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who visited the college on February 16, 1938. Keuka's emphasis on experiential learning meant that it had a nursing program combining "academic study in the classroom and clinical work at the hospital."  On June 16, 1963, a quarter century after Roosevelt's visit, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the baccalaureate address at the college and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Since 2017, two busts featuring Roosevelt and King have commemorated their visits; these busts were funded by Christine and Donald Wertman and sculpted by the college's own Professor Emeritus of Art, Dr. Dexter Benedict. Keuka remained a single-sex institution until 1985, when declining enrollment at that time (from 536 total students in 1979 to 407 students in 1984) caused the board of trustees to vote in favor of admitting men. Since then, enrollment has increased to close to 2,000 students as of 2012[update].
In the late 2000s, with the help of donations from alumni and friends of the college, the original building, Ball Hall, was restored. The three-year renovation of the historical centerpiece of the campus received a Citation Award from the American Institute for Architects-Central New York (AIA CNY) in 2008. In 2016, the Keuka Commons was dedicated. This new building houses the Division of Business and Management, the Center for Professional Studies, the Wertman Office of Digital Education, the Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics, a state-of-the-art trading room, classrooms, study spaces, the campus bookstore, and the Wolf Den Café, which serves Starbucks coffee as well as pastries, sandwiches, salads, and other snacks.
In 1942, Edith Estey, a 1933 Keuka graduate and administrator, created the Field Period program, which continues to be a major component of a Keuka College education as administered through the Center for Experiential Learning. During a Field Period, each Keuka student is required to spend 140 hours per year (or approximately one month) in a self-directed learning experience. This can involve a work internship, a community service project, spiritual exploration, personal development, cross-cultural diversity exploration, or a group cultural experience to another city or country.
The student is graded on a pass and fail basis with the potential to earn three credits. The Field Period can be completed over summer break or winter break, as students have the month of January off. Students design a learning contract with the site of their choice that outlines learning goals and objectives that must be met. Each student's site supervisor evaluates the student's work ethic and progress and reports back to Keuka College's Experiential Learning office. Upon completion, students meet with their academic advisors to present unique documentation of the experience and hand in a recap paper and reflective journal.
In his book, Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different, author Donald Asher observes that Keuka College "does a fantastic job of tying classroom experience to the real world" and "has a holistic approach to make an intentional, coherent experience out of all of a student's classroom, activity, internship, and field experiences."
Keuka College offers 31 bachelor's degree programs on its home campus, many with specialized concentrations; there are also 27 minors and self-designed majors. In addition, Keuka offers seven master's degree programs and pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and occupational therapy. Some of the key academic offices and research and learning centers at Keuka include: the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; Academic Success at Keuka (ASK); Accelerated Studies for Adults (ASAP); the Center for Aquatic Research; the Center for Experiential Learning; the Center for Global Education; and the Lightner Library.
Keuka places emphasis on experiential education through its Field Period, a student-designed internship every year while enrolled. In addition to meeting the needs of traditional students, Keuka's Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) offers bachelor's degree completion and master's degree programs at locales around the state.
Keuka has an international presence, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, with around 2,680 Chinese students pursuing Keuka degrees at four partner universities, one of the largest enrollments of any U.S. college operating in the country. The Keuka-China international educational partnership has the approval of the Office of Academic Degrees Committee for the State Council in China. Another 505 Vietnamese students are doing likewise at two partner universities in Vietnam. More than 110 international students from different countries study on the home campus.
The Keuka College Center for Professional Studies Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) offers degree completion and master's programs for working students. Classes are held one evening a week at community college and hospital locations throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Auburn, Corning, Rochester, and other locations. Bachelor's degrees can be earned in management, criminal justice, nursing for RNs, and social work. Master's degrees are available in criminal justice administration, management, and nursing.
Keuka College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Wolves (formerly known as the Storm until 2014) are a member of the Empire 8 Conference and of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). They formerly competed as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), now known as the United East Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, field hockey and volleyball.
Following the threat of a lawsuit by North Carolina State University, Keuka College decided to forego litigation and discontinue the "Wolfpack" name. They are now called the "Wolves."
Keuka College is primarily a residential institution where most students live on campus. All halls offer common study areas, pantries, TV lounges, phone and cable connections, and Internet access. Laundry is included with room and board.