History & Traditions
Tradition Links Us
We value tradition.
Mark Twain wrote his masterpieces in Elmira, just a few miles from our campus. His wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, was a member of the Class of 1864.
We were the first college founded to offer women a course of study equal in rigor to the finest men's colleges of the nation.
Founded in 1855, we are more than 150 years old. (We became co-ed in 1969.) Eight buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places
We received our Phi Beta Kappa charter in 1940; Elmira is one of only 268 colleges and universities in the United States to have a charter from the prestigious honor society. The chapter has won the Triennial Award for the best chapter in the United States at a liberal arts college.
Visit us and experience the tradition for yourself.
Purple and gold. Competitive athletics. Our college songs. The Octagon. Time honored student traditions. When we link our arms and sing the "Alma Mater," we are connecting to the Elmira College community, scores of successful alumni, and the history of this fine, old college. Elmira College is a traditional, intellectual center that nurtures the mind and spirit in equal measure. Visit us and see.