Tiny Shimer College completes move to Chicago campus
CHICAGO - Shimer College, a liberal arts school with a student body of only about 100, has moved its campus for the second time in its 153-year history.
After spending the past 28 years in suburban Waukegan, Shimer this month completed a move to leased space on the South Side campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Shimer president William Craig Rice said he hopes the move will make the school more attractive to students and enable it to boost its enrollment to 300 or 400.
But not all of the students appear happy with the change. One senior, Kyra Keuben, said the new surroundings were a bit bleak.
"Before, we had classes in homes with fireplaces," Keuben said. "Now we have the second floor of a business office. It's not as cozy."
Shimer is one of the nation's few Great Books colleges, which is a curriculum that eliminates textbooks and focuses on reading original texts by writers who have shaped Western culture.
Most of Shimer's students major in philosophy, but Rice said the new arrangement will allow them to take science and engineering classes at Illinois Institute of Technology. Students at the technology institute will be able to take liberal arts at Shimer.
Shimer was founded as a women's seminary in 1853 by two upstate New York educators, Frances Wood and Cinderella Gregory, on a small campus in Mount Carroll.
Enrollment at the Mount Carroll campus peaked at about 600 in the middle 1960s. Then in 1979, the Mount Carroll campus was sold and the remaining students and faculty moved to Waukegan.