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The (Very) End of Upland College

Upland (former Beulah) College, situated at the intersection of San Antonio and Arrow HIghways, was closed by the Brethren in Christ Church in 1965, and later sold. (Courtesy of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

Just before the opening of the 1965-1966 academic year, the Board of Trustees at Upland College voted to close the school, citing financial hardships and declining enrollment.

On October 25, 1966 — forty-four years ago yesterday — the Upland College property was auctioned at a public sale.

Interestingly, the Associated Press reported the sale; their story subsequently ran in papers as far away as Sarasota, Fl.! Here’s a (rather entertaining) snippet from their coverage:

Interest in buying Upland came in letters from persons who wanted to take it over for military academics, a winter home for a circus, a retirement home for baseball players, and a college for dropouts.

But the serious bidders Tuesday were financiers, real estate brokers and representatives of nonprofit institutions.

Read the entire report here.

What if Upland’s campus had become a winter home for a circus? Members of the Upland congregation (situated across the street from the school) would have had a rather smelly December through February!

Today, part of the former campus of Upland College serves as the home of Pacific Christian Center, a ministry organization of the Pacific Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church. For a history of the school, see E. Morris Sider, A Vision for Service: A History of Upland College (Nappanee, Ind: Evangel Press, 1976).

2 responses to “The (Very) End of Upland College

  1. Looking at the picture, it appears that Upland College’s motto was “Education for Service.” If so, very similar to Elizabethtown College’s motto of “Educate for Service.” Would you happen to know the origin of Upland’s motto?

    I’d like to read more of the history, particularly since I’ve recently been thinking about the value of closing down Christian institutions/ministries when they’ve reached the ‘end of their usefulness.’ This is a tough decision, particularly when a lot of money, time, resources, and people are invested in keeping institutions/structures alive, but far too many ‘loose direction’ and ‘sell out’ to ‘stay alive.’

  2. Pacific Lifeline is als0 located there. They have bought the part of the campus where their ministry is currently housed.

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