Elmira College is a coeducational private liberal arts college located in Elmira, in New York State's Southern Tier region.
The college is noted as the oldest college still in existence which (as a college for women) granted degrees to women that were the equivalent of those given to men (the first to do so was the now-defunct Mary Sharp College). Elmira College became coeducational in all of its programs in 1969.
The college, founded in 1855, has an enrollment of about 1200 students. The school's colors, purple and gold, are seen throughout the traditional campus, consisting mainly of ivy-covered buildings of the Victorian and Collegiate Gothic architectural styles. The colors purple and gold come from both the banners of the women's suffrage movement and the iris, the college flower.
Offered are about thirty-five major areas of study, each ultimately leading to either a B.S. or B.A. degree upon a successful completion of undergraduate studies. Students attend two full terms in the fall and winter and then enroll in a 6-week, intensive "Term III" in the spring. This gives students a unique opportunity to study abroad, intern, or take classes not related to their majors so as to enrich the educational experience.
Elmira College has an extensive Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) archive and is one of the only two centers for Mark Twain Studies in the world. A quaint study of his is located on campus. In it the author wrote many of his most widely read novels: Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Every four years the college perpetuates his legacy by hosting an international conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies.
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