History of Arcadia

History of Arcadia

Two centuries ago, at the bucolic confluence of the Ohio and Beaver Rivers in the westernmost part of Pennsylvania, the French established a trading post, where members of the Delaware, Shawnee, and Iroquois tribes bartered with European traders. The rivers were essential for travel, sustenance, and military defense, and General McIntosh of Washington’s Colonial Army built a fort at this place during the Revolutionary War.

As the area’s population expanded, McIntosh's fort became the town of Beaver, Pa. There, in 1853, an intellectual outpost was formed—a school to teach such liberal arts as ancient history, rhetoric, logic, and analogy.

The school attained collegiate status in 1872 and, in 1925, moved east to Jenkintown, Pa. This location afforded larger facilities, a more adequate campus, and greater opportunities for development. The change resulted in such an increase in enrollment that the Board of Trustees imposed limitations on annual enrollment in order to maintain the advantages of a small college.

Needing additional property to accommodate its expansion, the Trustees of Beaver College secured a nearby estate known as Grey Towers in 1928. Located in Glenside, Pa., a suburb of metropolitan Philadelphia, the estate offered spacious property, with dignified stone buildings. Beaver College operated both the Jenkintown and Glenside campuses into the mid-1960s, when it consolidated all activities onto the Grey Towers property.

In July of 2001, the institution was granted University status, and the Board of Trustees approved a historic decision to change the name of Beaver College to Arcadia University.

A leader in study abroad and a pioneer in international education, Arcadia University allows undergraduate and graduate students to engage in integrative, real-world learning opportunities such as internships, evidence-based research, service projects, interdisciplinary study, problem-based learning, and co-curricular experiences that expand beyond the traditional classroom. More than 2,500 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students study at Arcadia’s Glenside, Pa., and Christiana, Del., campuses in more than 65 fields of study.

The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University offers study abroad programs through more than 130 programs in 12 countries to students from colleges and universities across the U.S., in addition to Arcadia undergraduates. The Institute for International Education's Open Doors Report has ranked Arcadia University #1 in the U.S. for study abroad participation for seven consecutive years.