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The next year Lucy Rowland Hall, named for Rector's widow, was constructed on the site of Music Hall, which was moved catty-corner to a new location next to Bowman Gymnasium on Hanna Street. (There, provided with a basement and a frame annex in the rear, the relocated building continued to house the School of Music for nearly a half century longer.) The construction of the new dormitory adjacent to Mansfield and Rector Halls created a residential quadrangle which housed freshman women as well as upperclass non-affiliated women.


Both Lucy Rowland and Longden Halls were designed in his usual Beaux Arts eclectic style by architect Robert F. Daggett. In 1927 Katherine M. Mills became responsible for the oversight of these facilities as director of residence balls. Longden Hall became the center of the activities of Men's Hall Association, an organization of independent men founded a few years before by a group of Florence Hall residents. M.H.A. soon became a significant force on campus, hitherto dominated by the Greek-letter social fraternities. For several decades the independent organization competed actively in intramural athletics, student politics, and social activities. No such alternative to sorority affiliation seems to have existed at this time.

In 1927 the Music School building was moved
diagonally across the street to the southwest
corner of Locust and Hanna Streets to make way
for the new Lucy Rowland Hall.






The Murlin presidency, brief as it was, covered an eventful, transitional period in DePauw's history. In 1928 the quiet but effective administrator, after experiencing repeated bouts of illness and encountering some opposition to his policies, reluctantly submitted his resignation to the board of trustees. He later served for a time as pastor of the American Church in Berlin and died in 1935. His widow bequeathed his library to the university, together with a small endowment to support the presidential office.



     President G. Bromley Oxnam, his wife Ruth Fisher Oxnam,
     and their three children, Ruth, Robert, and Philip are on the
     steps of the President's home at the foot of East Seminary      

G. Bromley Oxnam, whom the trustees chose as Murlin's successor, was a quite different sort of college president than any of his predecessors. A graduate of the University of Southern California and the Boston University School of Theology, he had served as pastor of a large Los Angeles church before becoming professor of social ethics at Boston University. A vigorous, charismatic person, with strong convictions and a forceful speaking style, Oxnam was to achieve a high level of national and international recognition and bring DePauw an unprecedented amount of public attention during his presidential term. After taking up residence in Greencastle he not only continued his ardent advocacy of world peace and social reform but also proved to be an activist administrator bent on remolding the university in accordance with his own views.

Showdown first began in 1925 with a series of skits
by women's groups under the auspices of the Women's
Self-Government Association.  Sometimes men's groups
joined.  Some Showdowns were so popular that they
played before sell-out crowds at the Voncastle movie
theater.  President Murlin called his first one "a pale
reflection of cheap vaudeville" whose jazz would split
his head open.  This picture is from the 1926 Showdown.

The financial crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression created major problems for the university. Endowment income was reduced severely together with revenue from student fees as enrollment rapidly declined. The student population fell to 1600 by 1932 and dropped to the 1200 level during the mid-1930s. Despite draconian measures undertaken to balance the budget, including raising tuition fees and trimming salaries, the university books once more recorded annual deficits. Under the leadership of its president, Roy O. West, the board of trustees restructured the university's investments in an attempt to increase revenue. Real estate holdings that were producing poor returns were liquidated in favor of high-grade bonds and similar securities promising higher current income. By means of such measures DePauw managed to weather the economic storms of the period.

Part of the university's financial difficulties stemmed from the large indebtedness incurred in acquiring the two buildings formerly occupied by the Locust Street and College Avenue Churches and in constructing a new classroom building to replace the badly deteriorated West College. In 1929 the two Methodist congregations, having agreed to merge when the Conference boundaries separating them were redrawn, erected a large new edifice in late Gothic Revival style on university-owned land at the corner of Locust and Simpson Streets. Meanwhile the Locust Street church, its steeple removed, was utilized briefly for university theatrical performances before being refitted as an armory for the use of the R.O.T.C.



The College Avenue church, also minus its steeple, was stuccoed and remodeled into Speech Hall, which survived for five decades as the home of the Little Theatre and the speech and education departments. The university had originally planned to erect a building in conjunction with the new church which would house both the latter's educational facilities and DePauw's departments of English Bible, philosophy, and religious education and bear the name of its late president, Hillary A. Gobin. When this project proved financially unfeasible, the newly merged congregation agreed to name its new edifice the Gobin Memorial Methodist Church in consideration of DePauw's help in paying off the building debt. In turn DePauw was permitted use of the sanctuary for chapel and similar services. While Gobin Church's architectural style and yellow-brick exterior did not harmonize closely with most of the academic buildings, the cathedral-like structure was conveniently located and came to be regarded as virtually an integral part of the

After 1927 the Locust Street Methodist Church
was used by the department of public speaking
to 1929 and then became the armory for the
ROTC until it was disbanded in 1934.  It was
torn down that year.




Meharry Hall in the 1920s with the
Bowman Memorial Organ given in 1913
by President Bowman's daughter, Sallie
Bowman Caldwell.  At that time the entire
faculty would sit on the stage for each
university convocation. Also the traditions
had the freshman men compelled by their
fraternities to sit in the balcony.

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