Wesleyan's First Century: With an Account of the Centennial Celebration

By Carl F. Price | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
WILLIAM A. SHANKLIN, EXPANDER

ALTHOUGH the trustees had a whole year's warning of the date when President Raymond's resignation would become effective, no election of a successor was made until five months after that date. Many men were proposed for the office. Meanwhile Professor William North Rice, as acting president, piloted the collegiate ship throughout the academic year, 1908-09, putting into effect the new course of study, authorized at the close of the Raymond administration, and the substitution of a Sunday afternoon chapel service for the former morning worship. He also witnessed with regret the transforming of Webb Hall from a women's into a men's dormitory, renamed East Hall.

The trustees on November 13, 1908, elected William Arnold Shanklin to be Wesleyan's ninth president. To complete his obligations to Upper Iowa University, of which he had been president since 1905, he did not take up his duties at Wesleyan until the close of Commencement week, 1909, although he made a brief visit to Middletown the preceding February.

His Installation on November 12, 1909, a balmy Indian Summer's day, was one of the most memorable events in Wesleyan history; for the occasion was graced by the presence of President William Howard Taft, Vice-President James Schoolcraft Sherman, Senator Elihu Root, former Secretary of State, many American college presidents and other distinguished guests. The formal exercises of the Installation took place in the Middlesex Theatre that morning. On the platform President Taft occupied a chair, once owned by President Washington. Bishop William Burt, '79, offered the invocation. After Judge Henry C. M. Ingraham, '64, as presi-

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