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President McConnell had to deal with the problems of the Schools of Art and of Music, both suffering enrollment declines under the leadership of the aging and ailing Belle Mansfield. In January 1911 Robert G. McCutchan was appointed the new dean of the School of Music, which experienced a renaissance under his vigorous direction. It remained on the traditional proprietary basis whereby instructors received a proportion of the student fees in lieu of a regular salary. Soon joining McCutchan's staff were accomplished musicians Van Denman Thompson in organ and piano and Howard J. Barnum in violin, the latter of whom also became the conductor of the university orchestra.




No such recovery proved possible in the case of the School of Art. After the death in 1911 of both Dean Mansfield and the talented art instructor Margaret Overbeck, Bessie M. Smith, who had taught in the school since 1897, presided over the fading institution until its close a year and a half later. Now only the School of Music remained of the ambitious program of professional education envisioned at the refounding of the university under the DePauw name in 1884.

In 1912 the trustees once again chose for the DePauw presidency a graduate of both Ohio Wesleyan and the Boston University School of Theology. He was George R. Grose, minister of a Methodist church in Baltimore and, at 43, six years older than either of his two predecessors at the time of their election to the presidency. His 12-year term as president was to bring stability and financial strength to the university during a period of expansive growth.

He faced serious challenges immediately upon his inauguration. His first annual report in 1913 mentioned the need for an endowment for faculty chairs, an organ for Meharry chapel, improvement of the physical plant, including overhaul of the campus heating and lighting system, and a new gymnasium to replace the entirely unsuitable facilities in West College formerly used as an armory for the military department. The university basketball team, for example, had resorted to using the second floor of the Greencastle Opera House for both practice sessions and home games. In 1913 the intercollegiate basketball schedule was actually called off for lack of an adequate playing floor. Also high on the list of university needs were an administration building, a student union, and another women's dormitory. In the meantime President Grose moved in the direction of partial retrenchment by deciding to close the declining Academy in 1914 in order to permit the university to concentrate its resources on college-level work.




In 1916 the board of trustees launched a new financial drive to raise $1 million, broken down into $600,000 for endowment and $400,000 for buildings. The campaign, led by Grose with the assistance of Cyrus U. Wade and another Methodist minister, Demetrios Tillotson, as field representatives, was hugely successful. Once more the General Education Board came to the aid of the university, contributing $150,000 toward the endowment fund on the condition that the campaign goal was met. At the end of 1916, $602,000 was added to the endowment including $250,000 for five faculty chairs.





Large individual gifts also made possible the construction of three buildings. The first was the Bowman Memorial Gymnasium, named for the former president and chancellor, Bishop Thomas Bowman, and funded in part by his daughter Sallie Bowman Caldwell and her husband, who had already contributed the large organ installed in Meharry Hall in 1914. Designed by the well known Indianapolis architectural firm of Robert P. Daggett & Company, this imposing structure provided not only much-needed indoor athletic facilities for both men and women, including a swimming pool, but also space that could be used as an auditorium for large university gatherings and meeting rooms for various student activities. The large Hugh Dougherty Room on the main floor, named for the president of the board of trustees, was set apart especially for the use of the YMCA and YWCA. Bowman Memorial thus served for many years after its erection in 1916 as a student union as well as gymnasium.




One of the major contributors to the building of Bowman Gymnasium was Edward Rector, a wealthy patent attorney whom his friend Roy O. West, a DePauw graduate and fellow member of the Chicago bar, had drawn into an active interest in DePauw affairs. Learning that the university needed an additional dormitory to house the growing number of women students, Rector agreed to provide $100,000 to construct one. The result was the erection in 1917 of Rector Hall on the site of the former Simpson Art Hall.

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