Shimer College (Chicago, IL)
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Shimer started as a women’s school in 1853, then hooked up with University of Chicago in 1896, morphed into a junior college in 1907, and finally emerged as a co-ed four year college in 1950. Now it’s on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago. Like St. John’s, Shimer is a Great Books school: you essentially spend four years reading about 200 books. Shimer only has about 17 faculty members, but it also only has about 140 students. Like St. John’s, it’s virtually impossible to graduate from Shimer without having been thoroughly educated; of course, the issue of employability is another question. Harvard once called to Shimer as one of the few colleges with an “ideal intellectual climate.” Also, their mascot is a flaming smelt, which is also a good name for a band. While Shimer is on the IIT campus, it really assumes that all of Chicago is the Shimer campus.