|Endowment||$289.0 million (2015)|
|Location||Claremont, CA, USA|
|Campus||Suburban, 38 acres (15 ha)|
Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is a private residential liberal arts college of science, engineering, and mathematics, founded in 1955 and located in Claremont, California, United States. It is one of the institutions of the contiguous Claremont Colleges, which share adjoining campus grounds. The college's mission is: "Harvey Mudd College seeks to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well versed in all of these areas and in the humanities and the social sciences so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society."
Harvey Mudd College shares university resources such as libraries, dining halls, health services, and campus security, with the other institutions in the Claremont Colleges, including Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, but each college is independently managed by its own faculty, board of trustees, and college endowment and has its own separate admissions process. Students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to take classes (acceptable for academic credit at Harvey Mudd) at the other four Claremont colleges, especially classes outside their major of study. Together the Claremont Colleges provide the resources and opportunities of a large university while enabling the specialization and personal attention afforded by the individual colleges. The Bachelor of Science diploma received at graduation is issued by Harvey Mudd College.
The college is named after Harvey Seeley Mudd, one of the initial investors in the Cyprus Mines Corporation. Although involved in the planning of the new institution, Mudd died before it opened. Harvey Mudd College was funded by Mudd's friends and family, and named in his honor.
In keeping with the college's mission, HMC offers four-year degrees in chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in mathematical biology, and a joint major in either computer science and mathematics; or biology and chemistry. Students may also elect to complete an Individual Program of Study (IPS) made up of courses of their own choosing. Usually between two and five students graduate with an IPS degree each year. Finally, one may choose an off-campus major offered by any of the other Claremont Colleges, provided one also completes a minor in one of the technical fields that Harvey Mudd offers as a major.
Because of its mission statement, Harvey Mudd College places a strong emphasis on general science education, requiring a full one-third of math, science, and engineering courses, known as the "common core", outside of one's major. Students are also required to take another one-third of their courses in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, in keeping with the school's tradition of "science with a conscience". The final one-third of courses comprises those in the student's major. The integration of research and education is an important component of the educational experience at Harvey Mudd College; upon graduation, every student has experienced some kind of research, usually in the form of a senior thesis or a Clinic Program. The undergraduate focus of HMC means that, unlike many larger science and engineering institutions, undergraduates at HMC get unique access to research positions over the summer and during the school year.
A unique opportunity for HMC students is the Clinic Program, which focuses primarily on projects in the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, and math. In the Clinic Program, teams of students work for a year on a project suggested by a company. They are expected to make regular reports to the company and to deliver a product at the end of the year. The Clinic Program offers students a first-hand look at a particular industry and allows the sponsoring company to hire an inexpensive Clinic team of four students, whom they often try to recruit after graduation.
For the class of 2019, the middle 50% of SAT scores for enrolled freshmen were 730–800 (out of 800) in mathematics, 670–760 in critical reading, and 680–760 in writing. A third of the student body are National Merit Scholars, and at one point, about 40 percent of graduates were going on to earn a Ph.D. — the highest rate of any college or university in the nation.
Harvey Mudd College, along with Wake Forest University, long held out as the last four-year colleges or universities in the U.S. to accept only SAT and not ACT test scores in their admissions process. In August 2007, however, at the beginning of the application process for the class of 2012, HMC began accepting ACT results, a year after Wake Forest abandoned its former SAT-only policy.
Harvey Mudd today still maintains the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among all undergraduate colleges and second highest (Caltech ranks first and MIT third) compared to all universities and colleges, according to a 2008 report by the National Science Foundation.
Money Magazine ranked Harvey Mudd 7th in the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its 2014 Best Colleges ranking. The Daily Beast ranked Harvey Mudd 78th in the country out of the nearly 2000 schools it evaluated for its 2013 Best Colleges ranking. According to U.S. News & World Report's 2015 America's Best Colleges rankings, Harvey Mudd College is tied for the 15th best liberal arts college in the United States and is tied for the best undergraduate engineering school in the US whose highest degree is a Master's. Forbes in 2014 rated Harvey Mudd College #52 of its America's Best Colleges ranking, which includes military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges. In 2006, Harvey Mudd was also named one of the "new Ivy leagues" by Kaplan and Newsweek.
In 1997, Harvey Mudd College became the sole American undergraduate-only institution ever to win 1st place in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. As of 2015, no American school has won the world competition since.
According to PayScale, graduates of Harvey Mudd College earn the highest salaries among graduates of any college in the United States. The Harvey Mudd College mathematics department is highly ranked and was the 2006 recipient of the American Mathematical Society award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. Two of the department's alumni, Joshua Greene and Aaron Archer, were winners and honorable mention for the Morgan Prize in 2002 and 1998 respectively. The Morgan Prize is an annual award given to an undergraduate student in the US, Canada, or Mexico who demonstrates superior mathematics research.
The cost for attending Harvey Mudd (tuition, student body fee, and room & board) total $56,268 for the 2011–2012 academic year. Financial aid is offered on the basis of both need and merit. Approximately 83% of students receive financial aid, and 40% qualify for merit-based awards.
The official names for the dormitories are (listed in order of construction):
Until the addition of the Linde and Sontag dorms, Atwood and Case dorms were occasionally referred to as New Dorm and New Dorm II; Mildred E. Mudd Hall and Marks Hall are almost invariably referred to as East dorm and South dorm.
During the construction of Case Dorm some students decided as a prank to move all of the survey stakes exactly six inches in one direction. They did such a precise job that the construction crew didn't notice until after they had laid the foundation (and after the prank team informed someone on the project about the shifted stakes), but California earthquake law forced them to re-survey the site and bring in engineering consultation. The cost of this (nearly $5,000) was borne by the pranksters .
South Dorm is in the northwest corner of the quad. "East" was the first dorm, but it wasn't until "West" was built west of it that it was actually referred to as "East". Then "North" was built, directly north of "East". When the fourth dorm (Marks) was built, there was one corner of the quad available (the northwest) and one directional name, "South", remaining. To this day "South" dorm is the northernmost HMC dorm.
The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth dorms built are Atwood, Case, Linde, Sontag, and Drinkward, respectively. They were initially referred to as "the colonies" by some students, a reference to the fact that they were newer and at the farthest end of the campus; these dorms are now more commonly referred to as "the outer dorms." The college had initially purchased an apartment building adjacent to the newer dorms to house additional students, but it was demolished to make room for the newest dorm, Sontag.
Since any HMC student, regardless of class year, can live in any of the dormitories, several of the dorms have accumulated long-standing traditions and so-called 'personalities'. Two examples of these traditions are the parties Long Tall Glasses (a formal affair thrown by North) and TQ Day (a tequila-centered "beach" party thrown by West). The personality of a given dorm experiences changes over the years, however, as Harvey Mudd alumni may find upon visiting their alma mater long after graduation.
Athletics teams from Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College compete as one team. Male athletic teams are called the Stags, and women's teams are called the Athenas. The teams participate in the NCAA's Division III and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Individual dorms at Harvey Mudd have their own unique traditions, but the college itself hosts some campus traditions.
In the early 1970s the first unicycle appeared on campus. The unicycling club, known as Gonzo Unicycle Madness, was formed, and to this day organizes an annual 9.6-mile (15.4 km) ride, known as "The Foster's Run", to the "Donut Man" donut shop in Glendora (originally known as "Foster's Donuts", hence the name of the event) for strawberry donuts. Upon return to the campus, the ritual of the "shakedown" takes place (dismounting and then repeatedly jumping up and down), a necessary procedure after a unicycle ride of nearly 20 miles (32 km). Sometimes unicyclists on campus also meet to play unicycle hockey. Although interest in unicycle riding declined somewhat in the 1990s, the club has more recently become popular on campus again.
A student-led organization, "Increasing Harvey Mudd's Traditional Practices" (IHTP), works to revive college traditions that have slowly faded over the years, and also starts new traditions that the group hopes to see take root on campus. It hosts annual events such as the 5-Class Competition, Friday Nooners, Wednesday Nighters, Frosh/Soph Games, and the Thomas-Garrett Affair.
The original buildings of campus were designed by Edward Durell Stone. Most are covered with thousands of square concrete features, called "warts" by the students, which would be perfectly suited to buildering except that, while some are set into the wall, others are simply glued on. In addition, these warts have the unusual usefulness of being great 'shelves' for unicycles and skateboards. One can walk towards Galileo Hall and see the warts (especially those near the entrances of buildings) being used as racks for unicycles and skateboards. Interestingly enough, the unofficial mascot of Harvey Mudd (featured on many college handbooks and other publications) is one of these concrete blocks with a face, arms, and legs, named "Wally the Wart."
Most of the computer labs and many classrooms are located in the basements (called the Libra Complex) of the concrete-block buildings. All of the buildings that make up the Libra Complex are interconnected via a series of underground tunnels, enabling convenient inter-building access.
Travel and Leisure's October 2013 issue named the college as one of the ugliest college campuses in America, noting that while Stone regarded his design as a "Modernist masterpiece with a twist", the result was "layering drab, slab-sided buildings with Beaux-Arts decoration".
The California Institute of Technology, another school known for its strength in the natural sciences and engineering, is located 26 miles (42 km) away (nearly the distance of a marathon) from Harvey Mudd College. From time to time, Mudders have been known to amuse themselves by pranking Caltech. For example, in 1986, students from Mudd stole a memorial cannon from Fleming House at Caltech (originally from the National Guard) by dressing as maintenance people and carting it off on a flatbed truck for "cleaning". Harvey Mudd eventually returned the cannon after Caltech threatened to take legal action. In 2006, MIT replicated the prank and moved the same cannon to their campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Another Mudd prank involved slight modifications to a freeway sign. By placing parentheses around Pasadena City College, a nearby community college, Mudd students changed the sign to read:
(Pasadena City College)Next Exit
Commencement speakers at Harvey Mudd College have included inventors, entertainers, educators, astronauts, and civil rights leaders, among others.
1 Douglas Adams was originally scheduled to speak, but he died of a heart attack two days before the ceremony.
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