Campus 1930’s

Yesterday I did a presentation to a class on the history of the campus and this was one of the images I used. It is a good image as it shows the new Chapel, but no Goodrich Hall yet. The Football field has a true north/south orientation and the the skylights in the gymnasium roof are very visible. There is no Sparks Center or Lilly Library, even Waugh Hall is still more than a decade in the future. This is Wabash at 100!

The early 30’s were a tough time for Wabash as for most of America. The great plans for a huge fundraising campaign were put on hold. The campus master plan created by the architect of the Chapel, J.F. Larson was set aside and the lawn was left to grow. Dick Ristine always talked about a cutting just before classes started in September and another in the spring. Maintenance items were postponed and still President Hopkins couldn’t balance the college budget. Frustrated with the deficits, President of the Board of Trustees and former Governor of Indiana James P. Goodrich offered to build a “Hall for the sciences” if the budget were balanced for two years in a row. It was a struggle and more economies were implemented, the Faculty even took pay cuts. The balanced budget was achieved and there was a groundbreaking for Goodrich Hall on March 18, 1938 with the dedication a year later.

I hope you enjoy this aerial photograph as much as I do. Next time a little more on the campus plan as envisioned nearly 80 years ago.

All best,
Beth Swift
Wabash College