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The crowning achievement of the Hughes administration was the acquisition
in 1908 of the Carnegie Library, replacing the long-obsolete facilities
in West College. Shortly after his appointment as financial secretary,
Salem Town reopened negotiations, hitherto unavailing, with the
steelmaker-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who eventually agreed
to contribute $50,000 for the construction of a library building if
the university raised an equal amount for its endowment. When
that condition was finally met, the new library was erected on a lot
next to College Avenue Methodist Church.
by Indianapolis architect Oscar Bohlen, it was constructed entirely
of Bedford limestone in a neo-Greek style, with four great columns
of the Ionic order adorning both the front entrance and the south
side facing East College. Contrasting strikingly with the predominantly
red-brick surfaces of the rest of the physical plant, the Carnegie
Library was described at the time as the "most beautiful building
on campus." Inside, the main floor contained the book stacks
and a spacious reading room, its ceiling supported by massive pillars
echoing the classical columns on the exterior of the building. Second floor
seminar rooms provided housing for several of the departmental libraries
formerly located elsewhere. Unfortunately, the Greek temple-like
structure proved less than adequate for the expanding functions
of the university library long before it was finally replaced.
only other addition to the physical plant in this period was an
official residence for the president. In 1906 the trustees authorized
the purchase for that purpose of the F.P. Nelson home on the corner
of Seminary and Arlington Street. Known as "The Towers,"
this handsome Italianate structure became the Greencastle home of
President Hughes and his two immediate successors, furnishing a
gracious setting for formal receptions, trustee sessions, and an
occasional faculty meeting.
President Edwin H. Hughes works in his office on the
second floor of
East College, with his secretary. His
the university to a new era of
bureaucracy and record keeping.
(Indiana State Library)
President Hughes was elected a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal
Church in 1909, the third Asbury DePauw president to receive that
honor, and went on in the prime of life to a long and notable career
in ecclesiastical leadership.
succeed him the trustees turned to another graduate of Ohio Wesleyan
and the Boston University School of Theology, Francis J. McConnell,
who was serving as pastor of a large Methodist church in Brooklyn,
New York. Though he remained only three years in the DePauw presidency
before following his predecessor into the Methodist espiscopacy,
McConnell took a special interest in the university's financial
condition and led the institution's first major fund drive.
by financial secretary Salem Town and endowment secretary Cyrus
U. Wade, the campaign for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Fund, as
it was called, was extraordinarily successful, producing a total
subscription of $550,546 by mid-1912. This included $100,000 provided
by the Rockefeller-funded General Education Board as well as substantial
individual gifts from Washington C. DePauw's
widow, Clement Studebaker, and Asbury alumnus Jay H. Neff and smaller
sums donated by trustees, faculty, students, and Methodist clergy.
Eva Thomas McConnell was the wife of
Francis J. McConnell, who served as
DePauw's president from 1909-12. She was
in Methodist circles, particularly after her
husband became bishop.
his later career as a leading Methodist bishop, McConnell was able
to exert a wider influence and achieve a national reputation as
a religious thinker and social reformer. He was the author of numerous
books, including biographies of his personal mentor Borden Parke
Bowne and Methodist founder John Wesley. As did his predecessor
Hughes, McConnell published an autobiography which devoted an appreciative
chapter to his DePauw years.
The Hughes-McConnell era witnessed significant growth in the administrative
organization of the university. One of President Hughes' first steps
was to name Edwin Post, who had been professor
of Latin language and literature since 1879 and vice president since
1896, to the office of dean of the College of Liberal Arts, an office
he held until 1930.
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