Facts & Figures


  • Founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends in 1887 and named in honor of the Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, Whittier College continues to honor its Quaker heritage through a commitment to community, diversity, and finding common ground with people the world over. The College, however, has been secular since the 1940s.
  • The school mascot, Johnny Poet, carries a big pen (it's mightier than the sword, after all) and appears on numerous lists of the most unique mascots in America.  
  • Whittier College is one of very few colleges or universities to have graduated a U.S. President: Richard M. Nixon '34.  Richard Nixon served as student body president, co-founded the Orthogonian Society, and was an excellent debater.
  • The College offers one graduate degree: a master's degree in teaching through Whittier College.
  • Whittier has 815 students.
  • All courses at Whittier are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. The student-faculty ratio is 8 to 1, making familiarity and mentorship possible.
  • Whittier offers students a choice of 32 majors and a variety of minors and program options.  
  • Students of color constitute about 69% of the College's student body, making Whittier one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country.
  • Whittier College faculty are respected experts in their fields. Among the ranks are a Grammy winner, a Pushcart Prize in Poetry winner, several Fulbright Award winners, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Endowment for the Humanities grantees.
  • Whittier fields 18 Poet teams in NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics: 8 men’s teams and 10 women’s. Approximately 30% of Whittier’s students play on one or more teams. 
  • Over 50% of the student body is involved in one of the more than 40 registered student organizations on campus.