Coe College was founded in 1851 by Rev. Williston Jones as the School for the Prophets. While canvassing churches in the East to raise money for students to attend Eastern seminaries, Jones met a farmer named Daniel Coe, who donated $1,500 and encouraged Jones to open a college in Cedar Rapids. Coe's gift came with the stipulation that the college should offer education to both men and women, and when the Cedar Rapids campus opened as the Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute, it was founded as a co-educational institution. In 1875, the college was reestablished as Coe College Institute and in 1881, after a generous gift from T.M Sinclair, founder of the Sinclair Meat Packing Company, was finally founded as Coe College.
Coe was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities in 1907.
Coe College awards the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.M.), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Coe offers more than 60 areas of study and provides the option for students to create their own major under the guidance of faculty members. Forty percent of Coe students double major and graduate in four years. All students are guaranteed an internship, research or off-campus study opportunity.
Thirty-five percent of Coe students participate in varsity athletics. Coe College has 21 Men's and Women's athletic teams and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field - indoor, track & field - outdoor and wrestling; women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field - indoor, track & field - outdoor and volleyball. Their athletic team name is the Kohawks, a stylized bird; their mascot is known as Charlie Kohawk.
Stewart Memorial Library
Stewart Memorial Library houses more than 202,000 books and other materials. The library contains gallery spaces featuring collections from Iowa artists Marvin Cone, Conger Metcalf, and Grant Wood.
Coe's Writing Center (CWC) is the largest undergraduate student-run writing center in the nation, with over 60 undergraduates on staff. It opened in September 1986 with a staff of seven writing consultants, directed by Robert L. Marrs, professor of rhetoric. Since that first year, the CWC has grown in size and influence on campus, currently conducting over 2,000 student conferences per year. Staff members have published in professional journals, and have given over 80 presentations at state, regional, and national conferences including the Midwest Writing Center Association conference.
The CWC also produces and distributes several campus publications, including The Pearl, Colere, Coetry, and the Coe Quarto.
S. Donald Stookey – inventor who had 60 patents in his name related to glass and ceramics, inventor of Fotoform and CorningWare