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Our Great Lake

20 Reasons to Love Our Location


1. The view.

Our backyard is the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and our Great Lake provides some pretty amazing views. Think Western Heritage classes on the beach. Lake views from the labs. For those people unfamiliar with Lake Michigan, let’s get one thing straight: Lake Michigan is 118 miles from east to west, so you don’t see the other side. “It’s like being on the ocean,” says Carthage graduate and now admissions representative Rob Schiferl. We’ve even got windsurfing.


2. Sunrises from your dorm room

Post your favorite dorm room sunrise to Instagram — our students do it all the time. Many of our dorm rooms feature lake views. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake,” said biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary. “Nothing compares to the view in the morning.”


3. The sound of waves as you study

Don’t just look at Lake Michigan. Listen to it. Alumni often remark that they miss the sound of Lake Michigan — both the roar of the waves on windy days, and the lapping of water against the rocks on calm days. It’s the perfect background music for studying, napping, talking with friends, or serious contemplation about your future. “I can sit on the rocks and listen to the waves and forget about any worries or cares that I have in life,” said theatre major Mitchell Windorf.


4. The internships while you’re here

Internships are an important part of college, and often open doors for employment and graduate school admission after graduation. Because Carthage is located within an hour’s drive of two major cities — Milwaukee on the north, and Chicago on the south — there’s a long list of nearby companies interested in hiring. To name a few: Abbott Laboratories, Kraft Foods, Uline, Johnson Controls, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Through Carthage’s Smeds Executive Internship Program, finance majors have worked at the Chicago Board of Trade; public relations majors have interned with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs; athletic training majors have worked for the Chicago Bears; political science majors have interned for Wisconsin and Illinois U.S. Representatives and senators. Right here in Kenosha, you’ll find the world headquarters for Jockey International and Snap-on Incorporated, and SC Johnson is headquartered 15 minutes from campus in Racine.

5. The job opportunities once you graduate

All those good things we said about internships? The same applies for full-time employment (only now add in getting paid and receiving benefits!). Carthage graduates don’t have to travel far to find exciting career opportunities at top companies.


6. Chicago Day Trips

6. Chicago day trips

Chicago is a world-class city, home to such top attractions as Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, world-famous architecture, and top theatre and music events. So how to see it all? Just hop on the Metra’s Union Pacific/North Line from Kenosha. The train station is 10 minutes from campus, and on weekends, you can get a pass good for unlimited rides for just $8. Fall in love with the big city? Spend a semester there.


7. Milwaukee day trips.

7. Milwaukee day trips

If Chicago is the “Second City,” consider Milwaukee a close third. Milwaukee is just an hour’s drive north of campus, and offers art, architecture, theatre, concerts, great restaurants, and a variety of summer festivals including SummerFest. There’s even a museum dedicated to Harley Davidson.


8. Classes on the rocks

That’s Kevin Crosby, dean of the Division of Natural and Social Sciences, teaching his Physics for Future Presidents course on the rocks behind the David A. Straz Jr. Center. Our new science center includes an outdoor classroom with stone seating and whiteboard. It’d be hard to find a classroom with a better view.


9. Freshwater research opportunities

If you’re passionate about chemistry, environmental science, geography, or biology, just look out our windows. Lake Michigan provides 1,180 cubic miles of petri dish potential, and the Pike River offers countless other research opportunities in and around our 80-acre campus. This freshwater ecosystem is the ideal environment to roll up your pant legs, get to work, and make some striking discoveries.


10. Hide ... or seek.

10. Hide … or seek

Want some peace and quiet? Done. Prefer a little noise? No problem. At Carthage, you get the best of both worlds. Just choose what mood you’re in. When you want a little tranquility, our campus in Kenosha’s Alford Park offers plenty of space to exhale. Hike through the arboretum or relax on the Red Bridge overlooking the Pike River. When you’re looking for some activity, the campus is just 10 minutes from two downtown areas offering shopping, restaurants, coffee houses, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, entertainment, and two stunning harbors. North, you get Milwaukee. South, you get Chicago. Anywhere you look? Exactly what you’re looking for.

11. Galleries, theatres, and museums, oh my

True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Just a few: Kenosha’s Dinosaur Discovery Museum and Civil War Museum; Racine’s nationally recognized Racine Art Museum; Chicago’s Art Institute of Chicago and Steppenwolf Theatre; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, internationally regarded for its collection and design by architect Santiago Calatrava.

12. Bucket list-worthy attractions

When theatre major Mikaley Osley arrived in Kenosha from her hometown outside Denver, Colo., the older and wiser theatre upperclassmen let her in on a longtime tradition. “The seniors said, ‘We have a Kenosha Bucket List, with all the weird things you can do here.’ ” They passed along the list, and she and her friends got started. The Jelly Belly Factory. Mars Cheese Castle. The Washington Park Velodrome, the oldest operating velodrome in the United States. She urges everybody to drive right into the weird, wacky, and wonderful offerings in Wisconsin. “You never know what you’re going to find, and what memories you’re going to make.”


13. A cafeteria with five-star views

At Carthage, even the Cafeteria promises great scenery. The Carthage Dining Commons (known simply as “The Caf”) received a major makeover in 2012, offering new food stations and an outdoor patio overlooking Lake Michigan.

14. The food

The Caf offers amazing views, but when you’re ready to dine off campus, you won’t be disappointed. This area of Wisconsin is known for culinary treats like frozen custard, Friday night fish fry, Danish kringle, Chicago-style pizza, and brats. Kenosha’s Frank’s Diner was featured on The Food Network (and even offers a Carthage challenge). And pizza? You could eat pizza from a different Kenosha pizzeria every single day for a month, and you’d still have a few pizza joints to try. There are more than 50 pizza places within 20 miles. Some argue Kenosha’s version of Chicago-style deep dish is better than the big city; others stick with thin crust. We say try both.


15. Feathered, furry friends

Students aren’t the only ones who consider Carthage home. Our campus is also a wildlife sanctuary and arboretum, attracting a variety of visitors, from fox and turtles, to geese, and the occasional bald eagle.

16. Go Pack— er, Bears! Go Cubbies! We mean Brewers!

Sports fan? Not only does Carthage field 24 NCAA Division III sports, but there’s no shortage of professional sports within an hour’s drive. From the historic Wrigley Field to the modern Miller Park, sports fans can find a unique experience in all seasons. Nearby teams include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bears, and Chicago Blackhawks. And of course, Kenosha is in Wisconsin and Wisconsin loves the Packers. So get out your green and gold.


17. Fall

They say fall only lasts two weeks in Wisconsin. But those two weeks are amazing.


18. Winter snow days

They don’t happen often, but sometimes you can trade in books and professors for boots and snowmen. Students still talk about Groundhog Day 2011, when a blizzard dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on Kenosha and winds created drifts of 7-9 feet. Wisconsin winters also bring skiing, ice skating, and sledding (sometimes in laundry baskets down the Lentz hill).


19. Thinking spring

Sometimes winters are brutal. The arctic vortex of 2014? We were all ready to see that end. So when the sun comes out and the weather warms up, everyone comes out from their dorm rooms for volleyball games, beach reading, outdoor music classes, and gleeful wandering in flip flops. We survived!


20. Midwest nice

It’s a thing. Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin, but it still retains a small-town feel. You’ll notice that “Midwest nice” on campus and off.

Carthage just feels like home.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …