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Spartan Pride Marching Band 2021 

MU to celebrate 132 years with Nov. 5 parade

North Manchester College 1889 On Nov. 5, 1889, Roanoke Classical Seminary moved to North Manchester. Growing from the ideas and great personal sacrifices of its founders, Manchester College firmly took root.

One hundred thirty-two years later, Manchester University is celebrating Founders Day with a parade and birthday celebration.

The parade led by the Spartan Pride Marching Band begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5 at the corner of College Avenue and Wayne Street. It will go east on College Avenue and then north to Cordier Auditorium on the Manchester Mall, then south and over to the Jo Young Switzer Center for refreshments in Haist Commons.

The public is welcome to watch the parade. Masks are not required outside on campus, but they must be worn inside all buildings.

For the media

Megan Julian ’07 Sarber, assistant director of donor relations, is organizing the Founders Day celebration. She can be reached at

Our history

Manchester University traces its origin to the Roanoke Classical Seminary founded by the United Brethren Church in Roanoke, Indiana, in 1860. The seminary became North Manchester College when it moved from Roanoke, Indiana, to North Manchester in 1889.

Representatives of the Church of the Brethren purchased the campus in 1895 and deeded it to four State Districts of the Church in 1902. The number of supporting districts increased and, by 1932, Manchester College served the five-state area of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Rapid growth of the public high school and increasing interest in higher education resulted in a gradual shift of emphasis from a high-school level academy and Bible school to a college of liberal arts.

Mount Morris College in Mount Morris, Illinois, merged with Manchester College in 1932. Founded as a Methodist seminary in 1839, Mount Morris had been purchased by representatives of the Church of the Brethren in 1879 and operated under the name of the Rock River Seminary and College Institute until 1884, when the name was changed to Mount Morris College. The merger of Mount Morris and Manchester College came about when the Church of the Brethren decided its educational program would be strengthened by pooling its resources in a smaller number of colleges.

  • Established in 1948, the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution at Manchester University pioneered as the first undergraduate Peace Studies program in the world. 
  • Manchester’s first African-American students, Martha and Joseph Cunningham, graduated in 1903.
  • In February 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to an overflow audience at Manchester on “The Future of Integration.”
  • In July 2012, Manchester College became Manchester University, and in August 2012, enrolled its first doctoral class in pharmacy at a second campus in Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • In May 2016, Manchester University launched the nation's first dedicated master's degree in pharmacogenomics.

    Manchester University is one of six colleges across the nation grounded in the values and traditions of the Church of the Brethren. Manchester maintains an important relationship with the church, a Christian denomination recognized as a historic peace church.

    Manchester University welcomes people of all faith traditions and provides opportunities to explore, develop and nurture their own beliefs in an environment that respects the infinite worth of every person.

    Our mission: Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.  

    About Manchester: Manchester University provides vibrant and transformative student experiences at an affordable price. Learn more at
  • October 2021