Are there any good colleges left?

Jennifer Biddison
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Posted: Oct 21, 2005 12:05 AM

It’s no secret to Townhall.com readers that liberalism is running rampant on college campuses nationwide.  Mike Adams, the Collegiate Network, Young America’s Foundation, and Campus Report Online regularly convey horrifying tales of misbehaving Leftists academics. 

It can lead one to wonder: What’s the good news?

Enter Grove City College, a 2,300 student private institution nestled in rural Pennsylvania.  For nearly 130 years, Grove City has led the charge for quality and integrity in conservative Christian education. Few schools in America today have done more to set themselves apart from the morass of politically correct hypocrisy found in most schools today.  And to top it off, total costs (tuition, room and board) for Grove City students average around only $15,000 a year – making it the #1 “Best Value” in its U.S. News & World Report category for four years running. 

In 1984, before the majority of today’s college freshmen had even been conceived, Grove City made history by scoring a Supreme Court victory over the U.S. Department of Education in Grove City College v. Bell.  For seven years, the school had resisted signing a government-mandated Title IX assurance of compliance form, since the school did not receive any federal funds except those paid directly to students through federal grants and loans. 

The Supreme Court eventually ruled that government regulations only applied to Grove City’s financial aid department – an opinion that most perceived as a victory for the school.  Even so, to minimize future complications, Grove City chose to withdraw from all federal student grant programs affected by the case, and started a fundraising campaign to help those students affected by the decision.  Twelve years later, the school withdrew from all federal student loan programs as well, partnering with PNC Bank to develop a private student loan program that some have said is even more generous than the federal loan program. 

The move earned the respect and admiration of many influential academics, including David Warren, the president of the National Association of Colleges and Universities. Warren said in a 1996 interview that Grove City has a “history of making bold and principled decisions.  And a lot of colleges sympathize with what they’ve done.” 

Accordingly, when Young America’s Foundation released a list of the Top Ten Conservative Colleges late last year, it was no surprise that Grove City College made the list.  After all, Grove City has been recognized by conservatives and non-conservatives alike in rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Consumers’ Digest, Barron’s /College Review, and many more.

Grove City continues to stand up for freedom and faith in 2005, announcing recently that Grove City professor and best-selling author Paul Kengor will lead the college’s new Center for Vision and Values.  The Center aims to educate the world about faith and freedom by giving its excellent faculty members the opportunity to share their scholarship with a community beyond Pennsylvania.

One of the center’s first initiatives has been establishing an annual conference aimed at attracting some of the best minds from around the world to talk about topics of national and international importance. 

The inaugural conference in April, held forty years after President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his “War on Poverty,” examined whether the “war” had been successful.

Next year’s conference will be titled, “Mr. Jefferson Goes to the Middle East: Democracy’s Prospects in the Arab World.”  The center already has speakers lined up, including Michael Novak, Paul Marshall, Daniel Pipes, and – if all goes as planned – the White House’s Tim Goeglein.
 
Of course, the Grove City faculty was making headlines long before the center launched in April. 

Psychology professor Warren Throckmorton is often called upon to discuss his research regarding ex-gays, in which he refutes the notion that homosexuals have no choice in their sexual preference.

In the winter 2005 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Throckmorton and fellow professor Gary Welton will publish a study that Throckmorton believes will debunk the claim that those who leave the homosexual lifestyle were coerced into the decision by their therapists.

Kengor is another Grove City professor who is often in the spotlight.  The author of bestselling books God and Ronald Reagan and God and George W. Bush is a highly sought-after public speaker and is looking forward to the 2006 publication of a book he has spent years writing: The Crusader: Ronald Reagan’s Effort to End the Soviet Union.

Grove City’s alumni aren’t too shabby either.  They are often leaders in their fields, especially business - Tyco CEO Ed Breen (’78), retired RJR Nabisco CEO Paul J. Sticht (’39), and retired ALCOA President C. Fred Fetterolf (’51) – and public policy –  Mackinac Center president Larry Reed (’75), Atlas Economic Research Foundation President/CEO Alejandro A. Chafuen (’84), FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe (’85), Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Scott G. Bullock (’88), and Heritage Foundation career guru Lynn Gibson (’90). 

Grove City alumni tend to cheerlead for their alma mater, which may be why Pennsylvania residents have the option of affixing Grove City College license plates to their cars.  Who can blame them for cheering for a school that has stood strong against changing tides since 1876? They have reason to be proud.