First founded in 1854, Hamline University was the first institution of higher learning in Minnesota, since the University of Minnesota, though chartered earlier in 1851, did not operate in that capacity for nearly two more decades. Tuition at that time ranged from $4.00 to $6.66 per term! Hamline was named in honor of a Methodist bishop, Leonidas Lent Hamline, who donated $25,000 toward the construction of an institution of higher learning in what was then the Minnesota territory. Since the school’s charter stipulated that it be located on the Mississippi between St. Paul and Lake Pepin, its first home was chosen to be in Red Wing, since the city pledged around $10,000 towards its construction.
With the start of the American Civil War, enrollment dropped from 60 to 16, and the year 1862 produced no graduating class. In 1869, the university shut down, and in 1872, the first building was torn down. In 1873, construction began halfway between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, however, due to an economic depression there were multiple delays. The new building, University Hall, was not completed until 1880. Unfortunately, in 1883, it burned down. The new replacement structure, Old Main, was completed in 1884, followed by Science Hall (1887), the Carnegie Library in (1907), and the gymnasium (1909).
Today, Hamline is a private liberal arts college, known for its emphasis on experiential learning, service, and social justice. It is also one of the five Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (the others being Augsburg University, St. Catherine University, the University of St. Thomas, and Macalester College). The school is composed of the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, the School of Business, and the Creative Writing Program.
In October 1989, the Sundin Music Hall (below) was opened, at a cost of $1.3 million. Many Twin Cities arts organizations consider this to be their preferred concert venue (including Lyra Baroque, The Minnesota Guitar Society, and The Bach Society of Minnesota), since it is recognized for its intimate, warm ambiance and recording-quality acoustics.
- Attended concerts: (at Sundin Music Hall)
- 1989-1990: “Keyboard Conversations” series with Jeffrey Siegel
- 2019: Saint-Saëns’ Septet & Dvorak’s Quintet