Heidelberg College was founded in 1850 by members of the German Reformed Church who named it after the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. Seeking to minister to the German population of Ohio, the Revs. Reuben and Jeremiah H. Good established a church-affiliated institution staffed by a largely theologically trained faculty.
The college opened its doors in a room on the third floor of what was known as “Commercial Row” in downtown Tiffin, Ohio. Five students were enrolled for the first classes, but 149 were listed on the roster by the end of the first year.
The Heidelberg campus is as unique and honored as its nationally recognized academic programs. The collage of historic and contemporary architectural styles on the tree-lined campus reflects the diversity of students, staff and faculty who have graced Heidelberg’s halls for more than 160 years.
In the summer of 1851, the foundation was laid for the college’s first building, a 4-½-story Greek Revival building now known as Founders Hall. This facility remained the only building on campus until President George W. Williard had a president’s home erected on Greenfield Street in 1867-68. In 1886, a large Victorian Gothic building, known variously over the years as Recitation Hall, the University Building, College Hall and now University Hall, was built and dedicated atop College Hill.
Associated with 56 nobel prize winners the university places an emphasis on research. Modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology, psychiatric genetics,environmental physics,and modern sociology were introduced as scientific disciplines by Heidelberg faculty. Approximately 1,000 doctorates are completed every year, with more than one third of the doctoral students coming from abroad.International students from some 130 countries account for more than 20 percent of the entire student body.
Of the 31 buildings on campus today, 10 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include: Aigler Alumni Building, University Hall, Founders Hall, France Residence Hall, the Fine Arts House, Wickham Great Hall, Laird Hall (now Adams Hall), the Octagon House, Pfleiderer Center for Religion & the Humanities and the Bryenton Honors Center (formerly the President’s House).
All bedrooms have a bed, dresser, desk, chair, bookshelf, and a wardrobe/closet for each student. All Heidelberg residences halls are Wi-Fi enabled, including a direct computer connection and cable hook-up in each room. All residence halls have access to 24-hour printing. Either a computer plus printer or a printer with network connection is located in the residential complex.