Prairieville Academy, which eventually became Carroll College (and subsequently Carroll University), was founded in 1841. Three years later, in summer of 1844, the genesis for Beloit College came in the form of a group of New Englanders calling themselves “Friends of Education,” who gathered to discuss the formation of a “frontier college.”
The charter for Carroll – named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence – was passed into law by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature on January 31, 1846. Beloit’s charter followed shortly on February 2, giving rise to Carroll’s claim to be the oldest four-year institution in Wisconsin.
Beloit’s claim is often phrased “the oldest college in the state in continuous operation,” with a particular emphasis on the “continuous operation” aspect. During the 1860s, the American Civil War and financial difficulty caused Carroll to temporarily suspend operations, while Beloit has offered classes continuously since 1847.
The Zeta chapter of Phrateres, a non-exclusive, non-profit social-service club, was installed here in 1932. Between 1924 and 1967, 23 chapters of Phrateres were installed in universities across North America.
Carroll University offers more than 60 areas of study at an undergraduate level and Master’s degrees and certificates in selected subjects, as well as one clinical doctorate program in physical therapy. There are 96 full-time faculty members and approximately 3,325 students from 28 states and 27 countries.
In 2009, Carroll was ranked 175th out of 600 by Forbes on their list of America’s Best Colleges.
In 2013, Carroll was ranked 43rd in Midwest Regional Colleges by U.S.News & World_Report on their list of America’s Best Colleges.
In 2014, Carroll was ranked 38th in Midwest Regional Colleges by U.S.News & World_Report on their list of America’s Best Colleges.
The college broke ground in 1852. Several buildings contribute the campus’ history and atmosphere, including Sneeden House (a 1922 colonial home now used as a guesthouse and conference center) and MacAllister Hall (a renovated, nineteenth-century mansion that now houses the History, Religious Studies, Modern Languages, and English Departments). The school provides housing in six residence halls, six apartment buildings, and two houses.