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Carroll College History

Carroll College, often called Wisconsin’s pioneer college, is the oldest college in the state. In 1841, settlers living in the Wisconsin Territory community of Prairieville established the academy that five years later would become Carroll College. Soon after its founding, Carroll affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and adopted the motto, "Christo et Litteris," which means "for Christ and Learning."

The college’s early patrons believed that higher education would serve as an instrument for civilizing the wilderness, spreading the Gospel and planting the roots of democracy deep in the prairie soil. They also sought to provide for the prosperity of their children and future generations.

Carroll was chartered by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature on Jan. 31, 1846, two years before Wisconsin became a state.

Throughout its history, the hallmarks of the Carroll educational experience have been teaching excellence and individualized attention. These values find expression in three important documents: The Mission Statement, the Statement of Educational Goals and The Carroll Compact.

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