BALDWIN-WALLACE UNIVERSITY (formerly Baldwin-Wallace College) is a liberal-arts university related to the United Methodist church. Located in BEREA, the college's campus extends from Eastland Rd. to Front St., and from E. 5th Ave. to Center St. In 1995 the total plant consisted of 54 buildings on 56 acres. The roots of the college date back to Mar. 1837, when the Berea Seminary was incorporated with John Baldwin as one of the trustees. It was part of a commune known as the Lyceum Community. After the community failed in 1842, Baldwin offered the campus and land to the North Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church to establish an institution of learning. The conference granted a charter to Baldwin Institute, a preparatory school. It opened on 9 Apr. 1846, admitting students of both sexes with no discrimination as to race, creed, or color. In 1855 Baldwin Institute became Baldwin Univ. It expanded its offerings to include classical, scientific, and commercial courses and also gave emphasis to the study of music.
In 1863 Jas. Wallace, a trustee, gave land for a separate school, which became the new German Wallace College. An agreement was made not to duplicate course offerings, and the 2 schools shared academic studies. By 1912 the Nast Theological Seminary and a Conservatory of Music had been added to German Wallace College. Meanwhile, financial setbacks had forced Baldwin Univ. to sell its original campus to the Cleveland Stone Co. for $100,000 in 1888, using the funds to purchase a 20-acre campus at the northeast corner of Front St. and Bagley Rd. After Baldwin Univ. had been declared below standard in 1911, the Methodist Episcopal Conference called for a union of the institutions. On 26 Aug. 1913, the schools merged to create Baldwin-Wallace College, with Dr. Arthur Breslich of German Wallace as president. In 1992 the school had a full-time faculty of 158 and an undergraduate enrollment of 2,480. It offered the B.A., B.S., B.S. in Education, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education, in addition to master's degrees in business administration and education. The college's Conservatory of Music was particularly well known, as was the Riemenschneider Bach Institute and its annual BACH FESTIVAL. Since 1970 the institute has published a journal, Bach, and maintained the Bach Memorial Library, which holds more than 12,000 volumes, including over 800 rare manuscripts and first editions. The college celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary in the 1995-96 year. Enrollment in 1995 was 2,700; Dr. Neal Malicky was president of the college.
Institutional growth continued into the next decade with increasing emphasis on business administration and the provision of evening courses. In July 2012, Baldwin Wallace College with an enrollment of 4,100, changed its name to Baldwin Wallace University Robert Helmer becoming president. In 2019, Baldwin Wallace ended its affiliation with the United Methodist Church. In 2019, it was ranked as 13th in Regional Universities Midwest with 3,024 students and 223 full-time faculty.
Updated by Gretchen Norton