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Coe College

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Coe College
Sinclair Auditorium
Former names
School for the Prophets (1851–1853)
Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute (1853–1875)
Coe College Institute (1875–1881)[1]
Motto"Veritas Virtusque" (Truth and Virtue)
Established1851; 173 years ago (1851)
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment$77.9 million[2]
PresidentDavid Hayes
Academic staff
128 full-time and 39 part-time (Fall 2021)[3]
Undergraduates1,394 (all undergraduate)[3]
Location, ,
United States
Campus70 acres (280,000 m2)
Colors   Crimson and gold

Coe College is a private liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was founded in 1851 and is historically affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.


Coe College was founded in 1851 by Rev. Williston Jones as the School for the Prophets.[4][5] While canvassing churches in the East to raise money for students to attend Eastern seminaries, Jones met a farmer named Daniel Coe, who donated $1,500 and encouraged Jones to open a college in Cedar Rapids. Coe's gift came with the stipulation that the college should offer education to both men and women, and when the Cedar Rapids campus opened in 1853 as the Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute, it was a co-educational institution.[4] In 1875, the college was reestablished as Coe College Institute and in 1881, after a private donation from T. M. Sinclair, founder of the Sinclair Meat Packing Company, was finally founded as Coe College.

Coe was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1907. In 1910, Presbyterian clergyman John Abner Marquis became president and initiated a period of growth that lasted for several years;[6] Marquis was a sought-after speaker and served as Moderator in the Presbyterian Church, its highest office.[7]


Coe College awards the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.M.), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Coe offers more than 60 areas of study and provides the option for students to create their own major under the guidance of faculty members. Its three most popular majors, based on 2021 graduates, were Business Administration and Management (36), Psychology (35), and Biology/Biological Sciences (27).[8]


Coe College has 21 men's and women's athletic teams and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and wrestling; women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Coe also supports five Co-Ed athletic teams. They include Archery, Cheer, Dance, Clay Target and Esports. Their athletic team name is the Kohawks, a stylized bird; the college mascot is known as Charlie Kohawk.

Stewart Memorial Library

Stewart Memorial Library contains more than 202,000 books and other materials. The library also features gallery spaces showing work by Iowa artists Marvin Cone, Conger Metcalf, and Grant Wood.[9]

Student life

In 1972, a study found that Coe students had traditional values which were often in harmony with those of their parents.[10]

Coe has an active Greek social community with four fraternities and five sororities.[11]

Writing center

Coe's Writing Center (CWC) is the largest undergraduate student-run writing center in the nation, with over 60 undergraduates on staff.[12] It opened in 1986. The CWC now conducts over 2,000 student conferences a year. The CWC produces and distributes several small campus publications.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "History of the College". Coe College. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "College Navigator - Coe College".
  4. ^ a b, Metro Studios. "Coe College | History". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Coe College (1913). Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Coe College: For the Year ... with Courses of Study. Coe College. p. 16.
  6. ^ Wick, Barthinius L.; Brewer, Luther (May 28, 2022). History of Linn County, Iowa.
  7. ^ "Church is strongly behingd US government, declares the Presbyterian moderator". The Democratic Banner. Mount Vernon, Ohio. May 18, 1917. p. 4. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  8. ^ "Coe College". U.S. Dept of Education. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  9. ^ "The Iowan" Fall Issue 1989, p. 32.
  10. ^ Fredrickson, L. C. (1972). "Value structure of college students". Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 1 (2): 155–163. doi:10.1007/BF01537070. ISSN 0047-2891. PMID 24415267. S2CID 27002362.
  11. ^ "Greek Life – Coe College".
  12. ^, Metro Studios -. "Coe College - Writing - Writing Center". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Fran Allison". Coe College. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  14. ^ Winter Courier 2004 Archived April 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, p. 22, PDF. Coe Community College. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  15. ^ "Janet Box-Steffensmeier" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Wilmer D. Elfrink". Coe College. Archived from the original on June 6, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "Bill Fitch". Basketball Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "James William Good". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  19. ^ "Fred Hickman". LinkedIn Corporation. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  20. ^ "Timothy S. Hillman". U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  21. ^ "Fred Jackson (American football)". Pro-Football Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  22. ^ "Jason Kottke". Coe College. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "Marv Levy". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  24. ^ Laura Diaz; NGE Staff (January 8, 2016). "Byron McKeeby (1936-1984)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanities and the University of Georgia Press. McKeeby earned degrees from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois; and Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and he received the Tamarind Teacher-Student Fellowship with the prominent lithographer Garo Antreasian during the summer of 1965.
  25. ^ "Curt Menefee". Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  26. ^ "Oral history interview with Conger Metcalf, 1982 Feb. 24 | Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  27. ^ "Ronald Moon". Star Advertiser. September 19, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  28. ^ "Edward A. Ross". American Sociological Association. June 16, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  29. ^ Gary Allan Sojka
  30. ^ Merritt, Rob; Hermiston, Lee (February 16, 2015). "Coe professor recalls Canada murder plot suspect as talented yet disturbing writer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  31. ^ "State Representative". Iowa Legislature. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  32. ^ "S. Donald Stookey". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  33. ^ "S. Donald Stookey". Coe College. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  34. ^ "Williams, GregAlan". Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2010.

41°59′18″N 91°39′25″W / 41.98833°N 91.65694°W / 41.98833; -91.65694

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Coe College
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