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College History

It all started when a young minister named Thomas Merrill arrived in Michigan with $7.00 and a plan to establish a Baptist college on the frontier. In 1833, with the ambitious assistance of Judge Caleb Eldred, Merrill's dream became real, and the history of Kalamazoo College formally began.

In the years that have followed, the College has gone through many eras of growth and change. Buildings, personalities, and academic programs have come and gone. Through it all, we have maintained a tradition of excellence second to none among liberal arts colleges.

As home to the most highly regarded international study program in the higher education, a global orientation is a hallmark of a Kalamazoo College education. In Fall 2008, we marked 50 years of our Study Abroad program as part of our 175th anniversary commemoration.