History of Goucher College

Since it was founded in 1885 in Baltimore by a group of influential Methodists led by the Rev. John Franklin Goucher, Goucher College has been firmly committed to transformational excellence in liberal arts and sciences education. John and his wife, Mary Fisher Goucher, shared a strong belief in higher education for women and other marginalized students. They were instrumental in the founding of several schools in Maryland including what has become today Morgan State University, an historically Black college located in Baltimore, as well as colleges and universities overseas in Japan, South Korea, and India.

Originally named the Woman's College of Baltimore City in 1890, John and Mary Fisher Goucher deeded the college the land on which to build its original campus in downtown Baltimore. The college was renamed after the Gouchers in 1910.

The Gouchers donated land and money to the Goucher Baltimore campus, and also to Centennial Biblical Institute (CBI) in Baltimore (now Morgan State University). In addition, they donated funds to an affiliated preparatory and industrial school of CBI near Princess Anne in Somerset County, which is now University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Following the purchase of 421 acres (about half the area of Central Park in New York City) in Towson in 1921, Goucher students visited the new campus for field trips, events, and outdoor classes. The first official campus building on the Towson site, Mary Fisher Hall, opened in 1942.

Mary Fisher Hall featured most necessities of residential campus life: Residence halls, and a dining hall, library, post office, and common rooms that were used as classrooms. There were no laboratories or physical education facilities at the time. Mary Fisher Hall was also not large enough to house or educate the entire student population, which meant that many Goucher students commuted between both the Baltimore and Towsonc ampuses by bus until 1954, after the Towson campus had built more residence halls and academic buildings, as well as laboratories, and physical education facilities.

Goucher College continued to grow over the years, and has been coeducational since 1986.