Chapman Then vs. Now: How Chapman Has Changed Over the Years

Chapman Then vs. Now

Chapman is named after Charles C. Chapman, a benefactor of the school and first mayor of Fullerton, California. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).


Chapman University opened 158 years ago as Hesperian College. Over time the university has moved locations, changed names and gotten more expensive (shocker!). Read on to see Chapman then vs. now.


Tuition and Costs

Then: The 1978-1979 academic year undergraduate tuition & fees at Chapman University was $3,400. Adjusted for inflation, this equals to around $11,870 in 2018. Tuition & fees covered a little more than half of a student’s education. The remaining cost was met by gifts and endowments. Financial aid was given in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and jobs. The number and amount of awards varied, but more than half of the student body received some form of financial aid.

Now: For the 2019-2020 academic year, undergraduate tuition & fees at Chapman University is $54,540. To combat this steep cost, Chapman offers financial aid to 81 percent of its students. However, Chapman grants and scholarships generally do not increase to meet the higher costs of tuition and room and board. Expect less free money and more student loans.

The building to the left is Memorial Hall, which hosts shows from the student club, Chapman on Broadway. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).



Then: Chapman did not have dorms in 1956, but the university still provided housing. Women lived in the now-closed Orange National Bank. They also lived in a house on the corner of Palm and Olive street, which is still there today. Houses surrounding the campus were leased out for men. The first dorms, Harris Hall and South Morlan Hall, were built in 1963 and are still used for housing today.

Now: Chapman has 10 housing options for undergraduates. This includes dorm-style residence halls and apartment communities. Beginning in 2018, Chapman requires all freshman to live on campus for two years. To increase housing accommodations, a new apartment complex called “The K” opens in fall 2019 for upperclassmen.

South Morlan Hall, built in 1963, houses 2018-2019 freshmen. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).


Student Life

Then: The earliest incarnation of Chapman accepted students of all races and faiths. In fact, Chapman waited to officially open the school until the day of President Lincoln’s inauguration to make a statement about equality. Chapman has always been a small college, with a student body of only 72 in the class of 1923. After World War II, Chapman saw a huge influx of students, causing them to move from their Los Angeles campus to the larger Orange campus.

Now: With a population of 8,542 students, Chapman has students from 50 states, 2 territories and 82 countries. 20 percent of students are first-generation and 40 percent identify as persons of color. Chapman continues to grow, with a record-breaking 14,170 first-year applications in 2018. Also, more women are obtaining degrees. Chapman plays a part in this upward trend with 40:60 male-to-female ratio. Roughly 9 percent of women earned bachelor’s degrees in 1970 -1971, but 50 percent earned bachelor’s degrees by 2001-2002, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Since 1992, the 100,0000-square-foot Argyros Forum serves as a hub for student life, with lounge areas, dining, classrooms and a gift shop. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).



Then: 1861 marked the start of Chapman University. The founding members were part of the Disciples of Christ and in 1956, most Chapman students were still part of that denomination. Students even had to take classes regarding the Old and New Testament.

Now: Chapman is not a Christian college, but instead a church-affiliated school. This means Chapman does not require religion classes or church attendance. The Fish Interfaith Center was established in 2004. Inside the center is the Wallace All Faiths Chapel, open to students of all faiths. Stop by for free events like weekly walk-in meditation and yoga.

There are no permanent religious symbols at the Fish Interfaith Center. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).



Then: In 1923, the gymnasium, nicknamed “The Box”, was built and the football, tennis and women’s basketball teams. Due to financial hardship from the Great Depression, the football program was suspended in 1932. Chapman held their first Homecoming in 1957, but without a football game. The Chapman football team took the field again in 1994.

Now: The Ernie Chapman Stadium was built in 2008. Roughly 450 student-athletes train and compete in the stadium. Chapman is NCAA Division III with 21 intercollegiate teams. Seventeen of these teams competed in collegiate championships in 2016-2017.

Since its opening in 1978, the Harold Hutton Sports Center has hosted the NCAA’s first round of women’s basketball playoffs six times. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).



Then: During the 1950s, students took one course every six-week block. There were six blocks, each worth five credits. This equals to 30 credits in an academic year, which matches a typical Chapman undergraduate class schedule in 2019. Classes were held from 8 a.m to 12 p.m., with speakers coming on Tuesdays and mandatory Chapel on Thursdays.

Now: Current Chapman students can still take 30 credits in an academic year. However, now Chapman has semesters instead of six-week blocks. Students are also able to take up to 18 credits per semester, totaling 36 credits per year. Classes still start at 8 a.m. but can end as late at 9:50 p.m.

Behind the fountain is the Hashinger Science Center. This was the newest building on campus in 1969. Photo courtesy of Leatherby Libraries (left). Photo by Carlee Correia (right).

Carlee Correia

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