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    Jun 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

About Hamline: Mission & History

Hamline University, Minnesota’s first university, has empowered students to make the world better for everyone since 1854. Today, we continue to educate students of all backgrounds, creating opportunity for all through generous scholarship programs, an inclusive community, and teaching that promotes civility and social justice. At Hamline, career preparation starts with the first class, ensuring our graduates leave ready with the professional experience and liberal arts foundation for their entire career.

Mission Statement

At Hamline University, our mission is to create a diverse and collaborative community of learners dedicated to the development of students’ knowledge, values, and skills for successful lives of leadership, scholarship, and service.

Statement of Purpose and Belief

A history of firsts and a commitment to educate all

At Hamline University, we believe that everyone should have access to a quality education and that education is the most important vehicle to transform lives and communities. We bring together a community of learners who excel academically, are intellectually curious, and demonstrate determination, spirit, and drive. We were the first university in Minnesota and the first to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees to women and men. Today, we remain true to our beginnings, with nearly half of our students the first in their families to attend a four-year college.

A career-ready education

We provide students with an exceptional educational experience, rooted in the liberal arts, which prepares them for their careers and a lifetime of growing both in their fields and in fields they may not yet envision. Through our student-centered approach, students learn the essential skills that empower them to both excel in rapidly changing professions and contribute meaningfully to society. A Hamline education is a career-ready education that opens doors to wide-ranging opportunities for students to continue to build successful lives.

Building a better society through education

We believe in John Wesley’s motto of “doing all the good we can, in all the ways we can.” We are champions for justice and social change. We fuel our students’ desire to contribute to—and transform—society. We demonstrate that academic excellence goes hand in hand with improving the lives of others. We strive to ensure that our students graduate prepared to flourish in their communities ready to practice inclusivity and uphold equity. A Hamline education gives students the tools to change the world.

Hamline History

Before there was a state, there was a university. Named in honor of Leonidas Lent Hamline, a Methodist bishop who donated the funds for its opening, Hamline University was founded 1854 in what was then the Territory of Minnesota. The first classes were held on the second floor of the Red Wing village general store and stayed there through the second term, when students moved into the Red Wing building in January 1856. Hamline graduated its initial class in 1859, including two sisters, Elizabeth A. Sorin and Emily R. Sorin, who were not only Hamline’s first graduates but also the first graduates of any college or university in Minnesota. The university moved to Saint Paul in 1880.

For more information about Hamline University and its history, please visit our website.