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The Elmhurst 
College Years 

Melitta J. Cutrighj 

An ever-widening circle is how 
H. Richard Xiebuhr, the 
(Colleges sixth president, 
described the development of 
Elmhurst College from its founding in 
1871 until 1925. 

Ihe school had begun as a 
proseminary or secondary school w ith 
a student bod\' of 14 ho\s and men 
from Gennan backgrounds who wanted 
to become Evangelical ministers or 
teach in German-language parochial 
schools. .\11 classes, e\en English classes, 
were taught in German. In a little over 
50 years it had become a liberal arts 
college that was preparing young men 
from a number of religious back- 
grounds for a variet}' of occupations. 

Under Xiebuhr, one oi .Vmerica's 
most distinguished theologians, the 
circle of Elmhurst's influence had 
widened dramatically and the school 
was poised on the brink of further 
expansion that would bring first 
women and commuters, then foreign 
and minority students and finally 
nontraditional students, along with 
man\- career and education options. 

Niebuhr and his brother 
Rcinhold, Elmhurst's most prominent 
alumnus and one ot the toremost 
theologians of the twentieth century, 
are only two of the intriguing charac- 
ters who have played an important role 
in the nearly 125 years of Elmhurst 
Golleges histon'. 

Other ke\- figures ha\e included 
(iarl Kran/., the first inspector or presi- 
dent, who arrived in Elmhurst with 14 
students on December 6, 1H71; Daniel 
Irion, the last to hold the title of 
inspector, who headed the Proseminar\- 
tor 32 years; Paul Grusius, whose 
tenure on the tacult\ britlged the 
changes from prosenunar)- to junior 
college to h)ur-\ear college and who. 

Continued on hack flap 

The Elmhurst College Years 

The Elmhurst College Years 

by Melitta J. Cutright, Ph.D. 

1" k^*^«-ll \^\ 

Elmhurst College Press 

Author's Note 

Anyone interested in learning more about Elmhurst College will 
find that surprisingly little has been written about the College, aside 
fi-om Robert Stanger's essay on "Elmhurst College: The First One 
Hundred Years." 

I drew much of the information about the early years from the 
writings of Paul Crusius and the written recollections of early alumni. 
William Denman's dissertation, Elmhurst: Developmental Study of a 
Church-Related College, provided information about Elmhurst's enroll- 
ment, finances and relations with its Synod. Background on the city of 
Elmhurst came from several books about the community, including Don 
Russell's Ehnhurst: Trails from Yesterday. 

I've attempted to tell the story of Elmhurst's students, faculty and 
staff, and the communities that gave birth to and housed the College as 
well as the bricks, mortar, books and curriculum of the institution. I 
hope this book will be read with enjoyment by the many friends of 
Elmhurst College. 

MelittaJ. Ciitright, Ph.D. 
Elmhurst, Illinois 
August 1995 



Stories about colleges have their own powerful way of binding 
together those who tell them and those who hear them. Such dramatic 
forces are at play on every campus during homecoming weekends, where 
many conversations begin with the words, "Remember when. . . ." 

It was the sixth president of Elmhurst College, H. Richard Niebuhr, 
who understood and wrote about the unique power of remembered 
history. In his book, The Memimg of Revelation, he wrote, "To remember 
all that is in our past and so in our present is to achieve unity of self." 
Niebuhr titled one chapter of that work, "The Story of our Life." There 
he spelled out the meaning of internal history. In his words, internal 
history conveys value and worth for the selves who share that past. As we 
relive our yesterdays, we rehearse events that are meant "to be cele- 
brated." Or we respond to calls for "joy and sorrow, ... for tragic partici- 
pation and for jubilees." Niebuhr maintained, "The valuable here is that 
which bears on the destiny of selves. . . ." 

These thoughts, written by Elmhurst College's most renowned pres- 
ident, provide the Elmhurst College family with a special introduction to 
the history told in this volume. 

Elmhurst College, founded in 1871, is a college with a colorful and 
vibrant history. At no time until now, however, has the College taken 
time to tell its story in a fully written form. Aware of this fact, I asked the 
Board of Trustees in May 1991 to approve the writing and publishing of a 
history of the College in preparation for the celebration of its 125th 
anniversary year in 1996. 

A history committee was selected, composed of the following: 
Raymond H. Giesecke, former chairperson of the Elmhurst College 
Board of Trustees, now honorary trustee, and retired chairman of the 
board of the McGraw Edison Company; Ken Bartels, director of 


X An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

development and public relations; Carol J. Barry, librarian; Brian 
Bergheger, director, Elmhurst Historical Museum; Marilyn Boria, 
administrative librarian, Elmhurst Public Library; Walter E. Burdick, Jr., 
professor of history, Class of 1960; Rudolf G. Schade, professor emeritus 
and curator of archives; Robert W. Swords, retired member of the 
English faculty; Richard Weber, vice president, Elmhurst Federal 
Savings Bank, Class of 1970; and Kristin E. Whitehurst, director 
of communications. 

The history committee selected Melitta J. Cutright, author and 
historian, to research and write this history. She holds a B.A. from the 
University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern 
University. In addition to the skills of a writer and historian, Dr. 
Cutright brought to the task an association with Elmhurst College that 
began in 1976 when she joined the Elmhurst College family. In that 
year, her husband. Dr. James P. Smith, became a member of the 
Department of Sociology. 

In this history, Dr. Cutright tells stories about persons and traces 
social forces. She relates the College to its social base and shows how 
Elmhurst College's history is intricately woven into the life of its church, 
the city of Elmhurst, the Midwest and the United States. During its 125 
years, Elmhurst College has shared in and contributed to the social and 
historical developments that have occurred on the American frontier, the 
experiences that changed one church from a German to an American 
church, and the evolution of higher education, which has made American 
colleges and universities what they are today. 

This history of Elmhurst College was written for the College's 
family with the hope that the readers — graduates, faculty, staff, trustees, 
students and friends — will reaffirm the College's past as their very own. 

As the College celebrates its 125th year, we should pause, even if 
only momentarily, to look where the College has been and to understand 
that the past accompanies us into the future. The commemoration of one 
and a quarter centuries is also the occasion to express appreciation for the 
life and labor of those who preceded us. 

Ivan E. Frick 
President E?neritus 

chapter \ 

K In the Beginning 

It was cold but there was only a little snow on the ground on 
Wednesday, December 6, 1871, when Carl F. Kranz and 14 
students stepped off the train at the Elmhurst, lUinois stop. 
Reverend Kranz and his students had journeyed to this community 16 
miles west of Chicago to establish a school — a proseminar\^ or prepara- 
tory school to train young men for entering the seminary. The school 
was also intended to train teachers for the church schools of the German 
Evangelical Church. Thus the Proseminary that would in time become 
Elmhurst College began in the same tradition as had many of the early 
American colleges such as Harvard and Yale — as an institution to train 
ministers and Christian laymen. 

The teacher and his students expected to take up residence in a two- 
story building a few blocks from their train stop, but since the railroad 
car carrying all their belongings and the furnishings for the Proseminary 
went astray, they were unable to move into their new quarters. Instead 
parishioners of Immanuel Church in Churchville, now Bensenville, took 
them in. It was nearly Christmas before the freight car finally arrived and 
the move could be completed. 

2 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

On Januaty 4, 1872, the first classes of the German Evangelical 
Proseminary — the forerunner to Elmhurst College — were held. WTiile 
the first Proseminary students came to Elmhurst from Evansville, 
Indiana, the roots of their journey can be traced back to Germany, where 
the Evangelical Church developed as a peaceful and conciliatory, or 
irenic, expression of German Protestantism that was deeply imbued with 
Pietism. Followers were more concerned with personal faith and service 
in the community than with doctrinal disputes or dogma. 

From its formal union in 1817 the EvangeHcal Church, or the 
Church of the Prussian Union as it was also known, has been marked by 
frequent mergers. The union was made possible by the moderating influ- 
ence of both Enlightenment rationalism and Pietistic fervor upon 
Lutheran and Reformed confessionalism following the Napoleonic Wars. 
Throughout the succeeding century and a half there would be more 
unions, first with the Reformed Church in 1934 and then in 1957 with 
the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of 
Christ, with which Elmhurst College is affiliated today. 

In the early and middle years of the 19th centur>^, many Germans of 
the Evangelical faith emigrated to the United States and settled largely in 
the Midwest. At first they were served by ministers who came with them 
from Europe or by others who followed for the express purpose of minis- 
tering to the new flocks. Soon, though, it became clear that the 
Evangelicals in America were not going to be able to depend on ministers 
from Germany and Switzerland. Instead, they were going to have to train 
their own. 

In 1 840 a group of German Evangelical ministers near St. Louis 
organized the Synod of the West (called the Church Society of the West 
until 1866) to found churches and minister to the increasing number of 
German immigrants who were settling in Missouri, Southern Illinois, 
Indiana and nearby areas. Only eight years later, a conference of the 
Synod decided to establish a seminary at Marthasville, Missouri that 
opened in 1850. (In 1883 this seminary would be moved to St. Louis 
and called the Eden Theological Seminary.) Six months after the semi- 
nary was founded at Marthasville, Reverend Wilhelm Binner, the head 
of the seminary, wrote that "from the first the intention of the 
Evangelical Church Society [was] to combine a college with the semi- 

K In the Beginning 3 

nary, because there is a perceptible need of such institutions particularly 
in the West." 

Although Reverend Binner hoped that the proposed German 
Evangelical college would begin operation that very winter, it was not 
until April 1858 that the first Evangelical "college" in America was 
opened under the name of Missouri College. This college bore little 
resemblance to colleges of today. Rather it was a boarding school or 
private academy equivalent to a high school. Until the end of the 19th 
century, such schools were often called "colleges." 

Missouri College had a short history since it closed in 1862 because 
of the fear of attack during the Civil War. Still, one person who would 
long be connected with Elmhurst College spent several years at this 
college. When Daniel Irion, Elmhurst's fourth president, was a child, his 
father was a teacher at Missouri College. In later years Daniel Irion 
remembered the excitement of hearing the college bell ring whenever it 
was feared that Confederate soldiers were in the area. 

The Synod was unhappy about having to close Missouri College 
since there were a growing number of German parochial schools needing 
teachers. Thus in 1867 it opened a separate teacher training school called 
the Teachers' Seminary in temporary quarters at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In 1870 the Synod decided to move the school into permanent 
quarters in Evansville, Indiana and to convert it into a proseminary or 
preseminary with a department for preparing teachers. The Proseminary 
opened in January 1871 with nine students. The number grew to seven- 
teen at the end of the academic year. Two of these students, J.H. 
Dinkmeyer (who would become the father of Elmhurst College's eighth 
president) and Frederick Gieselmann, had already attended the Teachers' 
Seminary at Cincinnati and would go on to be among the first students 
at Elmhurst. 

Reverend Carl E Kranz, a minister at Mishawaka, Indiana, was 
selected to head the Proseminary. Kranz, who was born in Germany, was 
given the title of inspector as was customary in German schools. 

The Proseminary might have remained permanently at Evansville 
except that in 1871 the Synod of the West entered into talks with the 
newer Synod of the Northwest, which had been founded in Chicago in 
1859. Leaders of the Northwest Synod, recognizing the need for minis- 

4 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

ters and teachers, had for some time supported the efforts of two minis- 
ters to open a private seminary in Waukegan and later Long Grove, 
lUinois. In 1865 the Northwest Synod took over this private seminary 
and transferred it to a building the Synod rented in Lake Zurich. 

W'Tien the end of the lease on the Lake Zurich property 
approached in 1 869, the leaders of the Northwest Synod looked for a 
permanent home. The Reverend Joseph Hartmann of St. Paul's Church 
in Chicago introduced them to Thomas Bryan, a wealthy Chicago busi- 
nessman who also owned considerable property in Elmhurst, Illinois. 
Bryan was neither of German background nor the Evangelical faith, but 
he was a well-known supporter of religious groups. On the 25th of 
August 1869, Bryan and his wife Jennie sold to the Evangelical Synod of 
the Northwest 20 acres of land in Elmhurst for the cost of $10,000 and 
donated an additional 10 acres to the north of this land as an outright 
gift. The tract of land contained 32 acres, but two had already been 
given to the Catholic bishop of Chicago for a cemetery — what is today 
St. Mary's Cemetery on the west end of the Elmhurst College campus 
near the football field. 

Included in the purchase was a substantial house that stood on 
the highest point on the nearly treeless tract of land, near the newly 
laid out Prospect Avenue. Into this house the Synod moved the semi- 
nary from Lake Zurich in the fall of 1869. The Synod called this 
seminary the Melanchthon Seminar)^. Head of the seminary was 
Reverend Wilhelm Binner, who had been the first head of the semi- 
nary at Marthasville. 

The leaders of the Northwest Synod anticipated that Melanchthon 
would be their permanent seminary for the training of ministers and so it 
functioned for two years, although it was never successful at attracting 
students. Then, in the summer of 1871, the EvangeHcal Synod of the 
West and the Evangelical Synod of the Northwest agreed to unite. Wlien 
it was decided that one seminary would suffice and this seminaiy would 
be at Marthasville, the handfiil of seminarians in Elmhurst were trans- 
ferred to Missouri. 

It was also decided as part of the merger agreement that the 
Proseminary at Evansville would be transferred to Elmhurst. The order 
was sent to Inspector Kranz to pack up the students and the possessions 

K In the Beginning 5 

of the Evansville Proseminary and to take the train to the small commu- 
nity of Elmhurst, Illinois. Among the possessions were the records from 
both the Evansville and Cincinnati institutions. Thus the roots of 
Elmhurst College can he traced back to 1866 in the handwritten docu- 
ments in the Elmhurst College Archives. (All records were in German 
until 1917.) 

When the Proseminary was moved to Elmhurst, no charter was 
sought. Instead the institution was organized as part of the property of 
the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest, which had been char- 
tered by the State of Illinois in 1865. This meant that the Elmhurst 
Proseminary had no separate legal existence. Rather it was property 
"owned, controlled, and managed entirely and exclusively" by the Synod. 
This lack of a separate charter would have profound implications in the 
next century. It wasn't until 1942 that Elmhurst College finally got its 
own charter. 

The new Proseminary was administered by a Directorium that was 
appointed by the Synod to oversee all its educational institutions 
including the Seminary. A Supervising Board or Aiifsichtsbehoerde, made 
up of three local ministers including one who was a member of the 
Directorium, was put in charge of daily business. This Board had respon- 
sibility for hiring faculty, supervising the inspector, admitting students, 
making major business decisions and presiding over oral examinations. 
Members visited classrooms and, as William Denman (who studied the 
governance of the school) pointed out, on at least one occasion the Board 
chose textbooks. 

The late Paul N. Crusius, who was a long-time faculty member at 
the Proseminar)^ and later at Elmhurst College, wrote extensively on the 
early years of the institution. According to Crusius, Elmhurst College "is 
something of a historical accident, or rather a series of accidents." It 
might have been established at Marthasville or Cincinnati or Evansville 
or Waukegan, Long Grove or Lake Zurich, but it was not to be. WTien 
Inspector Kranz and his students arrived in Elmhurst in 1871, they would 
have been forgiven for thinking that their travels might not yet be over. 
They had no way of knowing that this trip would establish a school that 
would be flourishing 125 years later. 

6 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst in 1871 

The community in which Inspector Kranz and his students arrived 
was reehng from the destruction of the Chicago Fire less than two 
months before. In a Httle over two days the fire had gutted Chicago, a 
city of 300,000 inhabitants, burning more than three and a third square 
miles in the west, downtown and near-north areas, killing nearly 300, 
leaving another 90,000 homeless, destroying more than $200 million 
worth of property and disrupting the economic life of the surrounding 
area. Within two days of the fire's end, the decision was made to rebuild 
Chicago, and over the next decade immense amounts of money, labor 
and energy from the entire region were channeled into the massive 
reconstruction effort. 

Only two years before Kranz and his students arrived, the commu- 
nity had adopted the name of Elmhurst. Until 1 869 it was known as 
Cottage Hill after the Hill Cottage Tavern opened in 1 843 at the inter- 

Elm hurst farm, 
late 1800s. 

K In the Beginning 

Farm on west side ofcainpus. 

section of what is now St. Charles Road and Cottage Hill Avenue. In its 
early years, the tavern served as a stagecoach stop and way station for 
merchants, farmers and other travelers between Chicago and the West. It 
was also the site of the first post office. With the coming of the railroad 
in 1849, the tavern became a private residence and was moved to south 
York Road where it still stands. 

Even with its new name, Elmhurst was not officially a town when the 
students arrived. It wasn't until 1882 that the village was incorporated, so 
the educational institution that became Elmhurst College predates the 
town of Elmhurst. The Proseminary and Elmhurst College have grown 
along with the village and suburb of Elmhurst that has developed around it. 

The community of Elmhurst in 1871 had about 300 inhabitants. 
Many, especially those north of the Chicago and North Western Railroad 
tracks, were German immigrants or the sons and daughters of immi- 
grants. The first settlers in the area — the Glos and Graue families — came 
fi-om Germany in search of the rich farmland they had read existed on 
the American prairie. In addition to farming, early pioneers opened dry 

8 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

goods stores, livery stables, a stone quarry and sawmill among other busi- 
nesses in the area that would become Elmhurst. 

Other German-speaking families came from the eastern United 
States and the mid-Atlantic states. Many of these first- and second-gener- 
ation Americans settled in north Elmhurst where they became artisans. 
Some worked on the railroad or opened shops along York Road and on 
the north side of the railroad tracks. Reconstruction following the 
Chicago Fire provided employment for Elmhurst residents for years. 

The German influence in early Elmhurst was heavy even before the 
arrival of Kranz and his students, as can be seen by the use of the 
German "hurst" or "trees" in the town's name. German was the language 
spoken in many places of business in north Elmhurst and even south of 
the railroad tracks, such as in the post office where both German and 
English were used. 

In the 1870s and 1880s the public school taught both German and 
English, often with a German-language teacher on the first floor and an 
English-language teacher on the second. There were many German clubs 
and societies. Even after Elmhurst was incorporated, non-German politi- 
cians such as Thomas Bryan, who was of Irish descent, gave lengthy 
campaign speeches in both languages. Until near the end of the second 
decade of the 20th century German was commonly heard on the streets. 

Elmhurst in 1871 was a community of immense contrasts. The 
modest homes of the German immigrants on the north side differed 
greatly from the mansions that already existed, mostly south of the tracks. 
Many of the mansions were built as summer houses for Chicago's rich 
who made the daily commute to Chicago on the railroad. 

Some of the wealthy were of German descent, but most of the 
estates were built by non-Germans. Thomas Bryan, a graduate of 
Harvard Law School who was prominent in Chicago legal and business 
circles and who was twice defeated as a candidate for mayor of Chicago, 
built his summer house on the corner of St. Charles and York. This 
mansion, known as Byrd's Nest, had 21 rooms and included a gvinna- 
sium, bowling alley chapel and even a bathroom. Bryan's Episcopal 
chapel was the site of the first religious services in Elmhurst. It was Bryan 
and his wife who in 1869 gave and sold the land that remains the heart of 
the Elmhurst College campus. 

K In the Beginning 9 

The Hagans family built two beautiful estates along St. Charles 
Road. One of the Hagans' estates was just a short distance south of the 
new Proseminary on the corner of Prospect and St. Charles Road. The 
Lathrop mansion stood on St. Charles Road west of the Bryan estate. It 
was Jedediah Lathrop who in 1868 planted the long rows of elm trees 
along Cottage Hill. He, his brother-in-law Thomas Bryan and other early 
settlers, including Seth Wadhams, did much to convert the barren prairie 
into a tree-lined village. In what is now Wilder Park, across Prospect 
Avenue from the Proseminary, stood the mansion of Wadhams, which 
today houses part of the Elmhurst Public Library. 

When Kranz and the students arrived in Elmhurst, the community 
was crowded with refugees from the great fire. Many wealthy residents, 
such as the Wadhams and the Bryans, had lost their Chicago homes and 
taken up temporary or permanent residence in Elmhurst. Staying with 
the wealthy families were friends, relatives, business associates, servants 
and even dressmakers who had also lost their places of business and resi- 
dences. Some of these refugees settled permanently in Elmhurst. Thus 
Elmhurst's population grew rapidly at the end of 1871 and in 1872, when 
a number of new houses were built north of the railroad tracks. 

The First Building 

The building that Inspector Kranz and his students finally moved 
into was a large and attractive house of the kind that very successful 
farmers built. It had a wide front and two wings with porches and gable 
roofs. The center was crowned with a balustrade and a hip roof. Its 
curving drive and the broad sweep of land surrounding it looked out on 
Prospect Avenue from the location where The Frick Center (formerly the 
College Union) now stands. A barn stood nearby. 

Two rooms on the ground floor were study and recitation rooms. All 
classes were held in the front room. Here students took turns reciting 
their lessons and professors read aloud to their students. When it was not 
their turn to recite, students sat on long benches or studied at rough 
tables. When a second professor was hired, the tw^o teachers shared the 


An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Melanchthon Semmm-y building, Elmhurst Proseminai-y, 1871. It was Inter converted 
to professors^ homes. 

classroom since there was no other. Inspector Kranz's desk stood at the 
back of the room, before a double door that led into a room that Kranz 
used as his study and where he kept his small supply of books. Like many 
schools of this time, the Proseminary had no library, though individual 
professors might own a few personal books. 

The south wing held the kitchen and dining room, and the north 
wing was a study room for the students. Upstairs Inspector Kranz and his 
family had a two-room apartment. All the students slept in the attic. The 
14 students who accompanied Inspector Kranz to Elmhurst would have 
been crowded in this single attic room, but shortly after they arrived, 
another 10 students were admitted, raising the total to 24. Thus by the 
time classes got under way in January 1872 the house was fairly bursting 
with people. 

More than 70 years later. Reverend J. Strauss, a graduate of the 
Class of 1874, remembered the conditions under which the first 
students lived: 

K In the Beginning 1 1 

Most of the beds were stacked in the attic above the second story 
close to the roof. They were packed so close to each other that you 
could barely stick your hand between them down to the floor. The 
trunks were set against the foot of the beds and over these the 
students had to climb to the head and then stick their feet and legs 
under the cover Hke sticking their feet into their shoes. 

In the winter, snow often sifted through the roof and collected on 
the floor. The little heat in the attic was provided by stoves for which the 
students had to chop wood. In the summer the attic was stiflingly hot 
although cracks provided a little natural ventilation. For washing, the 
students pumped water outside from a deep well. As Strauss remembered, 
students would "use tin pans for washbasins in a little, thin weatherboard 
shack; and when it was cold, the tin became lined with ice. There were 
galvanized tubs to bathe in." 

The original house was divided and moved in 1895 to make way for 
the construction of the Commons or Dining Hall. The center section was 
relocated to the north side of the campus as were the two wings that were 
put together to become another house. The reconstructed homes at 224 
and 232 Alexander Boulevard served as residences for many generations 
of Proseminary and College faculty until they were razed in 1987 to make 
way for the Computer Science and Technology Center. 


Carl Fredrick Kranz 
The First President 

Although the title "president" 
was not used at Elmhurst until 1919, 
Reverend Carl Fredrick Kranz held a 
similar position when he ser\'ed as 
inspector from 1871 to 1875. Kranz 
was born in Silesia in Germany in 
1839 and raised from age six to 14 in 
an orphanage. 

He studied theology at the 
University of Breslau and was a tutor 
for a wealthy family before being 
selected to go to the United States as a minister. In 1 869, he arrived in 
Mishawaka, Indiana where he served as a minister until he was 
appointed head of the Evangelical Synod of the West's new Proseminary 
at Evansville, Indiana. 

While at Evansville, Kranz wrote his future wife, asking her to 
join him in America. Auguste Sophia Kranz, like her husband, was an 
accomplished musician. She was also an excellent artist who made 
many pencil drawings. The couple had seven children, three born 
in Elmhurst. 

In the early months of the Proseminary, Inspector Kranz was 
responsible for teaching all subjects. He also kept the records, paid the 
bills, handled correspondence and checked to see that the students were 
in bed at night. He oversaw the construction of the Proseminary's first 
new building, later known as Kranz Hall, which was completed in 1873 
at a cost of $12, 000. 

Being inspector was a difficult job, so when Kranz was offered a 
church in Iowa in 1875, he took it. Shordy afterward he was seriously 
injured in a buggy accident. Though he moved to a church in Louisville, 
Kentucky in 1881, he never regained his health, and he died in 1885. 

chapter 2 

K The Pioneer Years 

The name Elmhurst College was popularly used well before 
1900. Still, for its first 48 years, Elmhurst remained a 
proseminary, secondary or boarding school. It flourished 
principally for two reasons: first, because there were few secondary or 
high schools in the rural areas of the Midwest, and second, because it 
was the only school dedicated to educating boys from German 
Evangelical families. 

Most of the early students at the Elmhurst Proseminary were the 
sons of German farmers or ministers. Many of them had backgrounds 
that had accustomed them to hard work and spartan conditions, and they 
were therefore at least to this degree well prepared for what they found 
at Elmhurst. 

A student's day began at 5:30 a.m. (6 a.m. on Sundays) and 
ended sharply at 10 p.m. Waking, retiring and all other events of 
the day were announced by the ringing of a bell, known as the hash- 
bell. The first bell was rung 10 minutes before the hour to alert 
students to go to the dining hall, chapel or class or to change classes. 
The bell was rung again on the hour when classes, meals and religious 
sendees began. 


14 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

According to Paul Crusius, the daily schedule was as follows: 

a.m. 5:30 Rising (6:00 on Sundays) 

6:00-7:00 Study time 

7:00 Breakfast followed by bed making 

7:45 Morning religious services 

8:00-12:00 Classes 

12:30 Dinner 

Until 2:00 Free time 

2:00-4:00 Classes 

4:00-5:00 Work (usually outdoors) 

5:00-6:00 Study and music lessons 

6:00 Supper 

6:30-8:00 Study and piano lessons 

8:00-9:00 Study 

9:00 Evening religious services 

10:00 Lights out 


Students could count on about one hour of free time during their 
day. In their limited free time they often tried to get some exercise. 
Reverend J. Strauss remembered that "the students frequently engaged in 
gymnastics and by walking in regular fde like soldiers directed by a 
captain of soldiers recently arrived from Germany." Such a regimented 
schedule was not unusual for boarding schools of the day, and many of 
the students who had grown up on pioneer farms were probably accus- 
tomed to little more free time. 

During the hour set aside for work, students labored on the farm, 
milking cows and tending the animals; in the vegetable garden; in the 
bakeshop, kneading and shaping bread; or elsewhere around the large 
campus, most of which was covered with corn, oats or hay fields. 
Suidents also chopped wood for the stoves and fireplaces throughout the 
campus, shoveled snow and drew water from the outdoor well for use in 
the washroom, kitchen and laundry. In the early years all work at the 
Proseminary was done by students except for cooking and laundry. Some 
students served as a "famulus" or servant to a professor or a professor's 

S8 The Pioneer Years 

family. This position was a carryover from Europe, and many American- 
born students did not like the job. 

Older students were assigned to help the inspector govern and run 
the Proseminary. Each month one first classman or senior was appointed 
as the Haiissenior. Among his duties were checking that all boys were up 
in the morning, and reporting to the inspector anyone who was ill or who 
refused to get out of bed on time. The Haussenior saw that all the boys 
had their work assignments and that their work was done satisfactorily. 
He checked that students were in their study room within half an hour 
after dinner, that they attended evening religious services and that 
every^one was in bed with lights out at 10 o'clock. 

The Haussenior was assisted by a second classman or junior who 
served for one week at a time and who was know n as the Hiielfhenior or 
Wochemenior. This student was responsible for seeing that the classroom 
w^as in good condition, that the blackboard was erased and that there was 
chalk for the professor's use. 

Each study room had a Zimmersmior who was supposed to keep the 
room quiet. The Krankensenior was responsible for overseeing the care of 
any ill students who were in the sick rooms. The Baeckerseuior was in 
charge of baking the bread and on Saturdays the Kaffeekiichen that 
enlivened the menu on Sundays. This was a coveted position because of 
the opportunity for extra food and because the Baeckersenior had his 
study room at the baker\^ There he was out of view of the Haussenior and 
the inspector. 

Food at the Proseminary was spartan. According to J. Strauss, "The 
board [food] was meager, however wholesome and sufficient to produce 
strength for body and mind. There was but little along the line of sweet 
meats [desserts]." Though Strauss remembered little complaining about 
the food at the Proseminar\^, another early student remembered differ- 
ently. J. H. Horstmann, who attended the Proseminar\' in the 1880s, 
remembered the food as follows: 

Generally speaking, the meals were ver\' often most unsatisfactory^. 
There was no lack of food but the preparations left much to be 
desired. The kitchen equipment was primitive and the whole 
construction and arrangement of the kitchen was such as to make 
sanitary conditions difficult to maintain. Too often the sights and 

16 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

smells encountered as one approached the openings into the dining 
hall were anything but appetizing. The meat was usually the less 
desirable kind; potatoes came with an overabundance of grease; 
although there was a large garden in which students did much of the 
work, the supply of vegetables was inadequate; there was plenty of 
bread, baked by students in the Proseminary bakery, too much, 
perhaps, in proportion to the other articles of food, and the 
margarine and molasses with which it was served soon palled upon 
sensitive stomachs. 

Horstmann w^as lucky because he lived on a farm near Naperville, 
Illinois and w^nt home one weekend a month to enjoy his mother's 
cooking. She also sent back what Horstmann described as "a week's 
supply of goodies to take along which helped to make up for poor meals." 

According to Frederick Baltzer, writing about life at the 
Proseminary in the 1870s, breakfast each day consisted of coffee, fresh 
biscuits and molasses while supper each night was coffee, hash, a biscuit 
and butter. He recalled that some students wanted molasses with their 
supper as well as their breakfast, so they hid a container of syrup under 
their table and managed to avoid detection for months. 

V\Tien the Proseminary held its Silver Jubilee celebration in 1896, 
Reverend Rudolph A.John, a graduate in the class of 1875, wrote the 
following song to the tune of "The Old Oaken Bucket": 

Fro?ri dear distant days, I think of the syrup, 
Which once as a youth I so richly received, 
Which there on the table in a neat little jug 
Gave out sticky sweetness, until it o 'erflowed. 
Mornings and evenings, and sometimes at lunchtime, 
There was on the table, prepared for our use. 
The syrup, the syrup, the rich golden syrup. 
Uljich stuck to our fingers when mealtime was done. 

Living conditions at the Proseminary were primitive but most of the 
students seemed to adjust. As Horstmann remembered, "The beds were 
not the kind to which most of us were accustomed at home — just a 
mattress (none too soft) with a blanket between it and the sheet, and a 
pillow a little softer than the mattress. After a week or two one became 

K The Pioneer Years 17 

accustomed to this lack of comfort and learned to sleep soundly and rest- 
fully, forgetful of the 20 or more sleepers, dreamers and snorers who 
shared the same bedroom." 

There was no Evangelical church in Elmhurst until St. Peter's 
Church was founded in 1876 across what is now Wilder Park from the 
Proseminary. Therefore every Sunday students lined up and walked to 
Churchville (now Bensenville), a distance of three miles, to attend 
church. Frederick Baltzer wrote that the students marched to church 
"goose-step fashion," four abreast in long columns. 

According to Strauss, "During winter on the way [to Churchville], 
students would occasionally look at each other's ears to see if they were 
getting white with frost." If so, they rubbed them with snow until they 
were red again. Undoubtedly the students were delighted when the 
Lenten season arrived because for these six weeks students attended daily 
ser\ices at Thomas Bryan's Episcopal chapel, just a short walk away. 
Inspector Kranz preached at the Lenten services and afterwards students 
were allowed to stroll in the park-like grounds that surrounded the 
Bryan mansion. 

Pranks and rule breaking were a large part of student life, even 125 
years ago. Students were forbidden to go into Elmhurst even in their free 
time unless they had the inspector's permission, but many students found 
this more of a challenge than a restriction. Students were also prohibited 
from speaking to any young ladies whom they might meet at church or 
elsewhere, and all women were banned from campus except for the fami- 
lies of professors and workers. This was one of the rules the students 
most delighted in breaking. School officials were shocked when more 
than one Proseminar\' student married an Elmhurst girl. 

Students stole food from each other and from the kitchen. One time 
several boys sneaked into the storehouse near the bakehouse seeking a 
snack, and one ended up falling headfirst into a barrel of molasses. The 
older students often played tricks on newcomers. Once a group of 
students rubbed Limburger cheese on the inside of the pillowcases of 
younger students. 

The favorite prank remembered from the early years occurred when 
the students sneaked into the barn after lights were out, took apart the 
farm wagon and reassembled it on the roof of the barn with the tongue 

18 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

pointing to heaven. The inspector made them take it down. According to 
Frederick Baltzer, there was a small room in one of the buildings that was 
used as a lockup. He remembered that occasionally boys were incarcer- 
ated there and fed bread and water. Whether this room was used for the 
offenders who moved the wagon is long forgotten. 

Except in extreme cases, discipline was handled on a demerit 
system. According to Crusius, any student receiving 10 demerits would 
have to talk to the inspector. For especially serious offenses, the boy 
might have to appear before the entire faculty. If a student reached 30 
demerits, he received what was called a C.A. or conditio abeundi, which 
was similar to probation. Further offenses could result in "shipping" or 
expulsion. The Supervising Board confirmed expulsions. According to 
Horstmann, one or more students were "shipped" each year for miscon- 
duct or poor performance. 

For the first 1 5 years or so of the Proseminary, discipline seemed to 
have been especially heavy. According to Horstmann, it was only when 
Daniel Irion became inspector in 1887 that there was less "petty regula- 
tion." Irion was the first American-born inspector, and Horstmann attrib- 
uted the new attitude that treated students more as responsible individuals 
to his American birth. 

Ewald Agricola, who entered the Proseminary in 1897, remembered 
Inspector Irion's welcoming speech to the students. In German Irion 
said, "You are all strangers to us. We know none of you, but we place fall 
confidence in you. We consider you all to be gentlemen. [The last word 
he said in English.] To us you are all gentlemen, and we shall treat you as 
gentlemen until you should prove to us that you are not gentlemen. This, 
however, we do not expect." 

Once a month or so a "free day" was declared. On such days no 
classes were held though students had to study in the morning and after 
supper. In the afternoon they took hikes or visited in town (usually 
without permission) and occasionally played baseball. Since there were no 
organized extracurricular activities, the boys had to plan their own enter- 
tainment. One of the early forms of entertainment was singing. Frederick 
Baltzer was one of the students who in the 1870s organized the "Teutonic 
Male Quartet," a double quartet that gave concerts and entertained at 
free days. 

a The Pioneer Years 19 

Free days were not announced in advance although the student 
grapevine often gave notice. Students would learn of a free day at 
morning religious services when announcements were made. The 
students could count on Washington's birthday being a free day as well as 
the Kaiser's birthday. On Washington's birthday there was usually a 
concert or speeches in English, which was the only time in the early years 
that English would be officially used on campus. On the Kaiser's birthday 
the celebration would be in German. In 1876 a special free day was held 
in honor of Inspector Meusch's fortieth birthday. The highlight of this 
day was dinner at noon that included roast chicken and cake, neither of 
which were usual fare. 

Although there were no ID cards, students were given a number 
when they were admitted that was put on all their clothing to help in 
getting back laundry. The number also determined the student's desk in 
the study room, his bed, what place he would take at the washstand and 
his seat for meals. 

Students under the age of 18 were not permitted to smoke, but 
many did. A small frame building near the barn was designated the 
"smoke house" for older students. Underage students often hid in the 
hayloft of the barn to smoke. 

The Course of Study 

From 1871 to 1913 it cost $150 to attend the Elmhurst 
Proseminary. (This was the same rate that had been charged at Cincinnati 
in 1867 and at Evansville.) This covered tuition, room, board and 
laundry. The cost did not increase at Elmhurst for 42 years. This modest 
charge could be reduced if a student was studying for the ministry or to 
be a parochial school teacher or if his parents could not pay the full 
amount. Since student fees didn't cover the cost of education even in the 
earliest years, the Proseminar)' was dependent on annual subsidies from 
the German Evangelical S\Tiod. 

To be admitted to the Proseminary^, students had to be 16 if they 
were "pretheologs" (students planning to go on to the seminar)') or if 

20 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

they were planning to become teachers in the German church schools. 
From the Proseminary's second year at Elmhurst, students known as 
"college" students were also admitted. These students were undecided 
about their career plans or intended to follow another profession. A 
"college" student might be admitted at age 14. Starting in 1878 all 
students could be admitted at 14. 

Many early students were training to be teachers. Over the years the 
number of such students declined as the number of German parochial 
schools declined. The teacher training program was abolished in 1915. 

In 1872 two of the new students were "college" students, as were 14 
of the 32 new students admitted in 1873. While the Synod had always 
intended to recruit students who did not wish to be ministers or teachers, 
it is surprising that so many sought admission and were accepted this early 
in the Proseminary's history. Thus what could be called a liberal arts tradi- 
tion was already established by the second year of Elmhurst's existence. 

"College" students seeking a traditional classical education 
continued to make up a significant portion of the student body for nearly 
two decades. As late as 1880 they accounted for nearly one third of all the 
students at the Proseminary. The number of "college" students began to 
decline after 1880 and dropped off sharply in 1889. By this time students 
who did not want to be ministers or teachers no longer found that the 
classical curriculum met their needs. By the 1890s new secondary schools 
with more modern curricula drew many of the young men who in the 
previous two decades would have attended the Elmhurst Proseminary. 

In the early years the students varied greatly in age. Most were in 
their teens but some were adults. Many of the older students were born 
in Germany. As late as 1884 only 21 of the 44 students in the upper two 
years were born in America. Some of the German-born students had 
attended a gyDinasiimi in their homeland and most found the Proseminary 
work easy. Most of the American-born youths grew up in German- 
speaking homes, but in many of those homes a German dialect was used. 
Many of these boys could barely read German, so they often found the 
Proseminary more difficult. 

Horstmann remembered that there was bickering and occasionally 
fights between the American-born and the German-born students. The 
tensions were underscored when one group of students organized a 

Sfi The Pioneer Years 21 

German literary society to cultivate the German language while another 
organized the Progressive Literary Association, which was an English 
debating society. 

Until the late 1880s most of the teachers were older and German- 
born, which increased the frustration of American-born students such as 
Horstmann. With the appointment of a number of younger American- 
born faculty starting in about 1885 and the coming of Daniel Irion to the 
inspectorship, Horstmann felt that the spirit and quality of the education 
changed for the better. 

To be admitted to the Proseminary, a boy had to be recommended 
by an Evangelical minister. Officially students were required to have 
graduated from an elementary school, but some students were admitted 
who had not graduated. Students also had to pass an entrance examination. 

When the Proseminary opened, the course of study was set for 
three years. In 1876 the program was expanded to four years. According 
to Paul Crusius, if there had been enough money, the course of study 
would have been extended to six years, as at a German gymnasium, but 
funds were always short. Besides, the need for ministers and teachers 
was so pressing that six years could not be devoted to this study. A fifth 
year was added from 1885 to 1900. The fifth year was reinstituted in 
1907. In 1889 the faculty tried to add a sixth year, but it was not 
approved by the Directorium. 

At the Elmhurst Proseminary, students received a classical education 
as was traditional at a German gymnasium. They studied German, 
English, religion, history, music, mathematics and geography. In the early 
years all subjects, including English, were taught in German. It wasn't 
until 1902 that English and a few other classes were finally taught in 
English, and it took until after World \A'ar I for English to became the 
official language of the Proseminary. Starting in 1917 the Catalog wblS 
published in English. 

Pretheolog}' students also studied Latin and Greek, again in 
German, while those planning to become teachers studied pedagogw In 
1876 a basic science course was added and in 1878 a laboraton- science 
was added, but these, like English, were considered to be of secondary- 
importance at best. Baltzer remembered that in the 1870s English was 
"treated as something that one could easily afford to miss." It would be 

22 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

decades before Elmhurst had adequate laboratories, and the poor quality 
of its science offerings would be a cause of complaint even after the insti- 
tution became a true college in the 1920s. 

First-year students took 36 classes, each 45 minutes long, per 
week. Upperclassmen generally took 39 classes a week. Students read 
and memorized textbooks, most of which were imported from 
Germany, and recited their lessons for their teachers. The professors 
also read to the students. According to Baltzer, students sometimes 
played dominoes or chess while the professors read. More often they 
fell asleep. Baltzer remembered that one day a student fell so soundly 
asleep that he slept through two bells and woke up in the next class for 
which he was not enrolled. Although there were several efforts to 
update and reform the curriculum, it remained basically the same 
until 1918. 

When the Proseminary opened. Inspector Kranz, the only professor, 
taught all classes. Two of the students — J.H. Dinkmeyer and W.F. 
Gieselmann, who came from Evansville after having spent one year in 
Cincinnati — served as unofficial student teaching assistants since there 
was much more teaching than Inspector Kranz could do alone. Because 
student help was not enough a second teacher. Reverend Friedrick 
Weygold, was hired in March 1872. 

Weygold was born and educated in Germany before the Bedin 
Society for the German Evangelical Mission in America sent him to 
teach at the Evangelical Teachers' Seminary at Cincinnati in 1869. When 
the Teachers' Seminary closed, he became a pastor in Missouri before 
being hired to teach Latin at the Elmhurst Proseminary. Weygold 
remained at Elmhurst a little less than two years until the teaching 
burden became too heavy. 

Students took written exams at the end of each semester. Twice a 
year they were subjected to oral exams, which were greatly hated. These 
exams were conducted by the three members of the local Supervising 
Board, who could ask any questions they wished, even about material not 
covered in the classes. 

The quality of teaching varied. While many of the early teachers 
such as Inspectors Kranz and Meusch and Professor WK. Sauerbier were 
remembered fondly by later students, this was not true of all of them. 

K The Pioneer Years 23 

Horstmann remembered many of his teachers in the 1880s as "legalistic," 
unconcerned about the students and generally uninspiring. 

The professors were expected to teach between 26 and 31 classes a 
week in many different subjects. (Because of his other duties, the 
inspector taught only 12 classes a week once other professors were hired.) 
At times the professors were as frustrated by the shortcomings of their 
students as were the students. Baltzer recalls that one of the teachers in 
the 1870s called his students such uncomplimentary names that they 
boycotted his classes until he apologized. 

In June 1872 the first two students were graduated from the 
Elmhurst Proseminary. With no official ceremony, J.H. Dinkmeyer and 
W.F. Gieselmann were certified to teach in German parochial schools. 
The German Evangelical Proseminary at Elmhurst had successfully 
completed its first year. 

In August 1872, 21 of the 22 students who had not graduated two 
months before returned for the start of the Proseminary's second year. In 
addition 16 new students were admitted. The original house, which was 
already overcrowded, could not hold this many people, so the students 
took it upon themselves to construct a crude one-room shack in which a 
dozen students slept. It was obvious, though, that this would not suffice 
for long, and plans were drawn up for a new building. 

At the end of the Proseminary's second year, on June 25, 1873, the 
first new building at the Elmhurst Proseminary was dedicated. This 
building cost about $12,000 to build. To raise money for it the Synod 
took up special collections in September and October 1872 in all its 
churches. Although later generations of Elmhurst students knew this 
stone building with a yellow-brick veneer as Kranz Hall, early students 
called it Old Hall or, when it was constructed, the Music Building. 

Kranz Hall contained a chapel and classrooms on the ground floor, 
apartments for unmarried teachers and study rooms on the second floor, 
and a large attic with three rooms. The largest room in the attic was an 
enormous bedroom for students. The two smaller rooms were sick 
rooms. In the basement were a kitchen and dining room. 

Shortly after the new building was dedicated, 1 1 students were grad- 
uated — nine were sent to the seminary in Missouri and two were certified 
as teachers. With this graduating class and the new building completed, 

24 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhwst Prosejninmj Class of 1874. Second from the right and standing is Daniel 
Irion, the first alumnus to serve as president. 

Synod leaders hoped that Elmhurst s housing and classroom shortage 
would be solved, but this was not the case. 

In 1873, 32 new students were admitted. Of this number, 14 
were "college" students, eight were "pretheologs," eight were 
studying to be teachers and two were undecided. By this date there 
were too many students and classes for two teachers, so two part-time 
teachers were hired. J. Miter, a theology student at a seminary in 
C^hicago, taught English from 1873 to 1875, and another teacher was 
hired to teach music and first-year classes. V\^en Reverend Weygold 
resigned in 1874, he was replaced by Reverend Frederick Hennigern, 
who had been head of a German high school in Missouri. Even with 
four full- or part-time teachers, including the inspector, classes were 
large and each teacher taught many different subjects. One example of 

S8 The Pioneer Years 25 

this is that the EngHsh professor also taught classes in mathematics, 
geography, U.S. history, and a combined class of anatomy, physiology 
and hygiene. 

The burden of so much teaching as well as the administrative duties 
led Inspector Kranz to resign in November 1874 to take a pastoral posi- 
tion in Iowa. Reverend Philip Frederick Meusch, who had emigrated to 
America with his family as a boy and received his secondary school and 
theological education in the United States, was selected as the second 
inspector. Meusch wired his response to the offer. In German his answer 
was simply, "I accept." 

The End of the Pioneer Years 

Inspector Meusch was on the faculty of Blackburn College when he 
was selected to take the helm of the Proseminary. Arriving in January 
1875, one of his first actions was to organize the faculty^ Beginning on 
January 14 of that year, the faculty met every other Wednesday. In 
succeeding meetings the faculty drafted and sent a list of recommenda- 
tions to the Supervising Board. According to Paul Crusius, these recom- 
mendations included the following: 

1. In accordance with the American custom, the school year would 
start on the first Tuesday in September. 

2. The course of study would be extended from three years to four. 

3. Each student would be required to pay $5 to buy laboratory 
equipment and books for a library. 

4. A week at the end of the school year would be set aside for oral 
and written examinations. 

5. Commencement exercises would be held at the close of the 
school year, and friends of the school would be invited. 

All of the faculty's recommendations were accepted except for the 
third one. Students w^ere not required to pay special fees and no College 
library was established until 1912. Since students missed having books to 

26 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

read, in 1877 several students, including Frederick Baltzer, organized the 
"Elmhurst Leseverein," which encouraged the reading of books. In its 
first year the Leseverein charged interested students three cents an hour 
to listen to readings that were held once a week. Paul Irion, a younger 
brother of Daniel Irion, was the first official reader. 

In its second year the Leseverein charged students 10 cents per 
month and used the money to buy books that members could borrow. 
The first book was entitled Die Weisee Sklavin (The White Slave), which 
may explain why the books were so popular. The Leseverein also received 
gifts of books from Synod leaders. These books were originally kept in a 
closet of the smokehouse. After Old Main was completed, the books were 
moved to a room in the basement of that building. 

When Inspector Meusch died in 1880, the students renamed the 
Leseverein the "Meusch Verein." By 1899 this collection contained 1,050 
volumes and a number of German and English periodicals. In 1912 the 
books were moved to the newly constructed Irion Hall and control was 
given to the faculty. The books accumulated by the students plus some 
2,500 books from the library of Thomas Bryan that were given to 
Elmhurst College by his family in 1920 became the nucleus of the 
Memorial Library that was opened in 1922. To memorialize the gift from 
the Bryan family, a bust of Thomas Bryan stood for many years outside 
the entrance to Memorial Library. Today the bust is in the Special 
Collections Room in Buehler Library. 

With enrollment growing into the 50s and 60s, overcrowding was 
once more a major problem. In an effort to alleviate the situation, the 
class of first and second year (senior and junior) pretheological students 
was transferred to the Marthasville Seminary in 1877. 

In a further attempt to solve the overcrowding problem, the 
Supervising Board asked the faculty its view on establishing separate 
educational institutions for pretheological students and those training to 
be teachers. The faculty, believing that it was more economical and 
educationally sound that all the students be educated at the same school, 
recommended against this move. After consideration the Supervising 
Board agreed, and in 1877 the General Conference of the Synod decided 
to build another new building. It appropriated $12,000 for construction, 
and ground was broken in the spring of 1878. 

K The Pioneer Years 27 

The Main Building, or Old Main as it is now called, was dedicated 
on October 31, 1878. Distinctive in construction are the two towers of 
the building. The clock was set in the front of a square tower that looks 
somewhat medieval with the crenelations of a castle or fortress. 
According to Crusius, one member of the building committee wasn't 
satisfied with this tower and insisted that there must be a tower with a 
belfry pointing toward heaven and a bell to summon students to study, 
work and pray. Therefore a second tower was constructed atop the first. 

Old Main contained classrooms on the first floor. On the second 
floor were study rooms and bedrooms for students. Also included were a 
chapel and an apartment for the inspector and his family. On the top 
floor were sick rooms. In the basement were a reading room, a laboratory 
and washrooms. The yellow and red brick building cost a little under 
$25,000 to construct — more than twice the amount allocated — but the 
overrun was financed by gifts. This building was little changed until 
1923, although a few new classrooms were added in 1912 and a fire in 
1920 did considerable damage. 

Also in 1878, possibly as a delayed reaction to the resignation of 
Inspector Kranz, the load on the inspector was lightened by the appoint- 
ment of a business manager to take care of the dining hall and maintain the 
buildings and the farm. The manager's wife was put in charge of the meals. 

The year 1878 saw the publication of the first Proseminary Catalog, 
which described in German the course of study. A copy of this eight-page 
pamphlet can be found in the Elmhurst College Archives. 

With two new stone and brick buildings, an enrollment hovering 
near the 100 mark and a faculty of seven, the Evangelical Proseminar\^ at 
Elmhurst ended its pioneer days. No longer was there any doubt that it 
would remain in Elmhurst. WTiat was not yet clear was how well it would 
adapt to changing times. 


Philip Fredericlc Meusch 
The Second President 

Reverend Philip Frederick 
Meusch, who served as the second 
inspector from 1875 to 1880, was born 
in Germany in 1836. About 1850 his 
family emigrated to the United States 
and settled in CaHfornia, Missouri 
where Meusch attended high school 
before enrolling in the Evangelical 
Seminary at Marthasville, Missouri. 
After a time as an assistant at a 
St. Louis church, he joined the faculty of Blackburn College in 
Carlinville, lUinois. 

After Inspector Kranz's resignation in 1875, Reverend Meusch was 
selected to head the Evangelical Proseminary at Elmhurst. His tenure 
was marked by growth in the student body. As a result of severe over- 
crowding, a new building, now known as Old Main, was built. It was 
completed in 1878 at the cost of $24,000. Meusch started meetings to 
organize the faculty, which had grown to five members. 

Inspector Meusch was highly respected by the students. One of the 
earUest student societies was renamed "Meusch Verein" after him. This 
group collected books for student use many years before the first library 
was opened. 

Meusch and his wife, Julie Friesleben, were the parents of four 
children. Meusch died suddenly in 1880 at the age of 44. He is buried 
in the cemetery on Alexander Boulevard, adjacent to the Elmhurst 
College campus. 

chapter 3 

K First Call for Change 

The winds of change would have seemed far distant from the 
campus in 1878. Within less than a decade, the German 
Evangelical Proseminary at Elmhurst had created a 
curriculum, a student body, a campus and a niche for itself as the 
educator of sons of the Evangelical faith. With the second building 
completed, the overcrowding problem was now taken care of for a 
time. Most of the students were moved into the Main Building 
although some remained in the Music Building (Kranz Hall). In the 
fall of 1878 the student body neared the century mark and in 1879 it 
totaled 103. Although the number of students declined to only 85 in 
1880, it returned to just below the hundred mark for the remainder of 
the 1880s. 

As the campus and student body expanded, so too did the facult)^. 
One of the most popular new facult}' members was W.K. Sauerbier, a 
graduate of Heidelberg College in Ohio, who was hired to be the first 
full-time professor of English. He taught at the Proseminary from 1875 
until he was killed in a railroad accident in 1879. Other teachers in that 
era included Professors Kaufmann, xMerkel, Rosche and Luternau as well 
as Daniel Irion. 


30 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The Proseminary did not publish a catalog in 1879, but starting in 
1880, a catalog was issued each year. These catalogs listed faculty and 
students as well as outlined the curriculum. 

In the summer of 1880 the Proseminary was shocked by the sudden 
death of Inspector Meusch at the age of 44. He was buried in the ceme- 
tery on the northwest side of the Proseminary. Today his grave can still 
be found in the small section of the cemetery that is owned by Elmhurst 
College. The same summer Professors Kaufmann and Irion left. Since 
Professor Sauerbier had died the previous fall, this represented a nearly 
complete turnover in faculty. Clearly a strong inspector was needed to 
rebuild the faculty and develop continuity for the Proseminary. 

A New Inspector with New Ideas 

In September 1880 Reverend Peter Goebel was hired to become the 
third inspector. Goebel, who was bom in Germany, emigrated to the 
United States with his family. He was educated at the Marthasville Seminary 
and served as a pastor before being selected to head the Proseminary. 

Over the next few years, a number of new faculty were hired, several 
of whom remained for long periods of time. They included John Lueder, 
who taught Latin, Greek, history and other courses until his retirement in 
1910; Hernian Brodt, who taught pedagogy, German and German Htera- 
ture for 26 years until 1918; John Rahn, who taught music; and C.J. Albert, 
who taught English from 1884 to 1892. Albert was the first professor to 
hold a master's degree. After leaving the Proseminary, Albert served as the 
last village president of Elmhurst fi-om 1909 to 1910. Other teachers served 
for shorter times. One, G.A. Ebmeyer, who taught German fi-om 1885 to 
1890, was the last of the professors trained at a German gymnasium. 

The 1884 Catalog listed the salary of each of the faculty members. 
Inspector Goebel received $1,000 a year. Professors Lueder, Brodt and 
Carl Dobshall, who taught from 1883 to 1885, received $900, $800 and 
$700 respectively and were provided with housing. Professors Recher and 
Rosche received $900 and $800 but no housing. No later Catalog 
included faculty salaries. 

K First Call for Change 

FciLiilty /j/f/ubcrs, 1SS5-86. F?'ont row, centej; is Peter Goebel, who headed the 
Prosejuinm-y; to his left, future presidejit Daniel Irion. 

Inspector Goebel attempted to make several changes in the 
Proseminary. In 1884 he asked the faculty whether they were satisfied with 
the progress of their students. Faculty members told him that they believed 
students were taking too many courses, which allowed too httle time for 
preparation. To prove their point, they charted a student's week. According 
to Paul Crusius, the faculty concluded that a student needed 144 hours a 
week for classes and adequate preparation, or nearly 24 hours a day. 

After analyzing their findings, the faculty^ voted that professors 
should lighten daily assignments and that a five-year course of study 
should be established. In 1885 the Supervising Board agreed, and a fifth 
or preparatory year was added. 

Later Goebel returned to the Supervising Board with another report 
and suggestions that would have had a profound effect on the 
Proseminary. He called attention to the decline in the number of 
"college" students — those seeking a general education — and attributed 
the decline to Elmhurst's classical education, which was not meeting these 

32 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Students, 1890. 

students' needs. In particular he noted that young men planning to enter 
business or to teach in public schools needed more courses in English, 
Therefore he recommended that a second English teacher be hired and 
that some subjects be offered in English. 

In a decision that shaped the course of the Proseminary for more 
than three decades, the Supervising Board rejected the inspector's sugges- 
tion to broaden and modernize the curriculum. This decision severely 
limited the appeal of the Proseminary, and through the 1890s the number 
of "college" students declined significantly. 

The Goebel era saw the first significant efforts by students to 
develop extracurricular activities. The Meusch Verein Society continued 
while other student groups came and went. Between 1881 and 1883 alone 
at least four literary or debating societies were formed under such names 
as the Owl Club, the Concordia Society, the Demosthenes Society and 
the Pedagogical Club. 

In 1884 the Owl Club requested permission to prepare a newspaper 
to appear every two weeks. The Supervising Board gave permission with 

K First Call for Change 33 

the understanding that a faculty member must approve each issue before 
pubUcation. It is not clear whether any issues were written. None have 
been found, but years later members of the Class of 1884 remembered 
that they started Prudentia, a four-page handwritten paper. 

The faculty, already concerned that students did not have time to 
prepare for classes, voted in 1884 to abohsh all student groups except the 
Meusch Society. Apparently this resolution was never carried out, since 
new societies continued to pop up. The most successful was the Young 
Men's Society, which was founded in 1885. A decade later its name was 
changed to the Schiller Society, and it continued in existence until 1925. 
Each Saturday night for most of those years the Schiller Society 
presented musical and dramatic entertainment that was looked forward to 
by member students who had few alternatives. Also in 1884 students 
founded the Orpheus Men's Chorus, which in time became the College 
Glee Club. 

The most popular campus event was the annual "Seminarfest," 
which began in 1881 and continued until the end of the Proseminary era. 
The first Seminarfest was held in the fall, but the celebration was soon 
switched to the end of the school year. This special Sunday included 
speeches, preaching, music and refreshments for students and members of 
Evangelical churches from Chicago, who were invited to spend the day 
on campus. In May of 1888, at the urging of Reverend Rudolph A. John, 
pastor of St. Paul's Church in Chicago who would later write the song 
about syrup, so many attended that two special trains were needed to 
bring the guests from Chicago. Almost $600 was collected that day for 
the Proseminary. 

In 1887, after seven years — the longest tenure of any inspector yet — 
Goebel resigned to become the pastor of a church in Peotone, Illinois. 
Reverend Daniel Irion, a graduate of the Proseminary Class of 1874, was 
selected to succeed him. Irion had taught at Elmhurst from 1877 to 1880 
and part time from 1885 to 1887 after he became pastor of St. Peter's 
Church in Elmhurst. Apparently it took some persuading to get Irion to 
accept this post. Finally he was convinced that it was his duty to accept. 
After three inspectors in 16 years, the Proseminary had finally found a 
head who would stay. Although his tide was changed to director in 1901, 
Daniel Irion served as head of the Proseminary from 1887 until 1919. 

34 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmliurst College Years K 

Even after his resignation, he continued on the faculty until 1928 and he 
remained a part of Elmhurst College life until his death in 1935. 

The Irion Era 

Inspector Irion took over administration of the Proseminary at a 
time of acute crisis. In the fall of 1887 a diphtheria epidemic swept 
across the campus, and as many as 80 of the 100 students fell ill. After 
two students died, the school was closed on December 1 and all 
students were sent home. The school was not reopened until the first of 
February. At least one additional student died in the interim. Thus 
Inspector Irion was faced with the need to rebuild both the faculty and 
school spirit. 

Daniel Irion was a tall, slim man. Even at the age of 37 he was a 
commanding figure. In his earlier stint at Elmhurst he had developed a 
reputation as an outstanding teacher. He was also an outstanding 
preacher. Decades after his days at the Proseminary, Ewald Agricola 
(Class of 1902) remembered Inspector Irion's stirring sermons. 

Inspector Irion was a solemn, reserved man who rarely laughed or 
smiled. Yet Agricola remembered that Irion's face would light up when a 
student recited his Greek correctly. Though the inspector did not show 
much emotion, the students developed a warm affection for him in part 
because he was so obviously concerned about their personal, intellectual 
and moral well-being. Irion, who in later years was known as "the Old 
Man," welcomed all new students to campus. He visited each student in 
his room at least once a day as well as each study room. 

After becoming inspector, Irion continued to teach all the religion 
classes except for Bible stories. He also taught ancient history and half 
the Greek courses. Occasionally he even taught Latin classes. Professor 
Otto, the Latin professor, was the epitome of the absent-minded 
professor. When Otto forgot to go to one of his Latin classes, the 
students would grow noisy, which would draw the inspector's attention. 
As soon as Irion determined the cause of the disturbance, he would teach 
until Otto finally arrived. 

K First Call for Change 35 

The inspector also served as the chief disciphnarian. VVHiile most of 
the young men must have dreaded a summons to Inspector Irion's study 
to explain some misconduct or lack of attention to studies, they also cher- 
ished his occasional invitations to the roof of Old Main to gaze through 
his telescope at the moon and stars. 

Robert Stanger, who grew up on the Elmhurst campus while his 
father taught there, attended the Proseminary, and returned to 
Elmhurst College as its ninth president from 1957 to 1965. He remem- 
bered Inspector Irion well. "He was a man with black eyes and black 
hair and staring eyes, who by his very appearance commanded respect 
and attention. And yet, he was not an autocrat. . . . Behind that rigid 
exterior there was a friendly heart." In the decades that Stanger knew 
Inspector Irion, Stanger never heard him speak English to a student, 
even in the decade after Irion resigned the presidency, which was long 
after the official language of the College had been changed from 
German to English. 

Following the failure of Inspector Goebel's proposal to broaden 
the curriculum, the idea of curriculum reform was dead for nearly two 
decades. Inspector Irion confined his energies to building a faculty 
respected for its learning and teaching ability and remarkable for its 
length of tenure. In the 30 years that Daniel Irion headed the 
Proseminary, only 18 men served on the faculty. Emil Otto, who was 
considered one of the most profound Evangelical theologians of the 
day, was hired in 1890 and remained until 1904. The same year Otto 
joined the faculty, Carl Bauer was hired. Bauer was legendary for his 
encyclopedic knowledge, which spanned everything from classical 
languages to the fine points of figure skating. 

In 1892 George A. Sorrick replaced C.J. Albert as the English 
teacher. He was only the second Elmhurst faculty^ member to hold a 
master's degree. Among the music faculty were John Rahn, a widely 
known organist from Chicago, and C.A. Weisse, an Elmhurst 
Proseminary graduate who made a name for himself as an organist, choral 
director and composer. 

In 1896 Christian G. Stanger, another Elmhurst alumnus, was 
hired to teach music. Professor Stanger would set the record for the 
longest continuous tenure of any faculty member in Elmhurst's history. 

36 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Artist's depiction of the cainpus as seen from the northeast in the 1880s. 

He remained on the faculty for 50 years — from the Proseminary's 25th 
anniversary year until Elmhurst College celebrated its 75th anniver- 
sary. Stanger was celebrated for his musical talents, especially his 
ability as an organist, and for his teaching. After teaching music for 
30 years, he switched subjects and became Elmhurst College's first 
Erench professor. 

Enrollment at the Proseminary grew in the first decade of Inspector 
Irion's tenure, from near the hundred mark in 1887 to more than 130 in 
1897, but the growth was not as explosive as it had been in the early 
years. At the same time the makeup of the student body changed, with a 
sharp decline in the number of "college" students and a smaller decline in 
the number of prospective teachers. The number of students intending to 
go to the seminary increased to more than 90 in 1897. A few day 
students, Elmhurst professors' sons who lived with their families, were 
also admitted. 

S: First Call for Change 37 

Elmhurst in 1896 

While the Proseminary grew rapidly in its first 25 years, so too did 
the town that gave it its name. By late in the 19th century Elmhurst was a 
village of nearly 1,500 people. Following its incorporation in 1884, the 
first sidewalks were installed in the downtown area. These wooden plank 
sidewalks remained in use into the 20th century. In the years immediately 
following the village's incorporation, sewers were installed, a village hall 
was built on what is now Schiller Street, police were hired, kerosene 
streetlights were put up and a village lamplighter was hired. 

Many new businesses sprang up, including in 1883 a stone quarry to 
the west of the village. Stores selling groceries, stoves, hardware and 
other necessities of life were opened, as were blacksmith shops and 

Student bakers, 1895. 

38 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

saloons. The Elmhw'st Eagle — believed to be the first village newspaper — 
began publication in 1885. A new two-story brick elementary school 
called Elmhurst School was constructed at Cottage Hill and Arthur 
Street in 1888, and in 1893 a high school program was begun there. The 
first high school graduating class was made up of three students. Later 
this school w^ould be renamed Hawthorne School. The original school 
burned in 1917 and was replaced by the current Hawthorne School. 

Many churches were built in Elmhurst during the early years of 
the Proseminary. Most important for Proseminary students was St. 
Peter's, the Evangelical Church built in 1876 across what is now Wilder 
Park from the Proseminary. The Proseminary and Elmhurst College 
have had a close relationship with St. Peter's. For the students at the 
Proseminary, the construction of this church meant no more long, cold 
hikes to Bensenville. St. Peter's housed the first parochial school in 
Elmhurst, and a number of Proseminary students received their 
elementary education there. This one-room school continued in opera- 
tion until 1921. 

Running water came to the village following the incorporation of the 
Spring Water Company in 1890. A volunteer fire department was orga- 
nized and the first fire chief appointed. Starting in 1 895 fire hydrants were 
installed around the village. At approximately the same time the Elmhurst 
Electric Light and Power Company began to bring lights to the village, 
including to the Proseminary. Telephone service would come in 1897. 

The village of Elmhurst extended about six blocks from east to west 
and only a little more from north to south, but the residential area was 
expanding. In 1896 the Proseminary lay along the west edge of the 
village. To the east remained the mansions and estates. To the north was 
open land to the railroad tracks. Across the tracks were the homes of 
German immigrants. Houses were slowly extending toward North 
Avenue, which marked the northern boundary of the village. To the south 
and east new houses and streets were also being laid out. 

In 1900 the area west of the Proseminary, from what is now 
Alexander Boulevard on the north to near St. Charles Road on the south 
and from Grace Street westward, would become the site of the nine-hole 
Elmhurst Golf Club. This would not become a residential area until the 
golf club was moved in the 1920s. Earther west from the Proseminary lay 
cornfields and prairie, broken only by an occasional farmhouse. 

K First Call for Change 39 

The Commons, which housed the dining hall, in the 1890s. To the right aui be seen the 
bakejy, boiling house, and Music Building (Ki-anz Hall). 

The Silver Jubilee 

In 1896 the Proseminary staged a Silver Jubilee Celebration to mark 
its 25th anniversary. A year earher Inspector Irion had declared that a 
new building, a dining hall, was necessary to the continued growth of the 
Proseminar}^ and a fitting birthday gift. The S\Tiod had agreed and the 
General Conference approved the construction. Sunday school classes 
also raised funds to buy a new pipe organ for the chapel in Old Main. 

The Dining Hall or Commons, which was the third new building at 
the Proseminary, was constructed of red brick on the site of the old 
Melanchthon Seminar)^, where The Frick Center now stands. In addition 
to the dining room and kitchen, the Commons housed the laundry, sick 

40 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

rooms, guest rooms and an apartment for the superintendent. It freed up 
room in Kranz Hall (the Music Building) and in Old Main and allowed 
for a growth in the student body. 

On June 21,1 896, the Silver Jubilee Celebration drew supporters 
and alumni from throughout the Midwest. This was the occasion for 
which Reverend R.A. John wrote his parody in remembrance of the 
syrup. It also saw the first meeting of Elmhurst's Alumni Association. 

While the Silver Jubilee Celebration was a great success, concerns 
were surfacing once more about the curriculum. Reverend Paul Menzel, 
the chairman of the Directorium or Board of Directors who keynoted the 
celebration, suggested that the time had come to add a sixth year to the 
academic program. A year later the faculty and Supervising Board 
approved the addition and urged the approval of the General Conference 
of the Synod, but in 1899 the General Conference refused. According to 
Paul Crusius, the General Conference refused to extend the curriculum 
for financial reasons. 


Peter Goebel 
The Third President 

Johann Peter Goebel, known as 
Peter Goebel, was inspector from 
1880 to 1887. He was born in 
Germany in 1836, but his family 
emigrated to the United States and 
settled in Ohio in 1849. After 
attending the Marthasville Seminary 
and serving as pastor at churches in 
Indiana and Illinois, he was called to 
Elmhurst to head the Proseminary. 
During Goebel's tenure, a fifth 
or preparatory year was added to the curriculum because the faculty 
believed that many of the young men coming to Elmhurst were 
unprepared for the rigorous education they received. Inspector 
Goebel suggested the addition of more classes in English and other 
changes to modernize the curriculum, so that it would appeal to 
more students who were not planning to become pastors or teachers 
in German parochial schools. However, his suggestion was rejected. 
This solidified the classical curriculum that would remain basically 
unchanged for another 30 years. 

Inspector Goebel rebuilt the faculty, which had been decimated by 
resignations and death. In 1887, he resigned to become pastor at 
Peotone and then Richton, Illinois. 

Reverend Goebel and his wife, Wilhelmine Neucks, who was from 
Germany, were the parents of seven children. Goebel died in 1905. 

chapter 4 

K Entering a New Century 

The Evangelical Proseminaiy entered the 20th century with 
several significant problems that needed to be addressed. These 
included a declining enrollment, increasing financial problems 
and growing concern that the curriculum, with its heavy emphasis on the 
German language and classical education, was not preparing young men 
for life in the new century. 

When Inspector Irion called for the building of the Dining Hall in 
1895, the Proseminary's student body numbered 128. Four years later the 
number had plunged to only 83. While American participation in the 
Spanish-American War may have had an adverse effect on enrollment, much 
of this decline resulted from the changing makeup of the student body. 

As the number of "college" and teacher-training students fell, 
Elmhurst became dependent on students who planned to attend Eden 
Seminary. From 1883 to 1933 most of the young men entering Eden 
attended the Elmhurst Proseminary. Thus the success of Elmhurst and 
that of the Seminary were more closely linked than they had been in the 
earlier decades when many students embarked on other careers. 

As a result of the drop in students and growing financial problems, 
the fifth or preparatory year was eliminated in 1900. This led to a further 


44 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

decline in the number of students, although the number began to pick up 
again in 1903. The fifth or preparatory year was reinstituted in 1907, at 
which time the number of students increased to 130, near the record 
high 143 students that had been reached in 1892. The number of 
students began to climb quickly after 1907 and throughout the years 
leading up to World War I. By 1914, the student body had reached 175. 
Then it shrank steadily until the end of the Proseminary in 1919. 

Financial problems had been present from the start of the 
Proseminary. The fee of $150 a year for tuition, room and board, and 
laundry would not cover the cost of education, so the Synod had to make 
up the difference. The situation was worsened because many students were 
unable to pay even this meager tuition. For example, in 1909 only 44 of the 
150 students paid full tuition. Thus the Synod held Sunday and festival-day 
collections, solicited donations from church groups such as young people's 
organizations and supplied annual funds to meet the Proseminary's needs. 
In addition, it funded the construction of the new buildings. 

By the early 20th century, alumni also began to raise funds for their 
alma mater. Yet the bulk of the money came from the Synod. William 
Denman, who studied the support provided by the Synod, noted the 
constant pleas for support in church publications. "It is clear that, from 
virtually the beginning. Evangelical educational institutions were destined 
to live a life of poverty," he wrote. 

Denman charted the amount of support the EvangeHcal Synod 
provided to the Elmhurst Proseminary in the early years of the new 
century as follows: 























a Entering a New Century 45 

The amount the Synod contrihuted varied from year to year, 
depending on the success of its fund campaigns. Since the Synod 
would not commit to an annual subsidy, the Proseminary never knew 
how much it would receive in a given year. This, in turn, prevented 
effective budgeting. In a year such as 1908-09 when the Synod 
provided $20,818 for 136 students, the financial problems may have 
eased. The next year when one additional student arrived, the Synod's 
contribution declined by nearly 16% and times must have been 
especially difficult. 

One way the Proseminary made ends meet was by keeping faculty 
salaries low. The provision of housing for some faculty may have helped a 
bit, but it is remarkable that the Proseminary was able to keep such a 
stable faculty in the face of its low salaries. 

More Calls for Change 

Possibly as a bow to modernity, the title of the head of the 
Proseminary was changed to "director" in 1901. Also in that year the 
name "Elmhurst College" was first officially used on the Proseminary 
Catalog. These were the only accommodations to the new age that the 
governors were ready to make. 

While the leaders of the Proseminary were content to maintain the 
traditional classical curriculum, some of the alumni were not. By the early 
years of the new century a number of graduates had begun to apply to 
colleges and universities or to seminaries that were not affiliated with the 
Evangelical Synod. They had difficulty gaining acceptance for their 
education at the Proseminary because many schools were unable to deter- 
mine how much, if any, credit to give to courses such as world history and 
mathematics that had been taught in German. 

Other students who were admitted to a college or university found 
either that they were unprepared for American educational institutions 
or that they could not compete with those who had graduated from 
schools that had a more modern curriculum. Thus pressure for change 
began to grow. 

46 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Administrative stnjf nnd Board, ca. 1900-1910. 

In response to this discontent, the Proseminaiy moved for the first 
time to seek accreditation. Following an evaluation of the Proseminary's 
curriculum, the University of Illinois placed the Proseminary on its list of 
accredited secondary schools in 1901. In addition to accepting their high 
school education, the University of lUinois allowed Elmhurst graduates a 
year of college credit in Latin, Greek and German, but it required them 
to make up a year of secondary-level laboratory science, which the 
University considered to be deficient at the Proseminary. To make up for 
the deficiency in laboratory sciences, the Proseminary installed new labo- 
ratory' facilities in 1902. 

Elmhurst alumni still faced problems getting into other schools and 
when competing with students from other secondary schools. Alumni 
found, though, that their complaints about the quality of education 
offered at the Proseminary fell on deaf ears. The decision by the 
University of Illinois may have hardened the Proseminary's commitment 
to its classical curriculum. As Paul Crusius pointed out, the classical 

3C Entering a New Century 47 

curriculum could not be changed without risk of forfeiting the three 
classes of college credit that graduating students earned. 

In 1909 the Proseminary was accredited as a secondary school by 
the North Central Association. Then in 1913 it was accredited as a 
secondary school by the University of Chicago. By this time the alumni 
and others who were discontented with the classical curriculum had 
turned their attention to a call for the Proseminary to be transformed 
into a true college. 

Student Life in the Early 20th Century 

In many ways student life had changed little over the last three 
decades. As Ewald Agricola remembered, students were still admitted at 
age 14 if they had been confirmed in the church and if they sent a letter 
of application, a letter of recommendation from their local pastor and a 
certificate of good health from a physician. Upon arrival at Elmhurst they 
were met in Old Main by Daniel Irion. 

After students were settled in their rooms, they had to pass both 
written and oral examinations to determine in which class they would be 
placed. Those who were not prepared for the fourth or freshman class 
were assigned to the fifth or preparatory class. Many of the boys were 
assigned to the fifth class because their German was weak. 

While there were still no electives at the Proseminary, students 
followed a somewhat different curriculum depending on whether they 
planned to enter the seminary or to become a teacher. Students planning 
to attend the seminary took more Latin and Greek, while those planning 
to teach took pedagogy and additional music classes. Christian Stanger, 
the music professor, tested all incoming students for their musical ability, 
and all but a few with absolutely no musical ability participated in one of 
the choirs. All students took lessons in the piano, melodeon and pipe 
organ, while future teachers were required to study the violin. Thus 
music along with German were the foundations of the curriculum. 

Of the many classes students took, only English, U.S. history and a 
combined one-year class in anatomy-physiolog\'-hygiene were taught in 

48 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

English. Students spoke only German with their professors except with 
their English professor and occasionally with Professor Stanger, who was 
the youngest faculty member. According to Agricola, Director Irion gave 
stirring patriotic speeches on U.S. holidays, always in German. 

Well into the 20th century many students still spoke among them- 
selves in German. Agricola said that the language used was often deter- 
mined by what the students were discussing. Many used German to 
discuss schoolwork but would switch to English when the conversation 
turned to baseball. Upper level students were more likely to speak 
German than younger ones. Overall Agricola remembered that English 
predominated somewhat out of class, but that all the students became 
genuinely bilingual. 

Students still lived in crowded conditions. When Agricola entered 
the Proseminary in 1897, 75 of the students were housed in Old Main 
and 35 in Kranz Hall. Most slept in large rooms of 12-14 students. Rats 
could often be found in students' rooms looking for remains of care 
packages students received from home, and at least one alumnus remem- 
bered that a rat bit a sleeping student. 

The students ate together in the Dining Hall or Commons, and most 
continued to complain about the quality of the food. Still not all agreed. 
Agricola found the food "excellent." When he and other newcomers 
praised the food, the upperclassmen took them to task. "It was a part of the 
social code at the Proseminary to find fault with the food, and to find such 
fault vociferously," he wrote. He remembered that supper on Sunday 
evenings consisted of half a coffeecake one week and half a pie the next, 
served only with coffee. A graduate of the Class of 1903 wrote that when- 
ever he remembered his Proseminary days he thought about rhubarb — 
"rhubarb pie, rhubarb sauce, rhubarb every other way." 

Running water was available only in the basement of Old Main. To 
take a bath, students poured cold water from the faucet into an immense 
water barrel. Then they stuck in an iron pipe connected to the heating 
system, which warmed the water. Next the students poured the warm 
water into the bathtub. It could be wondered how often baths were taken 
under these circumstances. 

Students had to draw water from the well in the yard for drinking. 
One of the jobs of the "famulus" or servant in each study room was to 

K Entering a New Century 


Baseball team, 1 904. 

bring in water for the boys to drink as they studied. All the boys drank 
from a single dipper that was placed next to the water bucket. 

The barn stood where Memorial Hall, which houses the Deicke 
Center for Nursing Education and the Center for Continuing Education, 
stands today. "Old Abraham," a hired man who worked at the 
Proseminary for more than 25 years, did all the plowing and harv^esting of 
the corn fields, but students still worked in the garden, bakehouse or else- 
where around campus. Students were responsible for sweeping, dusting, 
scrubbing, and carrying food to and from their tables. 

Eight students at a time served as bakers and prepared all the bread, 
rolls and other baked goods. Before the turn of the centur}' the buildings 
had been converted to steam heat, so students no longer had to chop 

50 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Basketball tea?n, 1909-1910. 

wood. The Proseminary also had electricity, which eliminated the 
cleaning and filling of lamps. 

The Proseminary provided no athletic facilities except a small room 
in the basement of Old Main that was used for calisthenics. Students 
played baseball in the area between Old Main, the Dining Hall and the 
barn. This spot was sloping and uneven, so around 1900 the students 
took it upon themselves to lay out a baseball diamond. According to 
members of the Class of 1903 who returned to Elmhurst for their 50th 
reunion in 1953, the decision to allow the students to make a baseball 
diamond was made by "the Old Man" himself. (It was said that Professor 
Stanger, who was a baseball fan, put in a good word for the students.) 

The students determined that the proper place for the diamond 
was in the area where the football field is now located. There were two 

K Entering a New Century 51 

problems with this location. It was currently used as a potato and 
cabbage field, so students had to convince Inspector Irion that a good 
baseball field was more important than potatoes and cabbage. After 
winning this battle, they still had to lay out the field on the rough land. 
One student found a friend in Elmhurst with a team of horses, a plow 
and a scraper, and within a day the baseball diamond and a running 
track were completed. 

According to the members of the Class of 1903, the first baseball 
game on the new diamond was against St. Vincent's. If the students 
remembered correctly, Elmhurst's athletic endeavors began on a positive 
note when Elmhurst students triumphed convincingly. 

Also around 1900, students organized the Student Athletic 
Association, which was totally supported by student dues. (It wasn't until 
1919 that the College supported the athletic program.) Within a few 
years students were competing against other schools in soccer and track 
as well as in baseball. The 1901 Elmhurst baseball team had uniforms 
that, along with bats and other equipment, were paid for by the Student 
Athletic Association. To help buy equipment, the athletic association 
presented plays that were open to the community as well as students. 

While students might have preferred to play football rather than 
soccer, the faculty and Supervising Board considered football too 
dangerous, so soccer was played beginning in 1909. Paul Crusius recalled 
that both the baseball and soccer teams had excellent records in their 
early years and that the 1912 soccer team won the state championship. 
Elmhurst teams played teams such as those from Lane and Crane high 
schools of Chicago and McCormick Seminary as well as independent 
teams such as the Bricklayers. The track team was less successful in part 
because it competed with the baseball season. 

A few years later the students also laid out clay tennis courts. One of 
the early tennis stars was Henry Dinkmeyer, who would serve as presi- 
dent of Elmhurst College from 1948 to 1957. 

The students used the same ingenuity they showed in getting a base- 
ball diamond for other causes. Again according to the Class of 1903, the 
instruments used by the Proseminary band were in a deplorable condition, 
so the students asked Director Irion for permission to raise funds by 
appealing to churches and worshipers through the S\Tiod magazine, Der 

52 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Tears K 

Friedensbote. The director gave permission for the students to present their 
proposal to the Supervising Board, which in turn granted permission for the 
special solicitation. Several hundred dollars were raised, and two smdents 
were sent to Chicago to purchase an entire new set of instruments. The 
band proudly showed off its new instruments at that spring's Seminarfest. 

The students solicited the brethren at least once more between 1897 
and 1903. The Meusch Library in the basement of Old Main had fallen 
upon hard times, so the students asked to make another appeal to the 
faithful. The director and the Supervising Board gave permission, and 
enough money was raised to put in a wooden floor, repair and paint the 
walls and ceiling, install ceiling lights and purchase large library tables, 
comfortable chairs and bookcases. The students supplemented the funds 
they had raised by giving a performance of "The Merchant of Venice" in 
downtown Elmhurst. 

The other most active student organization was the Schiller Society. 
It presented a variety of entertainment — poetry readings, orations or 

Schiller Society, 1910. 

K Entering a New Century 53 

scenes from plays by Schiller, Shakespeare and other dramatists. During 
meetings of the Schiller Society one student read the Schillerbote 
("messenger"), a paper that contained essays by members, news articles 
and jokes. Although read rather than printed and distributed, this could 
be considered the first campus newspaper. Often the editor had to omit 
the jokes if the director was in attendance. Luckily the director came only 
when invited since he was not a member. 

Twice a year the Schiller Society gave a free program on a Sunday 
afternoon for the whole Proseminary family. Professor Stanger would 
usually play the organ, and students played musical instruments in addi- 
tion to the usual orations and dramatics. Among the stars of the enter- 
tainments were Timothy Lehmann, Class of 1899, who served as presi- 
dent of Elmhurst College from 1928 to 1948, and Pete Langhorst, the 
future coach. 

On free days the students took part in many of the activities that had 
occupied earlier students. They took walks. The stone quarry and the 
banks of Salt Creek were popular spots on nice days. Although the 
students usually started out on their walks in pairs, they liked to return in 
groups. Sometimes as many as 50 students would return together and 
march in step along the wooden sidewalks, making a tremendous racket 
that could be heard blocks away. 

In the winter students went ice skating. In the summer they swam in 
Salt Creek. In 1902 a Proseminary student drowned in the creek. Many 
students indulged in a safer sport — bicycling. A number of the boys 
brought their bikes with them to school. At least once during Ewald 
Agricola's days a group of students hiked all the way to Chicago and rode 
three abreast down Michigan Avenue. 

By early in the new century many students had cameras and were 
enthusiastic photographers. Each student completed the whole photo- 
graphic process from snapping the pictures to developing the plates to 
mounting the finished photos. They used the closets of their sleeping 
rooms for darkrooms. 

The students enjoyed indoor games too. They played checkers and 
chess and organized a chess club. They also spent much of their free time 
in talking and horseplay. The smokers congregated in the smoking room, 
known as the Fumatorium, in the basement of Old Alain. Here they 

54 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

smoked, talked and played chess. This was the only room in the 
Proseminary that the director never entered. Nonsmokers gathered in 
the washrooms and, after study hours, in the study rooms for conversa- 
tion and games. 

Occasionally students and groups of Elmhurst town boys got into 
fights. On Halloween night the "townies" often tried to sneak onto the 
Proseminary grounds to create mischief, so Proseminary students lay in 
wait for them. Many battles ensued. According to Proseminary graduates, 
they won each battle. 

Rules and Regulations 

Most of the rules estabhshed in the early years of the Proseminary 
continued into the 20th century. The "Rules and Regulations" printed in 
the later years show that the rule against going into Elmhurst during free 
time — the most often broken of Proseminary rules — had finally been 
dropped. Now the only regulation was against students leaving the city of 
Elmhurst without permission. 

Students were no longer forbidden to talk to ladies. In fact, 
ladies were permitted to visit the Proseminary during students' free 
time. The rules stated in capital letters, however, that "LADIES ARE 
NOT ADMITTED to any portions of the buildings used for living 
quarters, including the students' own rooms, without permission from 
the Director." 

Some rules would sound familiar to today's students such as the 
admonition against driving nails into the walls or defacing Proseminary 
property. Students were told, again in bold print, that they must not 

Other rules sound decidedly quaint today. Students were cautioned 
not to shout. They were told to take care of their teeth and to have all 
cuts and boils attended to in the sick room. All students were forbidden 
to drink alcoholic beverages. Those over age 18 were allowed to smoke 
pipes but not to smoke cigarettes or to use chewing tobacco. 

K Entering a New Century 55 

Student hijhiks, 1911. On bed, F. Bnihn and H. Dinkmeyer; standing, P. Gimtler, 
J. George, and H. Niebuhr. Both Dinkmeyer and Niebnhr later became Elmhiirst 
College presidents. 

Students were prohibited from visiting poolrooms, saloons or other 
"questionable places." They could not dance or attend dances, cut classes 
or study time to go to moving picture shows, theaters or other entertain- 
ments, or swear or use "objectionable language." 

Rules continued to be enforced by the director and faculty through 
the system of student monitors. These students, who served on a rotating 
basis, held tides such as campus senior and class senior. A student was in 
charge of each study room and each sleeping room. The student monitors 
varied in how strict they were about enforcing the rules. Evervone knew, 
though, that if a study or sleeping room got out of hand, die director 
would soon arrive. A few words from him would immediately restore order. 

56 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Eimhurst College Years K 

Students themselves helped enforce the rules. Occasionally a student 
who broke Proseminary rules or who was judged to be guilty of anti- 
social activity was brought before a court of his peers. In other ways 
students helped maintain standards. Agricola remembered that once a 
student convinced the other students that the use of "ponies" or transla- 
tions of Latin and Greek writers into English or German was wrong, and 
the practice was abandoned for a time. 

To assure that study rules were being followed, the director and at 
least one other professor visited each study room each evening. If a 
student was absent, for example to practice the piano in Kranz Hall, he 
would leave a card on his desk telling where he was. 

At 10 o'clock each evening lights were out. If the students did not 
quiet down, they would hear the voice of the director calling out in 
German, "Now, let us have silence here." Silence would immediately fall. 


Daniel Irion 
The Fourth President 

Daniel Irion was the head of the 
Elmhurst Proseminary from 1887 to 
1919, the longest term of any coresi- 
dent in the history of the institution. 
In 1901 his title was changed from 
inspector to director. Irion was born in 
1855 at Marthasville, Missouri where 
his father was a professor at the 
Evangelical Seminary. He entered the 
Proseminary when it opened in 
January 1872 and graduated in the 
Class of 1874 before going to the Marthasville seminar)^. 

Irion joined the faculty of the Proseminary in 1877 and 
remained there until 1880, when he resigned to devote himself full- 
time to pastoral duties. W^en he became pastor at St. Peter's Church 
in Elmhurst, he returned to the Proseminary faculty part-time from 
1885 to 1887. After considerable persuasion, he agreed to become 
inspector in 1887. 

Daniel Irion was a tall, lean and imposing man with piercing 
eyes. In addition to his outstanding ability as a teacher, he was an 
excellent preacher, and many students remembered his stirring words 
decades after their graduation. 

Following the conversion of the Proseminar)^ into a junior college 
in 1919, Irion retired from the directorship. He was given the title of 
president emerims and served as professor of New Testament from 1919 
to 1933. He also served as the vice president of the Evangelical S\Tiod 
from 1913 to 1917. 

Director Irion was married to Frederike Stanger. They were the 
parents of three children who lived to adulthood. One of their children, 
Paula, married Paul Crusius, the longtime professor at Elmhurst. 
Director Irion remained on the Elmhurst College campus until his 
death in 1935. 

chapter 5 

K Calls for Reform Mount 

Calls for changes in the Proseminaiy intensified near the end 
of the first decade of the 20th century and in the early teens. 
An unusually gifted group of Proseminary alumni, led by 
Reinhold Niebuhr — Elmhurst's most prominent alumnus, who would go 
on to become one of the foremost theologians of 20th-century 
America — opened a full-scale attack on the program at the Proseminary. 
No longer were they content to work for changes in the traditional clas- 
sical curriculum. Now they called for the Proseminary to be replaced by 
a four-year college on the American model. 

While earlier alumni had called for change, they had lacked an 
effective mechanism for making their concerns widely known. In 1911 
the reformers developed a powerful new weapon when they helped found 
the Keiyx, a literary magazine edited by students at Eden Seminary for 
students at both the Seminary and the Proseminary. 

According to Niebuhr, who served as assistant editor when the 
magazine was founded and became editor in 1912, the Kei-yx (the Greek 
word for "herald") was started to arouse "interest in Evangelical schools 
and through this interest, to work for higher standards." He later wrote, 
"It was the Keijx that first began the agitation for a real college at 


60 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the 
foremost Ajrierican theologians 
of the 20th century. 

Elmhurst. Previous to its birth there was only a very feeble demand for a 
college with higher academic standards than prevailed at Elmhurst." 

Other factors played into the young reformers' hands. The financial 
situation at both the Proseminary and the Seminary was worsening 
quickly. After 1904 the number of students at the Proseminary skyrock- 
eted, from 100 to 175 just 10 years later. Since the Proseminary was 
losing money on each student, an increase in attendance meant more 
money lost. Within a few years the Proseminary was running a deficit of 
more than $10,000 a year. 

In 1909 the Synod formed fund-raising committees to increase 
contributions, but the efforts failed. The sources that had been used in 
the past to raise money were drying up. Evangelical churches, many of 
which were now large and prosperous, could have increased their contri- 
butions. Many, though, had begun to spread their contributions around, 
to support Evangelical hospitals or orphans' homes, foreign and home 
missions, or special funds for pastoral pensions. 

The decision of the General Conference of the Synod in 1909 to 
add an extra year to the Proseminary program exacerbated the school's 

K Calls for Reform Mount 


financial situation. Unlike the fifth year originally established in 1885, 
this was tacked on at the end of the traditional program. Although it was 
not recognized at the time, this was the first step on the road to 
converting Elmhurst to a true college, since this year provided the first 
postsecondary^ education. Though still not really a college, Elmhurst was 
invited to become a charter member of the new Association of American 
Colleges in the same year. 

\Vhen the postsecondary year went into operation in 1911, it 
increased the student body and required more resources. Once again 
the Proseminary was overcrowded. This led to the construction of the 
fourth new^ building, which was completed in 1911. Irion Hall, which 
was built north of Kranz Hall, contained sleeping and study rooms for 
about 100 students and a new apartment for the director and his 
family. A chapel was constructed in the north wing while a library and 
a gymnasium were housed in the basement. The construction of the 
gymnasium allowed students to organize a basketball team to play area 
opponents such as Wheaton College, Elgin Academy and even Loyola 
University as w^ell as local secondary schools. In the first game in the 

Student body, 1911. Middle run. 
right: Th. W. Mueller. 

second j rum left: II. Richard Niebidn'; sixth jruiii 

62 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Eimhurst College Years K 

new gym, Proseminary students beat the Eimhurst High School 
team 29-8. 

Why the student body increased so rapidly in this era is not 
totally clear. Several religious movements were encouraging young men 
to become ministers. An evangelical movement was sweeping through 
all Protestant churches, and the Evangelical Synod found itself one of 
the chief beneficiaries. In addition, there was an increased emphasis on 
educating Christian laymen, which resulted in the formation of the first 
Evangelical Leadership Training School on the Proseminary campus 
in 1915. 

Starting with its first yearbook in 1914, the Proseminary marketed 
itself in better ways that probably brought in new students. William 
Denman also attributes the increase in students to some extent to the 
success of Elmhurst's athletic program. "Intercollegiate athletics . . . had 
by this time become a highly successful attraction," he wrote. Athletic 
victories such as Elmhurst's winning of the state soccer championship 
raised the image of the Proseminary and helped in recruiting. 

The Battle Rages 

As more young men were graduated from the Proseminary, they 
swelled the ranks of those dissatisfied with the status quo at their alma 
mater. None of these alumni was more passionately committed to seeking 
reform than was Reinhold Niebuhr. 

Reinhold Niebuhr graduated from the Proseminary in 1910 before 
going on to Eden Seminary and then to Yale University. After Yale he left 
the academic world for a parish in Detroit where he served until 1928, 
when he became a professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New 
York. A magnetic speaker, lecturer and preacher; a prodigious scholar 
with a multitude of articles and 20 books to his credit; a worker for racial 
harmony; a friend and adviser to the powerful; and one of the most 
important religious thinkers of this century, Niebuhr died in 1971. 

Niebuhr's relationship with Eimhurst continued long after he grad- 
uated from the Proseminary. His younger brother, H. Richard, served as 

K Calls for Reform Mount 


Keller, Adolf 
Aleck, and future 
Ehnhurst College 
president Robeit 
St anger at 1918 
class picnic. 

the sixth president at Elmhurst from 1924 to 1927 and oversaw the trans- 
formation of the Proseminary into a college before he went to Eden and 
then Yale. 

In later years Reinhold Niebuhr remembered fondly people he had 
known at the Proseminary and praised the success of the Proseminary's 
efforts to fQlfill its Christian mission, but he stressed that it had not 
provided the intellectual education and stimulation that he sought. "We 
may have a fairly adequate professional training but we lack the founda- 
tion of a general education," he wrote. 

In an age of science we know litde about the higher sciences. In a day 
which brings practically every religious problem into some relation to 
the doctrine of evolution we left school knowing no more about this 
bugaboo of theology, "evolution," than the mere word. Our knowl- 
edge of psycholog)' and philosophy was snatched on "quick lunch" 
counters and we had no time to make a thoro (sic) study of sociology 
while everyone about us was speaking about the "social gospel." . . . 
We learned the dates and the names of histor\^'s heroes but we had no 
understanding of its profounder meanings and no appreciation of its 
lessons. . . . There is a great store of knowledge that we ought to have 
but do not have. We will have to do the best we can to acquire it by 
personal study but for those who come after us we covet a better 
preparation for a calling that ought to have nothing but the best. 

64 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

In 1913 the Keijx increased the pressure for change in an article 
that asked "Will We Ever Be Bachelors?" According to the article, "Our 
Church has recognized for some time that it is becoming absolutely 
essential that Elmhurst graduates receive the B.A. degree. Wonderful 
strides have been made in the development of the Elmhurst course of 
study so that this goal seems to be in striking distance." The Keiyx went 
on to urge the upcoming General Conference 

to attain this goal. The graduates of Elmhurst and Eden are under a 
great disadvantage in their relations to English-speaking people and 
their clergy. We cannot expect these people to be acquainted with the 
character of the work of our institutions. Neither can we therefore 
blame them when they think less of us because we do not possess the 
universally recognized insignia of a good general and theological 
education, the B.A. and B.D. degrees. . . . 

The fact that Elmhurst has come within striking distance of the B.A. 
degree in a four years' course reflects great credit upon the institu- 
tion and its faculty. However, B.A. work requires as a rule eight, 
sometimes seven years, which includes high school and college work. 
It can therefore be seen that Elmhurst never can, with the best of 
will, do eight years' work in four or five years. 

There is but one solution of the problem, as the Keiyx believes, and 
that is to demand high school diplomas from those who enter 
Elmhurst. It would then be an easy matter to give our men a thor- 
ough college training and confer the B.A. degree upon them in four, 
possibly three years. With that accomplished it would be an easy 
matter to give the B.D. degree in Eden. 

Early in 1914, when H. Richard was assistant editor, the Keiyx head- 
lined its annual Elmhurst issue with another call for change. 

Elmhurst College has unmistakably advanced. . . . But, that . . . 
Elmhurst College must and will take greater strides in the future, 
not far off, is the sure conviction of the Keiyx. . . . Elmhurst 
need no longer impart high-school education, any more than 
grade instruction! 

K Calls for Reform Mount 63 

Every boy in our land can, it he will, receive a high school education 
today . . . close to his home . . . under the careful, watchhil guidance 
of his parents. 

Why, furthermore, should we undertake to do what the government 
with so much more resources is able to do more successfully, satisfac- 
torily. The time is ripe that Elmhurst demand a certificate of 
high school graduation for entrance and that Elmhurst give only 
collegiate courses! 

Later in 1914, after H. Richard Niebuhr had become editor, the 
Keryx included an article from Reinhold, who wrote about what he had 
found at Yale. He concluded his article with another plea for change. 

I can not forego this opportunity without saying a word regarding the 
position we were placed in here because of the fact that we had no 
academical degree. . . . Yale is at present the only school of any 
standing that will at all consider giving a man a degree if he does not 
possess the A.B. That is one very good reason to coming (sic) to Yale. 
But the dean has told me that Yale will be forced to apply more strin- 
gent rules in the future simply to protect its academical standing, and 
study here will therefore become increasingly difficult. 

A man without a degree is, for the first year at least, under constant 
difficulty and in continual embarrassment. It is for this reason that 
I have lost no opportunity and will lose none to express the hope 
that it will soon be possible for our Church to arrange a college 
course that will receive full credit in the academical world. Even 
the Mennonites come here with an A.B. and take their place 
among the chosen w hile we are forced to look on naked of those 
garments without which a man is considered a barbarian in the 
academical world. 

Early in 1915 articles by Reverend Paul Schroeder and Reverend 
H.L. Streich in the Kejyx continued the pressure. Schroeder wrote that 

Elmhurst College must be a college in fact and not only in name. . . . 
The time has come when Elmhurst must be more than a preparatory 
school for Eden. It must be the college for the Evangelical youth of 

66 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

our land, that will give him a liberal and classical training, necessary 
for every vocation of life. Let us not multiply colleges but enlarge 
and build upon the institutions that we have. 

While the Niebuhrs and their aUies wanted the abohtion of the 
Proseminary and the raising in its place of a four-year college, a more 
conservative plan was developing within the Proseminary faculty. In 
1915, two months before Paul Crusius resigned from the Proseminary to 
become a pastor at Downers Grove, IlHnois, he wrote a long article for 
the Keiyx outlining the faculty plan. 

Crusius began with a series of questions. "Does our experience of 
constant financial want even for our present modest requirements justify 
the hope that we are able to support a vastly more expensive college?" 
What would it cost, he asked, to found a college? He quoted a college 
president who said that it would cost nearly $1 million. 

"In Elmhurst the Synod has a good academy, which could be made 
as much better in equipment and larger in scope as the means put at the 
disposal of the Board might permit," Crusius wrote. Why not build upon 
what already existed by raising the curriculum to a junior college rather 
than starting from scratch to create a four-year college? Such a plan 
would involve less risk and less cost, he argued. It would require adapting 
the curriculum to the American standard for a junior college while main- 
taining it as a German preparatory school. Then a sixth year of study 
could be added in the American pattern. 

Crusius suggested that Elmhurst grant a high school diploma after 
four years' work and a diploma that certified an additional two years of 
college work after six years of study. This would make Elmhurst more 
appealing to Evangelical students who did not intend to go on to the 
seminary. "Hundreds of our young men, I believe, annually attend the 
colleges and state universities of our country. . . . The religious atmos- 
phere of Elmhurst might well make it appear a safer place than the state 
university to spend the first college years." 

Crusius argued that Elmhurst should maintain its character as a 
German preparatory school. "Elmhurst must retain most of its present 
work for another generation," he wrote. "The church needs it; our dut)^ 
toward German culture demands it. ... I have expressed the conviction 
that the Synod cannot afford to close its academy, the Proseminar." 

K Calls for Reform Mount 67 

George Sorrick and Daniel Irion in the first science lahoratoij at Elmhiit'st College, 1915. 

It couldn't afford to start a college either, wrote Crusius: 

The present plant is none too adequate for an academy. For a college, 
it would be a total misfit. . . . There are probably hundreds of strug- 
gling small colleges in our country. Instead of adding another, I have 
long wondered whether our Synod couldn't absorb one? . . . My 
suggestion is that it might be possible for our church to secure the 
control of a college in return for its patronage and support. 

As part of this plan Crusius suggested remodeling and converting all 
of Old Main to classrooms, tearing down Kranz Hall, building a new 
dormitory on the site of Kranz Hall, and constructing a new music 
building with a large auditorium. Other changes would also be needed, 
but they could come later. 

In early 1917 the Keiyx recounted the experience of a member of the 
Elmhurst Class of 1916 who had been admitted to the Universit}^ of 
Wisconsin and another who had been admitted to George Washington 
University. Since neither had a degree, both had to take special examina- 
tions in order to be admitted. The Keiyx reminded readers that for years it 


An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Bible class led by Prof. Schviale, Old Chapel in Irion Hall, 1916. 

has deplored the fact, that Elmhurst is not up to the standard of a 
first-class college capable of conferring degrees upon its grad- 
uates. . . . We can safely say that work at Elmhurst is well done; 
and ... we can be proud of what Elmhurst does, especially in the 
classical languages. It is doubtful whether Greek and Latin is taught 
more thoroly (sic) in any college in the United States. . . . 

Such a record goes to show what Elmhurst could do in the other 
departments, were it given the opportunity to do so. In Elmhurst, the 
Evangelical Church could have an excellent college for its sons, 
regardless of the vocation chey might choose, if only the funds were 
available and the necessary arrangements made for the extension of 
the work. We hope the near future will fulfill the dreams of many 
alumni and the Keiyx. Eor the present we can be glad that what 
Elmhurst does, it does well. 

Also in 1917 Reinhold Niebuhr rejoined the battle with an article 
titled "The Future of Our Seminaries." 

X Calls for Reform Mount 69 

To begin with the work of our schools does not conform to the stan- 
dards set all about us. It is a well-known fact that a minister in this 
country is expected to have an eleven-year education. . . . However 
frantically our schools may have been trying to crowd the equivalent 
of eleven years of study into seven or even eight years, they have not 
succeeded and never can. Pure mathematics is against them. Within 
their limitation they have done work of which we may all be proud. 
But they can not accomplish the impossible. In other words we need 
a college, not a junior college but a fully accredited one. 

Niebuhr wrote that a college could be paid for if churches contributed 
as they ought and if students paid more for their education. "If our semi- 
naries would not charge a cent tuition and simply held the students respon- 
sible for their board they would be better off than they are now." 

Niebuhr disagreed with Crusius' idea of adding a year to the end of 
the Proseminary's course of study. 

If we ever have a college, that will not mean that three or four years 
will have to be added to the present terms of our schools. It will mean 
that three or four years ought to be pushed off at the bottom. The 
Church ought not be responsible for the high school education of its 
youths. That they can get at home. In other words, it ought to 
demand a high school diploma of its Elmhurst men. 

By this time, the battle for change was nearly won. In April 1917 the 
Board decided to recommend to the General Conference that it expand 
the Elmhurst curriculum to become a four-year college. This appeared to 
signal the triumph of the Niebuhr wing of the reformers. Yet while 
change would finally come, the shape that Elmhurst College would take 
was still not what many reformers had hoped it would be. 

Student Life at the End of the Proseminary Era 

WTiile alumni and facult}^ debated the reorganization of the 
Proseminarv^, life at the Elmhurst Proseminar\^ slowly chans^ed. In the fall 

70 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

of 1912 the first lecture series to bring in outside speakers was organized 
on campus. 

A year later a janitor was hired for the first time to take over main- 
tenance of Proseminary buildings, which ended most of the students' 
janitorial duties. In the same year the faculty granted the Class of 1914 
permission to publish the first school annual. Earlier classes had been 
refused permission. Though the Class of 1914 didn't manage to publish a 
full-scale annual, it did put out a picture book. The first annual, called 
77:7^ Elms, was not published until 1916. 

Ehiihw'st Mejnories was the title of the Class of 1914's picture book. 
Included was a sketch of "A Day At Elmhurst." The start of the school 
day was at 6 o'clock, half an hour later than in earlier decades. According 
to the author, "In the days of yore, this was the time for the clamorous 
hand bell to make its rounds thru the bedrooms, rudely rousing the 
sleepers from their dreams. Now there is no such inconvenience. We 
have progressed; an electric gong rings the hour of rising." 

Students who failed to heed the bell would find the Untersenior, 
or senior's assistant, at their door, followed shortly thereafter by 
the senior. 

Sometimes with gentle, sometimes with forceful means, he tries to 
persuade the indolent sleepers that it is time to get up; but even these 
methods of coercion are futile in the case of some. The only infallible 
means is the light step and the authoritative voice of the Director. 
When these are heard, everyone knows and feels it is really time to 
say farewell to slumberland. 

In the afternoon came the big change in the students' day. When 
classes were dismissed, which was no later than 4:35, the boys had free 
time rather than a work period. They still had duties such as making 
their beds, serving their meals, mowing lawns on Saturdays and clearing 
snow. They also worked in the library or bakeshop, but the main work of 
caring for the buildings was done by the new janitor, and the farm work 
was done by "old Fritz," who had worked at the Proseminary for decades. 

When classes ended for the afternoon, "With a hip, hip, hurrah! we 
hurry out upon the baseball diamond, the football field, the tennis court, 
the green country or down into the gymnasium," continued Elmhurst 

K Calls for Reform Mount 


Elmhurst Proseminary band, 1916. 

Memories. "The life of the college runs smoother under the new order 
[and new janitor] than ever before. Those who cannot refrain from being 
usefully occupied, now console themselves by stalking some harmless 
Greek or Latin verb thru dozens of lexicons, and after worrying it to 
distraction, pounce upon it in high glee." 

After supper came another 30 minutes of freedom "during which 
many are seen taking a stroll to town, often stopping at the corner 
grocery to satisfy the craving for sweets." Then came study time, chapel 
and lights out. 

Another change the students of 1914 celebrated was in the qualit\^ of 
the food. With a new couple in charge of the dining hall, "a casual 
observer would have great difficulty in finding any difference betw een 
those who were fed upon the food that mother makes, and those who are 
fed upon the everyday college fare." 

In 1911 chemistry was added to the curriculum, but it was dropped 
the next year because there was no adequate laboratory^ In the same year 
several faculty, including Paul Crusius, began to conduct Saturday chapel 

72 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Football (soccer) tea?ii, 1916-17. 

services in English so students would be familiar with the English Bible 
and hymnal that was being used in some Evangelical churches. 

In 1912 the small library that had been collected by the Meusch 
Society since 1877 was given over to the control of the faculty. Paul 
Crusius was placed in charge. He was assisted by Mrs. Breitenbach, a 
librarian whose husband was professor of Latin and English, and by 
student helpers. By this time the holdings numbered approximately 1,200 
volumes. For the first time an annual appropriation was set aside for the 
purchase of new books. By 1915 the hbrary holdings had grown to 3,270. 

The Schiller Society and the Athletic Association remained the 
bulwarks of students' after-school hours. In 1912 they were joined by the 
YMCA, which evolved out of the Meusch Society that was no longer in 
charge of the library. Paul Crusius was one of the early supporters of the 
YMCA. Within a few years the officers of the YMCA were serving as a 
student council. Starting in 1919 student council officers were elected by 
direct vote of the entire student body. 

K Calls for Reform Mount 73 

Throughout the teens new student groups were founded. Some 
lasted for a time while others passed quickly out of existence. The Philo- 
Biblicum was organized to train Sunday school teachers. The 
Wanderlust Club promoted walking, and members walked as far as 
downtown Chicago. It took them almost four hours, after which they 
rode back to Elmhurst on the train. The Reading Circle and Alpha 
Lambda Kappa, an American history club, were other student groups 
that formed during this period. 

A new course in American history and civil government was intro- 
duced in 1914 and taught in Enghsh by Paul Crusius. At the end of the 
next school year students were shocked when Crusius resigned. Crusius, 
whom the students privately called Blitz, was without question one of the 
most popular as well as the most active faulty members. He was a central 
part of nearly all aspects of Proseminary life. 

Enrollment reached 170 in 1914. Classes were no longer known as 
first through fifth years. Now they were called freshmen, sophomores, 
middlers, juniors and seniors. 

Students took one period of physical education a week, which was 
taught by various faculty members. Even Director Irion taught two 
classes of gymnastics a week. The Keijx called for half an hour of P.E. 
each day, but the change was not made. 

Athletics flourished at the Proseminary. Starting in 1912 a basketball 
team joined the soccer team that held its season in the fall, the baseball 
team that played in the spring, and the track team that held meets with 
area schools. 

The Proseminary contributed nothing to the athletic program 
except a place for the teams to play and, starting in 1912, tuo faculty 
representatives for the athletic advisory board. Paul Crusius was one of 
the first faculty advisers. All Proseminary teams were funded by the 
student body through dues to the Athletic Association of $1 to $2. Even if 
all students were members, this did not allow much money to finance 
four athletic teams. 

By late in the teens some of the athletic teams were falling on hard 
times. The soccer team could no longer find teams to play. Many of its 
former opponents were now in leagues and playing no one outside their 
league or had abandoned soccer for football. In the fall of 1919 

74 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst played its last soccer game. Starting in 1920 it would compete 
in football. 

The War Years 

The opening of World War I in Europe caused strains at the 
Proseminary. The Elmhurst school had always celebrated its German 
heritage, and many students, faculty and graduates had family members 
still in Germany, Thus there was much support for the German side, 
especially in the early years of the war. 

"The greater part of us can happily and with a good, clear 
conscience place our sympathies on the side of Germany," stated a 1914 
issue of the Keryx, 

not only because we trace our descent from Germany, or because our 
education is under direct German influence, but because we have the 
conviction that under all the diplomatic sugar-coated statements, 
there is some truth and justice to Germany's claims. . . . Although our 
hearts yearn for Germany victories, our prayer has been and will be 
that peace may come. 

Elmhurst alumni were active in a local neutrality club at Eden. 
Furthermore, three of Eden's professors served on the Executive 
Committee of the local organization of the American Neutrality League. 
According to the Keryx, in 1915 a number of Eden students sent indi- 
vidual petitions to President Wilson and the Foreign Relations 
Committee supporting bills to stop the sale and exportation of arms 
to any belligerent nation. 

After America's entrance into the war, most student and faculty 
opinion appears to have svmng behind the American troops and their 
allies. In 1918 Reinhold Niebuhr, who had been appointed executive 
secretary of the War Welfare Commission of the Evangelical Synod, sent 
a message to the Keryx that discussed the Great War and American 
participation. While acknowledging that most ministers were pacifists, he 
asked whether all pacifism was sincere. "There seem to be quite a 

X Calls for Reform Mount 75 

number ot men who have developed religious scruples against war very 
recently," he wrote. "They never protested against the military ambitions 
of Germany or any other nation." 

Niebuhr went on to express his opinion of America's involvement in 
the war. 

No nation was more definitely committed to the peace ideal than 
ours. . . . But when the world, particularly our present enemies, 
misinterpreted this idealism and sneeringly construed it as a rich and 
flabby complacency that was afraid to risk the prosperity of peace in 
the fortunes of war, we began to realize that our very love of peace 
might cause us to lose it. ... As between our enemies and our allies 
there seems to be rather more moral purpose to end war for all time 
with our allies. 

The Ke?yx reported that when news of the end of the war reached 
Elmhurst the 

occasion was observed most patriotically. . . . the entire College was 
precipitated into a state of general uproar. Amid the blare of the 
bugle the Stars and Stripes majestically ascended the newly erected 
flagpole. The campus and the building were lavishly decorated with 
bunting and flags. The band added to the turmoil by pla\ang a 
number of stirring selections, after which it headed the procession, 
consisting of the faculty members and the student body, in their 
triumphant march thru town, in celebration of this, the most epochal 
event in the history of mankind. 

In spite of the ultimate support for Allied war efforts, memories of 
the early sympathy for Germany lingered long in Elmhurst and strained 
relations between some in the community and the Proseminary. It was 
not only Elmhurst faculty and students who felt this strain. So, too, did 
German residents of Elmhurst. It is said that it was during World War I 
that the German language began to disappear from common usage in 
Elmhurst's streets. 

Given the anti-German feelings that developed during the war, it is 
not surprising that starting in 1917 the Proseminary printed its Catalog in 
English. Still, immediately after the war, German was reestablished as the 

76 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years H 

language for chapel services and classroom use in all but a few classes. In 
1919 the Board and faculty declared that German should be used in 
classes as much as possible. Yet in the same year the Catalog said that an 
elementary knowledge of German was desirable though not necessary. 

While German was the primary language of instruction for several 
more years, the pro-German forces were fighting a losing battle. Faculty 
minutes were kept in English after 1922, as were the Board records after 
1924. Still, not everyone was ready to make the change to English. In 
1927 Daniel Irion wrote an article for The Ehihurst College Bulletin. It 
was in German. In spite of Irion's continuing devotion to the traditional 
German system and language, America's entrance into the war, along 
with the efforts of reformers such as Reinhold Niebuhr, sounded the 
death knell of the Proseminary program based on a German classical 
education and the German language. 

chapter () 

K A School for Every 
Young Man and 
His Chum 

ohn Kaney, a graduate of the Proseminary Class of 1917, 
remembered his days at Elmhurst thus: 

Our instructors were all sincere and dedicated people. Most had been 
educated and trained in Germany. . . . They were good men but there 
was litde easy communication between students and faculty members. 
The instructors apparently maintained the old German attitude of 
keeping aloof from the students. There was absolutely no give and 
take discussion, there was nothing approaching mutual friendship and 
understanding between students and faculty members. . . . 

After four years of Latin in which I made good grades I should have 
been able to read Latin readily and know what was said. I couldn't. 
Something was wrong. History was taught in German and we got an 
immense number of facts down our mental gullets which we tried to 
retain until the next exam. . . . 

It seems the curriculum was designed mostly to prepare young men, 
after they had completed Elmhurst and Eden, for the role of minister 
in German communities where it was necessar\' to preach in the 


78 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

German language. But the speaking of German was fast disappearing 
except in a few isolated locations. . . . The world was changing fast 
and change at Elmhurst was overdue. 

When the Seminary Board recommended in April 1917 that the 
Proseminary be converted into a four-year college, it called for the addi- 
tion of a modern language and the creation of professorships in soci- 
ology, economics, science, mathematics and education. Yet when the 
General Conference met in the summer of 1917, it took a more conserv- 
ative course and adopted the plan proposed by Paul Crusius and other 
faculty. Instead of establishing a four-year college, the Conference 
decided to continue providing secondary education while expanding 
offerings to include a junior college. This was viewed as an interim plan 
since the General Conference was expected in 1921 to consider 
expanding to a four-year college. 

To deal with the heavy financial problems already existing at the 
Proseminary and to allow for additional staff and courses needed for the 
junior college, the General Conference authorized annual appropriations 
for its two schools. The Proseminary received $26,095.65 for the 
1918-19 school year. By the middle of 1918 the Proseminary's debt was 
reduced to $1 1,000, and it was paid off within the next several years. 

The 130-member class that arrived at Elmhurst in the fall of 1918 — 
the last class to enter the Proseminary — found an educational institution 
in upheaval. The faculty of eight educational generalists, most trained in 
the German tradition, were suddenly faced with having to adapt to the 
American system, which included educational specialization. New faculty 
would have to be added along with new courses and equipment. Even 
more important, a new educational atmosphere would have to be created. 

In addition to developing American-style teaching practices, 
changes in discipline and student life would be necessary. Most of the 
rules of student behavior established in 1871 were still officially in effect. 
Many, though, were regularly ignored. For example, students were 
forbidden to go to vaudeville shows, which, according to Kaney, the "Old 
Man" thought were not appropriate for future ministers. Yet the high- 
light of many students' week was to get permission to go to Chicago to 
shop or meet friends. Then they would visit the McVicker's Theatre 
where, if they timed it right, they could watch two vaudeville shows. 

K A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 79 

Paul Crusius quoted Theophil Mueller, a 1912 graduate of the 
Proseminary who for 41 years served as a professor of sociology and dean 
of the College, as saying that this period was "like tearing down the old 
Union Station in Chicago and building the great new one on the same 
site without interrupting the arrival and departure of a single train. There 
had to be the most careful planning, and everybody had to put up with a 
lot of temporary inconvenience." Change, and struggle over the form that 
change would take, marked the entire decade from 1918 to 1928. 

The Elmhurst Academy and lunior College 

Starting in fall 1919 the name of the Proseminary was officially 
changed to the Elmhurst Academy and Junior College. Still Paul Crusius 
wrote in the Ke7jx that "There is no reason why the name Proseminar 
may not be continued in familiar German usage, since that is what the 
institution remains." 

In summer 1919, just before the opening of the Academy and Junior 
College, Daniel Irion retired as director. He had headed the Proseminary 
for 32 years and would continue as professor of Hebrew, Greek and the 
New Testament until 1928. At his retirement he had taught at Elmhurst 
for all but seven of the previous 5 1 years. Professor Irion remained close 
to the College until his death in 1935. Only Christian Stanger, who was 
professor of music and romance languages fi-om 1896 to 1946, served 
longer on the Elmhurst faculty. 

In November 1919 Daniel Irion was succeeded as head of the 
Elmhurst Academy and Junior College by the Reverend Herman J. 
Schick (also spelled Schick) of Evansville, Indiana. Schick, who graduated 
from the Proseminary in 1897, had been a successful pastor in a number 
of Evangelical churches. He was also appointed dean of the Junior 
College. In a move toward Americanization, Schick was given the title of 
college president. 

Schick was the first president to reach out to the Elmhurst commu- 
nity and to visit Evangelical churches all across the country^ seeking 
support for the school. Director Irion had been active in St. Peter's 

80 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Church, but he had continued the Proseminary's traditional isolation 
from the Elmhurst community. Under Schick's administration the 
Elmhurst community was invited onto campus for lectures and concerts. 
Elmhurst ministers from non-Evangelical churches were asked to lecture. 
Starting in 1923 young ladies were welcomed at College events. 

Mrs. Schick also reached out to the Elmhurst community. In 1920 
she organized the Ladies' (later Women's) Auxiliary, which mended 
students' clothing, secured supplies, decorated the dormitories and 
Dining Hall to make them look more homelike, raised frinds, and made 
life more pleasant for the students. 

Paul Crusius was selected as principal of the Academy. He had 
married Paula Irion — the director's daughter — in 1917 while he was a 
pastor at Downers Grove. When Crusius was rehired to teach history 
and hterature at the Proseminary in early 1919, he was paid $1,400 a year 
plus $100 for heat and lights. According to a letter to Crusius, the base 
salary for faculty in 1919 was $1,300 a year with a bonus of $100 for 
every four years of service on the faculty up to a maximum of $1,700. 
Married faculty lived on campus in College housing, while unmarried 
faculty generally boarded in town. 

The first four years of study at Elmhurst were almost the same as at 
the Proseminary. Requirements for admission to the Academy remained 
eight years of elementary school unless the student was over age 16, the 
ability to pass an exam. Evangelical church membership, an autobio- 
graphical sketch and the recommendation of an Evangelical minister. 
The course of study was very similar as well, although the number of 
class periods each week was cut from 32 to 29 so that students would 
have more preparation time. 

The Elmhurst Academy and Junior College Yea?- Book for 1919-20 
explained that the change to a junior college was made first and foremost 
to give future ministers an additional year of preparation before they 
went to Eden. Another reason was that young men who decided late in 
their high school career to become ministers could prepare for Eden. 
Third among the reasons was that Elmhurst could teach subjects such as 
psychology, sociology, economics and Hebrew that had been taught at 
Eden previously, allowing Eden to offer more theological courses. Last 
was that a junior college could provide two years of college to 
Evangelical men who didn't want to become ministers. 

K A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 81 

D?: Daniel Irio?i (right) and his mccessor as president. Dr. Hennan J. 
Schick, marking the transisition fiwn the old P7vse?ftina?y to the ??todem 
Academy and Junior College in 1919. 

82 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

According to the Year Book, the purpose of the Academy was, as it 
always had been, to prepare students to become Evangelical ministers. 
"The academy is also the best possible school for boys who wish to 
become teachers, doctors, and lawyers," the Year Book added. 

Instruction, except in English, American history, science and mathe- 
matics, was still in German. Of the 115 hours needed to graduate from 
the Academy, the largest requirement was in German — 19 hours — 
followed by English and Latin with 16 hours, math with 13, music with 
12, history with 1 1 and religion with 8. After four years of study at the 
Academy, students received a high school diploma. Starting in 1920, 
Academy students were all housed in Irion Hall, while Junior College 
students were housed in Kranz Hall and Old Main. 

The major changes in curriculum came in the Junior College. "This 
is not a mere extension of the academy, but a two year course worked out 
independently," wrote Crusius. Admission to the Junior College required 
graduation from a four-year high school or academy, three years of Latin, 
at least two years of a modern language (preferably German), and 
membership in an Evangelical church. 

Although the admission requirements did not insist that students 
know German, students who had never studied German would find study 
at the Junior College difficult since some of the textbooks and teaching in 
religion and music courses were in German. An elementary course in 
German was established for students who were not fluent in German. 

As the Keryx reported, the "campus language is English and the 
German which we receive in classes is not sufficient to enable us to speak 
the German language fluently." Some students were concerned about 
their inability to use German, so in 1920 they organized the Geselligkeits 
Verein Hans Sachs or German Society. 

Starting in 1921 Junior College students were required to have 
taken a year-long course in physics, geometry and algebra, two courses in 
modern language, history and Latin, and three in English before admis- 
sion. Using the popular educational concept of the day, these were called 
Carnegie units. 

When the Junior College opened, two majors were offered — a theo- 
logical preparation and a teacher preparation major. (The teacher prepa- 
ration major was soon eliminated.) Students who wished to go on to 

K A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 83 

another college in an area other than theology or teaching could take a 
general course. The 1919-20 Catalog didn't spell out this course but 
rather stated that "each student will be advised individually as to the best 
choice of subjects." 

For many years, the idea of an elective curriculum had been 
immensely popular with educational reformers, including Harvard 
President Charles William Eliot. Yet it wasn't until the opening of the 
Junior College in 1919 that electives were added to the Elmhurst 
curriculum. While the theological course of study was totally prescribed, 
students who wished to take an extra course or who were excused from a 
required course could choose a course in Latin, history or mathematics. 
Students preparing to teach were required to take 50 hours of set 
courses and 10 hours of electives from English, Greek, history, sociology 
or Bible study. 

A.W Aron, the first Elmhurst professor to hold a Ph.D., was 
added to the faculty in 1919 in social sciences, raising the number of 
faculty members to 10. For the first time faculty members were orga- 
nized into departments of Classical Languages, Biblical Science, 
English, German, History and Social Science, Mathematics and 
Science, and Music. Still the tradition of generalists hung on well 
into the 1930s and faculty members frequently taught classes outside 
their departments. 

The Junior College "must conform to the standard of American 
college work in quantity [approximately 15 hours a week]," wrote Crusius 
in 1919. Classes were to include lectures as well as recitations, which had 
been the traditional fare at the Proseminary and which remained the 
heart of Academy instruction. 

While the atmosphere would have to be different at the Junior 
College, it wasn't expected to be exactly like that at other American 
junior colleges. "Junior college students will be given, so far as possible, a 
distinct college life of their own," continued Crusius, but it would be 
"similar, one may venture to guess, to that at Eden." Thus the model for 
student life was that of a seminary rather than a secular junior college. 

The new Junior College adopted several aspects of American college 
life. In 1919 the faculty and Board allowed students to organize three 
Greek-letter fraternities. Similar ft-aternities had been operating at Eden 

84 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years 5S 

for several years. After three years the College closed the fraternities 
because of complaints from faculty and students that their exclusive 
nature was disrupting student life. For a number of years afterward 
Elmhurst refused to allow any student groups that smacked of either 
fraternities or of exclusiveness. The school even forbade students to orga- 
nize a letterman's group and a drama honorary that had a Greek name. 

Also the College adopted the American practices of initiation and 
hazing of freshmen, which had been forbidden at the Proseminary. The 
Ehi Bark reported various initiation activities apparently conducted by 
the YMCA, which was responsible for orienting new students. In 1922, 
for example, students were forced to dress in their pajamas and parade to 
the North Western station. One had to push a baby carriage with another 
student inside. After returning to the campus the students were paddled. 
The upperclassmen on the Elm Bark called these activities "fun." 

Tuition for both the Academy and the Junior College was free, but a 
fee of $200 was established for room, board and laundry; use of the 
library, musical instruments and laboratories; and incidentals. 
Scholarships covering these fees were available, and ministers' sons were 
given a 50 percent discount. In 1921 the College set a tuition rate of 
$100 for nonresident students. For students needing money, the YMCA 
found jobs on campus such as mowing lawns and caring for furnaces. 

The $200 fee was a modest increase of $50 per student from what 
had been established in 1913. Without subsidies from the Synod, this 
amount would not have covered the cost of education. According to 
William Denman, the Evangelical Synod provided the following support: 


Junior College 
















This marked a major increase, since contributions in the last years 
of the Proseminary were $21,000 in 1916-17, $44,500 in 1917-18 and 
$26,000 in 1918-19. Still it wasn't enough. 

9C A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 85 

Crusius recognized that much more money would be needed before 
Elmhurst was properly equipped. He had plans for new buildings and 
programs, but he also realized that there was no money. In his 1919 Keryx 
article, he outlined needs as follows: 

A new music hall is little short of a necessity. This should contain also 
the auditorium and stage for which the gymnasium now does duty. 
Some day, an Alumni G\Tnnasium with a swimming pool may take its 
place among the buildings. A separate building for science, not neces- 
sarily a large one, would be desirable. . . . The library cannot long 
remain in its present quarters. . . . 

The need is also felt for an athletic director. . . . All we need is money. 

Crusius saw a broader purpose for Elmhurst than just being a feeder 
school for Eden. The Junior College, he wrote, 

has thrown the doors wide open to high school graduates in partic- 
ular. We want them, because we know what we can do for them. We 
want them, whether they expect to go to Eden or not. Even next year, 
we shall be able to offer them a classical course. In another year or so, 
when the faculty has been increased, we shall be in position to offer 
any young man who expects to enter the profession of teaching, law, 
etc., an adequate training before going to a professional school. The 
junior college is for every young man and his chum. 

As Crusius pointed out, Elmhurst College was for men — men only. 
In 1919 the New York district of the Synod called for the admission of 
women to the Junior College, but official consideration of coeducation 
was not given at this time. At first glance the decision to exclude women 
may not appear surprising, but the establishment of an all-male school at 
this late date was unusual. When the Evangelical Synod established a new 
academy in Texas in 1922, it was coed. 

Coeducation had been intoduced in the United States in 1837 at 
Oberlin College in Ohio. Following the Civil W^ar the move to coeduca- 
tion picked up steam. By 1900 more than 70 percent of all American 
colleges were coed, with the vast majority of single-sex colleges being in 
the east. 

86 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

By the 20th century coeducation was nearly the rule in midwestern 
colleges. German Reform schools such as Catawba, which like Elmhurst 
began as an all-male secondary school, admitted women when it became 
a college. Other schools such as Heidelberg and Ursinus were either coed 
from the beginning or became so long before Elmhurst. 

Legend has it that Elmhurst bucked the trend because of the deter- 
mination of one man to exclude women. It may not be a coincidence that 
Daniel Irion retired from the faculty in 1928, and one year later the 
Synod decided to admit women. 

Elmhurst in the 1 920s 

When the Academy and Junior College were established, Elmhurst 
was a fast-growing city of more than 4,500 citizens, including Carl 
Sandburg, who lived with his family in a house on South York Street. 
Since 1910 Elmhurst had been incorporated as a city. In 1919 the 
successful candidate for mayor had run on a platform of getting Elmhurst 
out of the mud by paving its streets, and the next year York Road was the 
first street to be paved. In 1920 the Elmhurst Park District was organized 
and, shortly afterward, it was given half of the estate of the T.E. Wilder 
family (originally the home of Seth Wadhams across from Elmhurst 
College) with the proviso that a library be constructed on it. The Wilder 
Park conservatory was built in 1923, and the greenhouse and flower 
gardens opened a few years later. 

The first public library had opened in Elmhurst in 1916 on the site 
of what became Elmhurst National Bank. George Sorrick, who was on 
the Proseminary faculty, was an early member of its governing board. 
The first librarian, Mrs. H.L. Breitenbach, was the wife of another 
Elmhurst faculty member. She and Paul Crusius had established the first 
College library in Irion Hall. While serving as city librarian from 1916 to 
1926, she was in charge of the move to the new facility in Wilder Park. 

In 1920 Hawthorne School, which had burned in 1917, was rebuilt 
and, along with old Field School on North York Road and Lincoln 
School, provided public elementary education. In the same year York 

X A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 87 

Community High School was completed on the old Lathrop farm on the 
western reaches of town. This school, which served Elmhurst, Villa Park 
and part of Lombard, contained a swimming pool, and the Elmhurst 
Academy and Junior College arranged for its students to swim there. Later 
in the twenties Roosevelt and Washington schools were constructed, along 
with a school at St. Mary's, now Immaculate Conception Church. 

Early in the decade a new church was finished at St. Peter's, across 
the park from Elmhurst College. A former Elmhurst faculty member, 
Karl Chworowsky, is credited with Americanizing St. Peter's. 

In 1918 the Elmhurst Booster's Club was founded to promote civic, 
commercial and cultural activities. Seven years later it changed its name 
to the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce. By that date, the number of 
businesses in the city had grown remarkably. 

The first theater had been completed in the previous decade, but in 
1924 the York Theatre was built. Many Elmhurst students watched silent 
movies there. 

Elmhurst Community Hospital was built in 1925-26. Previously the 
nearest hospitals were in Oak Park and Aurora. 

Much of the area between downtown Elmhurst and South York 
Road as well as land east to Poplar and west to Hagans was being built 
up. To the west of Elmhurst College, though, was prairie except for the 
golf club and the new high school. 

During this period, many old buildings disappeared. Byrd's Nest, the 
Bryans' home, was torn down late in the decade, as were a number of 
other mansions. Their places were taken by more modest homes. 

By 1930 Elmhurst had grown to a city of more than 14,000. The 
rapid expansion came to a sudden halt, however, as the nation plunged 
into the Depression. 

Academy and Junior College in Operation 

John Kaney and Robert Stanger both remembered that students 
staged a brief and unsuccessful strike in protest against a Proseminary 
teacher in about 1917, but neither remembered the reason. Except for 

88 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

this occasion Proseminary students seem to have contented themselves 
with quietly violating rules rather than trying to change them. This 
changed shortly after the founding of the Junior College. According to 
Robert Stanger, "Then you began to have conflict between the old stan- 
dards and the new ideas of education, and that adjustment was sometimes 
pretty hard." 

In 1919, the curfew for Junior College students was set at 1 1:00 
p.m. (Bedtime for Academy students remained 10:00 p.m.) When in 1920 
President Schick and the Board moved the curfew back to 10:30, students 
petitioned the Board that the hour remain at 1 1:00. When the Board 
rejected the petition in October 1920, the students called a mass meeting. 
Several Board members and President Schick attended, and Schick 
reported that students showed "unfortunate decorum" to the chairman of 
the Board. Nine students who led the protest were asked to swear to 
abide by all established rules. They refused and called for a student strike. 
All but seven students on campus participated. 

After another student meeting and negotiations with faculty and 
members of the Board, the students decided to end their protest. They 
sent regrets for calling the strike along with promises to abide by all 
rules. They believed that they had received assurance that no punish- 
ment would be meted out. Thus when the faculty voted to place all 
strikers on one-month limited probation, the student body threatened 
to go home en masse. Two students went to St. Louis to plead with the 
president of Eden to admit 39 students in mid-semester. The threat was 
ended when President Schick announced that, in honor of the birth of 
his baby daughter, he was canceling the probation and setting the 
curfew at 1 1:00 until the Board voted on the matter. The crisis 
continued to simmer, though, because the two students who went to 
Eden were expelled late in the year. Fallout from the incident caused a 
major rift between Schick and leaders of the Synod and Eden. 

Other signs of discontent and strain were apparent. The YMCA 
founded the first school newspaper, called the Elm Bark, in 1920, and 
evidence of student unrest can be found throughout its early editions. 

Many students opposed the continuing use of German, especially in 
church services. For some years the Proseminary had been alternating 
German and English in evening chapel services. Early in 1921 the students 

K A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 89 

convinced President Schick to experiment with a plan that provided an 
extra EngHsh service on the nights when German chapel was scheduled. 

Still not satisfied, early the next year the student hody petitioned the 
Seminar}^ Board to conduct all chapel services in English. To bolster their 
case, the Ehfi Bark surveyed students and found that 4 percent reported 
that they understood no German; 1 5 percent understood practically no 
German; 40 percent understood some German; and only 41 percent 
understood nearly all German. In addition, 75 percent of students 
supported having all chapel services in English. 

In February 1922, the Seminary Board rejected the students' peti- 
tion. It approved the use of English on alternate nights but restricted 
English services on the nights when regular services were in German to 
first or second year students who were not yet comfortable with German. 
All others must attend the German services. 

Discontent over other issues also built. Housing was overcrowded 
and spartan. According to the Ehi Bark, late in 1921 there was only one 
shower on campus. It wasn't until 1924 that Irion Hall was remodeled 
and a shower was added to each floor. 

On June 5, 1921, Elmhurst put its controversies aside and cele- 
brated its Golden Jubilee. A pageant portrayed the College's history, 
and all alumni were invited for a reunion. President Schick spoke to the 
alumni in English and Professor Irion in German. As part of its celebra- 
tion the College launched the most ambitious building campaign of its 
50-year history. 

By 1921, 8,000 books were crammed into the small Hbrary in Irion 
Hall. The books were still cared for by Paul Crusius and student helpers, 
since the College had no hbrarian. That year Reinhold Niebuhr led a 
drive to raise money to build a librar}'. William Volker, a Kansas City 
business leader, contributed $10,000 as a challenge grant, and the Synod's 
young people's groups donated another $40,000. The librar\^, which cost 
$65,000, was finished in 1922 and dedicated to Evangelical church 
members killed in the recent war. 

Memorial Library, a single story building above a high basement 
that today houses the Deicke Center for Nursing Education and the 
Center for Continuing Education, was the first building constructed to 
the west of the original quadrangle. To clear the spot, the barn and most 

90 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

Elmhiiist College orchestra, conducted by Dr. Christian Sanger, in the early 1920s. 

of the sheds had to be torn down, and the fields and gardens removed. 
Thus ended the days of a working farm on campus. 

By 1922 another dormitory was badly needed, so funds were raised 
and construction on South Hall (now known as Schick Hall) was begun. 
The new dormitory, which cost $145,000, contained 50 rooms for 100 
students plus apartments for faculty and a new president's office. 

At the same time Old Main was totally remodeled at the cost of 
$55,000 following a major fire in 1920, and more adequate science labo- 
ratories and equipment were finally provided. Since 1920 Old Main had 
been the home of the first college store, which sold toiletries, clothing 
and a complete line of candy. 

The new buildings brought improved living conditions and better 
study space, but they didn't end student discontent. A controversy devel- 
oped over the need for stronger student government. For several years 

X A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 91 

YMCA officers had served as a student council, but neither students nor 
faculty had found this system to be satisfactory. Next the entire student 
body elected the student council. In 1920 a group of Junior College 
students called the Brotherhood was formed to serve as the student 
governing body. A group with the same name was the student governing 
body at Eden, but this system did not work at Elmhurst. Next the admin- 
istration instituted monthly mass meetings of the student body, but these 
meetings were too unwieldy to be effective in bringing forth student 
concerns or exercising leadership. 

The Keryx noted discontent at Elmhurst in April 1922 as follows: 

From time to time one also hears various complaints from the 
students at Elmhurst about conditions here, conditions which do not 
measure up to the expectations and desires of those who complain. A 
spirit of criticism is somehow instilled into the makeup of our youths 
early in their Freshman year and this spirit remains with them 
thruout (sic) their Elmhurst career. . . . Constructive criticism is 
always good and wholesome. But the spirit of much of the aforesaid 
criticism is not constructive. ... It partakes too much of the nature of 
mere knocking, and as such only creates unnecessar\^ dissatisfaction. . . . 

We can improve the relations of the students among themselves, to 
the school and to the faculty. ... It is wrong to follow the principle of 
conservatism, — viz., that things are sacred because they are old, or, 
conversely, that things are dangerous because they are new. . . . 

The last Ehn Bark of 1924 also commented on the continuing bad 
mood on campus as follows: 

It is true that for many of us the last school year has not been very 
pleasant. The general restlessness and seeming peplessness and lack of 
school and group spirit has indeed been very disappointing. Even the 
most optimistic finally had to admit defeat insofar as they could do 
nothing to better the spirit of discontent. But let us consider that 
Elmhurst is undergoing a great change. The old Proseminar)' tradi- 
tions and customs are quickly being done away with and newer ideas 
introduced. It is always hard to get used to new things, so also the new 
things at Elmhurst. A new school year begins in September and many 

92 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

who are returning are hoping for some new ideas and new things that 
will make Elmhurst bigger and better in the service of the Lord. 

More Changes Ahead 

In the fall of 1919, 120 students entered Elmhurst, 83 in the 
Academy and 37 in the first class at the Junior College. This was the 
smallest number of students since 1906. Enrollment at Elmhurst went up 
sharply for the next years, and the number of students studying at the 
Junior College more than doubled to 81 in 1923. 

Student recruitment was becoming more sophisticated. The Keryx 
in 1920 explained why students should go to Elmhurst as follows. "The 
smallness of the school, and this contact and fellowship lead to personal 
relations which cannot exist in the big 'U' or in the big colleges. . . . Also 
all our school is a Christian school." 

The Keryx also pointed to the successful athletic programs as 
another drawing point for Elmhurst. 

Then in 1924 the number of students seeking a secondary education 
plunged. By this time secondary schools were available nearly everywhere, 
so there was less incentive to send 14-year-old boys away from home to 
study. According to Denman, enrollment figures were as follows: 


Junior College 


























By 1923 new classes were being offered to Junior College students 
in sociology, speech, French, physical education and biology. In addition 
a plan was worked out with Washington University in St. Louis for grad- 
uates of the Junior College attending Eden to complete their B. A. 
degree along with their B.D. 

K A School for Every Young Man and His Chum 93 


I I1L-' ^^_ _^ ^.ademyand3un.orCo>.eg.. 

Published by the 


Y. M. C. A. 

ofElinhurst Academy: 

NUMBER 1- v;4 

Freshman Reception 

ne Young Men's Christian 


Of Elmhurst College 


Supper ..■ .'.0. SchW '~ — __^ 

^^™'"" 7 Eimhnvst r^ ^ 

CelloSolo d Bullet- ^^ /i^XA^% 

,j , Prof. C. Abbeti -^..n... ■"■ur. \ --_, w."/ 

Address ..^■•■'^ / 

Trombone So o^.--^ ■ 
Humorous Selection 

Piano Solo pJ Titp , .^^ 

Closing Address ^1 Tp^,,,^ ^ A .HEMorJT^ ^'8«Aft v 

.:';i;"^ "'-™,;^" ■" "^i:; '^':".i:'r ■"^^;::r' 

/ — -— -— __ ■"'""■ ■'*.• fXi::.""- 


Student publications 
f}-oin the 1920s. 


■"■"^M .C"^' ""•'»«..' ...rf";,''-"-'' ■*'".....',"■' "■'-•''■■' - " 

'-•'"■ "■ I'm. jy- "'"•''. «;,i, ; 

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94 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

In 1923 the faculty expanded from 10 to 13 members. Added were 
two professors with doctorates, Homer Helmick and Wesley Speckman, 
who headed the Chemistry and Biology Departments respectively. Also 
relatively new to the faculty was Th. Mueller, who headed the 
Department of Social Sciences starting in 1921. 

As the student body, faculty and campus buildings expanded, so too 
did the need for new administrative services. When the new library was 
finished, the first librarian was hired. For the first time an office secre- 
tary, Miss Elfrieda Lang, was employed to work for the president. A 
campus superintendent and a chief engineer were also hired. An 
Elmhurst doctor was appointed campus physician on a part-time basis 
and a matron was engaged to take over the duties of caring for sick 
students — a task previously done by the seniors. 

The Reverend Robert Leonhardt served as the first registrar as well 
as the first physical education director and the first football coach. He 
organized the first intramural program in 1920. Robert Hale came to 
Elmhurst in 1922 as coach and instructor of history at the Academy. In 
the same year the Seminary Board provided money to improve the 
athletic facilities including the track, football field and tennis courts. 

In 1923 the College held its first homecoming and two alumni 
wrote Elmhurst's "Alma Mater." In the same year Elmhurst Junior 
College became a charter member of the Northern Illinois Junior 
College Athletic Conference, which included schools such as North Park, 
Crane and St. Procopius. 

More changes lay ahead — changes that would be even more funda- 
mental than those that had occurred between 1918 and 1923. As Paul 
Crusius later wrote, "The junior college was a stage on the way to a full 
four year college." The ferment of the Junior College years was only a 
preview of the revolution ahead. 


Herman J. Schick 
The Fifth President 

Herman J. Schick (Schick), 
president of Elmhurst from 1919 to 
1924, was the first person to hold 
that title. He was born in Milltown, 
New Jersey in 1878, the child of 
German immigrants. 

Schick graduated from the 
Proseminary in 1897 before going to 
Eden Theological Seminary and 
McCormick Theological Seminary. 
After serving as a pastor in Illinois and 
Indiana, he returned to Elmhurst as president in 1919. While 
heading the College, Schick earned a master's degree at the 
University of Chicago. 

In addition to serving as president, Schick was dean of the Junior 
College and professor of bibHcal science and religion. During his presi- 
dency, the name "Proseminary" was replaced with the "Elmhurst 
Academy and Junior College," and changes in the curriculum and 
student rules were begun. Memorial Library and South Hall, now called 
Schick Hall, were also completed. 

Follovdng his resignation from Elmhurst in 1924, Schick served as 
pastor of Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church in Chicago. He 
w^as coeditor of an Evangelical book of worship and of other books on 
religious topics. He was married to Louise Wagner, who was the first 
president of the Chicago Federation of EvangeHcal Women and an 
organizer of the Women's Auxiliary at Elmhurst College. The Schicks 
had three children. President Schick died in 1949. 

chapter 7 

K Revolution — 

The Niebuhr Years 

In summer 1921 the General Conference of the Evangelical Synod 
met to discuss the future of the Academy and Junior College. 
Critics were still far from satisfied. The previous year Reinhold 
Niebuhr had written in Keryx: 

In spite of the progress that has been made there is as yet no cause for 
complacency. ... At this rate it will be fifty years before we have a first 
class A.B. college. As yet there seems to be no definite realization in 
our church that we can not have what we need in educational advan- 
tages without the expenditures of a large amount of money and [with] 
no program to secure the hinds that are needed. Even a good junior 
college at Elmhurst will require the investment of at least S2 50,000 
and a fall college is out of the question with less than $500,000. . . . 

It will suffice to say there is hardly a denomination in America that 
does not outrank us in educational institutions. Even the negro 
denominations have not only more colleges for their membership 
than we but they have several institutions of high scholastic standing 
and offering degrees recognized by the Carnegie Foundation, while 
we have none. 


98 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

We have been too long indifferent to our colleges and seminary and 
have fallen too far behind the procession to make a policy of very 
gradual development at all acceptable now. We need a heroic attempt 
to get abreast of other denominations. 

After much discussion the Conference voted to authorize Elmhurst 
to become a four-year college while maintaining the Academy. The 
change to a senior college would be made in 1923 when the first students 
would be accepted for the junior class. Unfortunately, the Conference did 
not provide money to make changes necessary for Elmhurst to become a 
four-year college. 

In the fall of 1923, 81 students enrolled in the three years of 
Elmhurst College, raising the total number of students at Elmhurst, 
including in the Academy, to 201 — an all-time record. The Yeai- Book for 
1923-24 stated the purpose of Elmhurst College as follows: 

Elmhurst College stands for thorough Christian education. Emphasis 
is placed on Christian character and the development of the mind as 
well as the body. The student is surrounded with wholesome 
Christian influences and is given the necessary instruction in the 
Bible and other Christian truths which are essential for an intelligent 
and vital faith. ... A particular purpose of Elmhurst College is to 
provide a place where the EvangeHcal Synod may prepare young men 
of serious purpose and high character for the study of theology at 
Eden Seminary. 

A total of 120 hours, excluding physical education, was required for 
graduation from the four-year college. The Year Book for 1923-24 
outlined the two courses of study — a pretheological and a general course. 

The pretheological course remained very similar to what was 
offered at the Junior College, but additional Bible, English, history and 
German courses were added along with courses in economics or soci- 
ology, psychology and philosophy. Students would take one hour of elec- 
tive in their junior year and 7-10 hours of electives in their senior year. 
To graduate, a student would need to have taken at least nine semester 
hours in German and English, eight in the Bible, four in Greek unless 
Greek had been taken before the student entered college, and three in 

9C Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 99 

psychology, biology, history, philosophy, and economics or sociology. The 
electives could be selected in any of these subjects as well as in chemistry 
(which was taught by Paul Crusius), education, public speaking, French, 
Hebrew, Latin, mathematics or music. 

Over their four years at Elmhurst, students in the general studies 
course were required to take eight semester hours in the Bible, six in 
English, six in German or French, and three in psychology, biology and 
social sciences, plus 31 semester hours of electives. The Year Book for 
1923-24 suggested a number of majors for students in the general divi- 
sion including the Bible, ancient languages, biology, Enghsh, history, 
modern languages and social sciences. 

The Year Book for 1923-24 expanded the section on school discipline 
from one paragraph to almost a page. For the first time rules governing 
absences from class and probation procedures were spelled out. 

With the move to a four-year College, the cost of attendance went 
up. Room and board remained $200 a year but tuition was finally 
assessed, and it plus other fees raised the cost for tuition, room and board 
to around $300 a year. The fees included $30 for music, library, lights, 
heat, physician and janitor services, $5 for athletics, plus laboratory fees 
for science courses. Some in the church opposed the imposition of 
tuition. Throughout the Proseminary era Elmhurst had proclaimed itself 
"tuition free," charging only for living expenses. Later College officials 
believed that the move away from tuition-free education undermined 
support from some in the Synod. 

In spring 1924 the North Central Association accredited the 
Junior College. According to President Schick, 42 junior colleges 
applied for accreditation but only eight, including Elmhurst, were 
unqualifiedly recommended. 

Everyone connected with Elmhurst College recognized that accredi- 
tation for the four-year senior college would be harder to gain. As 
President Schick wrote in the 1924 Elms, "Accreditation will depend on 
the ability of our Synod to meet the requirement of the Association 
concerning endow^ment funds, enrollment of students and some further 
equipment. There is no doubt concerning the possibility of our Synod to 
meet any and all the requirements of the Association, if there is the 
earnest will to do so." 

100 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years 5C 

As part of the drive for accreditation Schick called for tearing down 
Kranz Hall, "thus eliminating the crowded appearance of our buildings in 
the eastern section of our campus." A new music building would be built 
on the north side of the campus to the west of existing buildings. Farther 
to the west he wanted to build a gymnasium with a swimming pool. He 
also wanted to improve the athletic fields and add a grandstand. 

A New President 

At the end of the 1923-24 school year President Schick resigned to 
return to the ministry. His relations with Synod leaders had been strained 
since the 1920 student strike, during which he had claimed that Eden's 
president and other leaders had made slanderous statements about him. 
Following this incident the Seminary Board had appointed an investiga- 
tion committee that had reported that there was "a general spirit of 
unrest and indifference upon the campus." The committee suggested that 
greater freedom be given to the college students, but it would take a 
different, younger president to accomplish this. 

Selected to replace Schick was H. Richard Niebuhr, who was only 
30 years old. Niebuhr, a 1912 graduate of the Proseminary and a grad- 
uate of Eden, had earned a Ph.D. from Yale, making him the first presi- 
dent of Elmhurst to have a doctorate. 

Niebuhr arrived in Elmhurst in fall 1924, at about the same time 
the first Elmhurst students enrolled in the fourth or senior year. He 
threw himself into activities aimed at transforming the fledgling College 
into a high-quality liberal arts college. Niebuhr brought to Elmhurst a 
first-rate mind, a vision of what the College could be, and the ability to 
line up faculty, students. Board and Synod leaders behind him. His three 
years at the helm were a dizzying period of change and dreams of what 
might be. 

A debate had been going on for years about the purpose of 
Elmhurst and the education it provided. President Schick had stressed 
the importance of piety over scholarship. "Be fervent in prayer, diligent 
in work, obedient to the rules . . . and the Sabbath," he wrote in the Elm 

Sfi Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 101 

Bark in 1921. In one of his final messages in the 1924 Elms, Schick 
summed up his wishes for Ehnhurst. It "would stand first and foremost 
for thorough Christian education, with the emphasis unequivocally and 
emphatically on Christian." 

Immediately Niebuhr broadened the purpose of the College. V\^ile 
Elmhurst would remain a Christian college providing education for 
ministers, Niebuhr and some faculty, including Paul Crusius, saw a wider 
purpose that included educating lay church leaders and those who sought 
strictly secular careers. 

A survey of alumni published in the Souvenir Alhimi, Ehnhurst 
Acadeiny and Junior College, 1921 had given fuel to the argument that 
Elmhurst should be more than a feeder school for Eden. Not surpris- 
ingly, the largest occupation group of the 1,749 alumni surveyed was that 
of minister. Yet fewer than 40 percent were ministers. The remaining 60 
percent were scattered among a number of occupations including 
teachers, businessmen and doctors. 

Writing in the 1925 Ehns, President Niebuhr called for scholarship, 
academic excellence and independence. 

The education which Elmhurst has sought to give and which it will 
continue to seek to give is a Christian education, — a thorough 
acquaintance with contemporary culture, a love of truth, an abilit\^ to 
deal independendy with the problems of individual and social life in 
the light of thorough knowledge, and all of this shot through with the 
ideal of Jesus; for Elmhurst men share the conviction so widely 
expressed that the most urgent need of the present generation of men 
is light and warmth, the light of knowledge and the warmth of high 

In the same piece Niebuhr addressed the debate over whether the 
school and church should try to hang on to their German roots. 

A second contribution which Elmhurst College hopes to continue to 
make to its students and through them to an ever widening circle is 
the transmission of the best elements in that culture which its 
foimders brought to America. German science, German literature, 
German philosophy, German music, and German religious thought 
mav fructifv' the soil of America as other national cultures have 

102 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

fructified it. . . . Elmhurst College will seek, therefore, to be ever 
more America and to introduce its students to the contemporary life 
and science of the nation in which they live, but it will also seek to 
make its own specific contribution to that national culture by its 
transmission of the heritage it received from its fathers. 

The 1925 Elmhurst College Bulletin spelled out Niebuhr's position. 

The purpose of Elmhurst College is to provide its students with 
the opportunity of securing a broad and liberal culture. It remains 
strongly interested in students who expect to enter the ministry 
and seeks to prepare these especially for their future work, but it 
offers similar advantages and opportunities to other students who 
wish to take a college course as a foundation for later professional 
study and life-work. 

Elmhurst College desires to offer not only the best opportunities for 
the securing of culture but it seeks to develop in its students indepen- 
dence of thinking and to assist them in every way possible in the 
cultivation of Christian character. 

A lessening of the emphasis on pretheological education was under- 
scored in the 1925-26 Annual Catalog. No longer was a separate course of 
study outlined for pretheology students. Rather, all students were 
subjected to the same requirements. A note informed students that those 
preparing to enter Eden needed to take German as their modern 
language, four semester hours of public speaking and 12 semester hours 
of Greek, unless they had completed two years of Greek in high school. 

Many of Niebuhr's changes were met with opposition by alumni and 
church leaders who feared that Elmhurst was abandoning its heritage and 
its mission to prepare young men for the ministry. There was talk in 
some quarters of the wisdom of returning Elmhurst to a Proseminary. 
Niebuhr addressed the issue in a paper titled "Proseminary or College": 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 103 

No progress is made without some loss. The gain of every new good 
involves the loss of some old value. . . . The transition of Elmhurst 
from proseminary to college has been reviewed with regret by some 
old graduates. ... It is true undoubtedly that the development of the 
college has been accompanied by the loss of some of the factors 
which made the old proseminary dear to its students, but this loss has 
been due not so much to the change of character of the institution as 
to the changing times. And the new values which are offered by the 
development of the college seem to out weigh the good which has 
been lost. . . . 

The college affords the student an opportunity for introduction to a 
broader culture than the curriculum of the proseminary can offer. In 
the latter the emphasis must be laid on the languages and on history. 
In the former the emphasis lies on history and social and natural 
sciences. This is an advantage not only for the general student but for 
the pretheological student in particular. The pastor of today needs to 
know the Bible as thoroughly as did his predecessor, but he needs to 
understand also the world in which he lives. . . . The broad curric- 
ulum of a college of liberal arts is a necessary part of the preparation 
of every pastor today. 

Niebuhr went on to assure alumni that more than two-thirds of students 
entering Elmhurst intended to become ministers. 

Addressing another controversy that had raged for years, Niebuhr 
reported to the Board of Trustees in 1926 that Christian commitment 
and modern scientific study were not in opposition. He wrote: 

It is our contention that the interests of scientific education and reli- 
gious education do not conflict and it is the function of the school to 
introduce its students to the world of modern ideas so that they may 
think in the current terms of the day, make use of the accepted results 
of scientific research and insight, yet maintain in this sphere of 
modern thought the faith and the ethics of the gospel. The task of 
assisting the student to find his religious orientation in the modern 
world is not a light one; certainly it cannot be achieved by refusal to 
introduce him to the contemporary culture, or by the effort to teach 
him to think in terms which have long ago lost currency. 

104 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

A Four-Year College At Last 

In June 1925, the first three students graduated fi*om the four-year 
program at Elmhurst College, but their degree was somewhat tarnished 
because the senior college program was not accredited by the North 
Central Association. The effect of the lack of accreditation was felt nearly 
immediately. Writing two years later the Executive Committee of the 
Board of Trustees reported that most of Elmhurst's graduates couldn't 
gain admission to graduate schools and that those prepared to teach 
could find jobs only in "some small, unrecognized high school." 

Before Elmhurst could earn accreditation, changes needed to be 
made in finances, curriculum, faculty and quality of education provided. 
Throughout his years in the presidency, Niebuhr endeavored to effect 
these changes as rapidly as possible. 

By 1926 Niebuhr had warmed to the task of improving the quaHty of 
education. He sought nothing short of excellence. In the Elms he wrote: 

Our ultimate purpose is not the attainment of a common standard 
but of an effective individuality, not the formation of a standard 
product but the education of individualities and personalities. ... It 
must be the purpose of Elmhurst College to develop men who are 
not merely good "C" men in all their attainments but who are men of 
"B" and "A" grade in intellectual as well as in moral and spiritual 

President Niebuhr's concern for improving scholarship was evident 
in new programs for students and faculty. Early in 1926, on Niebuhr's 
recommendation, the Board voted to establish the first honors courses at 
Elmhurst. The same year the Elm Bark published Elmhurst College's first 
honor roll. 

In 1925 the Board agreed to pay half the tuition of professors taking 
graduate work in Chicago and approved a sabbatical leave program. By 
1926 Niebuhr had established the first academic ranking system along 
with a salary schedule. Full professors in the College earned $2,500- 
$3,200, assistant professors $2,250-$2,750 and instructors $1,500-2,200. 
Salaries for faculty in the Academy were slightly lower, with full profes- 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 105 

sors earning between $2,500 and $3,000. In 1926 President Niebuhr was 
scheduled to earn $3,100 plus an apartment with lights and heat. 

A key figure in Niebuhr's efforts to improve the quality of education 
was Th. Mueller, whom the president appointed as dean. Mueller and 
members of the faculty such as Paul Crusius were given the task of devel- 
oping senior-level classes that reflected Niebuhr's concerns for excellence, 
independence and the social sciences. 

In his 1925-26 Repoit to the Board ofTr-ustees Niebuhr outlined where 
he wanted Elmhurst to go. 

The present curriculum of the college of liberal arts is not a unity but 
an agglomeration. New elements have been added with the rise of 
new departments of research and thought; but as our culture lacks 
synthesis so our curriculum does. . . . The social sciences seem to 
form the natural center around which the curriculum of the day 
should be organized as the natural sciences were the nucleus a gener- 
ation ago and the humanities were in an earlier day. The present 
curriculum is not only an agglomerate, it's atomistic in its character. 
The various "courses" are poorly correlated if at all, they do not form 
parts of a single whole; they seem designed to give the student 
various aptitudes and techniques to deal with this, that, and the other 
specific situations in life but they do not greatly assist him in the 
achievement of a comprehension of his total situation in civilization 
and the world. The curriculum seems to divide the student's thinking 
into compartments as it divides the work into departments. 

Under Niebuhr, Elmhurst became less concerned with teaching 
students the dogma of the Evangelical Church and more concerned with 
helping them learn to live a Christian life. "The emphasis for our day 
must be upon practical Christianity," Niebuhr told the Board of Trustees 
in 1927. "We conceive our task as a Christian college to be not the 
inculcation of doctrine, but the promotion of the Christian attitude 
toward life." 

Niebuhr threw the College open to students fi^om outside the 
Evangelical Church. WTiere previously a testimonial from an Evangelical 
pastor was necessar\^ for admission, starting in 1925 a recommendation 
fi'om "the home pastor" would suffice. 

106 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Football team, 1 920s. 

Although all students had to attend chapel, services were cut from 
twice a day to once a day and then to four times a week. Students were 
also permitted to attend non-Evangelical churches. 

Rehgious requirements remained for Elmhurst faculty. In 1925 the 
Board affirmed that "only teachers who are positive Christians should be 
employed though they should also be competent scholars in their field." 
Yet when charges of irreligious teaching were lodged by some church 
leaders against an Elmhurst religion professor, Niebuhr and the Board 
supported the professor's academic freedom. The Board stated, "Teachers 
should be guaranteed freedom in their instruction." 

President Niebuhr continued Schick's efforts to build closer rela- 
tions with the Elmhurst community. He encouraged the Board to offer 
two scholarships for graduates from York High School. No religious 
requirement was attached to these scholarships. In 1927 the College 
library was opened to the community, and plans were drawn up to offer 
classes on evenings and Saturdays for members of the community. 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 107 

However, these plans could not be implemented because there were 
insufficient funds. 

A School of Music was created in 1926 at least in part to offer music 
programs for the community. "I believe that the establishment of the 
school of music marks a new era of co-operation between town and 
gown," wrote Niebuhr. The new School of Music employed a large part- 
time faculty, including the first women to teach at Elmhurst. By 1928, 
over 200 Elmhurst children and adults were taking music lessons. It was 
hoped that a music conservatory could be developed, but financial prob- 
lems soon scuttled this plan. 

Under Niebuhr the College ceased trying to regiment college 
students' lives. Previously rules and regulations were spelled out in great 
detail. Now, according to the 1925-26 Annual Catalog, 

Elmhurst College expects its students to conduct themselves on and 
off the campus, whether in the classrooms, dormitory or gymnasium, 
as gentlemen and as Christians. It believes that students who have 
arrived at the mental maturity required for the successful prosecution 
of studies of collegiate grade may reasonably be expected to have 
developed a corresponding maturity of character. It therefore seeks to 
avoid a multiplicity of rules for the government of the conduct of its 
students and expects them to observe the standards of decorum and 
good breeding without supervision. 

Academy students needed more supervision. According to the 1925-26 
Annual Catalog, "The academy dormitory is supervised by academy teachers 
who seek not only to enforce general rules regarding the habits of the resi- 
dents but also to aid them in their studies during the evening hours." 

In 1925, in an attempt to find an effective student government, 
Niebuhr instituted a self-governing Student Union. It served as the 
means by which students could express opinions and was expected to 
work with the president and other administrators to regulate student life 
and govern the College. 

The first student-facult\^ discipline committee and the first 
governing body for dormitories were also established. Committees of 
students on each floor of the dorms replaced seniors as rule makers and 
enforcers, ending a holdover of the Proseminary days. 

108 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SS 

In these years student life began to take modern form with a formal 
orientation for new students, the requirement of health exams for admis- 
sion, ability testing, more frequent grade reporting and, for the first time, 
grades sent home to parents. Students doing poorly in their classes 
received counseling from Dean Mueller and were prohibited fi^om partic- 
ipating in extracurricular activities. 

The YMCA was still in operation, planning cultural and religious 
activities. Since 1925 the Elm Bark had been independent of the YMCA 
and was one of the largest student groups on campus. Other active 
student groups included the El?7is staff, which put out the annual; the 
Masque and Buskin, which was a dramatic club; and a new International 
Relations Club, which had been promoted by President Niebuhr and for 
which Paul Crusius was the faculty sponsor. 

The old Schiller Literary Society had finally folded, but a number of 
music groups still flourished, including the Glee Club, several quartettes, 
the Orchestra and the Band. So, too, did the athletic teams. Elmhurst 
had fielded a rugby football team in 1920, and starting the next year it 
competed in American football. It also had baseball and tennis teams. 

The College didn't field a competitive basketball team from 1925 
until a new g)Tnnasium opened in 1928. For a number of years Elmhurst 
had rented the York High School gym for its home games, but by 1925 
York was no longer willing to rent its gym, so the College basketball 
team had nowhere to play. This was used as a rallying cry among the 
alumni in the campaign for a new gym. 

Plans for a "Greater Elmhurst" 

Niebuhr's vision of the future of Elmhurst included expanding the 
size and scope of the College and developing it into a leading liberal arts 
college. In 1925, when the Seminary Board met at Elmhurst, the presi- 
dent and the Board recommended that a $400,000 endowment be estab- 
lished for Elmhurst. (Elmhurst's endowment was only a little over 
$35,000.) This was needed, Niebuhr was convinced, before the College 
could hope to gain accreditation. 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 109 

110 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The Seminary Board accepted this recommendation, and on 
February 18, 1925, the Elm Bark headlined "Mammoth Extension Plans 
Approved." According to the student paper, a Ten-Year Plan for a 
Greater Elmhurst costing $1,000,000 would include, in addition to the 
endowment, a number of new buildings designed to serve 400 students, a 
faculty of 25 and a $100,000 Hbrary endowment. 

The first stage would be a Four- Year Plan to raise the $400,000 
endowment and build a gymnasium, a new dormitory, a service building 
and six faculty houses. The eight academic departments were to be fully 
equipped, staffed and headed by faculty with doctorates, and $5,000 a 
year was to be spent on the library and laboratories. If the Four- Year 
Plan was carried out, Niebuhr expected accreditation in 1929. 

Under the even more ambitious Ten-Year Plan, the endowment was 
to be increased to $1,000,000 by 1935, and additional buildings, 
including a chapel or auditorium, would be constructed. In its enthusiasm 
for the expansion plan, the Board directed Niebuhr to investigate 
purchasing other property in Elmhurst, including the Challacombe prop- 
erty that adjoined the campus on the south (where the Schaible Science 
Center now stands). 

Throughout 1925 and 1926 Niebuhr crisscrossed the nation, often 
with the College Glee Club, to drum up support for the plan. Special 
issues of the Elm Bark were published, and a new pubHcation for alumni, 
the El?7ihurst College Bulletin, was begun. 

The Chicago architect Benjamin Franklin Olson was hired to plan 
the campus. For the next 40 years he would design all the new buildings 
on campus. Although his plans were modified over the decades, the look 
of Elmhurst College today bears the imprint of Olson and President 
Niebuhr's vision of the future. 

At its meeting in the fall of 1925, the General Conference of the 
Synod approved the Four- Year Plan, but it did not authorize the funds 
needed to carry it out. Instead it promised to launch a fund drive in 1928 
to raise $600,000. This promise was never kept. 

In February 1926 the College formally asked the Synod for $100,000 
for a gym, $150,000 for a dormitory, $325,000 for endowment and 
$25,000 for a service building. When it became clear that the Synod was 
not going to provide funding, Niebuhr contacted alumni, church groups 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 1 1 1 

and community members for funding. In 1926, he secured a gift of 
$25,000 from Chicago business leader W.A. Wieboldt for the gymnasium. 

In March 1926, apparently realizing that money for the endowment 
was not going to materialize any time soon, Niebuhr redirected his 
efforts. He chose to concentrate on improving the program of st^dy and 
physical facilities rather than on building the endowment. He wrote to 
the head of the North Central Association that he was going to recom- 
mend to the Board of Trustees that it use any available funds "for the 
improvement of the education program rather than for the increase of 
endowment. I would rather improve our educational standard than try to 
meet the requirements of the North Central Association." 

Late in 1926 the Board approved Niebuhr's hiring of the Reverend 
Theodore Mayer as a "part-time promotional secretary" to help launch a 
major fund-raising campaign. One of the campaign's rallying cries was "a 
gym by next Thanksgiving" — by November 1927. The campaign brought in 
pledges of about $165,000, but it wasn't until 1928 that construction of the 
gym finally began. Since more than $40,000 in pledges were never made 
good, the College had to borrow from the Synod to complete the building. 

Even though money was not forthcoming, Niebuhr proceeded with 
his larger plan. "A building program, extending over a period of ten years 
and designed to make theirs one of the most attractive little colleges in 
the middle west" is how the Chicago Sunday Tribune of May 9, 1926, 
reported the Ten-Year Plan for a Greater Elmhurst. The plan envisioned 
a campus serving 600 students by 1936. 

All new buildings were to be constructed in brick with stone trim 
and slate roofs in the Georgian or English Colonial style. New buildings 
would include the gymnasium, a Students' Union and new dormitories to 
the north of a sunken midway that would contain a garden and reflecting 
pool. A new grandstand seating 4,500 and nine tennis courts would be 
north of the Students' Union. On the south side would be new class- 
rooms and dormitories alongside the existing library and South Hall, At 
the east end of the campus would be a new music building and a presi- 
dent's home. At the west end would be a large new administration 
building with an auditorium and new science labs. 

Not yet satisfied, Niebuhr was planning another major change. 
Although the Board had not approved the admission of women to 

112 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst, coeducation was considered likely in the future. Thus, 
according to the Tribune, to the west of the administration building 
would be a "woman's quadrangle, where girl students will have their own 
gymnasium, dormitories, and science halls." 

More Changes Ahead 

The growth of high schools rendered the Academy no longer neces- 
sary. By 1 92 5 little effort was being made to recruit students for the 
Academy, enrollment was plummeting, and consideration was being given 
to closing the secondary school. 

Niebuhr, who along with Crusius had earlier argued against closing 
the Academy, was having second thoughts. When in 1925 he learned that 
the Synod was considering opening a women's college in Ohio, he 
suggested that the Academy be transferred to that location and that 
Elmhurst become coed. The same year Elmhurst asked permission of the 
Seminary Board to drop the first and eventually the second years of the 
Academy program if it seemed advisable. 

In 1926, when the Academy's freshman class had only six members, 
the Board voted to close the first year program in 1927. In 1928, with 
total enrollment in the Academy at 18, the Board voted to close the 
Academy in June 1928. 

Although coeducation had been unofficially discussed for a number 
of years, H. Richard Niebuhr appears to have come to this position 
reluctantly. In 1925, he wrote to a Synod leader as follows: 

I have prejudices against the co-educational school. I should much 
prefer to see Elmhurst develop along the lines of the eastern men's 
colleges. But there was a good reason for the refusal of most middle- 
western colleges to follow the example of the eastern schools and I think 
that the reason was the same one as ours — a necessity for economy in 
the development of colleges. A coeducational school will bring rise to 
many problems, — of supervision and guidance. . . . But since other 
colleges are able to handle these problems with more or less success I 
am not afraid of Elmhurst's abihty to deal with the simation. 

X Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 


Don/zitoiy rooDi, ca. 1926. 

In June 1925 all the faculty, except one member, voted to ask the 
Board to report to the Seminary Board that the faculty believed that 
"steps should be taken to admit women as students to Elmhurst College." 
The faculty cited the fact that many Evangelical women already attended 
colleges, while others were unable to attend college because of the 
expense or because there was no suitable college. 

"Co-education is natural and logical, and beneficial to both sexes," 
said the faculty resolution. "It is preferable to segregation, because it fits 
young men and women better for life." In addition the faculty expected 
that it would raise the "social standard" of the young men at Elmhurst. 

Faculty members believed that coeducation would avoid duplication 
and save a great deal of money. Also, according to the faculty resolution, 
a coed college would better serv^e the Elmhurst community than an all- 
male school. 

114 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The faculty thought women could be accommodated at Elmhurst 
for a relatively small price. A women's dormitory and minor changes in 
several buildings would be needed. A dean of women would have to be 
appointed, and a few departments such as Art and "Household 
Economics" would have to be opened, while the Education Department 
would have to be expanded. 

Several district conferences of the Synod opposed the move. While 
the president and most of the faculty at Elmhurst had come to accept the 
idea of coeducation, many in the church had not, and Niebuhr had to 
reassure alumni that coeducation would not mean that Elmhurst would 
send fewer students to Eden and to the ministry. 

In 1926 Niebuhr reaffirmed his position: 

The faculty of Elmhurst College have just about come to the conclu- 
sion that, however little they may personally care about co-education, 
the school owes it as a kind of duty to the community to admit 
women, and that furthermore, to open Elmhurst to women is the 
quickest and least expensive way to give Evangelical girls an opportu- 
nity to get a college education at an Evangelical school. 

He estimated that it would take at least $500,000 for the Synod to start a 
women's college. In addition, the school would need an endowment of at 
least $300,000 to win accreditation. At most it would cost $100,000- 
$150,000 to prepare Elmhurst for women. It would also cost much less to 
run one campus than two. The faculty and president hoped that coeduca- 
tion could begin at Elmhurst in 1927. 

Niebuhr went on to argue that existing dormitories could house no 
more than the 200 students now in attendance. With a new dormitory 
and laboratories, though, the campus could house and educate 400-600. 
Unless Elmhurst admitted women, he did not see how they could reach 
this number. He wrote: 

If Elmhurst remains a college for men only, we may have not more 
than three hundred ten years from now, but except for dormitories, 
we shall need just as many and just as large buildings for three 
hundred as for four hundred or more. With co-education, our 
chances of rising to an enrollment of four hundred are nearly twice as 
good, and six hundred is a possibility. . . . 

X Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 1 1 5 

Against what I have said for co-education, especially on the financial 
side, there is no valid argument. ... I can say that we at Elmhurst would 
he quite content, for ourselves, to leave things as they are. We are in 
favor of co-education not for the sake of Elmhurst alone, but in view of 
unescapable logic, especially the logic of money and of its efficient use. 
A greater Elmhurst will bring credit and prestige to the Synod and 
benefit its students. Two small colleges will do nothing of the sort. 

In 1927 a special committee on education for women was appointed 
by the General Board with Reinhold Niebuhr as one member. In that 
year he wrote in the Evangelical Herald that "coeducation at Elmhurst is 
the only method by which our young women will be able to secure the 
opportunity of a college education under church auspices." 

H. Richard Niebuhr wrote his brother in 1927 that he had found 
the idea much less unpopular with the district conferences he had 
recently visited than it had been the year before. He also lowered his esti- 
mate of the cost of the change. Now he thought it would take no more 
than $40,000 to build a small dormitory for women and to make changes 
in existing buildings. 

Stresses and Strains 

Putting Niebuhr's ideas into practice was difficult, especially when 
many of the faculty had been trained in a different tradition. In spite of 
problems, more electives were added, as were comprehensive surveys 
giving broad views of contemporary problems for students in the first two 
years of study. Nationally known speakers, often friends of the Niebuhr 
brothers, were brought to campus, and one chapel service each week was 
replaced with a cultural program. The YMCA began to sponsor small 
discussion groups of faculty and students on topics of interest in the 
world at large. 

The opening of the School of Music provided a new major. In 1927 
a Bachelor of Science degree was offered and a teaching program for 
elementary schools was approved by the Illinois State Board of 
Education. In the same year a program allowing students to complete 

116 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

both bachelor's and divinity degrees in six years was worked out with 
Eden. Plans were made for a fine arts degree, and the first business 
courses were offered. New courses were added in all eight departments, 
including 10 chemistry and philosophy and eight sociology courses. As 
Th. Mueller reported to the Executive Committee in 1928, "Real progress 
has been made in the inner development of the school; in the efficiency of 
instruction and the raising of academic standards." He befieved that 
economics was the only department that still needed to be developed. 

The College created a psychology lab and upgraded its chemistry 
and other natural science labs. Library facifities were expanded, and hold- 
ings increased to more than 15,000 by 1927. That year the Ehnhurst 
College Bulletin reported that the laboratories "compare favorably with 
those of much larger institutions." 

The faculty was also expanded. By 1927, there were 17 faculty, 
including Niebuhr, of whom three had doctorates. In addition, the 
School of Music brought in more than a dozen part-time instructors, 
including several who were nationally known. 

Under Niebuhr the search turned to faculty with doctorates from 
American schools. When a Synod leader suggested a candidate for the 
faculty who trained in Germany, Niebuhr replied, "I am of the conviction 
that we ought not to employ any men of this sort. We ought to have, 
especially in our language department, men who have been trained at 
American schools." 

While some changes were effected fairly easily, others were not. In 
1925, the General Conference of the Synod had authorized a new 
government system for its educational institutions. The old Seminary 
Board was renamed the General Board for Educational Institutions, and 
Elmhurst's Board of Control was replaced by a Board of Trustees that 
reported to the General Board. Six of the 12 members of the Elmhurst 
Board were elected by the General Conference of the Synod, with two of 
these members representing specific churches. Three other trustees were 
elected by the General Board for Educational Institutions, and the final 
three were elected by the Elmhurst Board itself This was the first move 
toward making the Board of Trustees a self-perpetuating body. Among 
the early members elected by the Board of Trustees were the first 
accountant, banker and head of a corporation. 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 1 1 7 

After 1925 it was the Board of Trustees that hired all faculty except 
for the president. This gave the College somewhat more autonomy. 
Under Niebuhr's direction the new Board of Trustees devoted more time 
to making major policy decisions and developing plans for the future. 
Previously much of the Board of Control's activity had involved decisions 
about which individuals to admit and graduate, discipline problems and 
day-to-day life on the campus. Most decisions were now left to the presi- 
dent and his growing number of administrators. 

As administrators assumed more responsibility, they developed new 
reporting methods. The first annual report from a head of Elmhurst 
College was issued by H. Richard Niebuhr in 1925-26. Annual reports 
from other administrative officers soon followed. 

At the same time the faculty was getting more professionally orga- 
nized. It adopted a committee structure with executive, curriculum, 
admission, athletics, library and other such committees. 

Still not satisfied with the degree of autonomy it had won, in 1926 
the Board of Trustees requested financial autonomy. Shortly afterward 
the Board asked an attorney to clear up the legal status of Elmhurst 
College under the charter. Next the Board appointed a committee to 
draw up a constitution for Elmhurst College. 

WTiile Elmhurst's Board sought autonomy, the Synod was deter- 
mined to maintain control. A nasty dispute broke out in 1926 when the 
new treasurer of the Board attempted to arrange for a bank loan for the 
College. When authorization from the General Board was finally received 
for the loan, it was for $15,000 rather than $50,000 as Elmhurst expected. 
In addition, authorization to make the loan was given to the president of 
the Synod and the president of Elmhurst College, not the treasurer of the 
Elmhurst Board of Trustees. The treasurer immediately resigned. 

When Niebuhr learned of the incident, he wrote to the head of the 
General Board for Educational Institutions that he did not intend to 
handle such matters in the future. "I do not know what the function of a 
board of trustees is if it is not that of administering a school like ours in 
these respects." He continued: 

My attitude in the matter is this: I will not be responsible for the 
continuation of my work here unless I am given a Board of Trustees 
who have the powers as they have the abilit}^ to carr\^ on the financial 

118 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years 9C 

administration of the institution. I do not object to safeguards and to 
supervision by the synodical officers and the general board but either the 
treasurer of the Board must be given sufficient power to give this instim- 
tion the kind of financial autonomy necessary to its existence or you 
must find a president for the school who is willing to carry on under the 
present circumstances. I have neither the inclination nor the will to carry 
on the work of the treasurer, and above all I haven't the ability. 

I am very much disappointed in the whole situation. 

While the incident was smoothed over, the problem was not solved. 
The Board of Trustees would not receive financial autonomy for many 
years. Likewise it would take decades for Elmhurst College to accomplish 
Niebuhr's ambitious expansion plans. 

All these new plans cost money. By June 1925 Niebuhr was 
informed that only 2 1 cents remained in the treasury, and he prepared to 
tell faculty and staff that paychecks would be late. 

One way to generate revenue was to raise tuition. Beginning in 1926 
the cost of a year's study was increased to $335, of which $125 was for 
tuition. Since pretheology students were automatically given a $100 
scholarship and ministers' sons were given a rebate, only a small amount 
of additional money was realized. 

By 1926 the College was running a deficit. In March the treasurer 
of the Board of Trustees loaned the college $8,500 to tide it over for one 
month and tried to arrange the $50,000 loan mentioned earHer. In July 
Niebuhr wrote to individual church leaders asking for contributions. 
This was necessary, he said, because Elmhurst was receiving $40,000 less 
from the Synod than in the previous year. In addition it was starting the 
School of Music and trying to fix up the Dining Hall. 

In November 1926 the College had to borrow $5,000 to cover the 
deficit, but this did not help the situation for long. By March 1927 a 
deficit of $27,000 was projected for the end of the school year. Niebuhr 
and other College officials sought to borrow money, but the Synod 
refused to approve more loans. Thus Niebuhr was forced to beg for loans 
from the Synod to pay monthly salaries and operating expenses. 

Despite the deficit, in 1927 the Board voted to buy the property at 
167 Virginia Street in Elmhurst, which included two apartments for 

X Revolution — The Nlebuhr Years 119 

faculty housing. It also agreed to build a house for the College president, 
and it considered building a faculty apartment house. For none of these 
ventures did it have money 

Niebuhr's dreams for Elmhurst went farther even than the Ten-Year 
Plan. Among his papers in the College Archives is a memorandum dated 
November 1925 in which he proposed the creation of a federated 
DuPage University on the model of the University of London. This 
university might include Elmhurst, Wheaton and North Central, or 
Elmhurst and two Lutheran colleges to the east. 

Niebuhr saw DuPage University developing a quality of education 
comparable to that offered by Northwestern University on the north side 
and the University of Chicago on the south side. It would have schools of 
medicine, law, commerce and possibly social sciences similar to the 
London School of Economics, and joint professorships. The schools 
would pool resources, and a large university endowment would help 
support the smaller colleges as well as the university. Although the 
autonomous individual schools of the university might maintain their 
religious affiliation, the university would be nonsectarian. Niebuhr never 
had an opportunity to implement this plan. 

Another dream he was able to see succeed after he left Elmhurst was 
the unification of the Evangelical and Reformed churches. In 1926 he 
wrote a Chicago minister that, "It occurs to me that the biggest pipe- 
dream we could dream would be the plan of uniting all the liberal 
churches of German ancestry, including especially the two mentioned, 
our own and the Reformed in the U.S. There may be others. I've figured 
out on the basis of Federal Council statistics that a combination of this 
sort would total 8,538 churches, 6,562 pastors, 1,224,594 members and 
$21,603,699 in financial strength." 

In 1927 he corresponded with a leader in the Reformed Church 
about a possible union: 

For some time, some of us in the Evangelical Synod have been seri- 
ously discussing the question whether or not a closer alliance between 
our church and the Reform (sic) Church might not be possible. . . . 
Do you suppose that your General Board on Education would be 
interested in inviting the co-operation of our General Board? I 
believe that some of our districts could be interested in some of the 

1 20 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Reform Church Colleges, and that an exchange of professors as well 
as board members might even happen in some instances. This would 
make possible the development of our educational program without 
duplicating the efforts of existing colleges. 

The Dreams End 

The continual search for money took a heavy toll on President 
Niebuhr. Early in the summer of 1926 he took time off to rest. "I think 
you will have to look for a man with a less fragile set of nerves than I 
seem to possess. I am very much provoked for not being able to stand up 
under the strain of the office, but there is no use to quarrel with one's 
constitutional make up," he wrote. He felt better after taking a week off 
to visit his brother. "I was on the verge of getting out thinking I couldn't 
handle the situation another year without wrecking my nervous constitu- 
tion," he wrote. The situation and his health did not improve and in 
January 1927, after less than two and a half years as president, he 
resigned to go to Eden as a professor. He remained in office until July 1 . 

In his letter of resignation Niebuhr reminded the chairman of the 
General Board for Educational Institutions that "it was my purpose to 
devote my life to the study and teaching of theology and philosophy of 
religion and that I undertook the present work for the time being and 
until a successor would be found who would relieve me so that I might 
return to the work for which I have prepared myself especially." 

Niebuhr continued: 

I feel that I cannot continue without further danger to my health. 
The duties of the position are not so arduous that I ought not to be 
able to fulfill them without needless wear and tear on my nervous 
organization, but my constitution is such that I have scarcely been 
able, during the past two years, to complete the school year without a 
nervous breakdown and I now realize that my working ability has 
been so impaired, for the time being, that I cannot afford to continue 
beyond the present school year. 

K Revolution — The Niebuhr Years 121 

He called for a change in the structure that governed Elmhurst, 
which he believed was impeding the development of the College: 

I hope that my successor will be enabled to perform his duties under 
the guidance and with the assistance of a Board of Trustees to whom 
ample powers of control have been delegated by the Synod. . . . the 
present machinery through which these boards and officers operate is 
cumbersome, inefficient and ill-designed to further the purpose of 
developing Elmhurst College. 

Niebuhr concluded his letter by expressing his fondness for 
Elmhurst College. "And be assured that so long as I live my interest in 
and love for Elmhurst College will prompt me to place my services at its 
disposal in any task that lies within my powers." 

The General Board asked Niebuhr to take a long vacation and 
rethink his decision or at least to stay an additional year so that a 
successor could be found, but he refused. The General Board did not 
address his call for changes in the governing of the College. 

In his inaugural address more than a year later, Timothy Lehmann, 
Niebuhr's successor, summed up the regime of the young president thus: 

He came, and prophetically he faced an apathetic Church and hero- 
ically he laid the foundations for and pointed the ways toward an 
enlarged educational program. He knew that it would not find 
general approval. He even feared its indefinite postponement and so 
he boldly applied a new standard. . . . Deliberately he set forth a 
program that could not be kept within the available financial 
resources by some twenty to twent)^-five thousand dollars per year. 
The Church saw it, even approved it formally or by resolution, 
because it dared not do otherwise. But instead of responding uith 
heart and soul, as heretofore, by at least paying the deficit after its 
unavoidable realization, the Church simply refused to give more. 


H. Richard Niebuhr 
The Sixth President 

H. (Helmut) Richard Niebuhr, 
president from 1924 to 1927, was bom 
in 1894 in Wright City, Missouri. His 
father, an Evangelical pastor, emigrated 
from Germany; his mother was the 
daughter of an EvangeUcal minister. 
Richard grew up in Lincoln, Illinois 
with his two brothers and sister. His 
sister Hulda became a professor at 
McCormick Theological Seminary in 
Chicago while his brother Reinhold, 
who taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, became 
one of the twentieth century's most famous religious figures. 

Richard Niebuhr graduated from the Proseminary in 1912 and 
went to Eden Theological Seminary, graduating in 1915. He was a 
minister in St. Louis for several years and taught on the Eden faculty 
before earning B.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Yale Divinity School. 
Niebuhr then came to Elmhurst, where he was president until his 
health broke and he resigned to return to Eden Theological Seminary. 
In 193 1, he accepted a professorship at Yale, in time being named to the 
prestigious SterHng Professorship. He remained at Yale until his death 
in 1962. 

At Elmhurst, Niebuhr presided over the school's transformation 
from an academy and junior college to a Hberal arts college. He 
expanded the College's horizons, its curriculum and its campus. 
Niebuhr wrote many books and articles, including Radical 
Monotheism and Western Culture, Christ and Culture and The Kingdom of 
God in America. He was one of America's most distinguished theologians, 
historians of American Christianity, philosophers of religion and 
students of ethics. He had a great influence on generations of students 
and modem theological scholarship. 

Richard Niebuhr was married to Florence Mittendorf, whom he 
met in Lincoln, Illinois. They were the parents of two children. 

chapter 8 

K The Battle to Survive 

The General Board for Educational Institutions took nine 
months to select H. Richard Niebuhr's successor. Feelers 
were put out to Reinhold Niebuhr, but he was not interested. 
Finally, in October 1927, the General Board selected Timothy Lehmann, 
a popular minister from Columbus, Ohio who was a Proseminary and 
Eden graduate. Before accepting, Lehmann insisted that the College 
build a president's house as Niebuhr had planned. Late in December 
1927 Lehmann accepted. 

Although he had taken a few courses at the University of Richmond, 
Lehmann had little experience in higher education and few contacts in 
the academic world. What he did have were many contacts in the Synod, 
the reputation of a successful fund-raiser and an abundance of energy. He 
also possessed a warm regard for his predecessor and for Niebuhr's 
efforts to broaden the purpose of Elmhurst College and strengthen the 
education it offered. 

Since Lehmann could not take over until June 1928, the Executive 
Committee of the facult\^, made up of Th. Mueller, Paul Crusius and 
Homer Helmick, administered the College for the 1927-28 school year. 
The Executive Committee faced an immediate crisis because the budget 


124 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

777. Mueller, who taught in the 
Sociology DepmtJnent for 41 
years and served as dean of 
students fi-o?n 1925 to 1947. 

for 1927-28 was running a deficit. In addition, the College was 
committed to building a gymnasium and the president's residence, and to 
buying the property at 167 Virginia Street for faculty housing. 

Mueller said years later, "As we look back, this year takes on all the 
aspects of a full-grown nightmare." The school would soon owe nearly 
$40,000 and had little credit or hope to pay back any money it might 
borrow. Without a loan of $20,000 in late 1927, the College might not 
have survived into the new year. In spite of the loan, by February 1928 
there was no money to pay professors. 

In a formal report to the Board early in 1928, the Executive 
Committee called for the continuation of Niebuhr's plans. "We have 
faith that the hopes, the dreams, the ideals and the capabilities of 
Elmhurst which Dr. Niebuhr incorporated in his plan for future devel- 
opment can be realized. And we have faith in our new leader." The 
Executive Committee recommended what it called a "temporary 
retrenchment involving no retrogression, but a curtailment of expan- 
sion for the present, with the purpose of holding fast what has been 
accomplished in the past nine years at a cost of much effort and sacri- 

K The Battle to Survive 125 

fice. The budget for current expenses would need to be reduced to an 
absolute minimum." 

The Executive Committee recommended that the $800,000 assets of 
the College serve as collateral for a bond issue. The money raised would 
be used to pay off current debts and carry the College through till 
February 1930, which would allow the new president time to raise money 
to finance the College. 

The College limped along, borrowing what it could, including 
$25,000 from the Synod, until April 1928 when members of its Board of 
Trustees met with Synod leaders. "Elmhurst is facing the greatest crisis in 
its entire history, — a crisis in which the very existence of the institution is 
at stake," reported the Board of Trustees. The College had a deficit of 
$50,000 and needed $10,000 to complete and equip the gym plus another 
$20,000 to build a president's residence. In addition, it was projecting a 
deficit of more than $23,000 for 1928-29. 

At their April meeting, the Trustees and Synod leaders agreed that 
the Synod would float a $300,000 bond issue to cover deficits, finish the 
gym and build the president's house. No money was provided for the 
badly needed endowment, since the new president was expected to raise 
these funds. 

In May 1928 the Synod agreed to issue the bonds. At the last minute 
the amount of money was increased to $400,000, but part of it was 
earmarked for Eden. This bond issue was to plague Elmhurst for years. 
Although part of the money went to Eden, Synod officials held Elmhurst 
responsible for repaying the whole amount plus the interest. This was not 
the way Lehmann or others at Elmhurst understood the agreement. They 
believed that the entire Synod had committed to pay the interest and to 
repay the bonds, not just Elmhurst. The controversy complicated rela- 
tions between Elmhurst and the Synod for nearly two decades and added 
to Elmhurst's financial insecurity. 

Before Lehmann took over, the Executive Committee recommended 
the closing of the Academy as a money-saving measure, and the Board of 
Trustees agreed. In June 1928, after more than 56 years, the secondary 
school closed its doors. 

Lehmann was inaugurated in October 1928, at which time the 
Gymnasium (now Goebel Hall), which cost nearly $175,000 to build and 

1 26 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years PS 

equip, was dedicated. In his inaugural address, Lehmann called upon the 
Evangelical church to provide Elmhurst with the financial support it so 
badly needed. "Can the Church be aroused and made conscious of its 
obligation and is it willing to pay the price therein involved?" he asked. 

Lehmann Hkened the College to a boy whose father turns away 
because his son is growing up too fast and costing too much. As the 
College grew, costs increased. "But instead of responding with heart and 
soul . . . the Church simply refused to give more," he said. "As long as 
the Evangelical Synod continues to pursue the short-sighted policy that 
Elmhurst College is sufficiently useful in the provision of the needed 
supply of pre-theological students, so long does it hmit itself in its effec- 
tiveness and fails in its purpose to serve both Church and community." 

Consolidation and Development 

During the early years of Lehmann 's administration the curriculum 
was fleshed out and student services were expanded, while efforts were 
made to maintain the momentum developed under Niebuhr. Yet much of 
the institution's effort had to be directed at weathering financial crisis 
after crisis, which impeded the attempts to prepare the College for 

Lehmann was determined that Elmhurst remain firmly committed 
to Christian education. "It has become increasingly clear that the church 
as such, or any denomination, has no business in education except as it 
provides an institution that shall be definitely constituted and conducted 
as a Christian school," he said in a 1929 report to the Board. In a report a 
few years later, Lehmann stated that Elmhurst should have a "thoroughly 
evangelical program whose aims and objectives shall center in and revolve 
about the ideal of a Christian college of liberal arts serving specifically 
the Evangelical Synod of North America in its activities and generally the 
community in which it operates." A year later he wrote, "It is my 
contention that the church has no business in education at all, except it 
be willing to make vital distinctions between mere education and 
Christian nurture." 

K The Battle to Survive 


Paul Crusius, who taught at 
El7?i hurst for 44 years and played 
a major role in the College V 

He was equally committed to keeping a Christian faculty. "We could 
neither afford, nor do we care to have, a man or woman on the faculty of 
Elmhurst College who is irreverent toward religion or indifferent to the 
purposeful method in providing a Christian education," he told the Board 
in 1930. 

Late in 1928, Lehmann moved into the President's House, which 
had been constructed north of Irion Hall at a cost of approximately 
$30,000. This two-story brick colonial house provided the first separation 
for the president's family from the student body as well as the first rooms 
for entertaining. It also freed up rooms in South Hall for students or 
faculty. The President's House was torn down to make room for today's 
Buehler Library. 

The new president's first concern was money. The Synod had agreed 
to help subsidize deficits for two years, but by 1930 it expected the new 
president to raise all needed money. Elmhurst also had to pay back the 
money that the Synod advanced in 1928. Thus one of Lehmann 's first 
actions was to begin a major fund-raising campaign, which was called the 
Elmhurst-Eden Advance, to raise $1.25 million in one year. Proceeds were 
to be spHt between the two schools, with Elmhurst getting three quarters. 

128 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst planned to use its money to pay for the earlier bond issue, estab- 
lish a $400,000 endowment, and finish paying for the new buildings. 

Problems surfaced even before the campaign began. The Synod 
decided that the campaign must be aimed at individuals, rather than at 
congregations as in traditional efforts to raise money. Misunderstandings 
developed over whether Eden was to share in the cost of raising the funds. 
Lehmann had gready underestimated the price of raising money, and when 
he attempted to charge expenses to the campaign, including part of his 
salary, he was informed that Elmhurst would have to bear these costs alone. 

Lehmann jumped into the campaign with great vigor and took 
personal charge, although a fund-raising group was hired to assist him. 
He worked tirelessly, seeking funds by speaking and preaching to 
hundreds of groups throughout the entire country. 

The first targets of the campaign were the citizens of Elmhurst. 
According to Lehmann, this group was selected, "inasmuch as the towns- 
people of Elmhurst had never done anything especially for Elmhurst 
College since Mr. Bryan donated the original ten acres." In three and a 
half weeks, Lehmann received nearly $60,000 in pledges. 

He targeted prospects in Chicago next and more pledges rolled in. 
From Chicago he expanded his sights to the Midwest and the nation. He 
expected to reach his goal before the end of 1930, but he hadn't counted 
on the stock market crash in late 1929. As the nation slipped into depres- 
sion, money dried up and many contributors began reneging on pledges. 
Thus Lehmann extended the campaign into 1931 and then into 1932 and 
1933, which caused expenses to skyrocket. 

While more than $1.8 million was pledged, ultimately Elmhurst 
received only about $330,000, of which $200,000 went to pay off part of 
the bonds, while less than $100,000 was earmarked for endowment. But 
this money kept Elmhurst going and served as the basis of the tiny 
endowment that finally allowed Elmhurst to gain accreditation. 

Lehmann devoted most of his attention to raising money from 
1929 well into 1933, so responsibility for running the College fell 
upon Dean Mueller and faculty leaders such as Paul Crusius. These 
leaders, most of whom had major administrative and teaching respon- 
sibilities, were heavily overburdened. Although Mueller had 
announced that he couldn't continue to teach 12-15 hours a semester 

K The Battle to Survive 129 

D?: Irion welcomes Betty Roefer and Eunice Buck, tivo of the first women students at 
Elmhurst College, 1930. 

1 30 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

and be dean, too, he received little relief until he took a sabbatical in 
1931-32 to study student services and counseling at the University of 
Chicago. From 1931 to 1933 Crusius was also away, working on his 
doctorate at Harvard. 

Few leaders of the Synod or the Board understood what it took to 
run the fund-raising campaign of a modern college. When Mueller went 
on leave, the Board suggested that Lehmann personally replace him as 
dean. Instead Professor Helmick took over as acting dean. Earlier the 
Board had asked why Lehmann couldn't head the Department of Biblical 
Literature in addition to his other duties. 

While Niebuhr had enjoyed close relations with his Board, 
Lehmann had a fractious Board that was uncertain of its role vis-a-vis the 
president and the chief administrators. This weakened Lehmann 's posi- 
tion with the Synod and deflected his attention from fund-raising. 

Even while attempting to raise money, Elmhurst added to its deficit. 
Although the Synod expected the College to balance its budget by 1930, 
Elmhurst was forced to borrow money fi^om Elmhurst State Bank in 
1930, and the deficit for that year was $16,000. 

Coeducation at Last 

Enrollment had peaked at 201 students in 1923-24, with 120 in 
the Academy and 81 in the Junior College. While the number of 
college students increased after 1924, the number of Academy students 
declined. By 1925-26 there were only 115 students on campus. The 
number of college students increased to 159 in 1928-29 and stood at 
150 the next year, but such a small enrollment guaranteed that 
Elmhurst would not flourish. 

Although most attention was paid to the College's deficits, Lehmann 
understood that enrollment was the true problem. He believed that 
Elmhurst could educate an additional 100-125 students without signifi- 
cant changes, but that it could not survive long with only 150. 

In fall 1929 Elmhurst unveiled a new recruiting slogan — "Chicago's 
West Side College," it called itself. The next year an article in the 

X The Battle to Survive 



w V B « v •• * 

n I 

Wovien V choral group, ca. 1 940. 

Chicago Sunday Tribune proclaimed, "Real University for West Side." In 
the article, Lehmann echoed Niebuhr's dream. "With the land we have 
for expansion and the population from which we have to draw, Elmhurst 
should play a part comparable to that of the great universities of the 
North and South side of Chicago." 

To help boost enrollment, Elmhurst opened a College News Bureau 
late in the decade and hired the first field secretary to recruit local students. 
Still, by June 1930, the situation was so critical that the Board offered 
students a $25 credit on tuition for every new student they brought in and 
asked faculty to spend at least two weeks over the summer recruiting. 

Since assuming the presidency, Lehmann had recognized that admit- 
ting women was the only way for Elmhurst to draw enough students to 
survive. In 1929, at his urging, the Board voted to accept women students 
and the Synod concurred. After nearly 59 years, Elmhurst was going coed. 

In fall 1930, 46 women entered Elmhurst College, bringing enroll- 
ment to a record high of 233 students. Since there was no dormitory- for 
women, all commuted from home. Mrs. Lehmann was appointed dean of 
women on a voluntary basis. Women's rest rooms were built, and other 

1 32 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Genevieve Standi, dean of 
Toomen from 1932 to 1961, 
and dean of students from 1948 
to 1961. 

minimal changes were made to accommodate the women, who were 
greeted at tea. 

The College established a course of study in secretarial sciences that 
it expected to appeal to women. The course was abolished in 1931-32 
when it became clear that this was not the type of college education 
women were seeking. Plans were also discussed for opening a Home 
Economics Department, but no money was available. 

The coming of women to campus was a major break with the past. 
Women represented the first large group of commuter students. Also, 
since women could not serve as Evangelical ministers, they were liberal 
arts rather than pretheology students. 

For years students planning to become ministers had made up the 
overwhelming majority of the student body. Since the four-year 
college opened, they had accounted for between 66 and 70 percent of 
students, according to William Denman. Now the percentage of 
pretheology students fell to 30 percent in 1930-31. The percentage of 
students planning to study for the seminary increased to 38 percent 
over the next three years but then decreased to 21 percent in 1937-38 
and 10 percent in 1938-39. 

X The Battle to Survive 133 

Many of the women were not members of the EvangeHcal church, 
so for the first time sizable numbers of students from other faiths were 
enroUing at the EvangeHcal college. By 1932-33 only about half the 
students claimed membership in Evangelical churches. 

The deepening of the Depression also affected the makeup of the 
student body. As the economy worsened, fewer families could afford to 
send their children away for college. Therefore Elmhurst saw an 
increase in male as well as female commuters. By 1934, 20 percent of 
students were women and more than 50 percent were commuters. 
These changes in the student body upset traditionalists among the 
alumni and the Synod. 

Ever since the Junior College had opened, charges of free thinking 
and immorality had been lodged against students and occasionally faculty^ 
by some alumni and Synod leaders. Lehmann frequently defended the 
school and its students, although he was not always satisfied with their 
conduct. Early in 1929 he reported that "all was not well in the dormi- 
tory." Profanity, gambling, drinking and immorality in speech and action 
were rampant. He asked the facult)^ to investigate, and one student was 
expelled while several others were reported to their parents. 

Lehmann did not place full blame for the problems on students, 
since he felt that the College was doing too Httle to give students 
constructive social outlets. This is one of the reasons he supported the 
admission of women. Less than a year after Elmhurst went coed, the 
president informed the Board that life on campus had improved and that 
women were having a positive influence. 

Although it was hoped that there would be housing for women in 
1931-32, none was available. Therefore the majority of women continued 
to be commuters while some roomed with Elmhurst families. 

In 1932, Genevieve Staudt, a professor in the Education 
Department, was appointed dean of women — a position she held imtil 
1961. Her job included every^ing from counseling students, to 
inspecting rooming houses, to establishing the social calendar and chap- 
eroning all events that women attended, including the dances that had 
begun on campus in 1930. WTien women were allowed to live in part of 
Irion Hall in 1933, Staudt moved in along with her charges. \Mth 
housing on campus finally available, the number of women increased. 

134 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Women students inarching, Hojnecoming 1931. 

According to Dean Staudt, 44 percent of the early women were 
working their way through college, yet their grades were substantially 
higher than the men's. The women's record of accomplishment eased some 
of the objections of alumni who had wished to keep Elmhurst all-male. 

In an effort to prepare students for college, Dean Mueller initiated 
the first student orientation program, called Freshman Period, in 1928. 
Lasting four days, it included information about classes and study habits, 
and concluded with a visit to Chicago where Mueller, a sociologist, took 
the students to slums and ethnic neighborhoods as well as downtown. 

Big-Time Athletics Come to Elmhurst 

Lehmann thought that athletics could help recruit students and 
create school spirit and enthusiasm among students, alumni and members 
of the community. Therefore, in 1928 he hired a successful high school 
football coach from Wisconsin to build winning football teams. Lehmann 

K The Battle to Survive 135 


W 53rd, 1931 


Homecoming programs from 1931. 

1 36 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

wrote that he expected the coach "to put Elmhurst on the map in 
athletics as well as in the direction of the characters of young men toward 
the fullest and cleanest life." Also in 1928 Elmhurst joined the Illinois 
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference or Little 19 as it was known. 

In his first year, the new coach fashioned a winning team. "The 
success that athletics have met with during the current year has been 
nothing short of miraculous," reported the 1929 Elms. "The Elmhurst 
teams have set up a mark which many other colleges can well envy. There 
are three reasons why this wonderful athletic record has been attained, 
namely — the new Coach, the new gridiron, and the new gymnasium," 
continued the yearbook. 

Elmhurst's 1928 football team won five football games, tied two and 
lost only one. The 1928-29 basketball team — the first for a number of 
years since the team now had a gym to play in — won 15 out of 17 games 
against the Little 19 Conference and was invited to compete in the 
National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Basketball Tournament at 
Kansas City. The team declined the invitation since the trip would have 
taken them away from classes too long. 

The 1929 football team was the best ever. The Pirates, as Elmhurst 
teams were called, won eight of nine games, losing only to DeKalb. The 
student body was dehghted when the Blue and White defeated Wheaton 
College, already considered Elmhurst's traditional rival, by a score of 
31-0. The next year the football team won six and lost two, but that was 
the last outstanding team at Elmhurst for many years. 

In fall 1929 Elmhurst added a cross country team and reorganized 
the tennis team, which was coached by C.C. Arends, hired that year as 
instructor in public speaking. Elmhurst also developed a strong intra- 
mural program. 

A pall was cast over the athletic program in 193 1 when Reuben 
Getschow, the captain of the football team who had been an all-confer- 
ence guard the year before, broke his neck in the first game of the year. 
Dr. Loyal Davis of Northwestern University operated in an attempt to 
save his life — a surgery that President Lehmann personally witnessed — 
but Getschow died nine days after the injury. 

In addition to athletics, the College used its Glee Club to stimulate 
interest and support for the school. In 1928, the Glee Club began to 

K The Battle to Survive 137 

appear regularly on WLS radio, one of the most powerful stations in the 
Midwest. The Glee Club also traveled throughout the Midwest, often 
with President Lehmann. 

Lehmann spoke widely both in the Elmhurst area and throughout 
the nation and preached regularly at area churches. While the previous 
two presidents had begun to reach out to the Elmhurst community, 
Lehmann rapidly assumed a leadership position in the city. During his 20 
years as president, he served on the boards of selective service, old age 
assistance and the Kiwanis Club as well as on many other civic and 
community groups such as the centennial planning committee. 

Lehmann was active in many professional organizations, including 
the Federation of Illinois Colleges and the Liberal Arts College 
Movement, and he served as president of the Illinois Association of 
Colleges. He was the first Elmhurst College president to actively seek to 
learn fi-om neighboring institutions. For example, when Synod leaders 
attacked Elmhurst for having too many administrators, Lehmann used his 
contacts to survey 10 similar schools and found that Elmhurst ranked 
eighth in the percent of revenue spent on administration. Lehmann, 
Mueller and other Elmhurst administrators learned a great deal from 
their peers at the University of Chicago, where both Lehmann and 
Mueller took courses, and at other colleges and universities. 

Knowing that many alumni were not happy with the changes at 
Elmhurst, Lehmann revitalized the Alumni Association, organizing 
district associations, hiring a part-time alumni secretary and using the 
Elmhurst College Bulletin, a new alumni pubHcation, to keep alumni 
informed and interested in events at Elmhurst. In spite of all these 
efforts, Lehmann found his campaign to win alumni support less 
successful than he had hoped. 

Problems Pile Up 

While President Lehmann found relations with alumni strained, he 
had even less success in his dealings with Synod leaders. Ever since 
Elmhurst was organized, it was a part of the Evangelical Synod, "o-uTied, 

1 38 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years S8 

Students in line for hot lunches, 1931. 

controlled, and managed entirely and exclusively" by the Synod, as its 
charter said. In 1929 Lehmann wrote that "The failure of the church to 
entrust its representatives in charge of Elmhurst College with the full 
responsibility of its development accounts for the slow progress made 
thus far. 

Although in 1929 the General Conference gave Elmhurst's Trustees 
the right to elect an additional three members to its board — bringing the 
total of those the Trustees could elect to six — the General Conference 
continued to elect nine members and to have final authority on all 
matters. Often the Elmhurst Board and administration discussed 
attempting to gain control through a new charter. They always hesitated, 
though, for fear that a new charter would not grant them exemption from 
taxation and that the Synod would cease contributing to the College. 

SC The Battle to Survive 139 

The Synod's contributions slipped from more than $81,500 in 1929- 
30 to $65,000 in 1932-33. Even with an increase in enrollment, the 
College could not absorb this decrease. In 1931, to cut costs, the College 
eliminated the Elmhurst Festival — the Seminarfest of Proseminary days — 
after 50 years. Despite stringent measures, Lehmann was unable to elimi- 
nate the deficit by 193 1, and late that year he informed the Board of 
Trustees that increased financial support was "a question of life or death 
for Elmhurst College." Then in July 1932 the faculty was informed that 
their salaries were being cut. 

Starting in 1934 Elmhurst found a new source of help in 
recruiting students and a small but vital new source of revenue. With 
money from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration the College 
was able to enroll 28 new students each year. While most colleges lost 
enrollment as the Depression worsened, Elmhurst enjoyed a modest 
growth of 6-7 percent a year because of the increase in the number of 
women, commuters and students receiving federal assistance. 
According to Lehmann, it was these groups that allowed Elmhurst to 
survive the Depression. 

The capacity of Elmhurst's dormitories was soon exceeded. The 
College couldn't afford to build a new dorm so it was forced to allow 
students to board in Elmhurst. This, combined with the number of 
commuters, meant that Elmhurst had lost much of its residential-college 
quality by the mid-thirties. 

While the enrollment was increasing, Elmhurst could not continue 
to draw students if it remained unaccredited. The Junior College had 
been accredited, but it issued its last diploma in 1930, so this accredita- 
tion meant little. 

In order to prepare for accreditation, Elmhurst continued to expand 
its curriculum. Lehmann was interested in preprofessional programs, so 
new courses were added for students seeking to go on in medicine. In addi- 
tion 22 courses were added in business administration and economics, plus 
several in music, poHtical science, and elementary and secondary education. 

By 1934 Elmhurst had 10 departments that offered majors, 
housed within four divisions — religion and philosophy, languages and 
literature, natural and physical sciences, and social sciences. Five 
preprofessional programs were also available. Because the College 

140 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

feared that the School of Music might be a hindrance to accreditation 
and because it had long run a deficit, it was reshaped into a 
Department of Music in 1933. 

Dean Mueller had instituted ability testing for all students some years 
earlier. In the early thirties he conducted other tests and studied retention 
data in an effort to predict which students were most likely to succeed. As a 
result of his studies, he called for an end to Elmhurst's long-standing policy 
of open enrollment. Because of the need for students as well as fears by 
many in the Synod that higher admission standards would eliminate some 
students planning to become ministers, Mueller's recommendation was 
rejected, and Elmhurst's admission remained open. 

While entrance requirements were not strengthened, graduation 
and academic requirements were. The College was still concerned with 
developing well-rounded students. Thus rules in the thirties limited the 
number of courses a student could take in a major and minor, and 
required students to take a significant number of courses in all four divi- 
sions. New rules also required students to carry a "C" major at all times 
or face probation, deficiency reports and possible expulsion. Previously 
students only had to reach a "C" level by graduation. 

Another way in which Elmhurst prepared for accreditation was by 
strengthening its faculty. Although salaries were very low, they were paid 
regularly, which was not the case at some colleges. Also salaries usually 
came with housing or a stipend in lieu of housing and, starting in 1929, 
the Trustees instituted a modest pension program. Thus Elmhurst was 
able to recruit and hold faculty. 

The College also used limited sabbatical money and pressure to 
encourage faculty to secure additional education. For example, when 
Paul Crusius did not finish his doctorate at Harvard after a sabbatical in 
1931, the president, dean and Board of Trustees urged him to remain 
another year at his own expense to finish. He agreed, completing all 
course work and beginning his dissertation before returning to 
Elmhurst. Although he didn't receive his Ph.D. for several years, he was 
well on his way by 1933, which was considered vital for department 
heads if the school was to gain accreditation. 

The Elmhurst administration got so good at using its sabbatical 
money that it encouraged at least one professor without an advanced 

K The Battle to Survive 141 

degree to go on sabbatical the semester that the faculty was to be 
surveyed for accreditation. A temporary replacement with a Ph.D. was 
hired in his place. 

Accreditation at Last 

When in 1929 Elmhurst requested the University of Illinois to 
recognize it as a four-year college, the University's survey team was 
generally impressed with Elmhurst's faculty, student spirit and library. 
"We found the instruction for the most part to be very good. Some of it 
was excellent," reported the sur\^ey team. The team continued, "There is 
no doubt that the faculty, in personality, energy and scholarship, ranks 
well in comparison with faculties of most of the good smaller colleges in 
the State. . . . Your visitors were very favorably impressed with the 
teaching staff." 

In spite of the praise, the survey team had concerns about the 
College's finances. "In view of the fact that the financial situation is at 
present somewhat uncertain and that the future progress of the institu- 
tion is dependent in a large measure upon the outcome of the plans for 
increasing the income," the team recommended that the College be put 
on the University's "B" list. The University would receive graduates or 
transfers, but it might require an extra semester or two of class work 
from them. 

Elmhurst was not satisfied with the outcome of the survey and 
immediately determined to reapply for the University's "A" list. It was 
also determined to win accreditation fi^om the North Central Association. 

Before Elmhurst could approach the North Central Association, the 
College was rocked by a scandal that jeopardized its accreditation. In 
January 1931, Elmhurst was visited by a special committee of the North 
Central Association that had been formed to investigate athletic 
programs. When the report was issued two months later, Elmhurst was 
shocked to learn that it was among the schools that were condemned. 

The report pointed out that the president of Elmhurst College was 
paid $4,000 a year, the dean $3,700 and the head of the Chemistry 

1 42 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

Department who had a Ph.D. $3,300, but the football coach received 
$4,000. "The coach receives more money than the Dean or Head of any 
Department. ... It is obvious that the administration places a higher 
value on athletics and physical education than on academic accomplish- 
ment," the investigator reported. 

The investigator concluded that athletes were being given prefer- 
ence for scholarships and campus jobs and that they were being 
allowed to defer tuition payments. "The academic records of the 
athletes, in general, are below average and some of them are failing. . . . 
too much activity in athletics has caused some of this failure," the 
report stated. Other charges included recruiting by the football coach, 
which was not allowed, failure of athletes to maintain grades needed 
for eligibility, and at least one case of money being given to an athlete. 
The investigator believed that the coach purposely kept no carbon 
copies of letters he had sent to what were described as "athletes who 
are shopping around." 

The report continued as follows: "The investigator does not 
believe the coach is a man of high ideals. He is out to win games and 
the investigator is convinced that Elmhurst College is not in good 
standing with some of the other colleges of the 'Little Nineteen.'" The 
recommendation was clear. "The faculty should study the problem and 
solve it. , . . The North Central Association should bring pressure to 
bear upon Elmhurst to study its athletics program and to conform with 
the policy of the North Central in regard to athletics in both letter 
and spirit." 

This scandal should not have come as a surprise since Elmhurst had 
received protests about its athletic program. For example, in September 
1930 the executive secretary of the General Conference of the Synod 
wrote to Lehmann claiming that the coach had "lowered the moral tone 
of the school" and that athletes were being given jobs when other 
students were not. Charges had been leveled by faculty as well. Years 
later Th. Mueller reported that athletes had been hired to play for 
Elmhurst and that one football player was a discard from the Chicago 
Bears. He recalled that Professor Karl H. Carlson became so upset by the 
situation that he resigned. Lehmann sent Mueller to talk to Carlson, and 
the dean persuaded Carlson to rescind his resignation. 

K The Battle to Survive 143 

In May 1931 Lehmann fired the football coach "for the good of the 
College." Lehmann wrote that "our present coach has outlived his useful- 
ness for reasons of indifference to character requirements for himself and 
the students." Ultimately the coach was allowed to resign. 

Two years after the athletic scandal, Elmhurst hired Oliver "Pete" 
Langhorst as football coach and athletic director. He and his wife 
Matilda or "Mrs. Pete," who was the alumni secretary for many years, 
were beloved by generations of Elmhurst students. 

Because of the scandal the North Central Association demanded 
that the school be surveyed again in 1932. The scandal also did not go 
over well with Elmhurst's alumni or the Synod. 

In Eebruary 1932 a North Central Association team came to 
check on the athletic situation and found the problems cleared up. The 
new coach was earning only $1,900, and a limit of $2,400 was placed 
on his salary for the next year. "No irregularities seem to have been 
practiced this year in the athletic department. Thirty men were found 
eligible to be on the football team. They have been urged to keep their 
scholastic records high. . . . Whatever evils may have existed previ- 
ously, they seem to have been fully cured," the team reported. The 
report went on to state that Elmhurst College had "a Christian atmos- 
phere, a loyal spirit, the location in a quiet, refined community, the 
close contact between students and teachers. In this college there are 
good ideals, positive direction, a careful weighing of values and 
splendid team work." Although the team surveyed athletics, the visitors 
reported that "the great handicap in the development of the college is 
in its financial condition." 

Early in 1932 another North Central accreditation team visited 
campus. Elmhurst had been invited to participate in a North Central 
study of accrediting standards, and the College planned to use the visit as 
a practice run for a later official review. Then, in spring 1932, it learned 
that under a new North Central rule it would have to receive accredita- 
tion as a four-year school by 1933 or lose accreditation as a junior 
college. Therefore Elmhurst decided to rush ahead and ask for a formal 
survey, although it had not completed its curriculum development or 
accumulated $400,000 in endowment, and in spite of the fact that one of 
its leading faculty — Paul Crusius — was on sabbatical. 

144 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years S5 

The official North Central survey was conducted in January 1933, 
and two months later accreditation was denied. The report underscored 
shortcomings in the faculty, low admission standards and a lack of student 
services. It praised the academic administrators, the physical plant and, 
surprisingly, the financial situation. Rather than focusing on the lack of 
endowTnent, it pointed out that Elmhurst spent $633 per student, which 
was very high. Only two of the 34 schools visited by the North Central 
Association that year spent more. "However, a relatively high expenditure 
is to be expected in view of the small enrollment," said the surveyor. 

It was the faculty that came in for the sharpest attacks. The report 
concluded that, not only did many faculty members lack academic 
degrees, but almost all were inactive in their fields. It noted that only one 
had published a book or reviews in the previous five years, none held 
offices or presented papers at professional meetings, and few even 
attended those meetings. "No member of the group would appear to 
have achieved scholarly distinction," the report concluded. The report 
called for Elmhurst to hire from now on only faculty with Ph.D.s who 
promised to become scholars. 

The report recommended better student services, including acad- 
emic, personal and vocational counseling, and placement services. It also 
called for scholarships for nontheology students and for stricter admis- 
sion standards. 

While the news on accreditation was bad, the North Central 
Association delayed implementation of the rule that would have 
stripped Elmhurst of junior college accreditation until 1934, giving 
Elmhurst one more year to gain accreditation. Dean Mueller turned to 
the task of complying with the recommendations with a vengeance. 
Faculty were pressured to seek additional education, undertake schol- 
arly work or become active in a professional society. Student counseling 
services were developed. 

Elmhurst sought money from the Synod and asked it to confirm its 
commitment to the College. In September 1933 the General Conference 
reaffirmed its support for Elmhurst but came up with no money for the 
endowment. In spite of its financial problems, Elmhurst College asked 
for another accreditation and petitioned the University of Illinois for an 
"A" rating. 

K The Battle to Survive 145 

A new inspection team from the North Central Association visited 
campus in late January 1934. On April 24 the College was notified that it 
was accredited. Students carrying victory signs marched through the city, 
classes were cancelled and a dance was organized. 

The report showed that the committee was still dissatisfied with 
Elmhurst's open admission policy, but otherwise it found that the College 
met the required standards. "We believe that in the matter of the faculty 
the condition has been greatly improved, and is now better than the 
average found among the member institutions of the North Central 
Association," reported the survey. It was a measure of what Mueller had 
accomplished that, according to the faculty minutes, during the semester 
that the survey visited, 33 percent of Elmhurst's faculty had doctorates 
and 39 percent had master's degrees. 

In April the University of Illinois also surveyed Elmhurst and placed 
it on its "A" list. This survey team complimented Elmhurst's library as 
well as the teaching and the student body. "May I not congratulate you 
upon the splendid progress which you have made at Elmhurst during the 
past few years," wrote the University of lUinois' registrar to President 
Lehmann. "I assure you we were all very favorably impressed with the 
work you are doing." 

It is not clear why Elmhurst's precarious financial situation and the 
endowment of less than $100,000 were ignored. Probably in a time when 
nearly all colleges were having financial problems, it was considered 
unfair to hold Elmhurst to an impossible standard. In a report to the 
Board in 1934, Lehmann wrote, "The economic situation had much to 
do with this. It was clearly impossible to stress the importance of income 
from endowments as it had been done." 

The investigation teams must also have been impressed with what 
had been accomplished over the last decade. The College had been 
changed from a German secondary school to a four-year liberal arts 
college. To succeed in this task had taken visionaries such as H. Richard 
Niebuhr, practical leaders such as Th. Mueller and Paul Crusius, as well 
as church leaders, alumni, faculty, students and stalwart supporters such 
as Timothy Lehmann. Together they had created a College of which they 
could be proud during extremely harsh economic times. 

146 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The Struggle Intensifies 

The College's survival was not guaranteed for more than a decade 
after accreditation. The remainder of the thirties and the war years of the 
forties were a precarious time for Elmhurst, as for most colleges. The 
lack of money shaped all facets of its development, and the union of the 
Evangelical Synod with the Reformed Church in 1934 threatened 
Elmhurst's funding. 

Support from the Synod had always been vital to Elmhurst's 
survival. As the Depression worsened, this support fell by more than 
$25,000 a year, from its high of $81,590 in 1929-30 to $56,213 in 
1935-36. From there it declined even further and hovered around 
$50,000 a year until 1941, when it started back up. This diminished 
contribution accounted for almost half the College's annual revenue. 

The College raised tuition as high as it thought possible. The cost 
of attending Elmhurst in 1930-3 1 was $425 for a general resident student 
and $325 for a resident pretheology student. Tuition was $150 ($50 for 
pretheologs) and the rest was for room, board and general fees. By 1938 
it cost $484 for the general student and about $100 less for pretheologs. 
The next decade saw more cost increases. By 1946 the cost was around 
$660 for a general resident student and $560 for a resident pretheolog, 
with tuition of $275 and $175 respectively. 

Elmhurst spent about $5,000 a year in direct financial aid such as 
for the scholarships to students from York and other area high schools. 
The pretheolog discount and discounts for the sons and daughters of 
ministers also added up. Combined with the scholarships, the total for 
financial aid each year reached over $15,000, which the College could ill 
afford. President Lehmann commented that the decision of the Board to 
give discounts to pretheologs and other church members took away 
money that "should and could have been used for salary increases for 
the faculty." 

Throughout the thirties, enrollment increased and the makeup of 
the student body continued to change. From a low of 222 students in 
1932, enrollment increased to 264 in 1936 and 288 in 1937. The next 
year saw a major increase to 365. Enrollment peaked at 386 in 1940. 

K The Battle to Survive 147 

To accommodate increased enrollment Elmhurst bought the 
Challacombe property at the corner of Prospect and Elm Park in 1939. 
Starting in 1940 students moved into the house, which they called Senior 
Lodge. The old residence served as housing until it was torn down to 
make way for the Science Center. 

Women and students from the Chicago area made up almost all of the 
enrollment increase. By the end of the thirties, more than 40 percent of 
students were women and 70 percent were from Chicago and its suburbs. 

The religious makeup of the students was also changing. By 1937 
fewer than half of the students were from Evangelical and Reformed 
backgrounds, and by the end of the thirties pretheology students no 
longer dominated the student body. The largest major was business, with 
pretheologs accounting for only about 1 5 percent of the student body. 

All these changes in the student body as well as the increases in cost 
to attend Elmhurst disturbed many alumni who felt that the College had 
strayed too far from its roots. In response to the obvious discontent of 
alumni, the College pointed out that Elmhurst was still educating the vast 
majority of future Evangelical ministers. In the late thirties, 70 percent of 
students at Eden had studied at Elmhurst. 

It concerned the College that many alumni, whose financial support 
it needed, were unhappy. President Lehmann traveled widely to assure 
them and church leaders that Elmhurst was doing the work of the 
church. Still, opposition to changes, including calls for Elmhurst to revert 
to a proseminary, continued well into the 1940s. 

One major link between Elmhurst and its older alumni was severed 
in October 1935 when Daniel Irion died. Irion had symbolized Elmhurst 
College for generations of alumni. Christian Stanger and Paul Crusius 
remained the only links to Elmhurst's days as a Proseminan^. 

As the enrollment grew late in the thirties, so, too, did the faculty 
and staff. By 1 940 the faculty numbered 3 7 and the administrative staff 
included President Lehmann, Dean of Women Staudt, Dean and 
Registrar Mueller, plus a business manager, bursar, recorder, secretar\^ to 
the president, librarian, manager of the Commons and dietitian. 

For some time Elmhurst had provided a Student Employment 
Bureau that helped students find part-time work. At the end of the decade 
it also started a placement office to help graduates find employment. 

1 48 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

The Evangelical and Reformed Union 

While the EvangeHcal Synod could boast of only Elmhurst College, 
there were seven Reformed Colleges including Franklin and Marshall, 
Heidelberg, Ursinus and Cedar Crest. From their earliest days, individual 
Reformed colleges had been funded by regional or local associations 
rather than the entire church. Most Reformed schools were much better 
funded than Elmhurst. For example, in 1928, when Elmhurst had only a 
tiny endowment, Heidelberg had an endowment of $600,000, a figure 
that Elmhurst would not reach for decades. 

The possibility of a merger between the Evangelical and Reformed 
Churches worried Elmhurst officials, who feared Elmhurst would lose its 
funding from the general church. When it became clear the merger would 
take place, Elmhurst petitioned for a continuation of its traditional funding. 

Much to Elmhurst's relief, no change in funding occurred in 1934 
when the union took effect. Although the union officially dates from that 
year, the EvangeHcal Synod continued in existence until 1940, and 
Elmhurst remained under its jurisdiction. Still Elmhurst saw what lay 
ahead, so it increased its cultivation of regional churches. 

In 1936 Elmhurst launched a new fundraising campaign aimed at 
1,000 wealthy parishioners who were to be nominated by their pastors. 
Special attention was to go to those who had made earlier pledges but had 
been unable to fulfill them. The plan was to raise $1.5 million with half 
going for endowment and the rest for campus expansion and operating 
expenses, but the campaign was unsuccessful. Many pastors were unwilling 
to submit names, and most parishioners, uncertain that the worst of the 
Depression was over, were hesitant about giving large sums of money. 

Elmhurst officially became a college of the Evangelical and Reformed 
Church in November 1940. Early the next year Elmhurst's Board of 
Trustees was reorganized into a 12-person Board of Directors. (In 1940 the 
first women had been elected to Elmhurst's Board.) Eight of the new direc- 
tors were elected by the church and four by the previous Board. 

One of the first acts of the new Board of Directors was to authorize 
a survey of the College to be conducted by John Dale Russell and his 
staff at the University of Chicago. The survey team looked at the aims of 

X The Battle to Survive 149 

the College, its administration, physical plant, equipment, Hbrary, 
curriculum, faculty, instruction, student personnel service, and finance 
and business administration. 

The results were generally positive with much of Elmhurst's 
program, facihties, faculty and student body coming in for praise. Areas 
that were faulted included Elmhurst's financial position, inefficient busi- 
ness practices, library, failure to involve the faculty in the governance of 
the College, and convoluted lines of authority between the school, its 
board and church. 

The survey team reported that the school's $400,000 debt, much 
from the 1928 bond issue, was the highest of any school accredited by the 
North Central Association. It pointed out that the library, which earlier 
had been one of its strengths, had suffered greatly and was now marginal 
at best. The team also took Elmhurst to task for not developing a state- 
ment of aims that differentiated it from similar colleges. 

The survey team made more than 90 specific recommendations, 
which Lehmann hoped to use as the jumping off place for internal study 
by Elmhurst faculty and staff and for a general overhaul of the College. 
He was frustrated because the faculty declined to rise to the challenge 
and the College had no money to implement changes. 

While Lehmann and the College received little support internally 
for the survey, they made excellent use of it externally. It became the 
cornerstone of a publicity campaign aimed at reassuring the church and 
alumni that the program at Elmhurst was strong and that the changes 
over the past two decades had been for the best. Lehmann referred to the 
survey often during his travels and in preparation for celebrations to 
mark Elmhurst's 70th anniversary late in 1941. 

As part of the anniversar)^ celebration, Elmhurst held a conference 
with Synod representatives and officers from the A/lidwest in December 
1941. College officials reviewed the survey findings and recommenda- 
tions, and pointed out that the appropriations for the College totalled 
only a little more than $2 per church member. The conference attendees, 
convinced by what they heard, issued a series of recommendations that 
included an increase in funding by the church. 

Only a few days after this meeting hope for increased fiinding and 
reform vanished with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entrance of 

1 50 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

the United States into World War 11. For the next four years Elmhurst's 
chief concern would once more be survival. 

Throughout the early months of the war, negotiations were 
underway with the Synod for Elmhurst to obtain its own charter. One 
stumbling block continued to be the 1928 bond issue. Although Elmhurst 
insisted that the obligation for the bonds and the interest lay with the 
Evangelical Synod, not the College, in the end it was forced to assume 
the debt, which totalled around $300,000. 

Elmhurst finally received its own charter on May 12, 1942. No 
longer was it owned by the Synod. The College and all its property were 
officially transferred to a new corporation in June 1943. 

Its own charter did not mean that Elmhurst was an autonomous 
institution. Its new constitution had to be approved by the Evangelical 
and Reformed Synod. The first draft of the constitution was rejected 
because the Synod did not believe the church's final authority over the 
school was clear enough. The constitution that was finally approved in 
1943 guaranteed the Synod authority over the school, because it still 
elected three quarters of the trustees and had to approve the rest as well 
as the president. 

Elmhurst remained dependent on Synod funding. Thus it was 
relieved in 1942 when the church assured the College that it would not 
cut it adrift. The Synod was true to its word, and denominational support 
increased from $55,000 in 1941 to $74,500 in 1944. This allowed 
Elmhurst to keep its doors open through the war years of declining 
enrollment when Synod support provided the bulk of Elmhurst's income. 

Student Life in the Depression Years 

Students at Elmhurst had an active social life, in spite of the nation's 
economic troubles. The YMCA, YWCA, Ehi Bark, Elms, Men's Glee 
Club, Women's Glee Club, Student Christian Association, Band, Campus 
Choir, Pre-Theological Club and College Theatre remained important 
campus organizations. Other organizations came and went, including a 
variety of dramatic clubs such as the Masque and Buskin, the French 

K The Battle to Survive 151 

Oliver "P^?e" Langhorst, who setued 
as coach fi-o?n 1933 to 1969 and 
athletic director fi'Of?/ 1933 to 1963. 

Baseball team, 1935. 

1 52 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Club, a debate club, a history club and a revival of the Goethe Verein. 
After first refusing to allow a letterman's club, the administration relented 
and the "E" Club was organized in the mid-thirties. 

The YWCA, which soon changed its name to the Women's Union, 
sponsored teas, speakers, sports for women, coed dances and the most 
popular campus event of the winter season — the Annual Women's Union 
Circus, which was started in 1932. This circus included clowns, a 
sideshow, skits and acts presented by various campus organizations. It 
grew to be so popular that in 1939 some 700 students, fi'iends and towns- 
people attended. 

Fall on campus was marked by Homecoming, which always 
included a bonfire, snake dance to downtown Elmhurst, concert, parade 
and dance. In 1939, more than 500 alumni returned for Homecoming. 
In the winter students skated on the ponds at Wilder Park. Spring 
brought the junior prom. Students still strolled in Wilder Park or 
around Elmhurst, but as cars became more common they ventured 
farther from campus. 

Athletics, especially football, occupied a large place in student life. 
Oliver "Pete" Langhorst, who had played football, baseball and basket- 
ball while a student at Elmhurst before transferring to the University of 
Illinois, served as coach from 1933 to 1969 and as athletic director from 
1933 to 1963. 

In spring 1934 Langhorst invited a number of area schools to a 
track and field meet on the Elmhurst campus. This began the Annual 
Elmhurst Intercollegiate Invitational Track and Eield Meet. More than a 
dozen schools sent athletes to the meet, which generated excellent 
publicity for the College. 

Elmhurst's athletic teams had mixed success at best. The 1935 foot- 
ball team won five, lost two and tied one, which was its high water mark 
for the decade. In 1937-38, the basketball team won eight and lost seven, 
which was its first winning season in nine years. 

During the thirties Elmhurst added a swim team, which practiced 
at the Oak Park YMCA. By the end of the decade, Elmhurst had an 
excellent men's tennis team that was coached by speech professor C.C. 
Arends. In 1939, the tennis team won the College Conference of 
Illinois title. 

a The Battle to Survive 153 

Elmhurst supported an active intramural sports program for women 
as well as men. Women played field hockey, volleyball, basketball, 
badminton, table tennis, tennis and archery. By 1940, Elmhurst women, 
coached by Maude Johnson, were competing in intercollegiate tennis. 

In 1940 the name of the Elmhurst athletic teams was changed. 
According to the Elm Bark, President Lehmann and the students were 
dissatisfied with the name "Pirates," which they claimed had been given 
to Elmhurst's teams in the early thirties by other schools in the confer- 
ence after Elmhurst was charged with pirating or stealing players. The 
Eh/i Bark held a contest in which students could suggest names. "Blue 
Jays" (in later years "Bluejays") was selected and debuted at the Elmhurst- 
Wheaton football game that fall. The traditional colors of blue and white 
were maintained. 

The Elmhurst- Wheaton game of 1940 was remembered for years by 
Elmhurst fans. After a hard-fought game, Elmhurst emerged victorious 
by the score of 19-13 and students called a strike for Monday. At 7:30 in 
the morning, a dozen dorm students barricaded the doors of Old Main 
and prevented faculty and students from entering. Soon a large crowd gath- 
ered and students snake-danced through Elmhurst before ending in the 
gym where they danced, sang and enjoyed an impromptu review. 

The War Years 

Long before the U.S. entered World War II, the shadow of the 
conflict hung over Elmhurst. Student groups, chapel speakers and 
letters to the Ehi Bark debated whether America should intervene. A 
strong pacifist streak in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, as well 
as the German heritage of the College and many of its faculty and 
students, warred w^ith a concern on the part of many students, faculty 
and administrators about the atrocities that were occurring in Europe 
and Asia, 

When Pearl Harbor was bombed, most of this debate ended. 
Although a pacifist group continued to meet on campus, most students 
and faculty got behind the war effort. As the Ehi Bark editorialized on 

154 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhiirst blood do?iors during World War II. 

December 9, 1941, "Whether we like it or not we should be convinced 
by now that it has been our war for quite a while." 

Male students registered for the draft and worried about military 
deferments. Lehmann, Hke other college presidents, urged students to 
stay in school. Most students followed his advice, though several soon left 
school to join the army. 

Wartime measures began immediately. By early 1942 the College 
had begun to speed up the curriculum so that students could graduate as 

S: The Battle to Survive 155 

quickly as possible. In January, Elmhurst announced blackout procedures 
and appointed air raid and fire wardens. Students flocked to first aid 
classes, women met weekly to roll bandages, and a Student Defense 
Council was formed. The Defense Council organized blood drives, set up 
plans to deal with sabotage, collected reading material for military 
personnel, saved paper and tires, and sold war bonds and stamps. 

In anticipation of enrollment cuts, the College announced in 
February 1942 that it was letting six professors go, eliminating some 
subjects such as botany, and instituting a number of war-related courses. 
While most colleges and universities prepared for lower enrollments, the 
expected declines would affect Elmhurst more negatively. Elmhurst, 
which had barely survived the Depression, could now look forward to an 
even more dangerous time with no surplus or cushion to help it ride out 
the war years. 

More concrete signs of the war began showing up. In May 1942 
sugar bowls were removed from tables, and students were allowed only 
one teaspoon of sugar with each cup of tea or serving of cereal. Later, 
other foods, including meat and fresh fruits, were either rationed or in 
short supply. 

In spite of the war, some aspects of student life continued with 
remarkably little change. Students held dances, rooted for their athletic 
teams, put on campus plays and looked forward to the Women's Union's 
Annual College Circus. The 1942 junior prom went on as scheduled, but 
students were urged to use the money they would normally have spent to 
buy corsages for war stamps instead. 

In March 1942 the College bought and brought to campus a 
dismantled airplane for use in an aviation training program. In the fall the 
College added a naval training course, and naval cadets enrolled in math, 
physics, meteorology and navigation classes on campus. The cadets, who 
were housed in Senior Lodge, were extremely popular at dances and 
other College events. 

For some time the Student Refugee Committee had been endeav- 
oring to bring refugee students from China to campus. In fall 1942 the 
committee shifted gears and instead brought to campus four American- 
born students of Japanese heritage who were members of the Evangelical 
and Reformed Church. These were the first students of Asian back- 

156 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

ground to attend Elmhurst. Their arrival followed campus protests of the 
persecution of Japanese-Americans in California. In spite of mild protests 
by local veterans groups, the students were soon an accepted part of 
College life. 

There had long been concern on campus about the status of 
Negroes. In April 1942 the Elm Bark proposed the organization of inte- 
grated army units. An editorial wrote that, "The present policy of segre- 
gation in the American army contradicts, to put it mildly, the program of 
extending democratic principles, one of which is that all men are created 
equal." The paper encouraged students to register their willingness to 
serve in integrated units. It also called for a committee to be organized to 
investigate opening Elmhurst to Negroes. 

Admitting Negroes was still a topic under discussion in October 
1944 when the Elm Bark talked to a number of students about their 
views. Finding that student opinion was mixed, the newspaper editori- 
alized, "We are facing a serious issue. . . . But the step is necessary and 
even inevitable." 

In an effort to help students graduate in three years, Elmhurst 
announced that its students could take summer school courses at 
Wheaton College in summer 1942. Then in summer 1943 Elmhurst 
offered its first summer school program. Twenty students, 17 men who 
were on an accelerated pretheology schedule and three women, attended 
classes in physics and American history. 

In spite of the war, 321 fall-time and 14 part-time students enrolled 
in fall 1942, a decline of only 31 from the previous year. Of these 
students 216 were men. 

The City of Elmhurst in the Thirties and Forties 

The city of Elmhurst suffered through the Depression and war 
years as did all of America. Growth slowed, but population in the thirties 
increased by about 10 percent so that by 1940 the population was close to 
15,500. During the Depression, building also slowed, residents lost jobs, 
and those who maintained employment found their wages slashed. 

S: The Battle to Survive I 57 

Responding to increasing need in the community, Timothy Lehmann and 
other citizens organized the Elmhurst Welfare Association in 1932 to 
provide food, clothing, fuel and other assistance to families. Lehmann 
was named Association president. Soon government assistance also 
became available. 

In the midst of the Depression, the city marked the centennial of its 
settlement. A two-week celebration was held in June 1936, complete with 
a massive parade, concerts, dances, athletic events, a historical pageant 
and other entertainments. 

When the United States entered World War II, construction slowed 
even more since building material was not available. The war years 
brought the draft, and hundreds of Elmhurst citizens went to war. Nearly 
50 didn't return. 

Victory gardens were planted throughout the city. Gasoline, sugar, 
meat and other commodities were rationed, and an active civil defense 
program was instituted. 

Peace brought Elmhurst a return to prosperity and another period 
of rapid growth. From a population of around 16,000 in 1945 the city 
would grow to more than 21,000 by 1950. When victory over Japan was 
celebrated in August 1945, the city and Elmhurst College were both 
ready to enter a boom time. 

The War's End 

By the 1943-44 school year Elmhurst College was reeling from the 
effects of the war. Only 224 students enrolled in the fall, of whom 122 
were women. For the first time in Elmhurst's history, women outnum- 
bered men. A decline of nearly 100 students in just one year was 
ominous. So too was the fact that the enrollment was now perilously 
close to 200, the level below which the administration estimated that the 
College could no longer exist. 

Among the students were a number of naval cadets and other 
military personnel who were training to be pilots. They and other 
students left school throughout the year to join the armed forces or to 

1 58 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

enter either Eden or the Reformed seminary at Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania. Thus much of the school's social life revolved around 
farewell parties and weddings. 

By fall 1943, 400 midwest schools had dropped athletics, but 
Langhorst and a handful of other coaches kept their programs going. At 
the start of football season, 14 players reported for Elmhurst's varsity. 
The team had only two returning lettermen, since most of the previous 
year's players were now in the military. Ten more players were found, so 
by the first game the team had 24 members. 

Homecoming in 1943 was called "Fall Furlough," and the 
Homecoming football game was one of only five Elmhurst played that 
fall. The team lost three and tied two. Because the two ties were against 
Wheaton, the season was not considered a total loss. No intramural 
football was played since all men interested in football were needed on 
the varsity. 

The 1943-44 basketball team won two and lost nine. The College 
was so short of athletes that many students played on two or more teams. 
In spite of the shortage of men, the 1942-43 tennis team finished the 
season unbeaten. In 1944, Elmhurst cancelled the Annual Elmhurst 
Invitational Intercollegiate Track and Field Meet after only three of 12 
colleges expressed interest in competing. 

The shortage of male students was felt elsewhere. Instead of a Men's 
Glee Club, a mixed chorus was organized. 

The 1944 Elms opened with an "In Memoriam" page listing the 
seven students or alumni killed in the war. By 1945, the list had grown to 
14. In all an estimated 500 Elmhurst students, alumni and alumnae were 
in the armed services during the war. 

In the fall of 1944 enrollment increased to 241 and the College 
breathed a sigh of relief. Of this number, 54 percent were members of 
the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which was the largest percentage 
in 1 5 years. That fall's football team, which won one of six, was nick- 
named "Pete's Puny Ponies." Still Elmhurst managed to field a team 
when many other schools couldn't. The 1944-45 basketball team was 
more than respectable, winning seven of 12. 

In January 1945 Elmhurst College held its first midyear commence- 
ment, at which 16 students were graduated. Women's Union Circus and 

K The Battle to Survive 159 

spring vacation were cancelled in 1945. The vacation was eliminated to 
take strain off the overcrowded wartime transportation system. The 
College held final examinations and graduation earlier than usual. By 
this time the end of the war was in sight and it appeared that Elmhurst 
would survive. 

Registration in the fall of 1945 confirmed that the worst was over 
when 301 students enrolled, including a number of returning service 
personnel. As the 1946 Eh?is reported, "This was the year the boys came 
home!" From this time on the enrollment would increase at a dizzying 
rate up to 539 students in 1946, 153 more than Elmhurst's record high 
enrollment, and 660 full- and part-time students in 1947. Such increases 
would bring their own problems, but none would be as severe as the crisis 
that the College had just weathered. 

Although Elmhurst College had come close to going out of busi- 
ness several times in the twenties, thirties and the war years when a 
number of similar colleges had failed, its survival was now assured. In 
succeeding decades faculty, administrators, students and alumni would 
debate the shape the College would take, but no longer would they have 
to wonder if it would continue. Elmhurst celebrated its Diamond Jubilee 
year in 1945-46 with the knowledge that it could look forward to a 
promising future. 


Timothy Lehmann 
The Seventh President 

Timothy Lehmann was presi- 
dent from 1928 to 1948. He was 
born in 1881 in south Russia, the 
son of a minister in German settle- 
ments and the grandson of a 
minister. He emigrated to the 
United States in early childhood and 
grew up in Independence, Ohio. 

Lehmann graduated from the 
Proseminary in 1899 and from 
Eden Theological Seminary. He served in churches in Virginia and 
Maryland before settling in Columbus, Ohio where he was pastor 
of St. John's Evangelical Protestant Church for more than 16 years. 

During Lehmann's 20 years as Elmhurst president, the third 
longest tenure in Elmhurst history, the College admitted the first 
women, gained accreditation, and survived the Depression and the 
World War II era, when declining enrollments brought the College 
perilously near to closing. During Lehmann's presidency overall 
enrollment grew from 250 men to 660 men and women. 

Lehmann was active in the Elmhurst community, serving on 
the Welfare Board and the DuPage County draft board. After 
retiring from Elmhurst, he was a pastor in Virginia. He died 
in 1971. 

Lehmann was married to Martha Menzel, the daughter, 
granddaughter and great-granddaughter of ministers. She served 
for one year as volunteer dean of women, and her warmth and 
energy helped the first women on campus adjust to their new 
school. The Lehmanns had two sons and a daughter. 

chapter 9 

K Peacetime Expansion 

Elmhurst College entered a new era in the years immediately 
following World War II. With the return of soldiers arid the 
G.I. Bill of Rights, enrollment skyrocketed, bringing the first 
surpluses in Elmhurst's history. Suddenly, after decades of scrimping and 
stretching each dollar, Elmhurst had financial security. It was now ready 
to undertake an ambitious building campaign. 

This period marked a major change in personnel as well. In short 
order, the president, dean, financial manager and Christian Stanger, the 
senior faculty member who had been at Elmhurst for 50 years, retired. 
This broke many of the remaining links not only with the Proseminary 
days, but also with the Niebuhr era and the creation of the four-year 
college. Paul Crusius, Karl Carlson and Homer Helmich remained, but 
as they neared the end of their careers they were no longer prime shapers 
of the College. Younger faculty leaders included Rudolf Schade and 
Harvey DeBruine. 

Elmhurst's enrollment more than doubled in two short years, from 
301 students in 1945 to new record highs of 539 in 1946 and 660 in 
1947. This unprecedented growth brought with it an immediate need for 
new housing, more classrooms, adjustments in the curriculum to serve a 


162 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The Twenty-Five Club, 1955: Karl Henning Carlson, Paul N. Crusius, Christian G. 
Stanger, Theophil W. Mueller and Homer Hehnick, all on the faculty for 25 years. 

student body that included many older veterans, and changes in the rules 
governing student life. 

Elmhurst's first response to the housing crisis was to request and 
receive from the federal government three surplus barracks that were set 
up between the Gymnasium and the cemetery in 1946. Veterans lived in 
these residences that the College referred to as the Cottages but that 
students simply called the Barracks or the Shacks. The unfinished swim- 
ming pool area in the Gymnasium was also turned into a dormitory for 
30 students and dubbed the Annex. These moves were not long-term 
solutions. With no money for new dormitories or faculty in his budget, 
Lehmann seized upon an upcoming celebration as the focus for a new 
fund-raising campaign. 

Elmhurst College's Diamond Jubilee celebrating its 75th anniversary 
included a year's worth of activities, starting with a convocation in 
January 1946. As part of the celebration, a fund-raising campaign that 
had slumbered for some years was revived with the aim of financing 
major improvements to the College. Included were plans to construct 
new dormitories, a chapel, an auditorium, a science building, a student 

K Peacetime Expansion 163 

union, an addition to the library, a new power plant and the Gymnasium 
swimming pool that had been planned in the 1920s. The campaign also 
earmarked funds to increase the endowment, establish scholarships, 
endow professorships and enlarge the faculty. 

The College expected to raise $600,000 for new dormitories to 
accommodate the massive expansion of the student body, and a goal of 
$2.5 million was set to pay for these and other constructions and 
improvements. Individuals and Evangelical and Reformed churches were 
targeted for special appeals, as were all fi-iends of the College. 

Because of the continuing economic disruptions resulting from the 
war, a lack of focus and administrative skill, and the probable exhaustion 
of President Lehmann who had been struggling to raise funds for the 
College for nearly 20 years, the campaign did not succeed. Only 
$175,000 in cash and pledges was secured by the time the campaign 
ended in 1947. 

Other anniversary activities were more successful. Jubilee celebra- 
tions were scheduled around Commencement in the spring with special 
services, a campus festival and musical events. The celebrations continued 
in the fall with a gala Jubilee Homecoming in October, the Institute on 
the Liberal Arts and Religions in late November featuring Reinhold 
Niebuhr, a Jubilee Anniversary Banquet of Recognition in November, 
and a Diamond Jubilee Praise Service and Festival in December that 
closed out the year. 

The Postwar College 

With the end of war, much of traditional Elmhurst student life 
returned to normal. The annual Women's Union Circus was reinstituted 
as one of the highlights of the winter. In spring 1946, the Elmhurst 
Intercollegiate Invitational Track and Field Meet was revived. The 
campus radio station, WRS (Wired Radio System), began broadcasting 
during Homecoming in 1947. It later changed its call letters to W^SE. 

The increased number of students put a heavy strain on the campus 
food service, and the College was hard pressed to find enough workers 

164 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

and space to serve all the students. Complaints also increased about the 
quality of the food. Therefore, late in 1948, students were no longer 
required to eat at Commons. 

Freshman hazing, which had been discouraged for many years, 
made a comeback. In 1948 two students were seriously injured, so the 
College attempted to crack down on the practice. This effort was unsuc- 
cessful. The 1952 Elms described how, in the middle of the night, sopho- 
more men got freshman men out of bed, blindfolded them and dumped 
them in various places off campus from where they had to make their 
way back to the College. 

The freshman beanie was required apparel for the six weeks 
between the start of school and Homecoming. During "Hell Week" — the 
last week before Homecoming — freshmen had to wear their clothes back- 
wards, carry signs, scrub floors, shine shoes and appear before a 
Kangaroo Court at which they were sentenced to Q^g shampoos and 
other indignities for alleged infractions. In spite of some protests, the 
Elm Bark defended hazing as a way to build school spirit. 

The addition of a number of veterans added energy to Elmhurst's 
athletic teams, but on the whole the teams were no more successful than 
they had been in previous years. In 1945, the football team went 0-4 while 
the 1945-46 basketball team had a record of 3-12. 

In 1947 the football team managed only one victory in nine games, 
but the 1947-48 basketball team tied for third in the conference under 
the direction of Coach Robert "Bob" Thompson. In 1948 the football 
team managed only one victory out of eight games (the highlight of the 
season was a 19-12 Homecoming victory over Concordia), and the Elm 
Bark described the team as giving "a miserable showing." 

In 1949 William Kastrinos became the new football coach and 
installed the "T" formation in offense. The team's record only worsened 
to 0-8. Late in 1949, a new baseball diamond was built at the west side of 
campus. This gift from alumni meant that baseball players no longer had 
to walk to East End Park for games. The 1950-51 basketball team had a 
losing record, but captain Don Seller finished second in the College 
Conference of lUinois in scoring with an average of 22.5 points per game. 

The Elmhurst College Theatre was much more successful than the 
athletic teams in the late forties and fifties. The Theatre continued 

K Peacetime Expansion 165 

under the direction of long-time speech professor C.C. Arends, who 
had been in charge since 1929. Arends also continued to coach the 
Elmhurst tennis team, Elmhurst's most successful team for many years. 

A New President for A New Era 

Relations between President Lehmann and the Synod had been 
strained from the very beginning. Continuing unhappiness about the 
changes at Elmhurst on the part of some alumni pastors, conflicts with 
both the Board of Directors and Synod leaders, and charges of adminis- 
trative inefficiency had surfaced throughout his administration. For 
example, in 1940, after Lehmann pressured a faculty member to resign, a 
regional Synod charged the president with mismanagement. Although the 
dispute was ultimately settled, ill will remained. 

Recognizing that it was time for new leadership. President Lehmann 
submitted his resignation in 1947. Elmhurst had changed radically in his 
20 years as president. It had grown from a small, struggling, unaccredited 
men's institution that had only begun to develop a college curriculum to a 
substantial coed liberal arts college. 

Much more remained to be done. Still, under Lehmann 's leadership 
Elmhurst had survived the greatest crises in its history — the struggle for 
accreditation, the Depression and the war years. Time and again he had 
cajoled church leaders into providing enough money for the College to 
continue, and during hard economic times he had managed to raise more 
than $500,000 in a number of fund-raising campaigns. Though these 
campaigns were never as successful as hoped, they bought time for the 
College, and Lehmann was always ready for another fund-raising effort. 

Lehmann stayed on at Elmhurst until March 1948, a month after a 
new president was chosen, to help in the transition. In spite of his many 
and vigorous fund-raising activities he left his successor a debt of nearly 
$400,000, including the long-standing bond debt of almost $200,000 as 
well as a projected deficit of more than $40,000 for the 1947-48 year. 

Also in 1947, Th. Mueller resigned as dean, a position he had held 
for 22 years. He had shared the major decisions with Lehmann during 

166 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

those years and had masterminded the changes necessary for accreditation 
and survival. It was Mueller who developed and organized the curriculum. 
He would remain as chairman of the Sociology Department until 1962, at 
which time he completed 41 years at Elmhurst. 

Succeeding Mueller as dean was Alfred Friedli, who had been a 
principal of a large high school in St. Louis. He was an experienced 
administrator and church leader. Throughout his time as dean he was 
concerned with developing preprofessional programs, maintaining a 
Christian commitment, and recruiting a student body that was composed 
substantially of members of the Evangelical and Reformed faith. 

Selected as the eighth president was Henry Dinkmeyer, the long- 
time pastor of Bethany Evangelical and Reformed Church in Chicago, 
who had been closely involved with Elmhurst College for many years. He 
had graduated from Elmhurst in 1911 before going on to Eden and then 
to Yale and the University of Chicago for graduate study. He had also 
served as a member and chairman of Elmhurst's Board of Directors. 
Dinkmeyer was known as an excellent administrator, a strong fund-raiser 
and a "practical Christian." 

Dinkmeyer and Friedli made few breaks with the College's past. 
They attempted to adapt the school to its changed environment while 
maintaining its rehgious character. Dinkmeyer also changed the role of 
president, withdrawing from day-to-day student activities. 

Another important change in personnel was the appointment of 
Genevieve Staudt, who had served as dean of women since 1932, as dean 
of students. She expanded student services and improved the advising 
program. Staudt started tutoring programs and worked for the creation 
of remedial classes for less well-prepared students. 

In 1947, the College adopted its first admission requirements. After 
that date students in the lower third of their high school graduating class 
had to score above a certain level on a college admission exam. This 
requirement was set so low, however, that in reality Elmhurst was able to 
cling to a nearly open-enrollment policy, although there was criticism 
from a number of faculty who called for more stringent entrance require- 
ments. Dean Staudt underlined her concern for what some faculty 
considered to be marginal students by adopting a slogan proclaiming that 
Elmhurst was "A College that Cares." 

a Peacetime Expansion 167 

Clarence Josephson, a former president of Heidelberg College, 
minister and business leader, was appointed assistant to the president in 
1949. He served as the business manager and improved the management 
of the College's business affairs. He also implemented a new investment 
policy under which the Board of Directors rather than the Synod 
managed the College's investments. Increased enrollments, better busi- 
ness practices and improved investments soon resulted in the first 
surpluses in the College's nearly 80-year history. 

The first problems facing the new president were the burgeoning 
enrollment and the resulting housing shortage. Shortly before Lehmann 
retired, the Board had decided that a student body of 650 would be ideal 
for the Elmhurst campus. Dinkmeyer quickly reversed this thinking and 
began to draw up plans for a campaign that would provide housing and 
faculty for more students. And more students came. 

Full-time enrollment rose to 750 in 1948-49. Under the influence of 
the Korean War, it dropped to 631 in 1950-51 and 557 in 1952-53. In 
1953 enrollment started back up, increasing to 658 in 1954-55 and a new 
record of sHghtly more than 800 students in 1956-57. By now the admin- 
istration was talking about an ideal of 1,000 students — a size that 
Elmhurst would reach in the middle of the 1960s. 

Starting in 1949 Elmhurst offered an Evening Session to attract 
students from the Elmhurst community. Enrollment grew rapidly from 
11 in 1949 to 175 in 1953 and 445 in 1957-58. While the Evening 
Session didn't increase the strain on housing, it did require the hiring of 
new faculty and some changes in curriculum. 

As the tension between Elmhurst's president and church leaders 
eased, Dinkmeyer received increased help fi*om the church, including a 
$30,000 Synod gift and individual gifts from the Board, alumni and 
friends. Annual appropriations continued from the Synod although the 
amount didn't increase as the enrollment grew. Tuition was raised by only 
about $25, to $300 for general students and $200 for pretheologs in 
1948-49, but the boom in enrollment magnified this amount. Thus in 
1948-49 Elmhurst registered its first ever surplus of a little over $20,000. 

Early in summer 1949, the College established a new faculty 
pension plan and provided a much-needed raise averaging eight percent. 
Still the College managed to end the 1949-50 year with another surplus 

168 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

of more than $20,000. A surplus of $15,000 followed in 1950-51, by which 
time tuition had been raised to $350 for general students. Tuition went up 
to $400 for general students and $225 for pretheologs in 1954-55. 

As relations continued to warm, Dinkmeyer convinced the Synod's 
General Council to retire the College's bonds. Thus by December 1951 
Dinkmeyer told the Board of Directors that the bonds were all paid off 
and the College was totally out of debt. Also in 1951-52 Dinkmeyer 
annoimced that the College's financial situation was the best it had been 
in 25 years. In fact, it could be argued that it was better than it had been 
in the College's entire history. 

President Dinkmeyer also convinced the General Council to give 
the Board of Directors more autonomy by allowing them to select half 
of their membership. This led to an increase in the number of business 
leaders on the Elmhurst Board. The Board also began to pull out of the 
day-to-day management of the College. It ceased interviewing prospec- 
tive faculty and gave routine approval for appointments. 

Retrenchment during the Korean War included plans to eHminate a 
third of the faculty, but Elmhurst wasn't as hard hit as other colleges. 
Still, enrollment at Elmhurst fell by about 180 students between 1949 
and 1953, and the faculty was cut by about a fifth. 

Dinkmeyer made a concerted effort to secure gifts from Board 
members, alumni, business and industry, foundations and individual 
churches. In 1955 Elmhurst received its first corporate gift — $1,000 from 
U.S. Steel. Late in the same year came $134,000 fi-om the Ford 
Foundation for faculty improvement. In the same period Elmhurst 
received a number of substantial gifts from congregations for the 
building fund. 

Building Abounds 

For the first time in more than 20 years Elmhurst College under- 
took a major building program. Although the College did not have 
money for a new dormitory, in October 1948 President Dinkmeyer had a 
hole bulldozed on the north side of campus. There he erected a sign that 

K Peacetime Expansion 169 

President Dinkmeyer speaking at groundbreaking for Dinkmeyer Hall in 1955. 

read, "A Hole to be Filled by Faith For A New Dormitory." Then he set 
to work raising the money needed to build the dorm. Ground was broken 
early in 1950, and the dormitory, which cost about $325,000, was 
completed in 1951. It was called Senior Men's Dormitory until 1956 
when it was renamed Lehmann Hall. 

In 1955 Dinkmeyer used the same procedure to begin construction 
of a new women's dormitory on the south side of the campus, to the west 
of what was then called South Hall and is now known as Schick Hall. 
The dormitory was completed in 1956 and named Dinkmeyer Hall 
against the president's wishes. 

The next new building to be scheduled was a chapel. A gift of 
$300,000 from Louis Hammerschmidt, who had long served on the 
College's Board of Directors, provided half the money needed for the 
chapel, which would include a number of classrooms. This time 
Dinkmeyer's sign read, "Another Hole to Be Filled With FAITH FOR A 

170 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

NEW CHAPEL. One Half of the Hole Has Been Filled by Dr. Louis 
Hammerschmidt." The rest of the money to build Hammerschmidt 
Memorial Chapel was not raised until the next presidency. 

A faculty apartment building to the south of the main campus, on 
Elm Park, and a new heating plant were also constructed under 
Dinkmeyer. In February 1957, the College announced that an addition 
would be built to Memorial Library and the pool would finally be built in 
the Gymnasium. The new buildings were in keeping with the plan 
devised in 1926 by Benjamin Franklin Olson, who designed all the build- 
ings on campus for 40 years, fi-om the construction of the Gymnasium 
through the College Union (now The Frick Center), which was built in 
1964. A mall where generations of Elmhurst students have played ball 
and sunbathed was built between the two rows of campus buildings. 
Roads were paved and many trees were planted during Dinkmeyer's term. 

Curriculum Changes 

Dean Friedli made only small changes in the course of study. In 
keeping with the emphases of both Friedli and Dinkmeyer, increased 
attention was paid to preprofessional and vocational training. Starting in 
1947, Elmhurst participated in the training of nurses. The first nursing 
students were trained at Masonic Hospital in Chicago and came to 
Elmhurst three days a week. A number of new business courses were 
developed, and beginning in 1951 Elmhurst offered a Bachelor of Science 
degree in business administration. 

In this period three new departments were organized — psychology, 
economics and political science. Teacher education was strengthened 
with the addition of an elementary education program and, for a short 
while, a kindergarten and primary education program was offered. Also 
strengthened were the music education and speech programs, with 
speech therapy being added. In 1947, the Elmhurst College Speech 
Clinic opened to train students and serve the community. Also considera- 
tion was given to offering graduate-level social work classes and opening 
a School of Social Work. 

SC Peacetime Expansion 171 

Hungarian joined German, French, Spanish and Greek in the 
Language Department. Support for Hungarian came from the 
American Hungarian Studies Foundation. Elmhurst offered eight 
classes or sections of Hungarian each year throughout the early and 
middle fifties, but ultimately student interest waned and Hungarian was 
eliminated in the next administration. 

Under the continuing influence of Th. Mueller, a number of depart- 
ments experimented with interdisciplinary courses. One of the most 
popular was Mueller's "Democracy and Freedom in Modern Society." 
Several departments also added advanced courses for majors. 

A Changing Student Body 

The student body in the late forties and early fifties became 
increasingly heterogeneous. Veterans made up 38 percent of students 
in 1947. The percent decreased in later years until the end of the 
Korean War brought another influx of veterans to campus. From 1954 
to 1958 veterans made up somewhat more than 10 percent of the 
student body. 

With changes in the composition of the student body came changes 
in student rules. Recognizing that it would not be able to enforce 
requirements that the veterans be in their dorms or barracks at a certain 
hour, the College ended the last remaining hours for men, those for 
fi-eshmen. Women still had to be in their dorms by set times. Students 
were now allowed to own cars, and soon parking and traffic congestion 
became major problems on campus. 

In the postwar years the number of pretheology students increased, 
as did those planning other careers in the church. Still, over time the 
percentage of students from the Evangelical and Reformed churches 
declined from 47 percent in 1947 to the low 40 percent range in the mid 
and late 1950s. 

Dean Friedli and the Board became concerned about the rehgious 
makeup of the College as the number of non-Evangelical and Reformed 
students and faculty increased. When Friedli took office, he stated that 

1 72 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst's chief consideration must be the spiritual welfare of its 
students. Throughout his tenure he sought to recruit students of the 
Evangelical and Reformed faith and faculty who were committed 
Christians. He called for the College to take steps to create a student 
body that was two thirds Evangelical and Reformed. 

Because of changes in both the composition and the size of the 
student body, Elmhurst was forced to alter its requirement of atten- 
dance at daily chapel services. In 1949, daily chapel ended, and services 
were held on only two mornings a week. Students and faculty were still 
expected to be at services, but soon the number of both who attended 
regularly declined. For many years students were urged to attend 
chapel and those not of the Evangelical and Reformed faith were 
encouraged to go to services at their own places of worship, but roll 
was no longer taken. 

Under Dinkmeyer, efforts were made to recruit foreign students, 
and African-American students were welcomed on campus. The first 
African-American student, Gwendolyn Jeffers from Cleveland, graduated 
in 1951. Operation Foreign Student, organized in 1950 by the Student 
Refugee Committee, raised money to bring a foreign student to campus 
each year. The first student supported by Operation Foreign Student was 
a German pretheology student fi-om near Stuttgart. By 1958 there were 
nine foreign students on campus. 

With the new dormitories, Elmhurst increased the number of resi- 
dent students fi-om around 300 in 1952 to more than 430 in 1956, 575 in 
1958 and 700 in 1959. The percentage of resident students also went up 
from 41 percent in 1949 to nearly 55 percent in 1957. 

Student Life 

With the outbreak of fighting in Korea, Elmhurst students once 
again began to leave school to join the military. Their numbers, though, 
were much lower than during World War II. Early in 1951 the campus 
was shocked to learn that the first of its former students had been killed 
in action. But student life went on, much as before. 

SC Peacetime Expansion 1 73 

The Jays' 1950-51 basketball captain Don Seller was named to the 
All-Conference Team at the end of the season. After a number of losing 
seasons, the 1952 football team went 4-4, and the administration gave the 
students the Monday off after the team beat the U.S. Naval Air Force 
Base team in Memphis. The next year brought a new coach and three 
wins, four losses and a tie. Little did Elmhurst fans know in November 
1953 when they beat North Central that their team would not win 
another game until November 1956. 

The 1955-56 basketball team under Coach Walter Schousen was 
much more successful, finishing 14-7, 8-6 in the conference. It tied 
with Millikin for third m the CCI. Emil "Pat" Lira starred for the 
Bluejays and was named to the All-CCI team. Suddenly there was 
standing room only in Elmhurst's gym, and basketball tickets were the 
hottest item on campus. 

While the basketball and baseball teams had their ups and downs, 
there were only downs for the football team in the middle of the fifties. 
In both 1954 and 1955, the Bluejays went 0-8, with losses in 1955 of 78-3 
to Wheaton and 81-0 to Millikin. The Bluejays scored only four touch- 
downs in 1955 while allowing the opposition 56. By season's end, the 
team was dispirited and decimated by injuries. 

In spite of a new football coach, the 1956 football team continued 
to suffer defeat after defeat. As the season neared an end, the Bluejays 
had racked up 22 straight losses over three years. During this time, 
there was much talk among students and alumni about the possibility 
of dropping intercollegiate athletics. The talk died down a bit when 
Elmhurst defeated North Central 14-12 in November 1956. Students 
tore down the goalposts in celebration, and they paraded through 
downtown Elmhurst. 

While sports declined in popularity as losing seasons piled up, Sadie 
Hawkins dances became extremely popular in the early fifties, as did 
formal dances, which were now often held off campus. Also popular were 
Polyhymnia, which was the women's chorus, and the Glee Club. 

Although an occasional politician such as Illinois Senator Paul 
Douglas or Synod leaders visited campus, there was no organized effort 
to bring speakers to Elmhurst until the Lecture Series began in 1953. 
The student-faculty committee that organized the Lecture Series soon 

1 74 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

Commencement, 1957. 

found that the Elmhurst community was eager to attend lectures but 
students were not. 

As both the student body and the faculty grew rapidly, some of the 
close bonds between faculty and students that had marked Elmhurst's 
history weakened. In 1947, in an effort to increase student- faculty 
interaction, the College instituted Firesides, small student-organized 
discussions that were held at various faculty members' homes. These 
get-togethers continued through the fifties. 

In February 1957, President Dinkmeyer announced that he would 
retire at the end of the school year. Two weeks later on February 16, a 
day before his 65th birthday, he died suddenly of a heart attack. In nine 
short years, Dinkmeyer had begun a major building program and over- 
seen the changes that were necessary to accommodate the sudden massive 
increase in enrollment. He had put the College for the first time on the 

K Peacetime Expansion 175 

path to prosperity. Under Dinkmeyer there was never a question of 
whether Ehnhurst College would survive. The question remaining was 
how the College would adapt to the changes that the 1960s and the last 
decades of the century would bring. 

City of Elmhurst 

Like the college that bears its name, the city of Elmhurst entered a 
period of prosperity and rapid growth following World War II. From a 
population of nearly 15,500 in 1940, it grew to more than 21,000 in 1950 
and to nearly 37,000 in 1960. New housing sprang up all over Elmhurst, 
including in the area adjoining the College in what is known as College 
View. As the population boomed, new schools and services for youngsters 
became necessary. 

Many new businesses sprang up in the downtown. Spring Road and 
North Avenue areas. The Elmhurst Industrial Park was laid out north of 
North Avenue in the middle of the decade. Quite a few of the new busi- 
nesses benefited from the larger enrollment of college students who had 
autos, which made shopping easier. 

By the middle of the 1950s, a number of the stately elm trees that had 
given Elmhurst its name had sickened and died. This signaled the arrival of 
the dreaded Dutch Elm disease, which over the following decades would 
change the face of much of the city and the College campus. 


Henry Dinkmeyer 
The Eighth President 

Henry W. Dinkmeyer, president 
from 1948 to 1957, was bom in 
Carlinville, Illinois in 1892 and gradu- 
ated from the Elmhurst Proseminary 
in 1911. From Elmhurst he went to 
Eden Theological Seminary and then 
to Yale Divinity School and the 
University of Chicago, where he 
earned a master's degree. 

Dinkmeyer was pastor at 
Bethany Church on the north side of 
Chicago for 28 years. During that time, he was chairman of the 
board of Elmhurst College and a member of the board of Eden 
Theological Seminary. 

Under Dinkmeyer Elmhurst achieved its first balanced budgets. As 
the College's enrollment increased rapidly, Dinkmeyer began a building 
campaign. Lehmann Hall (originally called Senior Men's Dorm), 
Dinkmeyer Hall and a faculty apartment house on Elm Park were 
constructed, and plans were begun for the Hammerschmidt Memorial 
Chapel. An experienced fund-raiser, Dinkmeyer had a hole bulldozed on 
campus for buildings he intended to finance and signs erected 
proclaiming that these holes would be filled by faith. In a remarkably 
short time, the holes were filled by contributions. 

Early in 1957, Dinkmeyer announced his plan to retire. Two weeks 
later, the day before his 65th birthday, he died suddenly. 

President Dinkmeyer was married to Lois Ely. He and his wife 
were the parents of one son. 

chapter 1 

SS Into the Mainstream 

Following the sudden death of President Dinkmeyer, an Executive 
Committee consisting of Dean Friedli, Dean Staudt and Clarence 
Josephson governed Elmhurst College. The search committee that found 
the new president turned to the same institution that had supplied 
President Dinkmeyer — Bethany Evangelical and Reformed Church in 
Chicago — for his successor. 

Robert Stanger, who became the ninth president of Elmhurst 
College in summer 1957, had a life-long connection with the College. 
He was born on campus in the original Melanchthon Seminary building, 
which had been cut in two and moved to Alexander Boulevard where it 
served as faculty housing. His father, Christian Stanger, had been the 
music professor at the Proseminary. Robert Stanger followed in his 
father's footsteps, graduating from the Proseminary in 1918 and Eden 
Seminary before going on to Yale University, where he received a 
Bachelor of Divinity, and the University of Chicago, where he earned a 
master's degree. 

Stanger served as a professor of biblical literature on the Elmhurst 
faculty from 1931 to 1934 and as dean of men for one year before 
turning full time to the ministry. His second church was in Detroit, 


1 78 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

where he succeeded Reinhold Niebuhr. From Detroit, Stanger went to 
Bethany Church on Chicago's northwest side when Henry Dinkmeyer 
became Elmhurst's president. Since Stanger had spent more than 20 years 
away from higher education, he took a summer course at the University 
of Michigan's Institute for College and University Administrators before 
assuming his new post. 

In a 1976 interview, Stanger recalled that he was hired to help 
Elmhurst "enter the American mainstream." Until this time, the school 
had always been subsidized by its church. "The denomination subsidized 
it because it was a service institution," he said. Ever since Elmhurst's 
founding its church had considered the College's major job to be the 
preparation of students for Eden Seminary. Now with the impending 
merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church with the 
Congregational churches to form the United Church of Christ, the 
school could no longer count on a denominational subsidy. At the same 
time the College's sense of mission was changing. "And so it was my job 
then to . . . develop the resources of the school," said Stanger. In time, 
these resources would allow Elmhurst to stand on its own, related to but 
independent of its church. 

Stanger spent much of his presidency in building and fund-raising. 
Under Stanger, as under his predecessor, there were few changes in 
curriculum. The changes in the student body that had been under way 
since the thirties accelerated, and Elmhurst became a Christian liberal 
arts college serving all students. During this presidency the College 
constructed new buildings to keep up with the burgeoning enrollment 
and worked to improve the quality of the students, the faculty and the 
education that the College provided. 

A Decade of Development 

President Dinkmeyer was engaged in raising money for a chapel 
when he died. He had secured the largest grant to that date in the 
College's history — $300,000 from Louis Hammerschmidt, a Board 
member from South Bend, Indiana. The gift was to be matched by other 

X Into the Mainstream 179 

Hole dug for chapel in mid '50s, and chapel 
under construction. 

180 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

funds raised from alumni and congregations to pay for the building that 
was expected to cost approximately $650,000. President Stanger 
completed the fund-raising and planning for the Hammerschmidt 
Memorial Chapel, which was dedicated in 1959. In addition to the 
chapel, which served as both a place of worship and of assemblies, the 
building contained much-needed classrooms and faculty office space. A 
full-time chaplain was hired in 1963. 

Throughout the late fifties and early sixties the college population 
increased rapidly across America. Elmhurst took advantage of the 
increasing national interest in higher education to launch a plan to 
expand the College. In 1958, Elmhurst hired a public relations firm to 
study its image and its ties with alumni, faculty, community, and local 
businesses and industry. Among the findings of the study were that 
Elmhurst failed to project a clear image or sense of purpose, had poor 
staff morale because of very low faculty salaries, suffered from inadequate 
alumni support, had few meaningful relationships with its community and 
local businesses, and was little known outside church circles. 

To improve this situation, the College established a new 
Development and PubHc Relations Office and hired a new director, who 
immediately expanded the public relations activities of the College and 
improved communication and contacts with alumni, corporations and 
foundations. In 1960, the first full-time Alumni Affairs Director was 
hired. The College also changed the composition of its governing body 
to increase the representation of business leaders. 

Elmhurst benefited greatly in this period from federal and state 
assistance to students and to institutions of higher education. Federal and 
state scholarships and grants encouraged students to attend college. The 
federal government also made money available through grants and loans 
for building new dormitories, and government money helped improve 
Elmhurst's library and laboratory facilities. 

Elmhurst tapped into the federal money to finance the construction 
in 1961 of Niebuhr Hall, a dormitory for men built between Lehmann 
and Irion Hall on the north side of the mall. A long-term government 
loan funded the dormitory, which cost approximately $450,000. A 
modern student health service with three hospital rooms for men students 
and three for women was located in the lower level of Niebuhr Hall. 

a Into the Mainstream 181 



182 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

In May 1961, the College announced a new 10-year expansion 
program called the "Decade of Development," which included an aggres- 
sive solicitation of alumni and local community and business leaders. The 
College unveiled an updated campus plan developed by Benjamin 
Franklin Olson, the same architect who had drawn up the Ten-Year Plan 
for H. Richard Niebuhr in 1926. 

The College Union, which was finished in 1964, was an early finiit 
of this new fund-raising and expansion effort. The College Union was 
built just to the west of the Commons, which had become too small to 
feed the increased number of students. Commons was razed shortly after 
the new building was completed. The College Union had dining and 
snack facilities, and it provided meeting rooms and space for student 
organizations such as WRSE, the Ehm and the Elm Bark, plus a mail 
room and bookstore. Funding for the Union came from a variety of 
sources, including a large federal loan and gifts from alumni and the 
Kresge Foundation. 

Next the College turned its attention to filling a decades-old need 
for a science building. After nearly 40 years of constructing all buildings 
on campus in one style, Elmhurst decided to hire a new architectural firm 
to design this specialized building. Funding and most of the plans for the 
Science Center were nearly complete when President Stanger retired. 
The building was finished during the tenure of his successor. 

The Decade of Development also proposed an increase in the 
College's endowment, better salaries and benefits for the faculty, more 
scholarships, improvement in the library, a new gymnasium and a fine 
arts center. The buildings alone were expected to cost more than $2.35 
million. The Decade was scheduled to end in 1971 when the College 
would celebrate its centennial. 

Loosening Church Ties 

The merger in 1957 of the EvangeHcal and Refonned Church with the 
Congregational churches to form the United Church of Christ forced 
Elmhurst to recognize that it could no longer depend on large-scale support 

a Into the Mainstream 183 

from its church. Congregationalist colleges received little funding from the 
denomination although they received frinding from individual churches. In 
1959, as part of the move toward increased self-sufficiency, Elmhurst revised 
its constitution, changed the composition of its Board and elected its first lay 
chairman of the Board. In 1954, there had been 1 1 clergy and 1 1 laymen on 
its Board. Ten years later there were 15 laymen and 9 clergy. 

The new Board did not share the concern of earlier Boards with 
keeping the tuition at Elmhurst low so that needy members of the church 
could attend. Rather the Board pushed for tuition increases, sometimes over 
the president's objections. Tuition was increased in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 
and again in 1963 and 1964. In that period, mition more than doubled from 
$475 to $990. The College also raised room and board charges. 

The Board pushed for expansion of the evening program as a means 
to increase Elmhurst's revenue. Also, following a pilot project, the 
College established a summer school program in 1965. More than 800 
students attended the first Summer Session. 

Dean Friedli, who had worked actively to maintain a high 
percentage of students from the United Church of Christ, retired in 
1962. In the following years the student body increased in diversity until 
by the late sixties United Church of Christ members made up only about 
a third of the Elmhurst student body. An increasing number of faculty 
were also nonmembers. 

A Search for Quality 

While Elmhurst was improving its physical facilities, it also under- 
took efforts to improve the quaHty of its students and staff. A number of 
times in Elmhurst's history, faculty members, especially those who were 
younger and better educated, had criticized the quality of students 
attending the College. By the late fifties, some faculty beUeved that 
Elmhurst was drawing fewer top-quality and more mediocre students. 

Frequently over the decades concerns had also been voiced about 
the quality of the teaching faculty. New ammunition was added by a 1958 
study that showed that faculty salaries and benefits were substantially 

184 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SS 

below those at comparable colleges and that this was having a negative 
impact on Elmhurst's efforts to hire and retain outstanding faculty. 

As questions about the quality of education provided at Elmhurst 
were being asked, the College was scheduled for a periodic review by the 
North Central Association. The North Central Association required the 
College to conduct a major self-study as part of the review. Much of the 
1959-60 academic year was devoted to this study. 

Following Elmhurst's self-study, a North Central Association 
Review Committee visited campus. While the Review Committee recom- 
mended continued accreditation, it pointed out numerous problems. 
These included poor faculty salaries, an inadequate library, the need for 
student union and science facilities, an almost total lack of faculty 
research, poor communication with the student body, inefficient organi- 
zation and administration, and a lack of understanding of institutional 
aims. The Review Committee recommended that the College use outside 
resources and increase its contacts with other colleges to help address 
these problems while researching issues such as the needs of Elmhurst 
students, the nature of its alumni and factors leading to student attrition. 

After the review, the faculty undertook an additional year-long self- 
study of the College's aims and purposes, its relationship with its church, 
student activities and campus development. The faculty also edited the 
first faculty manual. 

To improve the quality of the faculty, the College established a 
salary schedule and provided nearly annual faculty raises. In addition, 
Elmhurst instituted a modest travel-grant program, a disabihty program 
and improved health insurance. The Alumni Association began offering 
annual faculty research grants, and later in the sixties the College started 
a sabbatical study program. As Stanger remembered in his 1976 inter- 
view, Elmhurst had been understaffed for years, and many of the faculty 
were aging and undereducated by the standards of the day. As older 
faculty retired, the College hired faculty with advanced degrees. In addi- 
tion, Elmhurst made special efforts to keep faculty who earned advanced 
degrees and who, in earlier days, would have left for a university once 
they completed their doctorates. 

While better compensation and benefits would in time lead to a 
better faculty, only a more selective admissions policy would result in a 

X Into the Mainstream 185 

Professor Carl E. Kommes and Dr Rudolf J. Priepke of the Elmhurst College Chemistij 
Departme?n, 1962. 

higher quality student body. Elmhurst had long maintained an open 
enrollment policy, in part because it needed all the students it could 
recruit to survive and in part for philosophical reasons. Administrators 
such as Dean Friedli feared that raising requirements would mean that 
some church members would not gain admission. Other administrators 
including Dean Staudt were firmly committed to helping less well- 
prepared students succeed. Thus Elmhurst set its admission requirements 
so low that virtually all students could meet them. 

By the middle of the sixties, the College had a widening pool of 
potential students, a budget that was in fairly good shape, and new 
leadership, so it could become more selective. Therefore, it raised 
entrance requirements and began recruiting students from more diverse 
backgrounds and from outside the Midwest. It also strengthened gradu- 
ation requirements and started advanced placement and junior year 
abroad programs. 

186 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The efforts to improve the quaHty of students worked. WilHam 
Denman, who became dean of students in 1961, reported that the 
average SAT score of students increased more than 30 points between 
1965 and 1968. At the same time the number of high-scoring students — 
600 and above in mathematics — increased from under 10 percent to 
20 percent. 

The early sixties saw a changing of the guard among the College 
administration and faculty, prompted in part by the extension of the 
College's mandatory retirement rule to include administrators. Following 
the retirement of Dean Staudt, Dean Friedli (who remained as a 
professor in the Education Department) and Clarence Josephson, 
Elmhurst reorganized and modernized its student services and business 
offices. In 1962, Donald C. Kleckner was appointed academic dean. At 
nearly the same time, Robert Swords was appointed registrar and head of 
the Evening Session and Trevor Pinch business manager. 

Paul Crusius retired in 1958 following several years of part-time 
teaching. He had taught at Elmhurst — first at the Proseminary, then at 
the Junior College and finally at the four-year college — for 44 years 
and had been instrumental in shaping the development of the College. 
When he died in 1959, one of the final links with the Proseminary 
was broken. 

Among other long-time faculty who retired in these years were 
Th. Mueller, who taught sociology for 41 years from 1921 to 1962 and 
served many years as dean; Karl Carlson, who taught in the English 
Department from 1923 to 1958; Homer Helmick, who taught chem- 
istry from 1923 to 1961; Harvey DeBruine, who retired from the 
Biology Department in 1958 after 25 years; and Walter Wadepuhl, who 
taught German from 1946 to 1964. Early in the next administration 
C.C. Arends (1929-68) and "Pete" Langhorst (1933-69) also retired 
after 39 and 36 years respectively. While many of the new administra- 
tors and faculty hired to replace retirees did not have close or any ties 
with the church, most had advanced degrees and experience at other 
colleges or universities. 

As President Stanger neared retirement, he and others at the 
College recognized that Elmhurst needed to take stock of where it was 
going. Thus in 1964 the College undertook its first study retreat. For 

a Into the Mainstream 187 

two days the Board, faculty and student leaders met at a hotel in 
Highland Park to discuss the future of the College. Out of that meeting 
came a Ten Point Program that emphasized the College's commitment to 
the liberal arts, its church ties, and its need for continued growth and 
improvement in the quality of its education. In addition, it revised its 
Statement of Purpose to add a commitment to academic excellence and 
academic freedom. 

In 1965 Robert Stanger reached 65, the mandatory retirement age, 
and he retired at the end of the 1964-65 academic year. The College had 
grown rapidly during his tenure, adding three new buildings and reaching 
the high water mark of 1,000 students. While in many ways Stanger was 
the last of the old guard to head Elmhurst, it was during his presidency 
that the College stepped out of its role as a denominational school and 
into the ranks of independent church-related colleges. 

In 1976 Stanger looked back on his presidency and his seven-and-a- 
half decades of involvement with Elmhurst College. 

We tried to maintain the character of the school as a church-related 
college. I always continued to hold that as an ideal. And I still have 
the feeling that the salvation of the small college lies in emphasizing 
its uniqueness rather than making it a part of the general education 
picture. . . . And of course, the emphasis during all of our time was on 
the maintenance of the Liberal Arts character of the College. . . . 

Times change, and we have to change along with them. This is 
natural [but] I do still have the feeling that a college with a heritage 
such as Elmhurst has, ought to try to somehow maintain its unique- 
ness. It always had an interest in the development, not only of the 
mind, but also the spirit and the character, the personality, in other 
words, the religious emphasis, the Christian emphasis. This is very 
hard to maintain in the modern world, but I think it's something 
that ought not to be lost because this is what brought Elmhurst 
College into being. 


An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Freshman Week, 1963. 

Student Life 

While student life continued to revolve around traditional campus 
events and activities, the sixties brought many changes. Freshmen still 
wore their beanies from the time they arrived on campus until 
Homecoming, but by 1963 some students were questioning this tradition 
and the hazing that was a part of freshman initiation. 

Dances remained popular, with Homecoming in the fall and the 
Junior Prom in the spring, each of which had its queen and her court, 
as did the Elmhurst Intercollegiate Invitational Track and Field Meet 
in May. Starting in 1958, Bachelor's Holiday, a week during which 
coeds carried boys' books and invited boys out, was added to the 
social calendar. 

K Into the Mainstream 189 

Victofj celebratioti, 

Hawaiian dinner in 
Covjmons. 19 63. 

190 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years S5 

The College Theatre production 0/ Elizabeth the Queen, 1961. 

Fall saw Religion in Life Week, while winter included the Campus 
Christian Fellowship's Winter Retreat. The long-running Women's 
Union Circus remained another highlight of the winter season. 

Active campus groups included the Student Christian Club, the 
Men's Glee Club, Polyhymnia and Chapel Choir. The three musical 
groups made spring tours throughout the Midwest and beyond. The 
Debate Club became increasingly visible and successful during these years, 
and a service group called the Fellowship of the Squires was organized. 

The College Lecture Series continued in spite of chronic complaints 
about low student attendance. Faculty, administrators and the Elm Bark 
lamented the low attendance of students and faculty at chapel, and 
President Stanger tried to devise programs that would appeal to more 
students and faculty. Faculty Firesides enjoyed increased popularity as 
students became interested in events outside of campus. The Elmhurst 
College Theatre, still directed by C.C. Arends, offered several plays a year. 

As the fifties ended and the sixties progressed, new student activities 
became popular. In addition to the Freshman Week tug-of-war, students 

X Into the Mainstream 191 

Prom, 1958. 

took up smashing junk autos for charity as part of the Campus Chest 
fund-raising campaign. Other students showed their strength by trans- 
porting a Volkswagen beetle to the stage of the Chapel. 

Soon students were attending hootenannies, and groups such as the 
Chad Mitchell Trio, Al Hirt and the Clancy Brothers were performing on 
campus. Folk singing and protest songs were heard ever\^'here. 

192 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years 3C 

Polyhymnia leaves on tour, 1961. 

Changing Student Interests 

For decades, most Elmhurst students had shown Httle interest in 
events off campus or in making significant changes in their college life. 
Only in the teens, when Reinhold Niebuhr and others had campaigned 
to make the Proseminary into a liberal arts college, and in the days 
leading up to World War I and II was there continuing interest in outside 
events or significant calls for campus reform. All this changed with the 
arrival of the sixties. 

The difference could be seen in the student newspaper. While the 
Elm Bm-k gave little coverage to earlier elections, the 1960 presidential 
contest between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon was a frequent source 
of debate. The 1964 election between Lyndon Johnson and Barry 

K Into the Mainstream 193 

Goldwater generated even more interest, including fierce debate in the 
pages of the Eb?i Bark where the chairman of the Pohtical Science 
Department backed Goldwater while the Elm Bark endorsed Johnson. 

Starting in 1961 the Elm Bark carried stories and editorials calling 
for the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee. 
Letters to the editor blasted the "liberal bent" of Lecture speakers and 
the student newspaper. Soon campus debates were being organized about 
national and international issues, and political columns became a regular 
feature of the Elm Bark. 

In April 1961 the Ehn Bark editorialized against the John Birch 
Society, which resulted in more emotional letters to the editor. By the 
next year, attention was focused on the civil rights movement and the 
nuclear test ban treaty. With the Berlin Crisis and Cuban Missile Crisis 
of 1962, student and faculty attention to international events soared. 

The change in the interests of the student body could also be seen in 
Elmhurst's decision early in 1961 to join the United States National Student 
Association or NSA as it was called. Some 400 schools with more than a 
million students belonged to NSA. Student leaders who supported 
Elmhurst's membership in the group viewed it as a way to increase Elmhurst 
students' involvement in issues that interested college students nationally. 

While NSA was already under attack from some conservative 
groups, it was not as well known or controversial as it would become over 
the next years. Elmhurst's participation in NSA was short lived. In May 
1963, following a bitter debate, a student referendum narrowly passed 
calling for Elmhurst to withdraw, and it did. 

Late in 1962, the student government went on record opposing the 
resistance of the governor of Mississippi to school integration. Forty-three 
Elmhurst faculty members petitioned professors at the Universit}^ of 
Mississippi to promote an atmosphere of educational equality for all races. 

A 1963 poll conducted by the Campus Committee on Civil Rights 
found overwhelming support for further integration of the College. 
Because of the limited number of African-American students at Elmhurst, 
the College considered setting up a student and facult)' exchange 
program with a southern Negro college. Early in 1965, the faculty 
recommended affiliating with Huston-Tillotsin College, a United Church 
of Christ-related college in Austin, Texas. 

1 94 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 


16- Year Frustration Qoses 
As Jays Beat Procopius 7-6 

Elmtiurst freshmen were sllll in diapers when EC held its 
last Homecoming victory celebration. 

Sixteen years of frustration found venl Ust Saturday as 
both students and old grads exploded in wild jubilation. 

For the second time m a row the fans eagerly counted 
off the seconds for [he final gun signaling an EHmhurst victory 
Confidence was in the air as 


splin " 

tally torn into 
! of which may 

When ; 

as all over the 
e d Coach Pete 
Laogborst to their shoulders 
and carried him off (he field 
However, when asked about 
what went on in the locker 

We s 

Goal Totls Go 

down onto the field bent on 
demolishing the goal posts 
As the band and 1 500 voices 
rang with the fight song and 
Alma Mater, they paraded 

front of the stands- The goal 

; found in almost every s 

1 President Robert Stanger 
de ready to deliver his 

bors." he said On hearing 
this, the crowd lost all of any 

Cv Parade Follows 
In ecstacy the students 

field and then broke up into 
random hugging and back 
whomping. No victory parade 

Karen BeD8on 
Reigns as Queen 

formed a musical comedy, 
PiUs from Paradise." 
The Jays beat SL Procopius 
7-6 in the Homecoming game 
Saturday Everyone jumped 

lUgh Elmhurst 
': parade before 
spectators who watched 

float pictured below, Irion 
and Lehmann held 2nd and 
3rd places respectively. 
Queen Karen Benson with her 

;d Rev Waller E. Hel 
as! or of Gethsemane 
Church of Christ in 

The Elm Bark 

Elmhurst Collage, Elmhunt, lllin 

A remarkable 1962 event. 

Also in 1965, 23 students and three faculty went to Selma, Alabama 
to march for civil rights, while a sympathy march was held on Elmhurst's 
campus. Other students spent spring vacation in Greenville, Mississippi, 
helping with voter registration and working to alleviate poverty in the 
Mississippi Delta. 

By 1963 students were becoming concerned about the military draft. 
Soon American participation in Vietnam was debated at Firesides and in 
editorials and letters to the editor. By the late sixties, demonstrations and 
marches were a common occurrence on campus, but those days were still 
in the future during the presidency of Robert Stanger. 

As the sixties wore on, relations between students and administrators 
became strained. Students had long complained about parking and traffic 
problems on campus. Now they became vocal about tuition, room and 

X Into the Mainstream 193 

board increases, and student rights. After two students were expelled for 
publishing an underground magazine, the Elm Bm'k launched a campaign 
for increased student rights. In addition to criticizing the College admin- 
istration for poor communication, the newspaper charged that the 
College was refusing to treat students as "mature adults capable of 
making their own decisions." 

Soon the debate expanded to include what role the College had in 
supervising students' off-campus activities. "Administration Must Remove 
Paternalism" headlined an Elm Bark editorial challenging the traditional 
pohcy of in loco parentis. Since the student government was unwilling to 
press for increased students' rights, the El?7i Bark called for the abolition 
of the student government. 

Questions about women's hours were also raised. The College 
appointed a special committee to see whether women should be allowed 
to stay out later, especially on weekends. While some students and the 
Elm Bark called for abolition of women's hours entirely, most merely 
asked for later weekend hours. 

In 1964, a group of students called for open dormitories. Another 
group proposed allowing women in men's rooms in Irion Hall between 
5:00 and 10:30 p.m. President Stanger denied this request, explaining that 
he would have to veto any plan for open dormitories on moral groimds. 
This only fueled the debate. 

Ups and Downs in Athletics 

In the mid fifties, Elmhurst's men's basketball teams were competitive 
with other schools in the College Conference of Illinois and, as they had 
been throughout Elmhurst College's history, a few were good. For 
example, the 1957-58 basketball team, coached by Walter Schousen, 
finished second in the conference and was invited to the NAIA regional 
tournament, where it lost by two points to Eastern Illinois University. 

As the fifties neared an end, the football teams continued to compile 
dismal records. After an opening victory in 1957, the team lost seven 
straight games. The next year the team lost all its games including an 86-0 

1 96 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Tennis conch C.C. Arends with co-captains Bill Sir and Bob Hughes, 1963. 

drubbing by North Central. By the end of the season, the College was 
debating what to do with the football program. Student meetings were 
held, letters to the editor filled the Eh?i Bark, and the administration 
considered a variety of plans. Ultimately three options were identified. 
Elmhurst could, in order to attract better football players, provide financial 
aid for athletes, as several schools in the conference did; or it could with- 
draw fi-om the CCI, in which it was not competitive, and seek competition 
elsewhere; or it could drop football altogether. 

In 1958-59 the faculty and Board considered instituting a scholar- 
ship program to provide assistance to students with special talents, 
including those on the football field and the basketball floor. Ultimately 
the Board rejected the proposal because of decades-old objections to 
subsidizing athletes. Instead the Board called for more effective recruit- 
ment and public relations to draw good athletes to the College. 

K Into the Mainstream 197 

A new football coach was hired in 1959, but the results were no 
better, as the Bluejays lost all eight of their games. Almost all were routs, 
including an 83-0 defeat at the hands of Wheaton and a 60-0 defeat by 
Augustana. Late in October, following 20 straight losses, 10 football 
players resigned from the team in an attempt to pressure the school to 
establish a new athletic policy. The Elm Bark called football "that sick 
organ in the Elmhurst body that threatens to spread its poison of low 
morale and discontent to other organs." 

In November 1959 the faculty voted to withdraw from the CCI at 
the end of the 1960-61 school year and called for the formation of a new 
conference that would prohibit the subsidization of athletes. This decision 
affirmed Elmhurst's commitment to continuing the football program. 

In 1960 "Pete" Langhorst returned as football coach. Although 
the Bluejays lost all their games that year, the scores were not as 
lopsided. In 1961, its first year as an independent, Elmhurst's football 
team still enjoyed little success. Finally, in mid season, after four years 
without a victory, the football team beat Rose Polytechnic Institute 
48-0. Team members carried Coach Langhorst off the field on their 
shoulders and the EI771 Bark ran two full pages of photos from the 
victory. The College gave students the Monday off following the Rose 
Poly game. This victory was followed by three more defeats, but there 
were signs of improvement. 

The 1962 Elmhurst football team was more successful. Following 
four opening losses, it again beat Rose Poly, and students snake-danced 
through downtown Elmhurst. The next week the team defeated St. 
Procopius for Elmhurst's first Homecoming victory in years. The Eh?T 
Bark headlined that the Bluejays had "rolled over Proco" by the score of 
7-6. Fans tore down the goalposts, Langhorst received another \'ictory 
ride on his players' shoulders, and the students again took the Monday 
following the victory off" from school. Elmhurst beat Concordia the next 
week for the team's third victory in a row. Even a final game loss to 
Principia could not dampen the newly found football fever. 

Coach Langhorst retired as athletic director and football coach in 
June 1963, after 30 years as athletic director and several stints as football 
coach. He taught physical education and coached cross countr\^ and track 
until 1969, and he continued to run the Elmhurst Intercollegiate 

1 98 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

Invitational Track and Field Meet, which celebrated its 30th anniversary 
in 1964. 

A new football coach was hired in 1963. In his first year, Wendell 
Harris rang up seven victories against one loss. Elmhurst beat lUinois 
College for its second straight Homecoming victory as well as Lake 
Forest, Northwestern College, Rose Poly, St. Procopius, Concordia and 
Principia. The only loss of the year was to Earlham. The 1964 football 
season was nearly as successful. The Bluejays beat Northwestern College, 
Rose Poly, St. Procopius for their third straight Homecoming victory, 
Winona State and Concordia. This pushed their home winning streak to 
10 straight. The only losses of the year were to Illinois Wesleyan and 
Principia. The Bluejays had won 14 games in two years and 17 out of 21 
in three years. "No longer do teams try to schedule Elmhurst as a 
breather game," claimed the Ehn Bark. "Elmhurst was the 'big' game for 
Illinois College, Concordia and Principia." 

While the football and basketball teams drew most of the attention, 
other sports flourished. By the mid sixties, Elmhurst had golf, wrestling, 
swimming, tennis, cross country, track and field, and baseball teams. The 

1964 cross country team, coached by "Pete" Langhorst, was 13-1 in dual 
meets and won first place at the Rockford Invitational. The 1964 and 

1965 track teams both won the Chicagoland Independent Conference 
meets. C.C. Arends continued to coach the successful tennis team as he 
had since 1929. 

K Into the Mainstream 199 






Robert Stanger 
The Ninth President 

Robert Stanger, president from 
1957 to 1965, was born on the 
Elmhurst campus in 1900. His 
father, Christian Stanger, taught for 
50 years at Elmhurst. For most of 
1^^ ^^^^m Stanger's life, he was associated with 

f W ^^^^H Elmhurst College. 
■ ^^^^^H Stanger graduated from the 

fl ^^^^^^k Proseminary in 1918. Erom 
H ^^HI^^H Elmhurst, he went to Eden 
Theological Seminary, Yale 
University Divinity School and the University of Chicago, where he 
received a master's degree. 

While at his first church in Chicago, he taught at Elmhurst from 
1930 to 1933 and served as dean of men for a year. He left Elmhurst to 
move to Bethel Church in Detroit, where he succeeded Reinhold 
Niebuhr. In 1948, he succeeded Henry Dinkmeyer at Chicago's Bethany 
Church. During his ministry, he was vice president of the EvangeHcal 
and Reformed Church and a member of the General Council. 

As president, Stanger continued the building program started 
by his predecessor. Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel was 
completed along with Niebuhr Hall and the College Union, now 
The Frick Center. 

After retiring, Stanger was granted the title of emeritus president. 
He served as College archivist and organized the College Archives. He 
was the author of "The Eirst One Hundred Years," a history of 
Elmhurst College that appeared during the College's centennial year, as 
well as coauthor of a brief history of the Evangelical and Reformed 
Church. He was active in the Elmhurst community, including the 
Elmhurst Historical Commission, YMCA and Kiwanis Club. 

President Stanger, who was married to Juel Wolf, died in 1976. 
The Stangers had tvvo children. 

chapter \ 1 

K The Turbulent Sixties 

Breaking long tradition, the Board selected the first layman in the 
College's history to succeed Robert Stanger as the tenth presi- 
dent of Elmhurst College. Donald C. Kleckner, who had been 
dean at Elmhurst since 1962, assumed office on July 1, 1965. Kleckner, a 
graduate of Heidelberg College in Ohio, earned master's and doctoral 
degrees from the University of Michigan before doing postdoctoral work 
in England. He served as chairman of the Speech Department at both 
Heidelberg College and Bowling Green State University before his 
appointment at Elmhurst. 

Robert Clark, who had come to Elmhurst in 1957 to teach in the 
Philosophy Department, replaced KJeckner as academic dean. A grad- 
uate of Elmhurst College, Clark held a doctoral degree from the 
University of Chicago and a joint divinity degree from the Universit}^ of 
Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary. He was academic dean 
until 1975, after which time he returned to fall-time teaching in the 
Philosophy Department. 

In another change, C. Neal Davis replaced William Denman as 
dean of students. Davis came to Elmhurst from William Jewell College 
in Liberty, Missouri. 


202 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Enrollment continued to rise rapidly. Fall 1965 saw more than 
1,220 full- and part-time students at Elmhurst, up 16 percent over the 
previous year. In spite of the recent building program, both dormito- 
ries and classrooms were filled to capacity. Special recruitment efforts 
in the eastern part of the United States showed excellent results, with 
16 percent of the student body coming from the East, up 6 percent in 
only one year. Students came from 13 nations in addition to the U.S. 
and Canada. 

By 1967, the daytime enrollment had risen to more than 1,500. In 
1970-71, it topped 1,750 with nearly 1,100 students in the Evening 
Session and 1,000 in the Summer Session. The Centennial 
Commencement in June 1971 saw a record 450 students graduate, up 
from 250 graduates in June 1966. 

The number of faculty increased as well. By fall 1966, Elmhurst had 
79 full-time faculty, and a year later the faculty numbered 99 full- and 
part-time . More than 50 percent had or were working on doctorates. In 
an effort to attract and keep outstanding faculty, the College increased 
salaries by an average of 10 percent in 1966 and developed a new benefits 
program including better medical coverage. 

As the size of the student body grew, so too did tuition, from $1,100 
a year in 1965-66 to $1,010 a term in 1971-72. Also increasing was 
Eimhurst's financial aid program, which topped $400,000 in 1970-71. In 
addition to traditional scholarships. President Kleckner created 
President's Awards to recognize outstanding students. The first 
President's Awards were given in fall 1967. Starting with the 1968-69 
academic year, Elmhurst students benefited from a grant program estab- 
lished by the Illinois state legislature. 

By 1967, Elmhurst was almost entirely dependent on tuition, with 
only $100,000 coming from the United Church of Christ. This repre- 
sented less than 3 percent of the College's operating budget. In 
succeeding years this percent would continue to decrease. 

Construction began in July 1965 on the Science Center, which was 
expected to cost more than $2,000,000. Alben Bates, Sr., of Elmhurst 
provided a $50,000 challenge grant for which the College agreed to raise 
$100,000. Robert S. Solinsky of Glen EUyn also pledged $36,000. As part 
of the fund-raising campaign, Kleckner organized a Council of Business 

K The Turbulent Sixties 203 

Associates, a group of business and industry leaders who worked to 
advance the College. 

The Science Center opened in fall 1966 and was dedicated in April 
1967 as part of a series of events that included a seminar for 200 Chicago 
business leaders. In 1994 it was renamed the Arthur J. Schaible Science 
Center in honor of a graduate of the Academy who attended Elmhurst 
College from 1925 to 1928 before earning a medical degree and carving 
out a successful career in Alaska. In the same year the Science Center 
opened, the College was given a linear accelerator or "atom smasher" by 
the University of Chicago. This made Elmhurst one of only 15 schools in 
the country with that equipment. 

As the Science Center neared completion, planning began for a 
new dormitory to be built south of the Chapel and west of Dinkmeyer 
Hall. The College selected a contemporary style similar to that of the 
Science Center for this dorm, which was financed through a $1 million 
federal loan. Ground was broken in September 1967, and Stanger Hall, 
named after the recently retired president and his father, opened in 
September 1968. This dormitory for women was the first air-condi- 
tioned dorm on campus. 

Late in 1965 the two barracks that had stood on the north side of 
campus since 1946 were finally removed. Their place was taken by much- 
needed parking space. 

In 1966 the College established a campus arboretum that was 
recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Herbert Licht, an 
Elmhurst landscape architect who secured and donated many of the trees, 
was instrumental in helping Elmhurst achieve arboretum status. 

Planning also began for a new hbrary that was designed to serve 
2,000 day students and expected to cost about $2.3 million. Major funding 
came from Mr. and Mrs. Albert C. Buehler, Sr., of Barrington, Ilhnois, 
who in 1967 gave the College stock valued at $1,275,000, the largest gift 
to the College to that date. Buehler was a trustee of the College. In addi- 
tion, a federal grant of nearly $800,000 was approved in 1968. 

Since construction of the new library necessitated the razing of the 
President's House to the north of Irion Hall, the Buehlers bought and 
gave to the College a large brick house. The new President's Home, built 
around 1939, stands at 360 Cottage Hill Avenue. 

204 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

In 1967 Elmhurst acquired the Hammerschmidt Lumber Company, 
which included several old buildings on Walter Street. One building 
became the Mill Theatre. At approximately the same time, the College 
purchased a small apartment building north of campus on Prospect 
Avenue, which was used to house several faculty and 26 men students, 
plus three homesites also to the north of campus. 

The College also began raising money for a proposed fine arts 
building to be constructed on Alexander Boulevard. In September 1968 it 
received notice of a $325,000 gift fi"om Herman Fleer of Chicago. 
Fifteen members of Fleer's family had graduated fi-om Elmhurst in its 
first 50 years. The Bulk Foundation also pledged $100,000. The Bulk 
family had long been active in the Evangelical Church, and the Bulk 
Foundation had given the College $50,000 over the previous 15 years. 
Then late in fall 1969, Kleckner launched a new fund-raising effort, 
called the Second Century Campaign, to raise $8.3 million to complete 
funding for the library, to build a fine arts complex and a new gymna- 
sium, to renovate Old Main and to buy more land near campus. 

The fund-raising campaign was needed because, even with increased 
revenues from tuition, major gifts, and federal loans and grants, the 
College could not cover its expenses. After a number of years of balanced 
budgets, the College was in the red by the start of the seventies. It had 
deficits of nearly $135,000 in 1970 and $45,000 by the end of 1971. It 
was clear that revenues had to be increased or expenses cut if the College 
was going to balance its budget in coming years. 

A New Curriculum 

Late in 1966, after many years without major curriculum change, 
the Elmhurst faculty adopted a new curriculum. The curriculum, which 
went into effect with the 1968-69 academic year, included a common 
course — a two-semester interdepartmental course to be taken by all 
students; distributive courses in language and thought, foreign languages, 
humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and physical education; a 
major field; a related field; and elective courses. 

K The Turbulent Sixties 205 

Sandy Cent7ier providing therapy in the speech clinic, 1967. 

Early in 1968 the faculty also adopted a new calendar based on the 
4-1-4 system, under which students would take four classes in the fall 
and spring semesters and one intensive course in January called the 
Interim. The new calendar was implemented along with the new 
curriculum in 1968. 

A total of 56 new courses was offered during Elmhurst's first 
Interim. Included were an opera workshop in which students presented 
The MajTiage of Figaro and the first travel class, which went to Greece. 
Seventy-five percent of Elmhurst's students enrolled in a class during the 
first Interim. 

The 1968-69 academic year saw the North Central Association 
return to campus for one of its periodic accreditation re\dews. As part of 
that accreditation, the College conducted a self-study that focused on its 

206 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

aims and purposes. Among the positive comments the College received 
when it was granted continued accreditation was praise for its abihty to 
develop so many new Interim courses in such a short time. 

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education 
(NCATE) visited campus the same year as the North Central reaccredi- 
tation. Following its review, NCATE gave accreditation to Elmhurst's 
teacher education program. Elmhurst was one of only eight schools to 
apply that year for accreditation under NCATE's new and more strin- 
gent standards. Elmhurst served as a pilot study, successfully testing the 
new standards. 

In the middle of the decade Elmhurst started an Honors Program 
for students with high academic standing. The program included 
interdisciplinary courses and independent studies. In its first year, 65 
students participated. 

The inaugural Niebuhr Lecture was held in October 1966. This 
series, sponsored jointly by the Philosophy and Religion Departments, 
has drawn many outstanding speakers to campus. 

Elmhurst welcomed a Pulitzer Prize-winning visiting professor in 
the second semester of the 1966-67 year when Gwendolyn Brooks taught 
creative writing. In later years. Brooks would return to Elmhurst to teach 
and present readings and seminars for students and faculty. 

Late in 1970 the College approved the development of a four-year 
baccalaureate program in nursing. Elmhurst had participated in the 
training of nurses with other institutions, but this marked Elmhurst's first 
program of its own. The College received a grant of more than $70,000 
from the Illinois Board of Higher Education as well as smaller grants 
from area hospitals to help start the program. 

Politics and Student Rights Debated 

All across America campus life became increasingly fractious in the 
latter half of the sixties. In November 1966 rumors of a flag desecration 
spread across campus. This fueled the impassioned debate over the war in 
Vietnam. Also growing on campus were fears about changes in the 

K The Turbulent Sixties 207 

Student deferment policy. C^hants of "Hell No! We won't go!" were heard 
on campus, as were taunts and jeers from supporters of the war. 

In October 1968 the Student Senate supported a referendum calling 
on the faculty to relinquish authority over student life. Shortly thereafter 
Kleckner appointed a commission to study the College's governance. The 
Commission included four administrators, four faculty and four students. 
Part of their mission was to consider the responsibility of the faculty for 
student affairs and organizations. 

The Commission's first recommendation was that the Student 
Senate take responsibility for recognizing student organizations, a task 
that had previously fallen to the faculty. Following a Student Senate poll 
of students that found that they wanted more power, the Elm Bark edito- 
rialized, "Yes, student power does exist at Elmhurst. There is a long way 
to go to meet the ideal, but at least Elmhurst will not become a Berkeley 
or Columbia." 

Early in 1969 the president's Commission proposed a new struc- 
ture for the College called the Joint Governance Board, made up of 
students, faculty and administrators, that would report to the president. 
It would receive recommendations from a Student Affairs Council, a 
Faculty Council and an Academic Council. Students would serve on all 
of the councils. 

Although the faculty declined to endorse the plan in fall 1969, 
President Kleckner supported shared governance. Late that year the 
Board of Trustees approved having students, faculty and administrators 
on all its standing committees. 

Shortly before graduation in 1967, a psychology instructor and eight 
students w ere arrested in a house off campus by narcotics officers. The 
Elmhurst Press called attention to the faculty member's leadership role in 
area antiwar activities and printed a front-page photo of an antiwar poster 
found in the house. This attempt to link drugs and the antiwar movement 
provoked protests at Elmhurst and from area colleges. 

The 1967-68 year saw an increasingly bitter tone to campus 
conflicts. Angry letters to the editor and impassioned columns filled the 
pages of the Elm Ba?'k. Teach-ins were held, and students protested 
against corporate recruiters. While some Elmhurst students joined 

208 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

To PF, With Love ' n'i' J r ^^ ^ 

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J^^«piSCsSlSi|fl Edition 

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in Many Cities 

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TZ?^ Elm Bark, 
Aprils, 1968. 

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and called for student power, 
others organized a campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. 

Student and faculty opposition to the Vietnam War increased. Peace 
vigils were held at noon on Thursdays. Elmhurst students were active in 
area demonstrations, and a number of students went to Washington to 
participate in national antiwar protests. In November 1967 the Student 
Senate signed an open letter to President Johnson protesting his Vietnam 
policy and caUing for an end to bombing and the beginning of mean- 

K The Turbulent Sixties 209 

Muhammad All (formerly named Cassius Clay) at the Black Arts Festival, 1969. 

ingful negotiations. The letter was printed in major newspapers across 
the county. The same year students and faculty participated in Vietnam 
Moratorium activities including a teach-in on campus. 

While Vietnam occupied center stage, other issues received atten- 
tion on campus. Students fasted to support African famine relief. Others 
organized STOP, Students to Terminate Overpopulation and Pollution, 
and participated in campus and area-wide calls for women's rights. 

Race relations became strained on campus as the sixties drew to 
an end. It was only in the middle of the sixties that the first significant 
number of Blacks enrolled in Elmhurst. They arrived at a time when 
many students and faculty were deeply involved in the civil rights 
movement. A regular column in Ehi Bark, written by an Elmhurst 
graduate who was working in Mississippi, focused attention on the 
struggle in the South. 

The battie for civil rights was also fought in the North, in commu- 
nities such as Elmhurst. By 1968, the Concerned Black Student 

210 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Men's Glee Club, 1966-6". 

Organization was active on campus and in the community. In December, 
Black students submitted eight demands to President Kleckner. They 
called for the College to support open housing in the Elmhurst commu- 
nity, oppose the harassing of Black students, hire Black professors, 
develop Black studies courses and recruit more Black men for the student 
body. They also called for a meeting with Kleckner. 

The College, determined to increase the number of Black students 
on campus, increased its efforts to recruit minority students. Then early 
in 1969 the Elmhurst College Committee on Racism addressed other 
demands of the Black students by denouncing harassment, racism and 
discrimination. The Committee backed an open housing ordinance for 
the city of Elmhurst and agreed on the need for Black professors. 

While one of die Black students' concerns was addressed by the devel- 
opment of the Black Studies Program under Ray Jackson, which included 
classes in Black history and theology. Black literature, and Black and African 

K The Turbulent Sixties 


art, other concerns remained. Soon questions were being raised about racial 
issues in the athletics program. Tensions reached their peak in fall 1970 
when President Kleckner and Coach Wendell Harris were involved in a six- 
and-a-half-hour standoff with Black students in the Chapel. 

Student Life 

While protests became regular occurrences on the Elmhurst 
campus, freshmen were still wearing beanies, and students and underpriv- 
ileged children were attending the Women's Union Circus. Athletics also 
continued to play a significant part in student life. 

The Victory Bell, which, according to "Pete" Langhorst, had origi- 
nally hung in the Old Main bell tower, was set up on the football field in 
1965. The bell received a workout that season as the Bluejays football 
team took up where it had left off the previous year, winning six and 
losing only to Winona State and Carthage, for its third straight winning 

^ Fresh?}ian Week, 1967. 

212 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Hojuecoming, 1967. 

season. Also for the third year in a row, the team had a perfect home 
record, extending its home winning streak to 13. The Bluejays registered 
their fourth straight Homecoming victory, defeating Illinois College 
39-0, and Coach Harris ran his personal Elmhurst record to 20 victories 
against five losses over three seasons. 

When Carroll beat Elmhurst 14-13 in the Bluejays' first home game 
of the 1966 season, the longest home winning streak in Elmhurst's 
history ended. Although the Bluejays provided lots of excitement, the 
team ended with a record of three wins, four losses and one tie. This was 
Elmhurst's first losing season since 1962. 

The 1967 football team returned to its winning ways, ending the 
season with a 5-3 record. This was Elmhurst's last season as an indepen- 
dent, since it joined the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin 
(CCIW) early in 1968. 

Elmhurst's first year in the CCIW was disastrous, with the team 
losing all nine games, but 1969 saw an upturn in football fortunes. After 
losing their opening game to Augustana and succeeding games 
to Illinois Wesleyan, Carroll and at Homecoming to Carthage, the 
Bluejays defeated Albert Lea College in a nonconference game. This was 
the first victory in two years and ended the Bluejays' losing steak at 13. 

SS The Turbulent Sixties 


The 1970 football season was marked with controversy. The Bluejays 
defeated North Central, Augustana and North Park at the start of the 
season. At the end of their first five games, they led the CCIW in both 
offense and defense. WTien they beat Wheaton 12-0, it was their first 
victory over their chief rivals in football in 30 years. The team finished the 
season with three straight losses and ended fifth in the conference. 

The sudden decline in Elmhurst's 1970 football fortunes was 
prompted by the decision of 1 1 Black football players to quit the team in 
protest of the College's failure to meet the demands of the Concerned 
Black Students. This led to the confrontation with President Kleckner 
and Coach Harris in the Chapel in November. 

The wrestling team was successful in the late sixties and early 
seventies, finishing third in the CCIW in 1969-70. The 1970-71 team 
took first place in the North Central Invitational Tournament and 
second in the CCIW meet. At the conclusion to the best wrestling 
season in Elmhurst's history, three team members went to the NAIA 
national tournament. 

Mudfight, 1968. 

214 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Women's Union Chriis, 1968. 

The 1968-69 basketball team finished in fourth place in the confer- 
ence and its captain, Jim Peters, was the first Bluejay to be named all 
conference since Elmhurst rejoined the CCIW. At the final game of the 
season at North Central, Elmhurst students organized a "Shout Down" 
in an effort to generate support for the team. Fans of the two teams 
squared off to see who could cheer their team louder. 

While other teams had their ups and downs, the tennis team, still 
coached by C.C. Arends, remained the most consistently successful of 
Elmhurst's athletic teams. In 1968, its first year in the CCIW, the 
Bluejays finished third in the CCIW tourney. Following this season, 
Arends retired after 38 years of coaching. 

"Pete" Langhorst retired in February 1969 after being honored at 
the 1968 Homecoming by having the athletic field named "Langhorst 
Field." In May 1971, Elmhurst won its division in the Elmhurst 
Intercollegiate Invitational track meet. Also successful was the Elmhurst 

K The Turbulent Sixties 215 

baseball team. It finished second in the CCIW in 1971 and went to the 
NAIA District tournament. 

As folk music became increasing popular, the Harbinger Coffee House 
opened in fall 1967 in the basement of Kranz Hall. It was run and main- 
tained by students. Also in fall 1967 WRSE celebrated its 20th anniversary. 

In March 1968 the first Midwest College Jazz Festival was held at 
Elmhurst. Clinics were given for high school musicians, and college 
groups competed to see who would be selected as regional champions. 
Groups that won at the Festival went on to the national finals. National 
winners were showcased at the Newport Jazz Festival, the nation's most 
popular and prestigious jazz event. 

Big-name entertainment came to campus with performers such as the 
Lettermen, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Glenn Yarborough, Kenny Rogers, 
Ferrante and Teicher, Peter Nero, and James Whitmore portraying Will 
Rogers. Speakers included the theologian Martin Marty, socialist presiden- 
tial candidate Norman Thomas, poet Mark Van Doren, senators Edward 
Kennedy and George McGovern, civil rights leaders Julian Bond and 
Andrew Young, Black activist Stokely Carmichael, conservative writer 
William Buckley, Jr., and Chicago author Harry Mark Petrakis. 

In 1967 the Brotherhood of the Praetors was organized with the 
goal of enriching the social life of the College. After decades of opposing 
any student group that remotely resembled a fraternity, the College 
allowed first the Squires and then the Praetors to organize and select 
pledges. The next year the Adelphae service organization was organized 
for women. Starting in 1969, nationally affiliated fraternities and sorori- 
ties were organized, and rush began in the 1969-70 school year. 

A Second Century and a New President 

Elmhurst marked its 100th anniversary in 1971, which was declared 
the Centennial Year. The theme for the celebration was "Focus on Man's 
Condition: Education for Humane Living." Many events were held to 
commemorate the occasion, including a lecture series with speakers such 
as Ralph Nader, Ashley Montagu and Paul EhrHch. A performing artist 

216 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

series presented Carlos Montoya, Doc Severinsen, die Munich Chamber 
Symphony Orchestra and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The 
Centennial Homecoming welcomed a record number of returning 
alumni. The College also took this opportunity to launch an Afro- 
American Studies program and to establish a major in urban studies. 

In March 1971, President Kleckner announced that he was 
resigning after only six years as president. He left Elmhurst in August to 
become president of Chapman College in California. Kleckner's presi- 
dency saw farther expansion of the student body and a major building 
program, but revenues failed to keep up with expenses. 

Selected to replace Kleckner as the College's eleventh president was 
Ivan E. Frick, the 43 -year-old president of Findlay College in Ohio, who 
assumed the presidency in November 1971. After three presidents in 23 
years, Elmhurst was on the threshold of more than two decades of 
stability and balanced budgets. 


Donald Kleckner 
The Tenth President 

Donald Kleckner, president from 
1965 to 1971, was born near Clyde, 
Ohio in 1910 and graduated from 
Heidelberg College. He spent two 
years in the U.S. Navy before earning 
master's and Ph.D. degrees from the 
University of Michigan and spending a 
year in postdoctoral study in England. 

Kleckner was a professor and 
administrator at Heidelberg College 
and Bowling Green State University 
before he became academic dean at Elmhurst College in 1962. When 
Kleckner was selected to head Elmhurst in 1965, he was the first presi- 
dent in the College's 94-year history who was not a minister. 

During Kleckner's presidency, enrollment increased from 1,000 to 
more than 1,700 in the day session. A new curriculum and calendar with 
a one-month Interim in January were adopted, and the Schaible Science 
Center, Stanger Hall and Buehler Library were built. 

In 1971 Kleckner resigned to become president of Chapman 
College in California. Five years later he moved to Redlands College, 
where he expanded adult education programs. He was also a popular 
speaker, performer and director of theatricals. 

Kleckner was active in the Elmhurst community, including in the 
Community Chest and Rotary. He and his wife Mary Coons are the 
parents of three children. 

chapter \ 2 

K Two Decades of 
Consolidation and 

By the time Ivan E. Frick took over as the eleventh president of 
Elmhurst College in late fall 1971, much of the passion of the 
sixties was ebbing. The Vietnam War was winding down, 
student activism was on the decline, and the era of burgeoning enroll- 
ments was over. The curriculum had been revised and a new calendar 
implemented. Now the College needed to adapt to the changing 
demographics, which meant fewer students from which to choose as well 
as increasing numbers of students who sought nontraditional college 
experiences. The College also needed to balance its budget and assure its 
future by securing a steady stream of students, increasing its endowment 
and expanding its fund-raising. 

President Frick was a graduate of Findlay College with theolog- 
ical degrees from Lancaster Theological Seminarv" and the Oberlin 
College Graduate School of Theology and a Ph.D. from Columbia 
University. He had served as president of Findlay College for seven 
years before coming to Elmhurst. His formal inauguration was held in 
April 1972, but Frick assumed the presidency in November 1971. 
Between the time President Kleckner left and Frick arrived, the 
College was administered by Robert Clark, the academic dean, with 


220 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 


Students and faculty protest 
Vietnam. War. 

assistance from the dean of students, the vice president of development 
and the business manager. 

When Frick took over the presidency, he was faced with $900,000 of 
short-term debt, which resuhed from the ambitious building program as 
well as several years of deficit budgets. The College's endowment stood 
at only $750,000. The first years of his administration were marked by 
strong efforts to balance the budget — the 1971-72 year ended with a 
small but welcome surplus — and to retire the debt. This marked the first 
of 23 straight balanced budgets achieved under Frick's leadership. In 
1973-74, the College managed to wipe out its debt. In addition, it began 

Sfi Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 221 

adding to its endowment, starting with a small increase in 1972-73. The 
next year saw a $300,000 increase. The College continued to increase its 
endowment, which topped the $1.3 million mark in 1975 and grew to $35 
million by 1994. 

Helping the College balance its budget was the new Illinois State 
Scholars program set up by the state legislature. In its first year, 1971-72, 
Elmhurst College received $164,000 through this scholarship program, 
and 18 percent of the College's revenue came from government programs. 

The Second Century Fund Campaign, which had been launched in 
1969 to raise $4 million, fell considerably short of its goal and was 
ended in Prick's first year. Also ending that year was the traditional 
direct subsidy from the Synod, which had been so instrumental in 
keeping Elmhurst afloat in its first 75 years. After the subsidy was 
discontinued in 1972, the College continued to receive gifts from indi- 
vidual churches. 

In 1972, in an effort to generate new contributions and ensure 
financial stability, President Frick established the Living Endowment 
Program. Donors were asked to make five-year pledges and encouraged 
to increase their contributions over time. In 1973-74 the College received 
a challenge grant of $25,000 from an alumnus who matched the gifts of 
alumni who had never contributed to the College. The College ended the 
year with a record $76,000 from alumni. 

Settling into the Seventies 

In 1972-73 a Long-Range Planning Committee was established to 
help chart the College's course. One of its first priorities was to expand the 
College's services to new audiences. As the number of college-age students 
shrank and junior colleges competed with four-year colleges for students, 
Elmhurst sought to attract students who wanted nontraditional approaches 
to education. Included were accelerated-learning and other programs 
aimed at making education more flexible. New programs were also devel- 
oped for adult learners through the Weekend College and the Center for 
Special Programs that were initiated in the mid '70s. Among the popular 

222 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Dr. Rudolf Schade, who 
taught at Elmhurst 
College fi'om 1946 
to 1914. 

courses offered by the Weekend College was one tided "Overcoming Your 
Fear of Flying," which received nationwide publicity. 

The 1973-74 year saw another new audience receive attention from 
the College when the Elmhurst College Preschool opened in the base- 
ment of Dinkmeyer Hall. For nearly 20 years, the preschool provided an 
age-appropriate education to hundreds of children, assistance with child 
care for faculty and student parents and community members, and 
learning experience for Elmhurst students. 

Tuition increased throughout the seventies — up to $1,085 a 
semester in 1973-74, with total cost for a full year including room and 
board at $3,480. Starting in 1973, a charge of $100 was added for the 
Interim. By 1981, tuition was up to $1,569 a semester with Interim set at 
$396 and room and board at $1,860. 

In the seventies, Elmhurst received a number of grants, including a 
National Science Foundation grant to fund a summer program of 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 223 

research in physics for outstanding high school students. In 1974-75 it 
received a two-year grant of $127,000 from the Lilly Endowment for 
faculty development, which allowed more than 70 faculty members to 
attend workshops and develop new teaching methods such as computer- 
assisted teaching. The College also benefited from major grants from the 
estate of Herman Fleer, the Buik Foundation and the Hummel 
Foundation, all long-time supporters. 

The new A.C. Buehler Library officially opened in 1972. Late in the 
decade, a Learning Center with tapes, tutors and material was established 
in the lower level of the Library with funding from the Lilly Foundation 
and alumni. 

In spring 1972 more than 500 students graduated from Elmhurst 
College, but by the start of the 1972-73 year, the decline in students was 
becoming noticeable on campus. For the first time in many years, there 
were more than enough spaces in the dormitories. The College's enroll- 
ment fell almost 8 percent fi-om 1971-72 to 1972-73 and then stabihzed 
at around 2,550 for day and evening students through 1976. Despite the 
stability, Elmhurst continued to plan for future declines as the Carnegie 
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reported that one in 10 
colleges or universities might merge or close in the next five years. Small 
private colleges were expected to be especially vulnerable. 

The declining enrollment in the early seventies led to a cut in 
faculty. In 1973-74 a total of 15 faculty positions were eHminated, 
bringing the number of faculty down to 100 and saving an estimated 
$200,000 a year. 

Elmhurst entered into several cooperative relationships during the 
seventies. Graduate courses were offered on campus in cooperation with 
area universities. In 1973 the Cooperative Computer Center was set up in 
Memorial Hall under the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors of State 
Colleges and Universities of the State of Illinois. This arrangement 
provided Elmhurst with both income and increased computer capabilities. 

In March 1975 Elmhurst created the Center for Business and 
Economics, which offered new courses and majors for day, evening and 
nondegree students. Soon the Center was offering seminars to business 
professionals throughout the Chicago area. In the same spring the first 
Elmhurst College nursing class graduated 19 women and one man. 

224 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

giving Elmhurst the only baccalaureate nursing program in DuPage 
County. In mid-decade the Deicke Foundation contributed $100,000 
for Elmhurst's nursing program. This was the first of a series of contri- 
butions that totalled nearly half a million dollars by the mid '90s. In 
recognition of this support, the program was named the Deicke Center 
for Nursing Education. 

In fall 1976 the College launched a new program to serve Hispanic 
students in Chicago. The Latino Extension Project opened for bilingual 
programs in the Edgewater, Uptown and Logan Square areas. A facility 
was later opened in Little Village. The program continued until the end 
of the 1981-82 academic year, at which time the facilities in Chicago 
were closed due to lack of financial support. 

By the middle of the seventies the College was in a stable enough 
financial situation to begin major capital expenditures. While a number of 
new buildings had been constructed in the past decades, older buildings 
were long overdue for major repairs. In 1976 the Board approved a reno- 
vation of Old Main costing nearly $1 million. Old Main, which is listed in 
the National Register of Historic Places, was reopened in fall 1977. 

The College financed the renovation of Old Main, as well as added 
to the College's endowment, through a fund-raising campaign called 
Forward Elmhurst. The campaign, which had a goal of $2.1 million, 
kicked off with a pledge of $30,000 from the Keebler Company, whose 
chief operating officer, Arthur Larkin, Jr., chaired the campaign. Two 
major challenge grants of $75,000 each from the Joyce Foundation built 
momentum. The campaign was completed in October 1978 when the 
goal was reached. This was the first time in Elmhurst's history that the 
College had successfully met a fund-raising goal. Larkin was awarded the 
first Elmhurst College Founders Medal, which recognized outstanding 
professional achievement, community service or development efforts on 
behalf of the College. 

Throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties, Elmhurst College 
bought property on the north side of campus between Alexander 
Boulevard and the Chicago and North Western Railroad tracks. On the 
property are houses and apartments that the College rents to faculty and 
townspeople. It was in this area that the linear accelerator was set up and 
that the Physical Education Center would be built. 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 225 

Dr. John Jmnp teaching 
in the biology lab. 

During the 1973-74 year the hnear accelerator, located on Walter 
Street next to the Mill Theatre, was completed after six years of work. 
The accelerator gave Elmhurst's physics students experience that was 
generally available only to students at major universities. In 1978 a 
second accelerator began operation. The Physics Department also used 
four electron microscopes to offer electron microscopy courses through 
the Center for Special Programs. Late in the seventies, Elmhurst became 
the only Chicago-area college offering materials science courses at the 
undergraduate level. 

In 1973 James Cunningham replaced C. Neal Davis, who had been 
dean of students since 1967. Then early in 1975 Robert Clark resigned as 
dean of the College and returned to teaching in the Philosophy 
Department. Theology professor Peter Schmiechen was appointed to 
succeed Clark. Schmiechen held a bachelor's degree from Elmhurst, a 
theology degree from Eden Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from 
Harvard University. 

226 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Rudolf Schade, who had taught Greek, philosophy, logic and history 
since 1946, retired in 1974. He had succeeded Paul Crusius as chairman 
of the History Department and served as chairman of the Social Science 
Division. Schade continued to teach part-time for several years and was 
appointed college archivist in 1977. The 1984 Homecoming was dedi- 
cated to Professor Schade, and two years later the Rudolf G. Schade 
Lectureship was created in his honor. 

The foreign language requirement was eUminated in 1976 and the 
number of students electing to take a foreign language fell sharply. 
Enrollment in Spanish 101 fell from near 230 to 25 in one year, while only 
12 elected to take German 101 as opposed to nearly 60 the year before. 

The 1976-77 year saw enrollment up to nearly 2,600 in the day and 
evening sessions — a five-year high — with fi^eshman enrollment the highest 
since 1970. New highs were reached in bodi 1978-79 and 1979-80. By tht 
final years of the seventies, the residence halls were once again overflowing. 

In 1976 the College celebrated two anniversaries when both the 
Speech Cfinic and WRSE turned 30. The Clinic continued to test and 
provide therapy to many Elmhurst-area residents. Since 1963, WRSE 
had been broadcasting in EM rather than AM. The station, which could 
be found at 88.7 on the FM dial, concentrated on music, news and 
Elmhurst College sports. 

Elmhurst lost one of its longest-standing supporters in 1976 when 
President Emeritus Robert Stanger died. For nearly his entire life, since 
his birth on campus in 1900, Stanger had been a part of Elmhurst 
College life. Matilda Langhorst, "Mrs. Pete" as she was known to genera- 
tions of Elmhurst students, died the same year. 

In 1978 the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher 
Education evaluation team visited campus and reaccredited the College's 
teacher education programs. The next year Elmhurst was due for a reac- 
creditation fi-om the North Central Association. To prepare for accredita- 
tion, the College conducted a self-study. The accreditation team, which 
visited campus early in 1979 and recommended accreditation, reported 
that the College was strong academically and the faculty excellent. It 
praised the clinical experience students received, the library resources and 
the provision for faculty development. The detailed report recommended 
improvements in recreational facilities and long-range planning; Integra- 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 227 

WRSE gave 7'adio experience to many students, including Terri HeTnmert, now a well- 
known Chicagoland DJ. 

don of the distributive requirements; and clarification of the purpose of 
the Interim. 

Once work on Old Main was completed, the Board approved the 
$2.4 million renovation of Irion Hall and improvements to the 
Gymnasium. The work on both was finished in 1979, and the buildings 
were rededicated during Homecoming. 

The late seventies saw the expansion of courses and the addition of a 
number of new majors, including computer science and an interdiscipli- 
nary major in human resource management. The College began offering 
nondegree graduate credit courses in education for public school 
teachers. The Center for Special Programs developed a baccalaureate 
degree-completion program for nurses, which it offered at 10 off-campus 
sites. The 1979-80 academic year also saw the first 200 students enroll in 
the Elmhurst Management Program, an intensive, upper-division 
program for working professionals leading to a bachelor of science degree 
with a major in business administration. 

228 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

In the seventies, eighties and early nineties, many long-time faculty 
retired. Among tiiose were John Jump and Joe Gorsic of tiie Biology 
Department; Latham Baskerville of the Art Department; Royal Schmidt 
of the Political Science Department; Rudolf Priepke of the Chemistry 
Department; Frank Allen of the Math Department; Ervin Schmidt of the 
Education Department; Gordon Couchman, Kenneth Bidle, Robert 
Swords and William Barclay of the English Department; WiUiam Halfter 
of the Philosophy Department; Robert DeRoo of the Psychology 
Department; Don Low of the Speech Department; and Armin Limper of 
the Theology Department. 

Student Life in the Seventies 

By early in the decade the Elm Bark had begun to worry about 
campus apathy, and calls were heard for increased student involvement in 
all areas of college life. One concrete sign of apathy was the demise of 
the Eh?? Bark in December 1972, after 52 years. It was replaced in March 
1973 by the El???hwst College Newpaper (sic). In February 1979, the 
Elmhuj-st College Leader replaced the Newpaper. 

Not all students were apathetic. Some continued to be concerned 
about issues on and off campus, but the heat that had characterized many 
of the disagreements in the last decade was dissipating. While Vietnam 
was still a subject of debate, other issues were moving to the forefront. 
Environmental concerns were growing, and STOP (Students to 
Terminate Overpopulation and Pollution) began the first campus recy- 
cling program in the early seventies. More women became interested in 
women's issues, and Black Awareness Week was celebrated each year. 

In an effort to increase student interest and to provide additional 
activities, the Free University was organized early in the decade. It 
offered a variety of classes ranging from sailing to chess. 

While student pranks seem to have played less of a part in Elmhurst 
life than they had in Proseminary days, the seventies and eighties were 
not without their share. In March 1974, a new national fad came to 
Elmhurst when the first streaker ran naked across campus. Many others 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 229 

soon followed in his chilly footsteps. Near the end of the seventies, early 
morning visitors to the Chapel were amazed to see that all the pews had 
been unscrewed and reattached facing backwards. What took students 
one night to do, took College workers considerably longer to undo. And 
few alumni or faculty of the day will forget the time the Hammerschmidt 
Memorial Chapel clock sprouted Mickey Mouse hands. 

In 1972-73 Elmhurst was a contender for the CCIW football cham- 
pionship, which was decided in the last game when the Bluejays lost to 
Carthage 38-0. Among the highlights of the year was the 38-0 defeat of 
Wheaton during which John Spooner rushed for 204 yards. The Bluejays 
ended the season with a 6-3 record (5-3 in the CCIW). 

Despite high hopes, the 1973 football team had a losing record. The 
next year football coach Wendell Harris left Elmhurst, and the coach of 
the successful wrestling team, Al Hanke, replaced Harris, while baseball 
coach Jon Hawthorne became acting athletic director. Hawthorne would 
serve as athletic director till 1976, when he was replaced by Ron Wellman. 

Tom Beck was appointed football coach in 1976. By 1978 Beck had 
built a winning team, and the Bluejays were cochampions of the CCIW 
with Millikin. This was the first football title in Elmhurst's history, and 
the victories were enthusiastically celebrated by students and alumni 
alike. The team, which had an 8-1 season (7-1 in the CCIW), set a 
number of offensive and defensive records, including points scored, total 
yards and fewest yards allowed to opponents. George Donald set a 
record for rushing in one game with 231 yards. After he scored four 
touchdowns against Millikin, Donald was named national NAIA 
Offensive Player of the Week. At the end of the season Donald was 
named to the NAIA Ail-American Team. The next season the Bluejays 
set a record for total offense for the season and compiled an 8-2 record 
(7-2 in the CCIW). 

Cross country returned as an intercollegiate sport in 1971 with five 
students — the minimum needed to field a team. The wrestling team vied 
with many-time champion Augustana throughout the seventies and 
finished second in the CCIW in 1970-71, 1973-74 and 1974-75. In 1975 
it sent six members to the NAIA District 20 tournament. Wrestling 
coach Hanke was voted NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year in 1974 
and 1976. 

230 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

The 1972-73 basketball team, which had a 15-11 record (10-6 in the 
CCIW), was sparked by Claude White, who was the CCIW and District 
20 scoring leader. White, who averaged 33.2 points a game, was assisted 
by Calvin Saunders, who was an all-conference player for three years. 
The 1974-75 basketball team was led by guard Bill Simpson, the second- 
leading scorer in the conference, who was named to the All-CCIW and 
All-NAIA District 20 teams. The 1980-81 team was led by Jim Cooney, 
who became the NCAA Division III free throw champion, hitting 90.3 
percent of his attempts for the year. 

The baseball team, coached by Ron Wellman, won back-to-back 
CCIW championships in the middle of the decade, first tying with 
Milhkin in 1975 and then winning the championship outright. In 1975, 
1976 and 1978 the team qualified for the NAIA District 20 playoffs. In 
1979 Elmhurst began a string of four consecutive CCIW championships 
and went to the NAIA national playoffs. 

The Elmhurst hockey club, which was organized in 1970-71, won 
its division in 1976-77 and finished third in the state tournament. The 
next year the club won its second straight North Division title. The 1979 
team compiled an 18-6-1 record and won its third division championship 
in a row, but was barred from the championship because of the late 
payment of the league fee. 

Women's sports developed throughout the decade. In 1975 the first 
fall-time women's coach was hired to build the women's programs. Terry 
Rogers coached tennis, volleyball and basketball and led the tennis team 
to a 6-1 record in 1975-76 following a 1-6 season the year before. 

By mid-decade the student newspaper had launched a campaign for 
a new gymnasium. In response, the trustees authorized a study of recre- 
ational facilities and of the feasibility of renovating the Gymnasium or 
building a new one. A report in 1977 detailed the shortcomings of the 
current Gymnasium, but the Board determined that fimding was not 
available for a new building or for a major addition to the Gymnasium. 
Instead, it authorized improvements in the existing Gymnasium. 

In the '70s, the Elmhurst College Jazz Band was beginning to make 
a name for itself nationally. Also continuing to draw the attention of jazz 
lovers was the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, which celebrated its 10th 
festival in 1977. Although Elmhurst's festival had originally been a 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 231 

regional site for the American College Jazz Festival, the national festival 
had ceased to exist, and Elmhurst's Festival continued independently. 

The Festival of Fools, a new spring event, was added to the student 
calendar each April. In early years, the Fool arrived on campus by heli- 
copter, ambulance and stagecoach. A new spot for students to gather, 
called the Coffeehaus, became the site of student theatricals. 

Fraternities and sororities grew in popularity throughout the decade. 
The Inter-Fraternity Council was organized in 1977. 

Many prominent entertainers and national figures visited Elmhurst 
during the seventies. The playwright Edward Albee came in conjunction 
with the Elmhurst College presentation of his play A Delicate Balance. 
Musical groups that appeared at the Jazz Festival or at other times 
included the Charlie Byrd Trio, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Cannonball 
Adderley, Muddy Waters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Stan Kenton, 
Maynard Ferguson, Carlos Montoya, Dizzy Gillespie and Blood, Sweat & 
Tears. Other visitors included Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein; actors 
Michael Redgrave, Vmcent Price and Jon Voight; and Chicago writer 
Studs Terkel. 

Throughout the seventies, there was growing concern about alcohol 
on campus. In 1975 permission was given to students aged 19 or older to 
drink beer and wine in students' rooms and at student-sponsored all- 
campus activities. This change in the century-old policy prohibiting 
alcohol on campus brought Elmhurst's regulations into line with the law 
of the State of Illinois. The new pohcy remained in effect until late in the 
decade when a new state law allowed cities to set a higher drinking age. 
After the city of Elmhurst raised the drinking age to 2 1 , the College 
changed its regulations to accord with the new legal drinking age. 

A New Decade 

Elmhurst had record enrollments in both 1981-82 and 1982-83. 
Despite more graduating students than ever before in May 1983, the 
1983-84 year saw an increase in total enrollment. Still, freshman and 
transfer enrollment was down, and the number of day students fell by one 

232 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

percent. While Elmhurst continued to draw heavily from transfers and 
nontraditional students, the number of college-age freshmen was 
shrinking, and in time this led to a decline in the total number of 
Elmhurst students. For a while the increasing number of students in the 
Elmhurst Management Program offset some of the decline, but by 1985 
the number of freshmen and transfers was the lowest since 1972. Cuts in 
government-supported financial aid also affected the enrollment. 

The eighties saw college tuition skyrocket across the nation, and at 
Elmhurst it increased by 13 percent in 1981-82 alone. The increases 
leveled off after 1982 as Elmhurst's administration worked to keep tuition 
in the middle range of all colleges that belonged to the Associated 
Colleges of Illinois (ACI). Thus in 1984-85, when Elmhurst's tuition for 
a year including Interim was $4,690, tuition at other ACI colleges ranged 
from more than $8,000 at Lake Forest College to $3,600 at Illinois 
College. Elmhurst ranked 19th in tuition among the 29 ACI colleges. 
Tuition increases continued throughout the decade and into the nineties. 
By the middle of the nineties, the cost of attending Elmhurst for one 
year, living on campus and taking an Interim was about $14,350. 

The Evening Session continued to draw traditional and nontradi- 
tional students. Early in the eighties it was combined with the Summer 
Session and the Center for Special Programs to form the Division of 
Continuing Education. 

Throughout the late seventies, a major controversy raged over 
whether to tear down or renovate Kranz Hall. The razing of the oldest 
building on campus had been discussed since 1915, but as the time for 
decision neared the campus was split on whether or not the building 
should be saved. Impassioned debates continued until 1981, when the 
Board decided to tear down the 107-year-old building. It was razed in the 
summer of 1981, and Founders Common, the redeveloped eastern 
portion of the campus, and Kranz Forum were dedicated in spring 1982. 

"PROJECTS FOR THE '80s," a master plan and development 
campaign for the decade, was launched in January 1982. The first phase of 
the campaign, which used as its slogan "In Search of Excellence," called 
for construction of a new gymnasium, consolidation of administrative and 
many faculty offices in Lehmann Hall, and continuing work on parking 
and athletic areas. The goal for this phase was set at $10.2 million. 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 233 

In total, the decade-long effort aimed to raise more than $18 
million. Building the endowment, which was $4.3 million in 1981, to $10 
million by the end of the decade was one priority of the campaign. In the 
first step to fulfilling the plan, ground was broken for the new Physical 
Education Center, which would accommodate 2,000 spectators and 
include classrooms, faculty offices, basketball and racquetball courts, and 
other facilities. The Center, which cost approximately $3.2 million, 
opened in 1983. The nearby Mill Theatre was also renovated. 

By May 1979 parents and friends of the College had met the 
second $70,000 Joyce Foundation challenge grant, and shortly after- 
ward the College was offered a third Joyce Foundation challenge grant. 
This grant was targeted at increasing support from United Church of 
Christ congregations and nonchurch alumni. The College more than 
met the challenge. 

Elmhurst received record levels of contributions from alumni, corpo- 
rations, foundations and friends during the eighties. In preparation for 
"PROJECTS FOR THE '80s," Elmhurst reorganized die Board of 
Trustees' Development and Public Relations Council under Milton E Darr, 
Jr., and established a new Planned Giving Committee to encourage gifts 
through wills, annuities and trusts. The planned giving efforts paid off 
when the College received the $2.7 milHon Schaible Trust, the largest gift 
in its history, from Dr. Arthur Schaible, a member of the Class of 1929. 

Gifts from the Willett and Coleman Foundations allowed Elmhurst 
to establish its first endowed academic chairs in the Center for Business 
and Economics. In 1982-83 George Thoma, Jr., was named to the first 
three-year term as the Howard L. Willett, Jr., Distinguished Chair for 
Research in Business and Economics, and Ann B. Matasar was the first 
professor selected for The Coleman Foundation Distinguished Chair in 
Business. Also endowed were the Niebuhr Distinguished Chair of 
Christian Theology and Ethics and the Baltzer Distinguished Chair of 
Theology and Religion. Theology professors Ronald Goetz and Armin 
Limper were the first recipients of these chairs. 

In the middle of the decade, the second phase of the "PROJECTS 
FOR THE '80s" got under way. The goal of this phase was to raise 
approximately $8.5 million, including $3.8 milhon for the Computer 
Science and Technology Center, $2.2 million to renovate Lehmann Hall 

234 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

and the Gymnasium built in 1928, and money for endowment and 
endowed faculty chairs and scholarships. 

In 1985-86 the College broke the $1 million level for gifts from 
private sources. In the same year the State of Illinois awarded Elmhurst 
more than $1 million to build the Computer Science and Technology 
Center as part of the Build Illinois program, which aimed at improving 
the economic health of the state. 

The $4.5 million Center was located at the corner of Alexander 
Boulevard and Prospect Avenue. The Center houses the Departments of 
Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems, Foreign 
Languages and Literature, Geography and Environmental Planning; 
computer-enhanced classrooms, faculty offices, a music recording studio, 
a foreign language laboratory, art rooms and a media center; and greatly 
expanded computer laboratories and other facilities. The Computer 
Science and Technology Center opened in summer 1988. 

In 1985 the 1928 Gymnasium was closed due to the deterioration of 
the basketball floor. Because of the facilities available at the Physical 
Education Center, the Board decided to renovate the original Gymnasium 
and convert it into administrative offices. When the building reopened in 
1989, it was renamed Goebel Hall for the Peter Goebel family. 

The second phase of "PROJECTS FOR THE '80s" ended on June 
30, 1989, after having surpassed its goal and raising more than $10 
million. In addition to funds for the Computer Science and Technology 
Center and for renovating Lehmann and Goebel halls, money was raised 
for two endowed chairs and seven endowed scholarships. 

In Phase II the College received a number of grants, including ones 
fi-om the Teagle Foundation, the National Science Foundation, The 
Nalco Foundation, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick 
Charitable Trust, Lucille Franzen, the Amoco Foundation, the Wurlitzer 
Foundation, the McGraw Foundation and Illinois Bell. Phase II of the 
campaign, which had as its theme "Reaching to Enhance Quality," was 
led by trustee Lloyd Palmer. 

The Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education 
offered a challenge grant to provide funds to clarify the College's 
mission, goals and objectives and to develop enrollment. A major grant 
was received from the Jepson Corporation and the Jepson Foundation of 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 235 

Elmhurst to create the Genevieve Staudt Endowed Chair and the 
Theophil W. Mueller Endowed Chair, which recognized teaching and 
service to the College. The College also received a computer system and 
other equipment from the Harris Corporation. 

The College continued to receive major grants after the end of the 
"PROJECTS FOR THE '80s" campaign. Included was a four-year grant 
to total $1.18 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for manage- 
ment of the United Church of Christ South Side Health Project. 

John Bohnert, a geography professor at Elmhurst since 1967, was 
appointed associate dean for academic administration in the fall of 1980. 
Bohnert was a graduate of Concordia Teachers College with a master's 
from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois 
University. Afrer Peter Schmiechen resigned late in 1984 to become pres- 
ident of Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, Bohnert was 
appointed dean of the College. 

Elmhurst's students and faculty won many awards during the 
eighties. In 1981 Elmhurst student Oksana Didyk was awarded a presti- 
gious Fulbright Grant to study in Germany. In 1984 Helen Pigage of the 
Biology Department and Neal Blum of the History Department were the 
first faculty members honored with the President's Award for Excellence 
in Teaching, In 1988 English professor Robert Swords was the College's 
first recipient of The Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching 
Excellence and Campus Leadership. 

By the middle of the eighties Elmhurst was participating in the 
nationwide debate over whether colleges should invest in funds that 
supported South Africa. A number of Elmhurst faculty, students and 
United Church of Christ ministers called for divestiture. Although the 
Elmhurst Board of Trustees affirmed the College's opposition to 
apartheid, it refused to divest itself of funds that were invested in South 
Africa. Instead the College undertook several programs to raise awareness 
of the needs of Black South Africans and raised funds to help them gain 
higher education. 

Much of the 1987-88 academic year was spent in a self-study to 
prepare for the North Central accreditation visit that would occur the 
next year. The self-study showed growing concern for student outcomes 
as related to general education requirements. The North Central evalua- 

236 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SS 

tion team came to campus early in 1989, and in the fall President Frick 
was notified that Elmhurst had been accredited again. The team noted a 
lack of a "shared sense of mission" and the need to provide a diverse, 
coherent and integrated liberal arts program. 

The Black Student Union, which was involved in efforts to force 
divestiture, was also concerned with the declining enrollment of African- 
American students at Elmhurst. Enrollments were down all around the 
coimtry, and by 1985 African-Americans made up less than two percent 
of Elmhurst students. 

Late in the decade Elmhurst instituted a new plan to recruit minori- 
ties. The plan was so successful that minorities made up approximately 10 
percent of the freshman class in 1988. That year the number of freshman 
increased about 20 percent. The increase in freshmen was offset by 
decreases in the numbers of other students, but the College's 1988 
enrollment was down only slightly from the year before. Late in the 
decade Elmhurst started a new financial aid program with scholarships 
for students of high academic status. 

Also late in the decade the College created a new strategic planning 
body and began a program to improve students' writing ability. The 
College Council of faculty, administrators and students set as the three 
strategic goals the maintenance of stable enrollment, enrollment of more 
students with greater academic preparedness, and competitive salaries. 
The Writing Across the Curriculum program, led by the English 
Department, encouraged written work in all disciplines. Faculty attended 
workshops and monthly discussion groups before they introduced the 
program to students throughout the College. 

Students in the Eighties 

The decade opened with Elmhurst enjoying unprecedented athletic 
success. In 1980 the College joined the NCAA (National Collegiate 
Athletic Association). That year's baseball team won its conference for 
the fourth time in six years and went to the NCAA Division III Midwest 
Regional, Winning seemed so routine that Elmhurst was not surprised 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 237 

fiTw Quarterback Craig Groot, 

when the 1981 baseball team won the championship for the third year in 
a row and returned to the Midwest Regional. 

The 1980 football team continued its winning ways, finishing with a 
7-2 record and tying with Wesleyan for the CCIW championship. For 
the third year in a row, the Bluejays were nationally ranked, reaching 
ninth in the NCAA Division III ratings. Quarterback Craig Groot threw 
for a school-record five touchdowns in Elmhurst's 57-9 victory over 
Wheaton. George Donald, who was hampered by injuries, still set an 
Elmhurst career rushing record with nearly 3,496 yards and a number of 
other season and career records. Over the past four years, the Bluejays 
had won 27 games while losing only 9. 

The College established the Elmhurst Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980. 
Among the original 16 members was "Pete" Langhorst. In the same year 
the Bluejay Backers was organized to promote athletics and raise funds. 

238 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years 35 

The 1982 and 1983 football teams were also successful, and the 
1983 team was an offensive powerhouse, running up more than 500 yards 
in total offense for six weeks in a row. At one point in the season, the 
Bluejays were ranked 10th in the nation in Division III and led the nation 
in total offense. The season included a heartbreaking loss to Augustana, 
which scored with 25 seconds left to overcome Elmhurst's 16-15 lead. 
Augustana went on to win the NCAA Division III championship. 

Tom Beck resigned in 1983 to become a coach with the Chicago 
Blitz in the United States Football League. In his eight years with 
Elmhurst, Beck had compiled a record of 50-22 (48-15 in his last seven 
years). Beck's teams accounted for nearly a fourth of all Elmhurst's foot- 
ball victories up to the time of his departure. 

Beck was succeeded by Bruce Hoffman, who led the Bluejays to a tie 
for third in the CCIW in 1984 and a tie for second the next year. One of 
Elmhurst's losses in 1985 was to Augustana, which won the third of four 
straight NCAA Division III titles. Bluejay running back Bob Sanfilippo 
rushed for 1,129 yards and seven touchdowns. 

The 1982 Bluejays captured their fourth CCIW baseball crown in a 
row and went to the Mideast Regional. Ron Wellman resigned as base- 
ball coach and athletic director after the 1981 season to move to 
Northwestern University, where he continued his successful coaching 
career. Allen Ackerman, Elmhurst's track and field coach, was appointed 
athletic director, a post he held until 1991, and Charlie Goehl was the 
new baseball coach. 

In the middle of the decade Elmhurst coach Al Hanke joined an 
elite group of coaches who had notched 200 wrestling victories. Hanke 
retired in 1990 after 17 years at Elmhurst and 40 in coaching. 

Elmhurst Women Bring First National Championships 

Women's athletics provided thrills for Bluejay fans. The 1980-81 
basketball team was the best in Elmhurst's history and barely missed a bid 
to the state playoffs. The next year the team received an at-large bid to 
the state tournament and finished third. In just two years the team had 

X Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 239 

198S national chajtipionship volleyball team. 

gone from 2-18 to 20-8. The 1981 softball team finished fourth in the 
state tournament. 

Bill Walton coached both women's basketball and volleyball, but his 
volleyball teams put the Elmhurst women's athletic program on the map. 
The 1980 team was second in the district and went to the state tourna- 
ment. The next year the team was the state champion and third in the 
midwest regional. The Bluejays were then invited to the Association of 
Intercollegiate Athletics for Women's (tALAW) national tournament in 
California, where they finished fourth in the nation. In 1982 Elmhurst's 
women's teams joined the Chicago Metro Conference and the NCAA at 
the Division III level. 

The 1983 women's volleyball players compiled an outstanding 
record in winning their second Chicago Metro Conference championship 
in a row. They breezed through the regionals and went to the NCAA 
Division III Championship, where they dominated their opponents. The 
Elmhurst team, which was ranked second in the nation, defeated number 

240 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

one-ranked University of California-San Diego and won Elmhurst's 
first national championship. Senior hitter Cathy Dulkowski was named 

The 1984 and 1985 volleyball teams won their third and fourth 
consecutive conference titles. The 1985 team won the regionals before 
going to the NCAA championship. In the championship game, which 
was held at Elmhurst, the Bluejays beat the top-ranked University of 
LaVerne team and won their second national championship in three 
years. After the season. Coach Bill Walton resigned and was replaced by 
assistant coach Jaye Flood. 

Flood's first team won the CCIW championship with an 11-0 
record and the first CCIW post-season tournament before going to the 
Midwest Regionals, where they were defeated in the finals. They ended 
the season one win away from the national finals. 

In 1987 the Bluejays spent much of the season ranked second in 
the nation in Division III and again won the CCIW After beating the 
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for the regional title, they went 
to the national finals, which were again held at Elmhurst. They were 
defeated by the 1986 champion University of California-San Diego 
team in the finals and ended the season second in the nation. Therese 
Dorigan, a setter, was named to the Division III Ail-American Team 
for a third year as well as selected for the Academic Ail-American 
Team. In 1988 the volleyball team won its seventh consecutive CCIW 
conference title. 

The 1985-86 women's basketball team, coached by Debra Novgrod, 
won the conference championship and hosted the NCAA Division III 
regional tournament, where it finished third. The 1986 women's softball 
team contributed to the successes of the women's athletic program by 
winning the Chicago Metro Conference title and tournament. 

The 1986 men's baseball team also did well, winning second place in 
the CCIW Northern Division. The 1988 baseball team went to the 
NCAA Division III Mideast Regional. 

The only highlights of the 1986 losing football season were 
Elmhurst's 0-0 tie of Augustana, the three-time Division III champion, 
and the addition of a new Oliver M. Langhorst Press Box above the 
south bleachers that was constructed with funds from the Bluejay 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 241 

Backers. The tie ended Augustana's 37-game winning strealc. In 1987 the 
Bluejays broke the .500 level, but for the next four years football teams 
had losing records. Charlie Goehl replaced Bruce Hoffman as football 
coach in 1989. 

Two track and field stars brought attention to Elmhurst when John 
Dabrowski won the men's high jump at the NCAA Division III National 
Indoor Championship in 1988 and Laura Marchant was second in the 
women's high jump. Dabrowski and Joe Klim competed at the NCAA 
Division III Outdoor Championship. Both Dabrowski and Marchant 
were named to NCAA Division III Ail-American Teams in 1988 and 
1989. The same year Alex Wojtiuk became the first Elmhurst cross 
country runner to qualify for a national cross country meet. 

Regularly throughout the decade, campus leaders worried about 
student apathy and sought ways to increase student participation in 
campus activities. Calls for increased student involvement in campus life 
increased late in the decade when The Elms, the student yearbook that 
had been in existence since 1916, did not appear. 

While some students worried about apathy, others worried about 
security on campus, parking and tuition increases. The military buildup, 
the arms race and the El Salvador situation were also causes of concern. 
In the middle of the decade the Leader called for the investigation of 
asbestos, a known carcinogen, in campus buildings and heating tunnels. 
The College would spend much money and time over the next decade 
removing asbestos from the library and elsewhere on campus. Before 
the end of the eighties, new student concerns surfaced about AIDS and 
date rape. 

As the federal government poured money into the military, the 
Reagan administration cut federal student aid, which had a heavy impact 
on Elmhurst students. Also the amount of scholarship assistance fi-om the 
Illinois State Scholarship Commission shrank. 

While athletics w^ere popular, so too were Elmhurst's musical orga- 
nizations. Most well known w^ere the Elmhurst College Choir, which 
accompanied admissions and alumni officials on trips around the Alidwest 
and appeared on television; the Jazz Band, which toured Romania, 
Greece, England, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany; and the 
new Vocal Jazz Ensemble, w hich would tour widely. 

242 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years S5 

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, actress Cicely Tyson, political 
leaders Adlai Stevenson III and Andrew Young, musicians Woody 
Herman and the Thundering Herd and Paul Simon, and poet Nikki 
Giovanni came to campus early in the eighties, but by the end of the 
decade fewer big-name entertainers and speakers appeared on campus. 
Chief entertainment came from the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, 
while the most notable speakers were presented as part of College 
lecture programs. 

In 1979 WRSE had applied to the FCC to increase its wattage 
from 10 to 100 watts, but it took until 1985 for the station to gain 
approval for the change. With the increase in wattage, the station 
could reach a wide area in DuPage County. Technical problems 
plagued the station, and it wasn't until 1987 that the station was 
finally up to full power. The next year the station began to broadcast 
in stereo. 

Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, 1988. 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 243 

^ President Frick speaking at 
dedication of Goebel Hall, 

Into the Nineties 

As the new decade opened, the College continued to seek ways to 
serve nontraditional students. Over the previous 10 years, in the face of 
the shrinking number of students and declining government financial aid, 
Elmhurst's enrollment had fallen 10 percent, a considerably smaller 
decline than at many similar colleges and universities. In the same period, 
both the number of students receiving federal financial aid and the 
amount of money they received decreased. While in 1980 approximately 
680 Elmhurst students received $780,000 in federal aid, in 1990, 420 
students received $636,000. 

244 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Evening student. 

In spite of inflation and the cuts in aid, the College was able to 
balance its budget each year while maintaining a healthy enrollment, which 
was up slightiy in 1993-94 to a daytime total of 1,718. The budgets were 
balanced in part because of increasingly stringent budget monitoring. 

Major renovations of campus buildings continued, including renova- 
tions at the Schaible Science Center; renovation and asbestos removal at 
the Buehler Library, which was completed in the fall of 1993; and a reno- 
vation of Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel completed in 1994. 

To pay for these renovations and other needs, the College launched 
"THE EXCELLENCE CAMPAIGN" in November 1990. The goal of 
the campaign was $10 million for capital projects, endowment and opera- 
tions. One of the first major donors was Roland Quest of St. Louis, a 
member of the Class of 1936, who gave stock worth $360,000 as a chal- 
lenge for new and increased alumni gifts. A major gift of more than 
$100,000 in an annuity trust came from Lloyd and Thelma Palmer of 
Oak Brook. Palmer was a long-time trustee and chairperson of the Board. 
Another early gift was from Joy Rasin, a trustee from Hinsdale, for the 
Holocaust Education Project. 

In addition to individual gifts, Elmhurst received several large 
corporate and foundation grants, including a $725,000 grant from the 
National Science Foundation to train faculty from 12 Chicago-area high 
schools in technology-based math instruction. "THE EXCELLENCE 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 245 

CAMPAIGN" ended in June 1994 when it topped $11 million in gifts 
and pledges. 

Early in the nineties an Elmhurst professor and students participated 
in history-making experiments when they were among students around 
the nation to test space seeds. The seeds were sent into orbit in canisters 
in the middle of the previous decade by astronauts aboard a Challenger 
space shuttle. The seeds were supposed to be picked up a few months 
later by another Challenger mission, but this mission exploded shortly 
after takeoff. The seeds remained in orbit for six years before they were 
picked up by astronauts on the Columbia space shuttle. 

Elmhurst biology professor Frank Mittermeyer and his students 
reported that the first crop of space tomatoes was similar in size, quality 
and percent of germination to a control group planted by Mittermeyer 
and his students. By the second year, though, there was a decline in the 
size of plants and in the number of ftuits grown from seeds saved from 
the previous season's crop of space tomatoes. Further study failed to find 

Homecoming 1993 pai-ade. 

246 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Elmhurst College sttidents Debora 
Utley and Ethan Lauer in the Mill 
Theatre production o/Hedda Gabler, 
December 1991. 

any statistically significant differences between space tomatoes and those 
from the control group. 

Occupying the attention of the Elmhurst faculty during much of 
the early nineties was consideration of a new curriculum, the first major 
change since 1968. The curriculum review was prompted by the 1989 
North Central accreditation review, which reported that Elmhurst had 
a "bread and butter" curriculum that hadn't been changed in more than 
20 years. 

After three years the Academic Goals Committee presented the new 
curriculum to the faculty in fall 1993. The new plan replaced general 
education requirements based on specific disciplines such as English and 
science with 1 1 categories of study. Most of the new categories included 
several disciplines, such as writing and reading; Western culture; human 
behavior; the natural world; people, power and pohtics; Judeo-Christian 
heritage and religious faith; and issues in science and technology. The 

a Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 247 

categories were based on 10 academic goals, which included taking 
delight in language through reading, writing, speaking and listening; 
understanding membership in the diverse but interdependent multicul- 
tural global society; and being sensitive to the disparity of human circum- 
stances and having respect for all individuals. The curriculum was 
adopted to go into effect for new students in fall 1995. 

At the same time the faculty was putting the final touches on the 
new curriculum, it was also debating changes in the calendar. As had 
often happened over the previous decade, discussion focused on whether 
to keep, change or abolish the Interim. After heated debate in fall 1994, 
the faculty recommended that the Interim be made optional, that courses 
taken during the Interim meet general education requirements and that 
there be no separate fee for it. 

Also occupying the attention of faculty, administration and students 
was an increase in racial tension, sparked initially by a fraternity program 
that was viewed as racist. The incident led to a number of campus activi- 

Computer Science and Techfiology Center, built in 1988. 

248 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Monica Farina in 
the chemistj-y lab. 

ties aimed at improving race relations, including two Healing Forums. 
Tensions flared again when an African-American student's car was vandal- 
ized on campus in 1991. Another forum was held to Respond to Hate, a 
task force on human relations was formed, and faculty and Black Student 
Union members met at the President's Home to discuss ways to improve 
relations on campus. 

The campus celebrated the 25th anniversary of the College's 
arboretum in 1991. The campus includes some 500 species of trees and 
shrubs, a major increase from the 65 or so varieties on campus when the 
arboretum was designated. Much of the growth and beauty of the 
arboretum has been due to the efforts of biology faculty; Ragnar Moen, 
the College's long-time head groundskeeper, and his crew; and Herbert 
Licht, who had helped establish it. 

In November 1991 Ivan Frick celebrated 20 years as president. 
February 1992 saw the 25th anniversary of the Elmhurst College Jazz 
Festival, which is the second oldest collegiate jazz festival in the 
nation. In 1993 Kathleen Simons was appointed dean of student 
affairs, and in the fall of 1994 the Mill Theatre marked its 25th 
anniversary with a performance of Guys and Dolls, which had been the 
first musical it had presented. 

K Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 249 

Victor E. 

Greek Games, 
April 1995. 

exercises, 1991. 

Spring Fling, 1995. 

250 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Students in classivojn, 

Elmhurst's sports teams brought thrills to Blue] ays fans in the 
nineties. In 1991 quarterback Jack Lamb broke the Elmhurst College 
career record for passing yardage and number of completions. The 
1991-92 basketball team received a bid to the NCAA Division III cham- 
pionship tournament for the first time in history and advanced to the 
second round before being defeated. The 1992 women's softball team, led 
by pitcher Laurie Hesson, won the CCIW championship, and the 1992 
women's volleyball team once again won the CCIW tournament champi- 
onship and earned a trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs. In 1991 
Christopher Ragsdale replaced Al Ackerman as athletic director. 

In Februar)^ 1992 the College reinstituted the midyear graduation. 
This was the first midyear graduation since the World War II years. 

A President for the 21st Century 

In 1993, with the College on a firm financial footing, Ivan Frick 
announced that he would retire from the presidency in July 1994. A 
search committee was organized to seek a successor. 

Frick's presidency was the second longest in Elmhurst's history, second 
only to the 32 years of Daniel Irion. Frick and his wife, Ruth Hudson Frick, 
who helped reshape the role of the College president's spouse fi^om a cere- 

a Two Decades of Consolidation and Stability 251 

President Bryant L. Ciii'eton's inauguration, 1994. 

monial figure to an active representative of the College, had been closely 
involved in the campus and community since their arrival in 1971. Among 
Ruth Frick's many accomplishments was her leadership role in the founding 
of the Elmhurst: College and Community organization. In honor of the 
Fricks, the College Union was renamed The Frick Center in 1994. 

Much of the final year of Frick's presidency was spent in a farewell 
tour of alumni. Having completed his 23rd fiscal year with a balanced 
budget, with the endowment standing at $35 million and the new 
curriculum adopted, Ivan Frick retired and was named president emeritus. 

On July 1, 1994, Bryant L. Cureton succeeded Ivan Frick as the 
twelfth College president. Cureton, who holds an undergraduate degree 
in music from Maryville College, a master's degree in international rela- 
tions from American University and a Ph.D. in political science from the 
University of Pennsylvania, had been a professor and administrator at 
Hartwick College in New York since 1971. In addition to teaching polit- 
ical science, he had serv'ed as associate dean for programs, vice president 
and dean of the college, and provost of the Oneonta college. He was 
inaugurated in November 1 994. 

252 An Ever- Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Ivan E. Frick 
The Eleventh President 

Ivan E. Frick served as president 
from 1971 to 1994, the second longest 
tenure in College history. He was born 
in New Providence, Pennsylvania in 
1928. Frick earned a degree in biology 
and chemistry from Findlay College in 
Ohio, theological degrees from 
Lancaster Theological Seminary and 
the Graduate School of Theology at 
Oberlin College, and a Ph.D. from 
Columbia University. He served as 
professor of philosophy and assistant to 
the president, and then president of Findlay College, until 1964 when he 
came to Elmhurst. 

During Frick's presidency, the College had 23 consecutive balanced 
budgets, built the endowment from $750,000 to $35 miUion, constructed 
two new buildings while renovating several others, and developed new 
programs for nontraditional students. Frick led the College during a time 
of unparalleled fund-raising success. 

Frick was also active in many national, state and local organizations. 
He served as chairman of the Nonpublic Advisory Committee to the 
Illinois Board of Higher Education and chairman of the Federation of 
Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. 

Frick married Ruth Hudson, who was very active in College and 
community affairs. She served as the College's representative to many 
community and campus groups, participated in public relations and fund- 
raising activities, and hosted countless receptions, open houses and 
luncheons for Elmhurst faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends of the 
College. She was instrumental in the founding of Elmhurst: College and 
Community, an organization that links the College and community for the 
betterment of both. In recognition of her many contributions, Ruth Frick 
was awarded the Elmhurst College Founders Medal in 1992. 

The Fricks have three children, two of whom graduated from 
Elmhurst College. They now live in Oak Brook, Illinois. 


Bryant L. Cureton 
The Twelfth President 

Bryant L. Cureton became the 
twelfth president on July 1, 1994. He 
was born in 1938 in Hammonton, New 
Jersey, and holds a degree in music from 
Maryville College, a master's in interna- 
tional relations from American 
University, and a Ph.D. in poHtical 
science from the University of 
Pennsylvania. He was also a visiting 
scholar at Harvard Divinity School. 
Before coming to Elmhurst, Cureton 
was a professor of poHtical science at 
Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. There he also served as vice 
president and dean of the college, associate dean for programs and provost 
from 1 986 until he assumed the presidency at Elmhurst. 

At his inauguration in November 1994, President Cureton chose as 
his theme "Designing the Doors of Learning." Characterizing education as 
"the door through which we move into new understanding and new oppor- 
tunities [and] a way through the wall of ignorance and incompetence," he 
challenged Elmhurst College to assume leadership in the search for "a new 
integration of liberal learning and professional preparation." He continued: 

Let us imagine a college where each academic program, indeed 
each course, challenges students to address the larger questions of 
meaning and purpose that have always been the marks of liberal 
learning, while also guiding students toward issues of application 
in their personal and professional lives, a college that takes a 
liberal approach to professional preparation and a professionally 
relevant approach to liberal studies. 

Cureton's wife, Jeanette Smith, has been a college administrator 
and researcher at Curry College and Harvard Graduate School of 
Education. The Curetons have tw^o daughters. 


As a newcomer to Elmhurst College, I have read the preceding 
chapters with special interest. They tell a truly remarkable story. At one 
level, it is a fascinating montage of strong and interesting people, 
complex interactions, and the ups and downs of campus life. But under- 
neath are some basic themes that say profound things about the 
College. As I reflect on Elmhurst's history, I am struck by several 
outstanding themes: 

• The tejiacity of its leaders and siippoiters. There are long periods where the 
story reads like a litany of reasons why a college would be expected to 
disappear. On the very first day, the baggage car carrying all the luggage 
and equipment needed to start the school failed to arrive. At countless 
points through the following decades, expected financial support failed to 
materialize and precipitous enrollment declines shattered plans. Then 
there is the image of President Niebuhr devoting ever\^ bit of his energy 
to his dream of a Greater Elmhurst — and being told that there was 
exactly 2 1 cents left in the till. With astounding fortitude, courageous 
people again and again picked up the pieces and went on anyway. 

• The periodic renewal of the institution from withiji. All surviving colleges 
change over time. But Elmhurst has regenerated itself in some striking 
ways — creating an "Americanized" college out of an insulated, German- 
speaking school; changing a high school based on the gymnasium model 
into a four-year baccalaureate institution; becoming coed; and opening 
itself to commuters and adult students long before that was a common 
pattern. Some of these transformations were hard won, and the resis- 
tance to change has been powerful. But the long debates and the 
frequent rejection of proposed reforms make the eventual reformations 
even more striking. And as the title of this volume suggests, there has 


256 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

been an overall pattern to these transformations, as new constituencies 
have steadily been embraced by the "ever-widening circle." 

• The commitment to a sense of mission. Such perseverance and regeneration 
are not achieved casually The people who, over the years, have built 
Elmhurst College have been driven by a sharp sense of purpose. The 
particular ways this purpose has been expressed have been influenced 
by the developing history of American higher education as well as by 
changing definitions of church relatedness within mainstream 
Protestantism. But an underlying purposefulness is woven into each 
chapter of Elmhurst's history. 

• The important role of students in the College's develop?nent. It was students 
who developed the first library for the College, built the first athletic facil- 
ities, and organized the first musical group. Students and recent alumni 
campaigned vigorously for the transformation of Elmhurst into a four- 
year college in the student fiterary magazine Keijx. This long tradition, 
which still lives at Elmhurst, speaks not just to the energy and initiative of 
Elmhurst smdents through the years but also to the willingness to take 
students seriously as people and as parmers in the learning enterprise. 

• The linkages between practical pujposes and liberal learning. From the 
beginning, Elmhurst College defined its mission in terms of profes- 
sional preparation — at first for pastors and teachers to serve the 
church's pulpits and schools. But this was always in the context of an 
education firmly grounded in the classical tradition. Thus Elmhurst was 
never either an ivory tower where the world of work was disdained or a 
vocational school cut off fi-om the great heritage of liberal arts educa- 
tion. It has always been a place where preparation for meaningful work 
and liberal learning have enriched each other. 

• The importance of the religious dimensio?i. As the German Evangelical 
Synod merged into the Evangelical and Reformed Church and then 
into the United Church of Christ, so the relationship between the 
sponsoring church and the College moved from a focus on serving "our 
own" — that is, as a place solely for children of denominational fami- 
lies — to an emphasis on the College as a "gift" from the church to the 
larger society. But through this process of change have run significant 

K Afterword 257 

threads of continuity — a commitment to moral values, an educational 
environment of intellectual integrity and open inquiry, support for 
personal spiritual growth, and an emphasis on service to the world. 

For me, these strands woven into the fabric of the Elmhurst years 
define a college of character and significance. The assembling of so much 
of the history of the College into this volume will, I am confident, 
contribute to our collective sense of who we are. And yet, in the last 
analysis, we recognize that histories are made to be rewritten. At some 
point in the future, someone will craft a new version in which those of us 
who now love and support Elmhurst College will in some sense be added 
to the story. The question for us — as members of the College community, 
alumni and friends of the College — is how we will contribute positively to 
the history yet to be written. 

Ultimately, the quality and importance of our College will depend 
upon the sense of mission shared by all those responsible for its future — 
the conviction that Elmhurst has something special to contribute to a 
world in need. President Niebuhr's words from seventy years ago will 
continue to challenge us in the decades ahead: "the most urgent need of 
the present generation ... is light and warmth, the light of knowledge 
and the warmth of high idealism." 

Bryant L. Cureton 

President and Professor of Political Science 


Academic Council, 207 
Academic Goals Committee, 246 
Academy, 98, 99, 112, 125. See also Elmhurst 
Academy and Junior Colleger; Junior 
accreditation, 45-47, 128, 165. See also NCATE; 
North Central Association 

of Elmhurst College, 104, 108, 110 

endowment and, 1 14, 128 (see also 

of Junior College, 99, 100, 139, 144 

obtaining, 141-145 

precarious period following, 146-147 

preparation for, 126, 139-140 
Ackerman, Allen, 238, 250 
Adelphae service organization, 2 1 5 
administration, 5, 46, 167 

growth of, 94, 147 

mandatory retirement rule and, 186 
administrative services, 94 
admission requirements 

ability testing, 140 

Academy, 80, 82 

adoption of, 166 

four-year college, 105, 140, 144 

open, 140, 145, 166 

Proseminary, 19-20, 21, 47 

selective, 184-185 
African Americans, 193. See also Black Studies 
Program; Negroes 

apartheid, 235 

demands of, 210 

enrollment by, 172,209,236 

quitting of football team, 2 1 3 

race relations and, 248 

student-facult}- exchange program and, 193 

Italicized page numbers indicate illustrations. 

Agricola, Ewald, 18, 34, 47, 48, 53, 56 
AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 

for Women), 239 
Albert, C.J., 30, 35 
Albert Lea College, 212 
Aleck, Adolf, 6S 
Ali, Muhammad, 209 
Allen, Frank, 228 
"Alma Mater," 94 
Alpha Lambda Kappa, 73 

coeducation concerns, 114, 133, 134 

curriculum and, 45, 46, 47 

discontent of, 47, 59, 62, 137, 147 

fund-raising by, 44, 108 

Homecoming and, 152 

publicit}' campaign for, 149 

relations with, 137-138, 180 
Alumni Association, 137. See also Elmhurst 

Alumni Association 
Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), 136 
American College Jazz Festival, 231 
American Himgarian Studies Foundation, 171 
American Neutralit)^ League, 74 
Amoco Foundation, 234 
Annex, 162 

.\nnual, publication of, 70 
Annual Catalog {\925 -26), 102, 107 
arboretum, 203, 248 
Arends, C.C, 136, 152, 165, 186, 190, 196, 

.Aron, A.W., 83 

Asian-American students, 155-156 
Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI), 232 
Association of American Colleges, 61 
athletic advisorv board, 73 


260 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

athletics, 73-74, 108, 155. See tilso individual 

big-time, 134, 136-137 

enrollment and, 62, 92 

facilities for, 50, 94, 111 

Greek Games, 249 

intercollegiate, 62, 173 

intramurals, 94, 153 {see also intramural 

programs, 152, 158 

racial issues in, 211 

role of, 152,211 

scandal in, 141-142 

success of, 158, 164, 236 

support for, 5 1 

team name, 136, 153 

ups and downs in, 195-198 

victor)' celebrations, 189 

women in, 153 {see also under women) 
Aufsichtsbehoerde, 5 

Augustana College, 197, 212, 213, 229, 238, 
240, 241 

Bachelor's Holiday, 188 
Baeckersenio?; 15 
Baltzer, Frederick 

books and, 26 

on English language, 21-22 

on lockup, 18 

on seminary life, 16 

as singer, 18 

on teaching, 23 

on walking, 1 7 
band, 51-52, 71, 108, 150. See also 

Barclay, William, 228 
Barracks, 162, 203 
Barry, Carol J., x 
Barrels, Ken, ix 

coach of, 229 

field, 50-51, 164 

men's, 108, 240 

at Proseminar)', 18, 48, 73 

success/failure of, 173, 198, 214-215, 230, 

teams, 49, 151 
Baskervilie, Latham, 228 

basketball, 61,73, 196, 198 

competitive, 108, 195 

success/failure of, 62, 136, 158, 164, 173, 

team (1909-1910), 50 

women's, 230, 238-239, 240 
Bates, Alben, Sr., 202 
Bauer, Carl, 35 
Beck, Tom, 229, 238 
Bergheger, Brian, x 
Berlin Society for the German Evangehcal 

Mission, 22 
bicycling, 53 
Bidle, Kenneth, 228 
Binner,Wilhelm, 2-3,4 
Black Arts Festival, 209 
Black Awareness Week, 228 
Blacks. See African Americans; Black Student 

Union; Black Studies Program; Negroes 
Black Student Union, 236, 248 
Black Studies Program, 210-211,216 
Bluejay Backers, 237, 240-241 
Blue) ays. See under individual spoits 
Blum, Neal, 235 

Board of Directors, 148, 166, 167, 168, 169, 183. 
See also Board of Trustees; Supervising 
Board of Governors of State Colleges and 

Universities of the State of Illinois, 223 
Board of Trustees 

apartheid and, 235 

autonomy of, 116-117, 118, 138-139 

faculty sabbaticals and, 104 

financial crises and, 125 

reorganization of, 148, 233 

reports to, 103, 105, 230 

student councils and, 207 
Bohnert, John, 235 
bonds, 125, 168. See also Fund-raising 
Boria, Marilyn, x 
Breitenbach, (Mrs.) H.L., 72, 86 
"Bricklayers," 51 
Brodt, Herman, 30 
Brooks, Gwendolyn, 206 
Brotherhood, 91 

Brotherhood of the Praetors, 2 1 5 
Bruhn, F, 55 
Bryan, Jennie, 4, 8 

K index 


Brj'an, Thomas, 4, 8, 128 

book gift by, 26 

bust of, 26 

Episcopal chapel of, 8, 1 7 

tree planting and, 9 
Buck, Eunice, 129 

Buehler, Albert, Sr. (Mr. and Mrs.), 203 
Buehler Library, 26, 127, 217, 223, 244 
Bulk Foundation, 204, 223 
Build Illinois program, 234 
building program, 100, 161, 232-233, 244 

deficit after, 220 

dining hall and, 39 

under Dinkmeyer, 168-170, 176 

endowment for, 1 10 

funding for, 110-111, 125, 162-163 

under Kleckner, 202-204, 216 

Main Building and, 27 

under Meusch, 28 

at Proseminan,', 23, 61-62 (see also 

under Stanger, 178, 182, 187 
Burdick, Walter E., Jr., x 
Byrd's Nest, 8, 87 

calendar, 205, 217, 219, 247 
campus. See also building program 

barn on, 49 

buildings on, 50-51 

in 1880s, 36 

in 1890s, 5P 

life on {see student life) 

Olson's drawing of, 109 

updated, 182 
campus activities. See also extracurricular activi- 
ties; student life 

Bachelor's Holiday, 188 

dances, 133, 145, 152, 153, 155, 188 

Festival of Fools, 2 3 1 

free time, 70-71 (see also free day) 

freshmen and {see Freshman Week; hazing; 

involvement in, 158, 228, 241 

lecture series, 70, 80, 115, 173, 190 {see also 
lecture series) 

mudfight, 21 S 

prom, 152, 155, 188, 191 

regulation of, 195 

Sadie Hawkins dances, 173 

Seminarfest, 33, 52, 139 

Spring Fling, 249 
Campus Chest, 191 
Campus Choir, 150 
Campus Christian Fellowship's Winter 

Retreat, 190 
Campus Committee on Civil Rights, 193 
campus groups. See also imder various groups 

abolition of, 33 

Alpha Lambda Kappa, 73 

athletics {see athletics) 

Brotherhood, 91 

Brotherhood of the Praetors, 215 

Chapel Choir, 190 

College Choir, 241 

College Glee Club, 33, 110 

debating club, 21,32, 152, 190 

£/wy staff', 108 

Fellowship of the Squires, 190, 215 

fraternities, 83-84 

French Club, 150, 152 

German Society, 82 

Glee Club, 108 

Goethe Verein, 152 

governing of, 207 

growth in, 73 

history club, 152 

Inter- Era temit)' Council, 231 

International Relations Club, 108 

Jazz Band, 230, 241 

letterman's club, 152 

Masque and Buskin Club, 108, 150 

Men's Glee Club, 150 

Meusch Societ}- {see Meusch Verein Societ\') 

orchestra/band {see band; orchestra) 

Orpheus Men's Chorus, 3 3 

Philo-Biblicum, 73 

PolyhvTnnia, 173, 190, 191 

Pre-Theological Club, 150 

radio station {see WRSE) 

Reading Circle, 73 

Schiller Society, 33 

sororities, 215, 231 

STOP 209, 228 

Student Athletic Association, 51, 72, 73 

Student Christian Association (Club), 
150, 190 

262 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Student Defense Council, 155 

Student Refugee Committee, 155 

theater, 150 

Wanderlust Club, 73 

Women's Glee Club, 150 

WTRSE, 163, 182, 226, 227, 242 

YMCA {see YMCA) 

Young Men's Society, 33 

YWCA, 150, 152 
Carlson, Karl H., 142, 161, i 62, 186 
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of 

Teaching, 223 
Carroll College, 212 
Carthage College, 211, 212, 229 
Catalog, 30, 45, 76, 83 

course of study in, 21, 27 

of 1884, 30 

language used for, 75-76 
CCI. See College Conference of Illinois 
CCIW. See College Conference of Illinois and 

Center for Business and Economics, 223, 233 
Center for Continuing Education, 49, 89 
Center for Special Programs, 221, 225, 227, 232 
Centner, Sandy, 205 
Challacombe property, 110, 147 
chapel, 61, 106, 229. See also Hammerschmidt 
Memorial Chapel 

daily, 14, 172 

language in, 71-72,88-89 
Chapel Choir, 190 

Chicago and North Western Railroad, 7 
Chicago Federation of Evangelical Women, 95 
Chicago Fire, 6, 8, 9 

Chicagoland Independent Conference, 198 
Chicago Metro Conference, 239, 240 
China, refugees from, 155 
chorus, 33, 131, 173. See also under various 

musical groups 
Christian education, 101, 178 

commitment to, 126-127, 166 

mission of college, 63-64 

Niebuhr, H. Richard, and, 105 

and scientific study, 103 
Christian laymen, training of, 1 , 62 
Church of the Prussian Union, 2 
Church Society of the West, 2 
Chworowsky, Karl, 87 
Cincinnati, Ohio, 3, 5, 19, 22 

civil rights, 193, 194, 209-210 
Clark, Robert, 201,219, 225 

of 1874, 2-^, 33,57 

of 1884, 33 

of 1897, 79 

of 1902,34 

of 1903,48, 50, 51 

of 1912, 79, 100 

of 1914, 70 

of 1916, 67 

of 1917, 77 

of 1918, 78 

of 1936, 244 
classical education, 21, 41, 76, 256 

alumni dissatisfaction, 45, 46, 59 

limitations of, 20, 31-32, 43 
coeducation, 85-86, 112-115, 131-134, 165, 255 
Coffeehaus, 231 
Coleman Foundation, 233 
College Conference of Illinois, 152, 164, 173, 

195, 196, 197 
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, 
212-213, 214, 215, 229, 230, 237, 238, 
240, 250 
College Council, 236 
College Glee Club, 33, 110 
College News Bureau, 131 
College Union, 9, 170, 182, 199, 251. See also 

Frick Center 
College View, 175 
Commencement, 25, 163 

centennial, 202 

midyear, 158,250 

in 1957, 114 

in 1959, 181 

in 1991, 249 
Commons, 39, 50, 147, 189 

College Union and, 182 

construction of, 11, 39-40, 43 

food quality in, 48, 164 

renovation of, 118 
commuter students, 132, 133, 255 
Computer Science and Technology Center, 1 1, 

Concerned Black Student Organization, 209- 

Concordia College, 164, 197, 198 
Concordia Society, 32 

K Index 


conditio abeiindi, 1 8 

Congregational Christian Churches, 2 
Congregational churches, 178, 182, 183 
Consortium for the Advancement of Private 

Higher Education, 234 
Cooney, Jim, 230 
Coons, Mary, 2 1 7 
Cooperative Computer Center, 223 
costs, 19, 25, 84, 99, 1 14, 118. See also financial 

problems; fijnd-raising; tuition 
Cottage Hill, 6-7 
Couchman, Gordon, 228 
Council of Business Associates, 202-203 
course of study, 19-25, 80, 98. See also Catalog; 

class lengths, 22 

expansion of, 227 

five-year, 21,31 {see also fifth year course of 

for women, 132 
Crane (high school), 51, 94 
cross country team, 136, 197-198, 229 
Crusius, Paul N., vii, 5, i27, 140, 145, 147, 
161, 162 

Academy and, 80, 112 

as administrator, 123, 128, 145, 161 

on change, 79 

chapel and, 71-72 

on classical education, 46-47 

on course of study, 2 1 

on curriculum extension, 40 

on daily schedule, 14 

deadiof, 186 

on demerit system, 18 

on direction of Proseminary^ 66 

on faculty, 3 1 

as faculty adviser/sponsor, 73, 108 

on financial needs, 85 

on four-year college, 66, 67, 78, 94 

on junior college, 66, 82, 83, 94 

librarj' and, 72, 86, 89 

marriage of, 57, 80 

on Meusch, 2 5 

and name change, 79 

on Old Main, 27 

quality improvements by, 105 

retirement of, 1 86 

sabbatical of, 130 

on school purpose, 101 

on sports teams, 5 1 

subjects taught by, 99, 226 
Cunningham, James, 225 
Cureton, Brj'ant L. 

afterword by, 255-257 
biography, 253, 253 
inauguration, 251, 251 
curriculum, 80, 102. 143. See also course of 

accreditation and, 45-47, 139-140 

advanced placement, 185 

changes in, 31-32, 35, 45, 82, 95, 140, 161, 
170-171, 178 

classical, 20 {see also classical education) 

electives, 47-48, 83, 98, 99, 115, 204 

Evening Session and, 167 

expansion of, 69, 116, 126, 139, 166 

fifth year in, 3 1 {see also fifth year course of 

foundations of, 47 

for general course, 98, 99 

honors program, 104, 206 

of Junior College, 82-83 

Keijx on, 67-68 

liberal arts, 20, 165, 178, 187, 192, 236 

new, 204-206, 217, 219, 246-247 

nursing, 170, 206, 223-224, 227 

pretheology {see pretheology) 

reform of, 22 

refusal to modernize, 32, 41 

required, 47-48, 82 

sixth year refusal, 40 

in World War n, 154-155 
Cutright, Melitta J., vii, x 

Dabrowski, John, 241 

Darr, Milton E, Jr., 233 

Davis, C.Neal, 201,225 

Davis, Loyal, 136 

debating societies, 21, 32, 152, 190 

DeBruine, Harvey, 161, 186 

debt, 204 

accreditation and, 149 

Executive Committee and, 124-125 

pa\Tnent of, 127-128 

reduction of, 78 

removing, 139, 216, 220, 244 

Sv-nodand, 118, 130, 150, 168 
Decade of Development, 182 

264 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SS 

Deicke Center for Nursing Education, 49, 

89, 224 
Deicke Foundation, 224 
DeKalb (college), 136 
Demosthenes Society, 32 
Denman, William, vii, 5, 84, 132, 186, 201 

on enrollment, 62, 92 

on financial support, 44 
Department of Music, 140 
Depression, 87, 155, 160 

fund-raising problems and, 128, 148, 165 

recruitment during, 139 

student body composition and, 133 

student life during, 150-153 

Synod support and, 146 
Der Friedensbote (magazine), 51-52 
DeRoo, Robert, 288 

Development and Public Relations Office, 180 
Diamond Jubilee, 159, 162-163 
Didyk, Oksana, 235 
Dining Hall, 1 1. See also Commons 
Dinkmeyer, Henry, 51, 55, 169, 200 

biography of, 176, 176 

building program of, 168-170, 174, 176 

death of, 174-175, 176, 177 

flind-raising by, 166, 169, 176, 178 

as president, 51, 166, 178 

recruitment under, 172 

relations with Synod, 167, 168 
Dinkmeyer,J.H., 3, 22, 23 
Dinkmeyer Hall, 169, 176, 203, 222 
Directorium, 5, 21, 40 
directors. See presidents 
discipline, 99, 107-108, 117 

changes in, 78-79 

demerit system, 18 

Irion and, 35 

lockup, 18 
Division of Continuing Education, 232 
Dobshall, Carl, 30 
Donald, George, 229, 237 
Dorigan, Therese, 240 
Dormitories, 67, 90, 111. See also housing 

building of, 89, 168-169, 180, 203 

conduct in, 133 

enrollment and, 114, 172 

first building, 10-11 

open, 195 

room in (1926), 113 

supervision of, 107 

women and, 1 14-1 15 {see also women) 

Women's Auxiliary and, 80 
drama. See theater 
Dulkowski, Cathy, 240 
DuPage University, 119 

Earlham (college), 198 

Eastern Illinois University, 195 

Ebmeyer, G.A., 30 

Eden Theological Seminary, 2, 64, 88, 116 

Brotherhood, 91 

Elmhurst as feeder to, 43, 62, 80, 85, 101, 
114, 147, 158, 178 

financial problems of, 60 

fraternities at, 83 

fundmgfor, 125, 127-128 
Junior College compared to, 83 

Keryx, 59 

neutrality club, 74 

presidents of Elmhurst at, 63, 95, 100, 120, 
122, 160, 166, 176, 177,200 

Washington U. and, 92 

national, 192-193 {see also politics) 

student body, 72, 91 {see also student 
Elgin Academy, 6 1 
Elm Bark (newspaper), 93, 150, 182, 208 

athletic program, 153, 164, 196-198 

campus mood, 91-92 

chapel attendance, 190 

civil rights, 193,209 

fund-raising and, 1 10 

honor roll publication, 104 

initiation activities (hazing), 84, 164 

Negroes and, 156 

politics and, 153-154, 192-193, 194, 195, 209 

Schick's dreams, 100-101 

student life, 228 

student power, 207 

student rights, 195,207-208 

women's hours, 195 

YMCA, 84, 88, 108 
Elmhurst, Illinois 

college relations with, 80, 106-107 

community in (1871), 6-9 

K Index 


economy of early, 7-8 
farms in, 6, 7 

fund-raising in community, 128 
Gennan residents during First World War, 75 
naming of, 6, 7 
in 1920s, 86-87 
in 1930s and 1940s, 156-157 
in 1950s, 175 
Synod land purchase in, 4 
town in 1896, 37-38 
village presidents of, 30 
Elmhurst: College and Commuity, 251, 252 
Elmhiirst: DrcelopTttent Study of a Church-Related 

College, vii 
Elmhurst: Trails fiv?/; Yesterday, \ai 
Elmhurst Academy and Jimior College, 79-86, 
87-94. See also Academy; Junior College 
Elmhurst Alumni Association, 40, 137, 184 
Elmhurst Athletic Hall of Fame, 237 
Elmhurst College 

accreditation of {see accreditation) 
administrative staff and board (1900-1910), 46 
Bryan's land and, 4, 8 
building campaigns, 89 (see also building 

program; Proseminary) 
centennial of, 182, 200, 215-216 
charter of, 5, 117, 138, 150 
church ties and, 178, 182-183, 187, 193 (see 
also Evangelical and Reformed 
Church; Evangelical S\Tiod) 
coeducational, 111-112, 131-134,255 
constitution of, 117, 150 
demographic changes in, 219 
Diamond Jubilee of, 159, 162-163 
early years of, 13-27 
expansion to four-year college, 66, 69, 98, 

104-108, 145, 161,255 
financial needs of, 126 
first building in, 9-11 
funding for Eden by, 1 2 5 
guarantee of sun'ival, 146 
image of, 180,234 
isolation of, 80 
Olson drawing of, 109 
predates communit)', 7 
purpose of, 100-101, 187, 257 
recruitment at, 130-131, 134, 136, 139, 166, 

roots of, 5, 101-102 (see also Evansville, 

Indiana; Proseminary) 
70th anniversar}' celebration of, 149 
survey (study) of, 141, 143-144, 145, 148- 

149, 184, 205-206, 226-227 
use of name, 13, 45 
"Elmhurst College: The First One Hundred 

Years," vii, 200 
Elmhurst College Archives, 5, 27, 1 19, 200 
Elmhurst College Bulletin, The, 76, 93, 102, 1 10, 

116, 137 
Elmhurst College Choir, 241 
Elmhurst College Committee on Racism, 210 
Elmhurst College Founders Medal, 224, 252 
Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, 230, 242, 248. 

See also music 
Elmhurst College Leader, 228, 241 
Ehuhurst College Newpaper, 228 
Elmhurst College Preschool, 222 
Elmhurst College Speech Clinic, 170, 

205, 226 
Elmhurst College Theatre, 150, 164-165, 190, 

190, 246 
Elmhurst Eagle, The (newspaper), 3 8 
Elmhurst-Eden Advance, 127-128 
Elmhurst Festival, 139 
Elmhurst High School, 62 
Elmhurst Intercollegiate Invitational Track 
and Field Meet, 152, 158, 163, 188, 
"Elmhurst Leseverein," 26 
Elmhurst Management Program, 227, 232 
Ehuhurst Memories (Class of 1914), 70 
Ehnhui'st Pi-ess, 207 

Elmhurst Proseminar\'. See Elmhurst College; 
German EvangeHcal Proseminarj^; 
Elmhurst Welfare Association, 157 
El?ns, r/;e (student annual), 108, 150, 182 
on accreditation, 99 
apathy about, 241 
on athletic program, 136 
on enrollment, 1 59 
first publication of, 70 
on hazing, 164 
"In Memoriam," 158 
on quality of education, 101 
Elv, Lois, 176 

266 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

endowment, 148, 182, 251, 252 

accreditation and, 99, 128, 144, 145 

bond issues and, 125, 128 

chairs of, 2 3 5 

establishment of, 108 

fimd-raising for, 163, 182, 219, 220-221, 

Ten- Year Plan and, 110-111 
EngHsh language, 19, 32, 88-89 

chapel services in, 71-72 

instruction in, 21, 35, 47-48, 82 
Enlightenment, 2 
enrollment, 73, 92, 98, 130-131, 160, 187 

accreditation and, 139 

from Chicago, 147 

decline in, 29, 43-44, 156, 223, 232, 243, 255 

dormitory limitations on, 1 14 

growth in, 26, 36, 161-162 

increase in, 44, 60, 62, 146-147, 174, 202, 

Korean War and, 167, 168 

in 1980s, 231-232,236 

open, 140, 145, 166 

problem of increasing, 167 

recruitment and (see under Elmhurst College) 

too few teachers, 24, 26 

World War II and, 155, 157, 158, 159 
entertainment, 18, 33, 191, 215, 231, 242. See 

also extracurricular activities 
Episcopal chapel, of Bryan, 8, 17 
Evangelical and Reformed Church. See also 
Evangelical Synod 

college funding and, 146, 148, 163 

merger of, 148, 182, 256 

pacifism in, 153 

student body composition and, 166, 171 
Evangelical Church, 2, 17, 79, 105, 119-120, 
133, 204. .S>e also German Evangelical 
Evangelical Church Society, 2-3 
Evangelical Herald, 1 1 5 
Evangelical Leadership Training School, 62 
Evangelical Synod, 62 

colleges of, 67, 85, 112, 114, 148 

control by, 117, 138 

Elmhurst College and, 66, 137-141 

end of subsidy fi-om, 178, 221 

financial support by 44-45, 84, 98, 118, 125, 
126, 127, 139, 146, 149, 150, 167 

fund-raising and, 60, 110, 128 

investment management by, 1 67 

Irion and, 57 

religious movements and, 62 

tensions with, 88, 125, 167 

War Welfare Association, 74 
Evangelical Synod of the Northwest, 4 
Evangelical Synod of the West, 4, 1 2 
Evangelical Teachers' Seminary, 22 
Evansville, Indiana, 2, 3, 4-5, 12, 19, 22 
Evening Session, 106, 167, 183, 186, 202, 

232, 244 
Executive Committee, 123-125 
extracurricular activities, 53-54, 195. See also 
campus activities; campus groups 

athletics {see athletics) 

chess club, 53 

Concordia Society, 32 

Demosthenes Society, 32 

Free University, 228 

in Goebel era, 32-33 

grades and, 108 

hootenannies, 191 

Owl Club, 32-33 

Pedagogical Club, 32 

photography, 53 

politics, 192-194 {see also politics) 

in Proseminary days, 18, 53 

theater, 52-53 

advanced degrees among, 83, 116, 144, 184, 
186, 202 

awards to, 235 

changes in, 161 

and coeducation, 113 

critical assessment of, 144 

cuts in, 168,223 

development of, 30-32, 223 

in 1885-86, 31 

expansion of, 94, 1 16 

first women as, 107 

Goebel and, 31-32,41 

growth of, 147, 202 

hiring of, 117 

K Index 


housing for, 1 1, 45, 80, 1 19, 124, 170, 

under Irion, 35-36 

in late 1870s, 29 

new curriculum and, 246-247 

pension plan for, 167 

quality of, 184 

racial tensions and, 247-248 

ranking system of, 104 

reform plan of, 66 

religious requirements of, 106, 127, 172 

retirement and, 186, 228 

sabbaticals of, 104, 130, 140-141, 143, 184 

salaries of, 30, 45, 80, 104-105, 141-142, 
167-168, 182, 183-184,202 

salary cuts and, 139 

strengthening, 140 

student groups and, 33 

student relations with, 174 

study retreat by, 186-187 

teaching load of, 22, 23, 24-25, 34 

turnover in, 30 
Faculty Council, 207 
Facult)' Firesides, 174, 190 
famulus, students as, 14-15, 48-49 
Farina, Monica, 248 

Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 139 
Federation of Illinois Colleges, 137, 252 
Fellowship of the Squires, 190, 215 
Festival of Fools, 2 3 1 
fifth year course of study, 21, 22, 3 1, 41, 43-44, 

47, 60-61 
financial aid 

declining, 241, 243 

enrollment and, 232 

governmental, 180-182, 202, 221, 243 

scholarships, 144, 146, 180, 196, 236, 241 

tuition and, 202 
financial problems 

accreditation and, 141, 143 (see also 

curriculum extension and, 40 

debt reduction and, 78 {see also debt) 

endowment and, 108, 110-111 {see also 

enrollment and, 60 

fifiii year and, 43-44, 60-61 

music and, 107 

needs and, 73, 85 

revenues and, 118-119 

Synod contribution and, 44-45, 78, 125-128, 
130, 139, 146 (see also Evangelical 
Fleer, Herman, 204, 223 
Flood, Jaye, 240 
food, 138 

complaints about, 48, 164 

at Proseminary, 15-16 

quality of, 48, 71 
football, 51, 74, 134 

field, 50, 94 

first coach, 94 

in 1920s, 106, 108, 136 

scandal in, 141-142 

success/failure of, 136, 158, 164, 173, 195- 
198, 211-213, 229, 237-238, 240- 

V\ctovY Bell, 2 1 1 
Forward Elmhurst, 224 
Founders Common, 232 
four-year college, 78, 98, 104-108 
Four- Year Plan, 1 10 
Franzen, Lucille, 234 
fi-atemities, 83-84, 215, 231, 247 
fi-ee day, 18-19, 53 
Free University, 228 
French Club, 150, 152 
Freshman Period, 134 
Freshman Week, 188, 190, 211 
Frick, Ivan, x, 245 

biography of, 252, 252 

fund-raising by, 220-221 

inauguration of, 219 

aspresident, 216, 219, 236, 248 

retirement of, 250, 251 
Frick, Ruth Hudson, 250-251, 252 
Frick Center, The, 9, 39, 170, 200, 251. See also 

College Union 
FriedH, Alft-ed, 166, 171, 177, 183, 185, 186 
Friesleben, Julie, 28 
Fumatorium, 53-54 

ftmd-raising, 23, 60, 108-1 1 1, 127-130, 148, 

authorization of, 110 

268 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Campus Chest, 191 

in Chicago, 128 

Decade of Development, 182 

for expansion, 162-163 

Forward Elmhurst, 224 

gifts and, 168, 182,234,244 

government assistance and, 180-182 

grants, 89, 203, 222-223, 234-235, 244-245 

by Niebuhr family, 89, 1 10-1 1 1 

in 1990s, 244-245 

PROJECTS FOR THE '80s, 233-235 

for Proseminary, 44-45, 51-52 

Second Centun' Campaign, 204, 221 

Seminarfest, 33 

by Women's Auxiliary', 80 

General Board for Educational Institutions, 

116, 117, 120 
General Conference of the Synod. See also 
Evangelical Synod 

Academy and Junior College, 97 

athletic scandal, 142, 143 

buildings and, 26, 39 

coeducation and, 112, 114, 115 

endowment and, 144 

fifth year program, 60-61 

four-year college, 69, 78, 98 

Four- Year Plan, 110 

government system, 116, 117 

Keryx and, 64 

loans and, 117, 118 

sixth year program, 40 

trustees of College, 138 
General Council, 200 
George, E, 55 

German culture, 8, 66, 101-102, 153 
German Evangelical Church, 1, 2, 29, 33 
German Evangelical Proseminary, 2, 23, 29. See 

also Proseminary 
German EvangeUcal Synod, 19, 23, 26, 256. See 

also Evangelical Synod 
German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest, 5 
German immigrants, 2, 7-8, 13, 38 
German language, 8, 19, 35, 47-48, 77-78, 102 

First World War and, 21, 75-76 

instruction in, 75-76, 82 

opposition to, 88-89 

vs. English, 20-21 

German Society, 82 
Getschow, Reuben, 136 
Giesecke, Raymond, ix 
Gieselmann, Frederick, 3 
Gieselmann, WE, 22, 23 
Glee Club, 108, 136-137, 173. See also College 
Glee Club; Men's Glee Club; Women's 
Glee Club 
Goebel, Peter, 30, 31, 234 

biography of, 41, 41 

death of, 41 

as president, 30-34 

resignation of, 3 3 
Goebel Hall, 125-126, 234, 24i 
Goehl, CharHe, 238, 241 
Goethe Verein, 152 
Goetz, Ronald, 233 
GoldenJubilee(1921), 89 
golf team, 198 
Gorsic, Joe, 228 
government. See financial aid; student 

graduation requirements, 82, 98-99, 102, 140, 185 
Groot, Craig, 237, 257 
Guertler, R, 55 

barracks adjacent to, 162 

building of, 125-126,232 

funding for, 124 

fund-raising and, 110, 111 

need for, 108 

pool in, 170 

renovation of, 227, 230, 234 
Gymnashnu, in Germany, 20, 21, 30, 255 

Hale, Robert, 94 
Halfter, William, 228 

Hammerschmidt, Louis, 169, 170, 178-179 
Hammerschmidt Lumber Company, 204 
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 170, 176, 
119, 180,200,203,211,220, 229,244 
Hanke,Al, 229, 238 
Harbinger Coffee House, 2 1 5 
Harris, Wendell, 198, 211, 212, 213, 229 
Harris Corporation, 235 
Hartmann, Joseph, 4 
Haiissenior, 15 
Hawthorne, Jon, 229 

K Index 


hazing, 54, 84, 164, 188 

Mealing Forums, 248 

health service, 180 

Helmick, Homer, 94, 123, 130, 161, 162, 186 

Hemmert, Terri, 227 

Hennigern, Frederick, 24 

Hesson, Laurie, 250 

Hill Cottage Tavern, 6-7 

Hispanic students, 224 

history club, 152 

hockey club, 230 

Hofftnan, Bruce, 238, 241 

Holocaust Education Project, 244 

Homecoming, ix, 94, 152, 158, 188, 227 

Centennial, 216 

dedication of, to Schade, 226 

football victory at, 194, 197, 212 

Jubilee, 163 

in 1967, 272 

in 1993, 245 

program for (1931), 135 

women at, 134 

WRSE broadcasts at, 163 
hootenannies, 191 

Horstmann, J.H., 15-16, 18, 20-21, 23 
housing, 48, 61, 82, 89, 147, 163-164. See also 

expansion of, 161-162, 180 

for faculty {see facult)') 

overcrowding in, 10, 28, 29, 48, 61-62, 89, 226 

for president, 119, 123, 124, 125, 127, 
203, 248 

shortage of, 139, 161-162, 167, 202 

for women, 114-115, 133 
Hiielfsseiiioi; 15 
Hughes, Bob, 196 
Hummel Foimdation, 223 
Huston-Tillotsin College, 193 

Illinois .Association of Colleges, 137 

Illinois Bell, 234 

Illinois Board of Higher Education, 206 

Illinois College, 198, 232 

Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 

(Little 19), 136, 142 
Illinois State Board of Education, 1 1 5 
Illinois State Scholars program, 221, 241 
Illinois Weslevan, 198, 212, 237 

Immanuel Church, 1,17 

initiation, 54, 84, 164, 188 

inspectors. See presidents 

Institute on the Liberal Arts and Religions, 163 

Inter-Fraternity Council, 231 

International Relations Club, 108 

Interim, 205, 217, 222, 227, 232, 247 

intramural sports, 94, 136, 158 

Irion, Daniel, 3, 24, 29, 30, 31, 61, 76, SI 

band and, 51-52 

baseball and, 51 

biography of, 57, 51 

death of, 34, 57, 79, 147 

diphtheria epidemic and, 34 

enrollment under, 43 

female students and, 129 

at Golden Jubilee, 89 

gymnastics and, 73 

holiday speeches of, 48 

new students and, 34, 47 

as president, 18, 21, 33, 34-36, 250 

resignation of, 34, 35 

retirement of, 79, 86 

Silver Jubilee and, 39 
Irion, Paul, 26 
Irion, Paula, 57, 80 
Irion Hall, 61, 68, 82, 127, 180, 195, 203 

libraryin, 26, 61,86, 89 

renovation of, 89, 227 

women in, 133 

Jackson, Ray, 210-211 

Japanese-American students, 155-156 

JazzBand, 230, 241 

Jeffers, Gwendol\Ti, 172 

Jepson Corporation, 234-235 

Jepson Foundation, 234-235 

John, Rudolph A., 16, 33,40 

Johnson, Maude, 153 

Joint Governance Board, 207 

Josephson, Clarence, 167, 177, 186 

Joyce Foimdation, 224, 233 

Jump, John, 225, 228 

Junior College, 57, 66, 78, 79-86 

accreditation of, 99, 100, 139, 144 

curriculum of, 82 

function of, 85 

student body chnges in, 133 

270 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

Kajfeekiichen, 15 
Kaneyjohn, 77-78, 87 
Kastrinos, William, 164 
Kaufinann, Professor, 29, 30 
Keebler Company, 224 
Keller, Emmanuel, 63 
Kellogg Foundation, 235 
Keryx (magazine), 73, 256 

Academy fature, 97-98 

building needs, 85 

discontent, 91 

educational reform and, 59-60, 64-66, 

languages, 82 

recruitment, 92 

school name change, 79 

World War I and, 74, 75 
Kleckner, Donald C. 

African-Americans and, 210, 211, 213 

awards by, 202 

biography of, 217, 217 

as dean, 186,201 

fund-raising by, 204 

as president, 201 

resignation of, 216 

student government and, 207 
Klim,Joe, 241 
Kommes, Carl E., 185 
Korean War, 167, 168, 171, 172 
Krankensetiioi; 15 
Kranz, Auguste Sophia, 12 
Kranz, Carl E, 1, 3 

biography of, 12, 12 

early years in Elmhurst, 4-5, 6, 9, 12 

first building and, 9-11 

Lenten services of, 17 

resignation of, 12, 25, 27, 28 

as teacher, 22 
Kranz Forum, 232 
Kranz Hall, 215 

as dormitory, 48, 67, 82 

location of Irion Mall and, 61 

as Music Building, 23, 29, 39, 40, 56 

as Proseminary's first building, 12 

tearing down of, 67, 100, 232 
Kresge Foundation, 182 

laboratories, 21-22, 116 

biology, 225 

chemistry, 71, 116, 185,2^5" 

first, 67 

improved facihties, 46, 90, 1 1 1, 1 16, 180 

physics, 225 
Ladies' Auxiliary. See Women's Auxiliary 
Lake Forest College, 198, 232 
Lamb, Jack, 250 
Lane (high school), 5 1 
Lang, Elfi-ieda, 94 
Langhorst, Matilda, 143, 226 
Langhorst, Oliver M. "Pete" 

as athletic director, 143, 151, 152 

as coach, 143, 151, 152, 158, 197, 198 

in Elmhurst Hall of Fame, 237 

retirement of, 186, 197,214 

Schiller Society and, 53 

Victory Bell and, 2 1 1 
Langhorst, Oliver M., Press Box, 240 
Larkin, Arthur, Jr., 224 
Lathrop, Jedediah, 9 
Latino Extension Project, 224 
Lauer, Ethan, 246 
Leader. See Elmhurst College Leader 
Learning Center, 223 

Lecture series, 70, 80, 115, 173-174, 190, 193, 
215, 226, 231, 242. Sec ///i-o Niebuhr 
Lehmann, Martha, 1 3 1 
Lehmann, Timothy 

accreditation and, 145, 160 

athletic program and, 134, 136-137, 142- 
143, 153 

biography of, 160, 160 

coeducation drive of, 131-134, 160 

community activities of, 137, 157 

consolidation and development under, 

death of, 160 

Elmhurst Welfare Association, 157 

fund-raising by, 123, 127-128, 130, 162- 
163, 165 

Glee Club and, 137 

inauguration of, 121, 125-126 

internal improvement and, 149 

military draft and, 154 

K Index 


as president, 53, 121, 123, 137, 147 

relations with board, 130 

relations with Synod, 128, 137, 165 

resignation of, 165, 167 

on scholarships, 146 
Lehniann Hall, 169, 176, 180, 232, 233-234 
Leonhardt, Robert, 94 
letternian's club, 152 
Liberal Arts College Movement, 137 
hbrary, 25-26, 61, 72, 106, 145, 149, 180. See 
also Buehler Library; Irion Hall; 
Memorial Library 
Licht, Herbert, 203, 248 
Lilly Endowment, 223 
Limper, Armin, 228, 233 
Lira, Emil "Pat," 173 
Literary societies, 32 
Little 19 Conference, 136, 142 
living conditions, 13-19, 48. See also 

student life 
Living Endowment Program, 221 
Long Grove, Illinois, 4, 5 
Long-Range Planning Committee, 221-222 
Low, Don, 288 
Loyola University, 61 
Lueder, John, 30 
Luternau, Professor, 29 

Main Building. See Old Main 

Marchant, Laura, 241 

Marthas\nlle Seminary, Missouri, 2, 4, 5, 23, 26, 

Masonic Hospital, 1 70 
Masque and Buskin club, 108, 150 
Matasar, Ann B., 233 
Mayer, Theodore, 1 1 1 

McCormick, Robert R., Charitable Trust, 234 
McCormick Seminar}', 51, 95, 122 
McGraw Foundation, 234 
Meaning of Rroelation, The, ix 
Melanchthon Seminary, 4, 10, 39, 177 
Memorial Hall, 49, 223 
Memorial Library, 26, 89-90, 95, 170 
Men's Glee Club, 150, 158, 190, 210 
Menzel, Martha, 160 
Menzel, Paul, 40 
Merkel, Professor, 29 

Meusch, Philip Frederick, 19, 22, 25 

biography of, 28, 28 

death of, 26, 28, 30 
Meusch Library, 52 

Meusch Verein Society, 26, 28, 32, 33, 72 
Midwest College Jazz F"estival, 215 
Millikin College, 173,229,230 
Mill Theatre, 204, 225, 233, 246, 248 
Missouri College, 3 
Miter, J., 24 

Mittendorf, Florence, 122 
Mittermeyer, Frank, 245 
Moen, Ragnar, 248 

Mueller, Theophil W., 61, 79, 94, 105, 123, 
124, 162 

accreditation and, 144-145, 166 

administration by, 128, 130, 137, 147 

athletics and, 142 

curriculum and, 116, 166, 171 

on debt, 124 

grades and, 108 

resignation as dean, 165-166 

retirement of, 166, 186 

student orientation, 134 
Music. See also School of Music; Stanger, 

folk, 191,215 

groups of (see under various musical givups) 

jazz festival, 215, 230-231, 242, 248 

performers on campus, 191, 215, 216 

popularity of, 241 

at Proseminary, 47 
Music Building. See Kranz Hall 

NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate 

Athletics), 195, 213, 215, 229, 230 
Nalco Foundation, 234 
National Science Foundation, 222-223, 

234, 244 
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic 

Association), 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 

NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of 

Teacher Education), 206, 226 
Negroes, 156. See also African Americans 
Neucks, Wilhelmine, 41 
Newport Jazz Festival, 215 

272 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years X 

newspapers, 32-33, 38, 53, 230. See also Elm 

Bark; Ehnhurst College Leader-; Ehthurst 
College Neirpaper 
Niebuhr, H. Richard, ix, 55, 6/, 100, 123, 161, 
annual report from, 117 
biography of, 122, 122 
on Christian commitment, 103, 105 
on coeducation, 112, 113, 114-115 
death of, 122 

dreams of, 119-120, 124, 131, 145 
educational improvement by, 100, 104- 

108, 116 
fund-raising by, 110-111 
on General Board, 117-1 18 
on German roots, 101-102 
on heritage, 103 
Keijx and, 64-65 
on music, 107 
plans of, 108, 119, 182 
as president, 62-63 
resignation of, 120-121 
on scholarship, 101 
on school purpose, 102 
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 60, 62-69, 76, 120, 123, 
178, 192,200 
coeducation and, 115 
death of, 62 
fund-raising by, 89 
on future of Academy and Junior College, 

on future of Proseminar}', 68-69 
Institute on the Liberal Arts and 

Religions, 163 
on quality of education, 63-64 
reform and, 59-60 
World War I and, 74-75 
Niebuhr Hall, 180,200 
Niebuhr Lecture, 206 
North Central Association 

accreditation by, 47, 99, 100, 104, 141, 143- 

144, 145 
requirements of, 111 
review by 184, 205-206, 226-227, 235- 
Nortii Central College, 173, 196, 213, 214 
North Central Invitational Tournament, 2 1 3 

Northern Illinois Junior College Athletic 

Conference, 94 
Nordi Park (college), 94, 213 
Northwestern College, 198 
Northwest Synod, 3 -4. See also Evangelical 

Synod of the Northwest 
Novgrod, Debra, 240 
NSA (National Student Association), 193 

Old Chapel, 68 

Old Hall, li.See also Kranz Hall 

Old Main, 204, 211 

baseball nearby, 50 

construction of, 28 

dedication of, 27 

as dormitory, 40, 48, 82 

Fumatorium in, 53-54 

Hbrary in, 26 

Main Building, 27, 29 

pipe organ in, 39 

renovation of, 52, 67, 90, 204, 224, 227 

student orientation, 47 

telescope in, 35 
Olson, Benjamin Franklin, 170 

campus design by, 110, 170, 182 

drawing of campus, 109 
Operation Foreign Student, 172 
orchestra, 90, 108. See also band 
Orpheus Men's Chorus, 33 
Otto, Emil, 34, 35 
Owl Club, 32-33 

pacifism, 74-75, 153 

Palmer, Lloyd, 234, 244 

Palmer, Thelma, 244 

Pedagogical Club, 32 

Peters, Jim, 214 

Philo-Biblicum, 73 

Physical Education Center, 224, 233, 234 

Pietism, 2 

Pigage, Helen, 235 

Pinch, Trevor, 186 

Planned Giving Committee, 233 

politics. See also student life; students 

debates in 1960s, 206-21 1 

interest in, 192-194, 241 
Polyhymnia, 173, 190, 191 

K Index 


postsecondary year, 61. See also fifth year course 

of study 
pranks, 17-18,54, )5, 229 
presidents. See also under each president 

Cureton, Bryant L., 253, 253 

Dinkmeyer, Henry, 176, 176 

Frick, Ivan E., 217, 277 

Goebel, Peter, 41,^7 

Irion, Daniel, 57, 57 

Kleckner, Donald C, 217, 277 

Kranz, Carl E, 12, 72 

Lehmann, Timothy, 160, 760 

Meusch, Philip Frederick, 28, 28 

Niebuhr, H. Richard, 122, 722 

Schick, Herman J., 95, 95 

Stanger, Robert, 200, 200 
President's Commission, 207 
Pre-Theological Club, 1 50 

course, 98-99 

role of, 102 

students, 19,21-22,24,26, 132 

tuition for, 146, 167, 168 
Priepke, Rudolf E, 185,228 
Principia (college), 197, 198 
Progressive Literar}' Association, 2 1 
PROJECTS FOR THE '80s, 233-235 
Proseminary, 1, 36. See also Elmhurst College 

admission to, 19-20, 21, 24 

athletics at {see athletics) 

band (1916), 77 

buildings at, 9-11, 23, 29, 39-40, 61 

charter of, 5 

"college" students at, 20, 3 1-32, 36, 43 

conversion into four-year college, 57, 59, 63, 78 

costs of, 19, 25, 44 

course of study at, 19-25 

Elmhurst College as, 7, 13 

end of, 44, 57 

in Evans\'ille, Indiana, 3 

extracurricular acti\ities at, 32-33 

financial problems of, 44-45 {see also finan- 
cial problems) 

first aimual, 70 

first graduates of, 23 

food at, 15-16 

German Evangelical, 2 

impact of World War I, 74-76 

interim conversion plan for, 78 

living conditions at, 16-17 

Melancthon Seminary, 4, 10, 39 

name change, 79, 95 

Niebuhr, Reinhold, and, 62-69 

in 1917,77-78 

pioneer days of, 13-27 

presidents of {see presidents) 

Silver Jubilee of, 16,39,40 

student life in, 12-19, 69-74 

transfer to Elmhurst, 4-5 

in 20th century, 43-47 

upheaval at, 78 
Protestantism, 2, 256 
Prudentia (newspaper), 33 

qualit}' of education, 46, 104-108, 183-187 
Quest, Roland, 244 

Ragsdale, Christopher, 250 

Rahn,John, 30, 35 

Rasin, Joy, 244 

Reading Circle, 73 

Recher, Professor, 30 

recruitment, 92, 130, 139, 202. See also under 

Elmhurst College 

calls for, 59-76 

curricular, 83 {see also curriculum) 
Reformed Church, 2, 119-120, 146, 148-149 
Reformed Synod, colleges of, 148 
refugees, 9, 155-156 
registration. See enrollment 
Religion in Life Week, 190 
Respond to Hate, 248 
Rockford Invitational, 198 
Roefer, Bett>-, 729 
Rogers, Terry, 230 
Rosche, Professor, 29 
Rose PoHtechnic Institute, 197, 198 
rules and regulations, 54-56, 95, 99 

changes in, 162, 171 

curriculum, 140 

decreasing, 18, 107-108 

drinking, 231 

enforcement of, 56 

274 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years SC 

off-campus activities and, 195 

violation of, 17,55-56,78,88 
Russell, Don, vii 
Russell, John Dale, 148 

St. Mar}''s Cemetery, 4 

St. Paul's Church, 4, 33 

St. Peter's Church, 17, 33, 38, 57, 79, 87 

St. Procopius, 94, 197, 198 

St. Vmcent's, 5 1 

Sandburg, Carl, 82 

SanfiHppo, Bob, 238 

Sauerbier,W.K., 22,29, 30 

Saunders, Calvin, 230 

Schade, Rudolf G., x, 161, 222. 226 

Schaible, Arthur, 233 

Schaible Science Center, 1 10, 203, 217, 244 

Schaible Trust, 233 

Schick (Schick), Herman J. 

on accreditation, 99-100 

biography of, 95, 95 

death of, 95 

dreams/hopes of, 101 

on piety, 100 

as president, 79-80, 8U 88-89, 106 

resignation of, 95, 100 
Schick, Louise, 80 
Schick Hall, 90, 95, 127, 169 
Schiller Society, 33, 52-53, 52, 72, 108 
Schilkrbote, 53 
Schmale, Professor, 68 
Schmidt, Ervin, 228 
Schmidt, Royal, 228 
Schmiechen, Peter, 225, 235 
Scholl (Dr.) Foundation, 234 
School of Music, 107, 115, 116, 118, 140 
Schroeder, Paul, 65-66 
Schousen, Walter, 173, 195 
science building, 182 
Science Center, 147, 182, 202, 203. See also 

Schaible Science Center 
SDS. See Students for a Democratic Society 
Sears-Roebuck Foundation, 235 
Secondary school 

closing of Academy, 112, 125 

as competitors, 20 

continuance as, 78, 79-86 

enrollment and, 92 

Proseminarv accredited as, 47 

Second Century Campaign, 204, 221 

Seller, Don, 164, 173 

Seminarfest, 33, 52, 139 

Seminar)' Board. See Supervising Board 

Senior Lodge, 147, 155 

Senior Men's Dormitory, 169, 176 

Silver Jubilee (1896), 16, 39-40 

Simons, Kathleen, 248 

Simpson, Bill, 230 

Sir, Bill, 196 

Smith, James P., x 

Smith, Jeanette, 253 

smoking. See Fumatorium 

soccer, 51,62, 72, 73-74 

Softball, 239, 240, 250 

Solinsk)', Robert S., 202 

sororities, 215, 231 

Sorrick, George A., 35, 67, 86 

Soutii Hall, 169. See also Schick Hall 

Souveniiir Album, 1 1 

Speckman, Wesley, 94 

Speech Clinic. See Elmhurst College Speech 

Spooner, John, 229 
sports, 173, 198, 250. See also athletics 
Spring Fling, 249 
Stanger, Christian G., 35-36, 47, 48, 50, 53, 79, 

90, 147, 162, 177,200 
Stanger, Frederike, 57 
Stanger, Robert, vii, 63, 87-88, 226 

biography of, 200, 200 

building program of, 178, 187, 200 

community activities of, 200 

death of, 200, 226 

development under, 178-182 

fund-raising by, 178, 180 

on Irion, 35 

on mission, 178 

on open dormitories, 195 

as president, 35, 177-178, 190, 194 

retirement of, 161, 182, 187,200 

study retreat and, 186-187 
StangerHall, 203, 217 
Staudt, Genevieve, 132, 133-134, 147, 166, 177, 

185, 186 
STOP (Students to Terminate Overpopulation 

and Pollution), 209, 228 
Strauss, J., 10-11, 14, 15, 17 
Streich, H.L., 65 

X Index 


Student Atf;iirs C.ouncil, 207 

Student Athletic Association, 51, 72, 73 

student body. 'SV{' also students 

changes in, 146-147, 171-172 

makeup of, 36, 133 

in 1911,5/ 
Student Christian Association (Club), 150, 190 
student council, 72, 91. See also student 

government; Student Senate 
Student Defense Council, 155 
Student EmplojTnent Bureau, 147 
student-facult)' discipline committee, 107 
student government, 90-91, 107, 195 
student health service, 180 
student life 

changes in, 78-79, 192-195 

decreasing regimentation of, 107-108 

in Depression, 150-153 

in early 20th centur\', 47-54 

at Jimior College, 133 

model for, 83 

in 1950s, 172-175 

in 1960s, 188-191,211-215 

in 1970s, 228-231 

in 1980s, 236-238 

postwar, 163-165 

in the Proseminar\' era, 12-19, 69-74 

race relations in, 209, 210, 247-248 

rules and regulations, 54-56. {see also rules 
and regulations) 

student concerns and, 241 

World War II and, 154-156 
student organizations. See campus groups 
Student Refugee Committee, 155, 172 
students, 250, 256. See also Student Hfe 

ages of, 20, 47 

as bakers, 57, 49 

changes in, 171-172 

drinking by, 54, 23 1 

drug use by, 207 

in 1890, 32 

faculty relations with, 1 74 

German- vs. American-bom, 20-21 

jobs of, 14-15,49,70 

pranks of, 17-18, 55. See also pranks 

protests (activism) of, 88, 100, 156, 191, 

racial tensions of, 247-248 

relations with administrators, 194-195 

religious makeup of, 147, 171-172 

rights of, 195,206-211 

social life of (see campus groups; 
student life) 
Student Senate, 207, 208. See also student 

student services, 144, 166, 186 
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), 208 
Student Union, 9, 107, 111 
Summer Session, 156, 183, 202, 232 
Supervising Board 

administration of, 5, 66 

athletics and, 5 1 

curriculum changes, 31-32 

fifth year program, 3 1 

four-year college, 69 

fraternities and, 83 

fund-raising and, 52 

language stipulations of, 75-76, 89 

Meusch recommendations, 25 

oral examinations by, 5, 22 

overcrowding and, 26 

rules and regulations, 88 

sixth year program, 40 
surplus, 161, 167, 176, 220. See also debt; 

financial problems 
swim team, 152, 198 
Swords, Robert W, x, 186, 228, 235 
Synod of the Northwest. See Evangelical Synod 
of the Northwest; Evangelical Synod of 
the West; Northwest Synod 
Synod of the West, 2, 3-4 

Teachers' Seminary, 3 

Teagle Foundation, 234 

tennis, 51, 94, 108, 136, 152, 165, 196, 198, 

Ten Point Program, 187 
Ten-Year Plan, 110, 111-112, 119, 182 
Teutonic Male Quartet, 1 8 
theater, 52-53. See also Elmhurst College 

Thoma, George, Jr., 233 
Thompson, Robert "Bob," 164 
track and field, 51, 73, 94, 152, 241. See also 

cross country team 
Tuition, 84, 99, 118, 142, 146, 167, 168, 183, 

202, 222, 232, 241. See also costs 
Twent\'-five Club, 162 

276 An Ever-Widening Circle: The Elmhurst College Years K 

United Church of Christ, 2, 178, 182-183, 193, 

United States National Student Association 

(NSA), 193 
University' of California-San Diego, 240 
University of Chicago, accreditation by, 47 
University of Illinois, accreditation by, 46- 

47, 141 
University of LaVeme, 240 
Universit}' of W'isconsin-Whitewater, 240 
Untersenioi; 70 
Utley, Debora, 246 

Mctor E. Bluejay, 249 

Alctorv' Bell, 2 1 1 

Vietnam War, 194, 206-209, 219, 220, 228 

Vocal Jazz Ensemble, 241 

Volker, William, 89 

volleyball, 230, 239-240, 239, 250 

Wadepuhl, Weaker, 186 

Wadhams, Seth, 9, 86 

Wagner, Louise, 95 

Walton, Bill, 239, 240 

Wanderlust Club, 73 

Washington University, 92 

Waukegan, Illinois, 4, 5 

Weber, Richard, x 

Weekend College, 221-222 

Weisse, C.A., 35 

Wellman, Ron, 229, 230, 238 

Weygold, Friedrick, 22, 24 

Wheaton College, 61, 136, 153, 156, 158, 173, 

White, Claude, 230 
Whitehurst, Kristin E., x 
Wieboldt, WA., 1 1 1 
Wilder Park, 9, 17,38,86, 152 
WiUett, Howard L., Jr., 233 
Willett Foundation, 233 
Winona State, 198,211 
Wochenseniot; 15 
Wojtiuk, Alex, 241 
Wolf, Juel, 200 
women, 17, 54, 80. See also coeducation 

admission of, 85, 86, 111-112, 129, 131-134 

choral group of, 131, 173 

church affiliation of, 133 

dormitory for, 112, 114, 131, 133,203 

at Homecoming (1931), 134 

regulation of hours, 195 

rights of, 209, 228 

service organization, 2 1 5 

sports teams, 153, 230, 238-240, 250 

in student body, 147 
Women's Auxiliary, 80, 95 
Women's Glee Club, 150 
Women's Union, 152 
Women's Union College Circus, 152, 155, 158, 

163, 190,211,2/4 
World War I, 192 

English at Proseminary and, 21 

enrollment and, 44 

impact of, 74-76 
World War II, 149-150, 192 

blood donors during, 154, 155 

end of, 157-159 

impact of, 153-156, 160, 161, 165, 172, 175 
wrestling, 198,213,229,238 
Writing Across the Curriculum, 236 
WRSE (radio station), 163, 182, 215, 226, 

227, 242 
Wurlitzer Foundation, 234 

Year Book, 62 . See also Eh/is, The 

for 1919-20, 80, 82 

for 1923-24, 98, 99 
YMCA, 72, 84, 88, 91, 108, 115, 150 
York Community High School, 86-87, 106, 

108, 146 
Young Americans for Freedom, 208 
Young Men's Society, 33 
YWCA, 150, 152 

Zimmersenior, 1 5 

Continued from front flap 

along with Th. Mueller, made many 
decisions that would shape the College 
of today; and the presidents and others 
who led Elmhurst through the perilous 
Depression and World War II years, 
the turbulent sixties and the seventies, 
eighties and early nineties when many 
other colleges failed in the face of 
mounting financial problems and 
declining enrollments. 

Also instrumental in widening 
Elmhurst College's circle were the 
generations of students who studied, 
worked and enjoyed college life 
at Elmhurst. 

Today the tiny school that began 
with one professor and one building in a 
community of 300 is a major college 
Avith a diverse student body of approxi- 
mately 2,700 full- and part-time students 
in day and evening programs, 126 full- 
time equivalent faculty and 22 major 
buildings in a thri\dng suburb of more 
than 40,000. 

This book is a social history^ of 
Elmhurst College — the faculty and staff, 
the students and the community' that 
housed and developed along with it. 

Melitta J. Cutright, Ph.D., 
holds degrees from the Universit}' of 
Illinois and Northwestern University 
and has taught histon^ at Northwestern 
and Eastern Illinois Universit)'. She is 
the author of two books, Gro'iVing Up 
Confident: How to Make Your Child's 
Early Years Learning Years and The 
National PTA Talks to Parents: Hoiv to 
Get the Best Education for Your Child, 
plus more than 40 articles. 

Cutright heads a foundation in 
Chicago and lives in Elmhurst with her 
husband James P. Smith, who chairs 
the Sociology' Department at Elmhurst 
College, and their daughter Elisabeth. 

President Bryant L. Cureton's inauguration, 1994. 

"The history of the College is a fascinating story — one 
that needs to be known by all who have a relationship to 
its life. This book has a vital message for all generations." 
— Rudolf Schade 

Professor Emeritus 
Elmhurst College 

"Anyone interested in Elmhurst College or local Elmhurst 
history will be delighted with this book. It captures both 
the spirit of the College and its home community in a 
bright and insightful way. It blends the people, the times 
and the events that have shaped Elmhurst College and 
made it a beloved and distinctive place." 
— Ken Battels 

Vice President for College Advancement 
Elmhurst College 

"In a narrative filled with detail — the 'stuff' of Elmhurst 
College Hfe — this history becomes the vivid portrait of a 
dynamic institution responding after its unique fashion to 
the demanding currents of American higher education." 
— Bob Swords 

Fofyner Chair Department of English 

Elmhurst College