Two things make Gettysburg College's location extraordinary--what's here and what happened here.
Our 200-acre campus connects to a famous and engaging town that offers a variety of options when you decide it's time to head off campus. Downtown you'll find an eclectic array of stores, restaurants, and cultural offerings, including the Blue Parrot Bistro and the Ragged Edge Coffee House, the newly-restored Majestic Theater, art galleries sponsoring First Friday openings each month, and many other attractions. Farther afield, outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the area's challenging whitewater, great rock climbing and mountain biking, three nearby ski and snowboard resorts, and outstanding hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail. And the College offers easy access to three major metropolitan areas: Harrisburg (45 minutes), Baltimore (60 minutes), and Washington, D.C. (80 minutes).
The campus also sits less than a mile from the site of what many consider to be the single most important moment in American history. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War, and its outcome defined the future of the United States. A few months after that event, Gettysburg students walked through town and heard President Lincoln deliver a two-minute speech that stands today as one of the most moving expressions of the ideals of freedom and equality ever spoken. Today, by educating students to become engaged and contributing citizens, the College contributes to shaping a world in which those ideals can flourish.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
The 55,000 square foot Jaeger Center for Athletics, Recreation, and Fitness opened in the fall of 2009. Inside the sleek new facility is an array of athletic and fitness areas including a fitness center, a bouldering area and a rock-climbing wall, and a new natatorium with eight competition lanes and a four-lane warm-up pool. There are more than 35 fitness classes (some are student-led) each week-from aerobics to Pilates to spinning to yoga to Zumba. Nearly all students take advantage of the opportunities for recreation and fitness at Gettysburg.
The Majestic Theater, a renovated and restored 1926 vaudeville theater, seats 830 and features two cinema theatres. The Majestic hosts world-class performances by visiting artists and a stage for College music and theatre performances.
The Science Center, McCreary Hall, and Masters Hall are at the heart of scientific research on campus. The Science Center is a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility and houses a greenhouse, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and a Geographical Information System lab. McCreary is home to the latest equipment for biology, including two electron microscopes. There is space for cognitive neuroscience, an infant research lab, and a vivarium. Masters Hall houses the Physics department. Inside are atomic and nuclear physics labs, a planetarium, an accelerator research lab, and a plasma research lab.
At Gettysburg everyone has the option of off-campus study and we encourage every student to consider it. Studying off campus offers many obvious benefits-a more global perspective, fluency in another language and a deeper first-hand knowledge of critical issues. There are a rich and diverse range of off-campus study options all over the world: in any given semester, Gettysburg students are on six continents, representing all majors and disciplines. In addition to taking course work toward their major, students abroad may be conducting field research, working as interns, living with local people, and studying languages ranging from Arabic to Zulu. By the time they graduate, almost half of Gettysburg students have spent at least a semester abroad.
Student Organizations & Activities
At Gettysburg, students like to get involved and there are no bystanders here. Whether you prefer to pack your schedule or concentrate on a few activities, you should have little difficulty tapping your interests to the fullest. With more than 140 student-led clubs and organizations and 22 intercollegiate (NCAA division III) athletic programs, it's not uncommon for students to be involved in as many as three or more organizations. From student government and campus publications, to sports, the fine and performing arts, community service, and outdoor adventure, all clubs and organizations are run by students, creating more than a thousand leadership opportunities on campus. Don't see something you're interested in? It's easy to start a new organization; about five new clubs are started every year.
Enthusiastic and overcommitted, most students at Gettysburg are pursuing “a major and a minor or a double-major, and a majority are involved in at least several college organizations (whether it’s a community service group, sports team, or Greek organization).” With so much on their plate, it is no surprise that “the students at Gettysburg buckle down and work hard” during the week. Socially, “Life at Gettysburg is very Greek-oriented,” and, come the weekend, “frat hopping” is “popular on this campus.” Not your style? No worries: Greek life may be “huge” on campus; “However, that does not mean that that is the only thing to do.” For students looking for alternate activities, the school hosts “movie nights, plays, and musical performances.” Many students also “love going to our theme parties and Happy Hours at the Attic, our on-campus nightclub,” while others “get together with friends and watch movies or go out for coffee.” For a relaxing respite, “The surrounding area and town is beautiful, so one of my favorite things to do is just walk around out on the battlefields or through town.” In addition, “people also like to get off campus traveling to bigger city areas like Baltimore, Harrisburg, D.C., and even Philly and New York City.”