Fun facts about Kalamazoo College


Kalamazoo College is a small, private liberal arts college located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Founded in 1833, it has a rich history and a reputation for academic excellence. But there is more to Kalamazoo College than just academics. In this blog post, we will explore some fun and interesting facts about this unique institution.

Fun facts about Kalamazoo College

Fun facts about Kalamazoo College

Campus Traditions

Kalamazoo College is known for its campus traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation of students. One such tradition is the “Monks,” a group of students who dress in black robes and masks and roam the campus at night. Another popular tradition is the “Singing Waiters,” a group of students who dress in tuxedos and sing to diners in the cafeteria.

The college also has a unique graduation tradition known as “The K,” which is a giant letter K made out of flowers that is placed on Stetson Chapel’s steps. Each year, the senior class works together to plant and care for the flowers, and on graduation day, they carry the K to the center of the quad for a photo op.

Kalamazoo College also has a tradition of hosting a music festival known as “Arcadia,” which began in 2012. The festival is a student-run event that features live music, food, and games. The proceeds from the festival go towards funding study abroad programs for Kalamazoo College students.

Academic Excellence

Kalamazoo College is known for its rigorous academic programs and its commitment to experiential learning. The college offers over 30 majors and minors, and students are encouraged to engage in independent research and study abroad opportunities.

Kalamazoo College has a unique academic program known as the “K-Plan,” which stands for Kalamazoo Plan. The K-Plan is a four-part educational experience that includes a rigorous academic program, hands-on learning opportunities, career development, and international and intercultural experiences.

One aspect of the K-Plan is the “Senior Individualized Project” or SIP. The SIP is a year-long research project that each senior undertakes, working closely with a faculty member. This project is an opportunity for students to explore their interests and passions in depth and to apply what they have learned throughout their college experience.

Sports and Recreation

Kalamazoo College has a strong tradition of athletics, and its teams compete at the NCAA Division III level. The college has a total of 18 varsity sports teams, including basketball, soccer, swimming, and tennis. The women’s tennis team has a particularly strong reputation, having won 81 consecutive conference championships.

The college also offers a variety of recreational activities for students, including an indoor track, a fitness center, and a climbing wall. The college’s outdoor program offers students the opportunity to participate in activities such as camping, hiking, and kayaking. Kalamazoo College also has its own ski hill, known as “Hickory Hills,” which is used by the ski team for training and competitions.

Community Service

Kalamazoo College has a strong commitment to community service, and students are encouraged to engage in service activities throughout their college experience. The college offers a variety of service programs, including tutoring and mentoring programs, environmental and sustainability programs, and outreach programs to local schools and community organizations.

One notable service program at Kalamazoo College is the “Kalamazoo Promise,” which is a scholarship program for graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools. The program provides full tuition and fees for up to four years of college education at any public college or university in Michigan. Since its inception in 2005, the Kalamazoo Promise has provided over 7,000 scholarships to students in the Kalamazoo area, making it one of the largest and most successful scholarship programs in the country.

The college also has a unique partnership with the city of Kalamazoo known as the “Kalamazoo College Civic Engagement Scholars Program.” Through this program, students have the opportunity to work with local organizations and community leaders on projects related to social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic development.

Alumni Network

Kalamazoo College has a strong and active alumni network, with over 22,000 alumni living around the world. Many Kalamazoo College alumni have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, including business, law, medicine, and the arts.

One notable alum is former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1979. Other notable alumni include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Leonhardt, filmmaker Ken Burns, and former U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra.

The college also has a unique program known as “K to the Bay,” which is a summer internship program that connects Kalamazoo College students with alumni who live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through this program, students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience and make valuable connections with Kalamazoo College alumni in their chosen field.


Kalamazoo College is a unique and vibrant institution with a rich history and a commitment to academic excellence and community service. Its campus traditions, rigorous academic programs, strong athletic programs, and active alumni network make it a truly special place. Whether you are a current student, a prospective student, or an alum, Kalamazoo College is a place where you can grow, learn, and thrive.