Our Great Lake: 20 Reasons to Love Our Location
1. The view.
Our backyard is the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and our Great Lake provides some pretty amazing views. Think Intellectual Foundations classes on the beach. Lake views from the labs. For those people unfamiliar with Lake Michigan, let’s get one thing straight: Lake Michigan spans 118 miles from east to west, so you don’t see the other side. “It’s like being on the ocean,” says Carthage graduate and now admissions representative Rob Schiferl ’97. We’ve even got a sailing club.
2. Sunrises from your dorm room
Post your favorite dorm room sunrise to Instagram — our students do it all the time. Many of our dorm rooms feature lake views. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake,” said biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary. “Nothing compares to the view in the morning.”
3. The sound of waves as you study
Don’t just look at Lake Michigan. Listen to it. Alumni often remark that they miss the sound of Lake Michigan — both the roar of the waves on windy days and the lapping of water against the rocks on calm days. It’s the perfect background music for studying, napping, talking with friends, or serious contemplation about your future. “I can sit on the rocks and listen to the waves and forget about any worries or cares that I have in life,” said theatre major Mitchell Windorf.
4. The internships while you’re here
Internships are an important part of college, and often open doors for employment and graduate school admission after graduation. Because Carthage is located within an hour’s drive of two major cities — Milwaukee on the north, and Chicago on the south — there’s a long list of nearby companies interested in hiring. To name a few: Abbott Laboratories, Kraft Foods, Uline, Johnson Controls, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Through Carthage’s Smeds Executive Internship Program, finance majors have worked at the Chicago Board of Trade; public relations majors have interned with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs; athletic training majors have worked for the Chicago Bears; political science majors have interned for Wisconsin and Illinois U.S. Representatives and senators. Right here in Kenosha, you’ll find the world headquarters for Jockey International and Snap-on Incorporated, and SC Johnson is headquartered 15 minutes from campus in Racine.
5. The job opportunities once you graduate
All those good things we said about internships? The same applies for full-time employment (only now add in getting paid and receiving benefits!). Carthage graduates don’t have to travel far to find exciting career opportunities at top companies. The College offers several networking events that give students the chance to connect with Carthage alumni, develop contacts, and practice job-hunting skills. The newest addition to the campus is The Aspire Program, which is Carthage’s career preparation program. The program’s approach to career success helps students prepare for life after graduation. Through the program, students design a plan to help them set goals for the future. Students also get early access to career advisors and a wide range of experiential learning opportunities.
6. Day trips to Chicago
Chicago is a world-class city, home to such top attractions as Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, world-famous architecture, and top theatre and music events. So how to see it all? Just hop on the Metra’s Union Pacific/North Line from Kenosha. The train station is 10 minutes from campus, and on weekends, you can get a pass good for unlimited rides for just $10.
7. Day trips to Milwaukee
If Chicago is the “Second City,” consider Milwaukee a close third. Milwaukee is just an hour’s drive north of campus, and offers art, architecture, theatre, concerts, great restaurants, and a variety of summer festivals including SummerFest. There’s even a museum dedicated to Harley Davidson.
8. Classes on the rocks
Our science center includes an outdoor classroom with stone seating and a whiteboard. It’d be hard to find a classroom with a better view.
9. Freshwater research opportunities
If you’re passionate about chemistry, environmental science, geoscience, or biology, just look out our windows. Lake Michigan provides 1,180 cubic miles of petri dish potential, and the Pike River offers countless other research opportunities in and around our 80-acre campus. This freshwater ecosystem is the ideal environment to roll up your pant legs, get to work, and make some striking discoveries.
10. Hide … or seek
Want some peace and quiet? Done. Prefer a little noise? No problem. At Carthage, you get the best of both worlds. Just choose what mood you’re in. When you want a little tranquility, our campus in Kenosha’s Alford Park offers plenty of space to exhale. Hike through the arboretum or relax on the Red Bridge overlooking the Pike River. When you’re looking for some activity, the campus is just 10 minutes from two downtown areas offering shopping, restaurants, coffee houses, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, entertainment, and two stunning harbors. North, you get Milwaukee. South, you get Chicago. Anywhere you look? Exactly what you’re looking for.
11. Galleries, theatres, and museums
There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Just a few: Kenosha’s Dinosaur Discovery Museum and Civil War Museum; Racine’s nationally recognized Racine Art Museum; Chicago’s Art Institute of Chicago and Steppenwolf Theatre; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, internationally regarded for its collection and design by architect Santiago Calatrava.
12. Bucket list-worthy attractions
When theatre major Mikaley Osley arrived in Kenosha from her hometown outside Denver, Colo., the older and wiser theatre upperclassmen let her in on a longtime tradition. “The seniors said, ‘We have a Kenosha Bucket List, with all the weird things you can do here.’” They passed along the list, and she and her friends got started. The Jelly Belly Factory. Mars Cheese Castle. The Washington Park Velodrome, the oldest operating velodrome in the United States. She urges everybody to dive right into the weird, wacky, and wonderful offerings in Wisconsin. “You never know what you’re going to find, and what memories you’re going to make.”
13. A cafeteria with five-star views
At Carthage, even the Cafeteria promises great scenery. The Carthage Dining Commons, or the Caf, offers new food stations and an outdoor patio overlooking Lake Michigan.
14. The food
The Caf offers amazing views, but when you’re ready to dine off campus, you won’t be disappointed. This area of Wisconsin is known for culinary treats like frozen custard, Friday night fish fry, cheese curds, Danish kringle, Chicago-style pizza, and brats. Kenosha’s Frank’s Diner was featured on The Food Network. And pizza? You could eat pizza from a different Kenosha pizzeria every single day for a month, and you’d still have a few pizza joints to try. There are more than 50 pizza places within 20 miles. Some argue Kenosha’s version of Chicago-style deep dish is better than the big city; others stick with thin crust. We say try both.
15. Feathered, furry friends
Students aren’t the only ones who consider Carthage home. Our campus is also a wildlife sanctuary and arboretum, attracting various visitors, from foxes and turtles to geese and the occasional bald eagle — even a turkey!
16. Go Pack— er, Bears! Go Cubbies! We mean Brewers!
Sports fan? Not only does Carthage field 27 NCAA Division III sports (28 total varsity sports), but there’s no shortage of professional sports within an hour’s drive. From the historic Wrigley Field to the modern Miller Park, sports fans can find a unique experience in all seasons. Nearby teams include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Blackhawks. Looking for something different? Check out teams you may not be familiar with, like Chicago’s Major League Soccer team, the Chicago Fire, and the Milwaukee Admirals for hockey fans.
They say fall only lasts two weeks in Wisconsin. But those two weeks are amazing.
18. Winter snow days
They don’t happen often, but sometimes you can trade in books and professors for boots and snowmen. Students still talk about Groundhog Day 2011, when a blizzard dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on Kenosha and winds created drifts of 7-9 feet. Wisconsin winters also bring skiing, ice skating, and sledding (sometimes in laundry baskets down the Lentz hill).
19. Thinking spring
Sometimes winters are brutal. The polar vortex of 2019? We were all ready to see that end. So when the sun comes out and the weather warms up, everyone comes out from their dorm rooms for volleyball games, beach reading, outdoor music classes, and gleeful wandering in flip-flops. We survived!
20. Midwest nice
It’s a thing. Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin, but it still retains a small-town feel. You’ll notice that “Midwest nice” on campus and off.
Graphic design graduate Brittany Lee ’21 experienced this firsthand.
“The biggest surprise was how easy it was to make friends at Carthage,” she explained. “Everyone is open to friendships and getting to know everyone.”