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February 28, 2007

College of Wooster

Wooster, OH

We love a college with a sense of style. Wooster2

Take the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, a community of 1800 students who take learning much more seriously than they take themselves. The college’s mascot is the “Fighting Scot.” The marching band wears kilts and plays bagpipes. Seniors are each given a Tootsie Roll when they hand in their senior projects, and the head football coach conducts the Scot Marching Band during its Fall Concert. Stan Hales, Wooster’s President, sums up the importance of Wooster’s tradition this way.

"Tradition animates Wooster. We can treat it seriously or tongue in cheek, which is indicative of the institution's willingness to do things a bit funky or quirky. There's less peer pressure here, and a wider range of student behavior and dress. We have a lighthearted view toward personal expression. We're very unpretentious."

But a college list is not built on kilts and bagpipes alone, and neither is Wooster.

Wooster is nationally recognized for “I.S.”(Independent Study), its signature academic program in which every graduate completes three semesters of research in his or her major. In the senior year, the student spends two semesters working on a major investigative or creative project which culminates in the writing of a thesis or theWooster production of a substantial creative work. True to form, the project ends with another Wooster tradition - the I.S. March, which kicks off at 5 p.m. on the day the projects are due. Graduating seniors turn in their projects and march together through the campus to Kittredge Dining Hall where a dinner and awards ceremony take place. Among the honors given are prizes for the longest and shortest I.S. titles.

Shopping for a college can be like shopping for a car. While every automaker claims their model has “the largest trunk in its class,” every college seems to promise “top professors” and “world-class facilities.” Wooster has these qualities too (and a nine hole golf course on campus!). But even more importantly, they offer a distinct sense of tradition that can enhance a college experience.

Wooster isn’t for everybody, but we certainly love their honesty, their I.S. program, and their kilts. Find out more at www.wooster.edu


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