Mechanicsburg, PA
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College Freshman

Facilities: I am not into sports and as a music major I don't have much time to hang out with people outside of class. It's a busy life. So I couldn't give a very accurate description.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: I love my facilities at my school, mainly because I spend most of my time in one in particular. I spend a lot of time in the music building. It's brand new and has been here for just over a year. I also love the library. There's a little place to get coffee and plenty of couches and desks to do homework at.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: Student life is great. There are many campus traditions that facilitate interactions between students.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: The facilities are not overly new but the equipment inside and the appearances are very good.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Facilities: No Greek Life, so no hooligans running around drunk. Weekends can get boring because quite a few people do go home. But if you make friends with people who live far enough away from campus, you're good! My weekends typically consist of hanging out watching movies and playing games like Quelf, Apples to Apples or Dutch Blitz. Every weekend they present a "lost film" (recently released movie that is out of theaters, but not yet available on netflix or dvd) in the on-campus movie theater (also a gorgeous facility!) and those are really nice. There are events sponsored by the Student Activities Board about twice per month. These include B-sides (Every wednesday, a live band comes to perform in the Union at 9pm) and Coffeehouses (variety shows of a sort with dance, spoken word, and some insanely talented musicians! Make sure you go to all of those, about four times a semester.)


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 82nd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 236th
    Best Student Centers
  • 255th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 287th
    Best Library
  • 300th
    Best Athletic Facilities

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Ashley Offenback
Yardley, Pa.
View all previous student authors

An aspect of Messiah that immediately attracts prospective students is its beautiful and tight-knit campus. The grounds are covered with trees, gardens, and green hills, and everything is away from the traffic and noise of main roads. The area in use is relatively small, and all buildings are in quick walking distance of one another. The Yellow Breeches Creek that runs through campus adds to the aesthetics and list of available activities.

However, the buildings are old, outdated, and tend to take away from the appearance of the campus. The Larsen Student Union is the most modern-looking building on campus and is appealing to the eye. The quality of facilities inside the Union is decent enough to suit student needs. The Union offers ample seating for eating, doing homework, and relaxing and includes couches upstairs and restaurant-style booths downstairs. There is also a fireplace, stage, flat-screen TV, computers, radio-broadcasting studio, game room, and student organization offices. The athletic centers are adequate for general wellness but could offer more enhanced facilities for the school’s athletic teams. The library contains shelf after shelf of books and offers abundant assistance to students. Between Parmer Cinema, the Breeches, the Union, and the Student Activities Board, there is plenty to do on campus to keep students entertained.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
471 acres
Student Centers
Larsen Student Union (known simply as "the Union")
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Murray Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Frey Prayer Chapel
  • Lottie Nelson Dining Hall
  • The Union
  • Witmer lounge
  • Yellow Breeches
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
The Union Café in Larsen Student Union
Movie Theater on Campus
Parmer Cinema in Boyer Hall
"Green" Initiatives
The "Turn It Off" campaign at Messiah began in 2010 and encourages students to save energy by turning off lights, taking shorter showers, and shutting down computers. It resulted in a reduction of more than 1 million KWH in electricity usage during a two-month period compared to the same two-month period in 2009. Every year, Messiah participates in the national "Recyclemania" competition and has repeatedly placed high among Pennsylvania schools. In 2008, Messiah built a solar electric training facility including four large solar panels on Bittner Beach. This facility educates students and provides three kilowatts of power.
School Slang
  • CCC: Created and Called for Community, the first-year general education course required for all students
  • FYS: First-Year Seminar, a general education course required for all first-year students
  • Lottie: Lottie Nelson Dining Hall, the main dining hall on campus
  • Solly: Sollenberger Residence Hall, an all-girls upperclassman dorm on campus
  • The Union: Larsen Student Union, the only student center on campus
  • Boxer Run: Started in 1986, and also known as the Brothers Fiesta, this is a long-standing men's soccer team tradition. Every year in December, a group of guys brave the cold and run the entire campus in their underwear. Some also wear ties, hats, suspenders, or other costumey items. They sing Christmas carols and scream "Merry Christmas" to every girl they pass. While on the run, they enter dorms and knock on doors asking other guys to join them. Outside, they search for a random discarded object, such as a toilet seat or kid's bicycle. A male freshman is pre-selected as the "winner." The criteria for this selection are unknown, except that it cannot be an athlete. At the end of the run, the guys stop by that freshman's dorm room and knock. He opens the door to hundreds of screaming almost-naked guys who hand him a prize. This tradition is highly anticipated by female students.
  • Creeking: Don't be surprised if you get thrown into the Yellow Breeches on your birthday or after getting engaged.
  • Duct Tape Wars: Every spring, students organize Duct Tape Wars during Reading Day. It's the residents of North Complex versus residents of South Complex in combat, and all weapons are made of duct tape and cardboard. Many people come to relieve stress and have fun.
  • First-Year Initiation: Freshmen are initiated by their RAs during their first week at the college. Not much is known about it except it takes place late at night and involves the creek.
  • Lottie Raid: Lottie is raided every year and often during the first heavy snowfall. The raiders could be Vikings or Spartans or some other crazy group of guys, and they are usually shirtless.
  • Marshmallow Bowl: The Marshmallow Bowl takes place during the first men's soccer game against Messiah's rival, Elizabethtown. After Messiah scores its first goal, marshmallows are everywhere! Getting the marshmallows into the stadium requires some creativity though-marshmallows have been banned from this game, and every student is searched upon entry! However, Messiah soccer fans never fail to use their imagination and sneak tons of marshmallows in.
  • Midnight Scream: Every night during finals week students scream at midnight to relieve stress. The screams can be heard in the community for miles!
  • Mud Sliding: On rainy fall days students come out to Starry Field to go mud sliding. This activity is certainly messy and has the potential to become painful and scary, but it can also be fun and exhilarating. Freshmen are often taken mud sliding by their RA during the first few weeks of the year.
Urban Legends
  • It's said that one of Messiah's previous presidents was a wizard! The legend was probably sparked by the photo of a former president decked out in wizard-esque robes and holding a staff in the library.
  • Some say that Witmer is the dorm for all the "bad kids." It smells gross, is a far walk from everything on campus, and has the most 3 a.m. fire drills, and rumor has it that Residence Life decided to throw all the "bad kids" together with these conditions with the hopes that they learn a lesson or two.
Favorite Things To Do
Students partake in a range of clean activities on campus for fun. On a cold night, you will find students inside with a game of Dutch Blitz, watching a movie, or playing Rock Band. There are many musicians at Messiah, and they love to join together and play music. Pranks are popular with students, especially freshmen. Occasionally, a group will get together and organize a dance party in the lounge of their dorm. Other activities include seeing a movie at Parmer Cinema or going to a concert at the Union. Many hang out on Cemetery Hill late at night, especially during meteor showers. Late-night walks through the fitness trail or along the Breeches are also enjoyed. Some like to play games of sardines or manhunt in Boyer Hall on cold nights or outside on warm nights. On snowy days, you will always find hundreds of students sledding on Cemetery Hill or having a snowball fights in an open field.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Swinging Bridge
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
The most active clubs on campus are those included in the multicultural council. The Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, and La Alianza Latina work hard to promote diversity throughout the year. The Student Activities Board is in charge of on-campus entertainment and off-campus excursions, and these events are always successes. The Student Government Association works hard at handling student issues. The most popular organizations involving physical activity are the Outdoors Club, Swing Club, and Acclamation Dance Ministry. The student newspaper (The Swinging Bridge) and The Collaboratory, an organization devoted to service through engineering projects, are also a big part of campus life. There are various other small clubs, and starting a new one is fairly easy to do. Almost all students choose to get involved and join at least one club or organization.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: No
Did You Know?
  • In 1946, Messiah's first social facility opened for students in the Eisenhower Campus Center. It contained a bowling alley and snack bar but has since closed.
  • As part of the Centennial Campaign celebrating the College's centennial year in 2010, Messiah announced the addition of a new state-of-the-art worship and performing arts center. The center will include an acoustic concert hall seating 825 with a 150-person choir loft and balcony seating. Rehearsal and dressing rooms, a black-box theater, and a large dance studio will also be built. The center will total 85,000 square feet, three stories, and will require the addition of 200 new parking spots. The center will benefit the music and theater departments at Messiah, as well as all students and the community by offering special events and lectures at the facility.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 73 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 106 responses

  • 0% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 3% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 42% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 56% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 64 responses

  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 9% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 62% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 28% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
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