Illinois College is the only college in Illinois, and quite possibly, the only remaining college in the country that includes literary, fraternal and social activities in one organization. Initial literary society formation on the campus began in 1843 due to strong interest in intercollegiate oratory and requests for organizations specializing in literary and forensic expression.
The seven literary societies, three women’s and four men’s, continue to flourish at Illinois College. They hold weekly business meetings and literary programs, where members offer debates, orations, essays, declamations, dramatic monologues, readings, extemporaneous speeches and individual compositions. They also offer many services and social activities that benefit society members, all Illinois College students and the Jacksonville community.