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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Highlights in the History of Albion College, Albion, Michigan


  1. Tenney Peabody purchases land in Oyster Bay and becomes the first permanent settler at “The Forks” (1832).
  2. Rev. Gilruth, Packard, and Thompson speak about establishing a Methodist seminary in Michigan.
  3. Jessee Crowell, a one-time New York State Assemblyman, arrives in Albion for the first time (1835).
  4. CHARTER DAY : Gov. Stevens T. Mason signs a resolution into law establishing the Spring Arbor Seminary, March 23, 1835.
  5. Albion Company founded to plot the early village (1836).
  6. Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches founded (1837).
  7. Little Red Schoolhouse constructed on Superior Street to educate young people of the community (1837).
  8. Albion’s first post office opens with Jessee Crowell as postmaster in 1838.
  9. Amendment to charter, establishing the Wesleyan Seminary in Albion, April 12, 1839.
  10. Original land grant of 65 acres made by the Albion Company to the Wesleyan Seminary, April 22, 1840.
  11. Cornerstone of the Central Building laid, July 6, 1841.
  12. Bell House built, spring 1842.
  13. First students welcomes to the Wesleyan Seminary on October 27, 1842.
  14. Rev. Charles Stockwell becomes first principal of the Wesleyan Seminary.
  15. Central Building officially opens for classes January 1844.
  16. Rev. Clark Titus Hinman, becomes second principal of the Wesleyan Seminary.
  17. Michigan Central Railroad begins service to Albion, July 4, 1845.
  18. Rev. Judson D. Collins arrives to teach botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, and geology. Later goes on the gain distinction as a missionary to China.
  19. Michigan Legislature approves creation of the Female Collegiate Insitute at Albion, February 18, 1850.
  20. Peabody Block constructed at the south-west corner of Superior and Erie Streets (1852).
  21. North Hall dedicated in Fall 1852, later became known as Kresge Building.
  22. Ira Mayhew became third principal of the Wesleyan Seminary, 1853.
  23. North Hall fire dealt a devastating blow to newsest building on campus, leaving behind a brick shell, January 1854.
  24. In 1854 Thomas H. Sinex became Principal and later first President when Albion College was chartered seven years later.
  25. Albion incorporated as a village. 1856.
  26. South Hall construction announced in 1856, exterior completed 1858.
  27. Howard Hall built on Superior Street between XXX and XXX and becomes a popular gathering place for people from town and college (1857).
  28. Albion Female Collegiate Insitute became Albion Female College.
  29. Cascarelli Block at 112 S. Superior Street completed around 1857.
  30. FOUNDERS DAY,  Amendment of charter made to create Albion College, February 25, 1861.
  31. Gale Manufacturing first moved to Albion in 1862 and had their shop at the north-west corner of Cass and Superior.
  32. Another charter amendment made to create the Albion College Endowment Fund committee, February 25, 1865.
  33. Albion Opera House built on 2nd floor of 223-225 S. Superior in 1869, still remains.
  34. President Jocelyn submits resignation to be effective 17 June 1869.
  35. “Stone Pile” dedicated by Isaac H. Riddick as class gift by the Class of 1870. Became a popular meeting place.
  36. James W. Sheldon settles debts in 1870 of Jessee Crowell and the Albion Company which became bankrupt.
  37. William B. Silber elected 3rd president of Albion College, June 16, 1870.
  38. South Hall dedicated, December 13, 1870.
  39. Little Red Schoolhouse closed with opening of West Ward School, 1871.
  40. Silber removed and Jocelyn re-elected President, June 13, 1871.
  41. David Preston, a Detroit banker begins a 2-year, $60,000 fund drive in September 1871.
  42. Class Gift of 1872 – a portrait of Presient Jocelyn to hang over class rostrum.
  43. Interior of South Hall completed 1872.
  44. Sheldon Block completed in 1872 at the north-west corner of Superior and Erie Sts. home to James W. Sheldon and his wife Mary Peabody Ismon.
  45. Baseball field created in 1873 on Union Square, the present side of Kresge Gymnasium.
  46. Anna Howard Shaw first arrives as a student, went on to become a leading figure in women’s rights movement nationally (1873).
  47. Davis Preston presents $60,635 to Albion College, September 15, 1873.
  48. Ingham Street vacated between Cass and Porter so Albion College Campus may be expanded, September 1874.
  49. No graduation exercise in 1875, due to Depression of 1873 wiping out the entire senior class.
  50. Augustus Porter Gardner house built at 509 S. Superior St. in 1875, for a prominent local hardware merchant.
  51. Delta Tau Delta chapter established at Albion College, May 1876.
  52. President Jocelyn died at 1:45am on January 27, 1877, and laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.
  53. Board of Trustees elect Leqis Ransom Fiske as President of Albion College on June 19, 1877, named chair of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy the next day.
  54. Parker-Kessler Block,  a brick commercial Italinate block built at 119-127 N. Superior Street in 1878.
  55. Wave of Eastern European immigration doubles Albion’s population between 1880 and 1910.
  56. Michigan Central Railroad Depot built in 1882, after earlier depot destroyed.
  57. Professor Samuel Dicki first asks Board of Trustees to let him raise funds for an Observatory, December 21, 1882.
  58. Delta Gamma sorority founded (1883).
  59. First issue of The Pleiad published, January 1884.
  60. Observatory dedicated, June 1884.
  61. Albion College wins first football game vs. Olivet College, March 1884.
  62. Telephone service began (1884).
  63. Albion incorporated as a city in 1885.
  64. City water mains reach campus (1885).
  65. Sigma Chi fraternity founded (1886).
  66. Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority founded (1887).
  67. Electrical service began, 1888.
  68. Graduation from a public high school becomes an Albion College admission requirement in 1888.
  69. Gale Manufacturing moved to a new factory on Albion Street, and the Albion Malleable Iron Company began operation in the old Gale plant in 1888.
  70. Souvenir of Albion published in 1891, advertising both the community and college.
  71. Albion College football team in 1891 defeats the University of Michigan, 10-4.
  72. First building on campus, the Bell House, moved off site in 1892 and later demolished in the 1970s.
  73. James McMillan, U.S. Senator, writes ledger pledging $20,000 for construction of a laboratory building on campus, June 17, 1892.
  74. Request of President Fiske and James Sheldon to close Oswego Street was presented to Council and passed, January 19, 1893.
  75. Cornerstone for McMillan Laboratory laid at 3:30pm on May 11, 1893.
  76. President Fiske presents his “Historical Address” on Albion College, October 1893.
  77. Sigma Nu fraternity founded, 1895.
  78. Alpha Chi Omega sorority lodge on Hannah St. opened December 11, 1895. Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theata lodges follow.
  79. First game of basketball in Albion, January 9, 1897.
  80. Rev. John P. Sahley chosen as president, December 3, 1897, to begin January 1, 1898.
  81. Rally to support the Spanish American war at 5:30am on April 26, 1898, in front of the Sigma Chi fraternity house.
  82. Mary Sheldon Ismon House built in 1898 at 300 S. Clinton and became a meeting place for local clubs.
  83. Masonic Temple built at 200 West Center Street in 1900.
  84. Winter Lau Field officially dedicated, and Albion wins game against Michigan Agricultural College (later Michigan State University), 27-0 on October 6, 1900.
  85. Baseball diamond, quarter mile oval track, and covered stands added to athletic field between 1900-1902.
  86. Former President L.R. Fiske dies February 14, 1901, feneral at Fiske home on February 19, laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.
  87. The electric interurban first arrives in Albion in 1903.
  88. Union Steel Screen Company moves to Albion in 1905, later becomes Union Steel Products and ships products internationally.
  89. Mrs. Charlotte T. Gassette of Albion gives $10,000 for construction of a college library, W.D. Butterfield from Detroit selected as project architect, April 24, 1901.
  90. EDUCATION DAY – Methodist congregations throughout the state asked to support Albion College, February 16, 1901.
  91. JUBILEE DAY – held on January 16, 1903, to celebrate successful elimination of Albion College’s debt.
  92. Central Building renovated with funds from Trustee George O. Robinson, to add a new wing to the east, dedicated Octoebr 31, 1907.
  93. Change to semester plan adopted on recommendation of faculty, December 16, 1907.
  94. President Theodore Roosevelt visits Albion by train (April 1908).
  95. Sweetheart of Sigma Chi written in 1911 by Byron D. Stokes and F. Dudleigh Vernor, becoming one of the most beloved and popular of college fraternity songs.
  96. Methodist evangelist and song-leader George Bennard wrote “The Old Rugged Cross” while visiting Albion in 1912.
  97. Preparatory Department dissolved in 1913, Albion emerges as a full-fledged college.
  98. Starr Commonwealth founded outside of Albion by Floyd Starr, an Albion College graduate, with creed “There is no such thing as a bad boy.”
  99. CLASS GIFT in 1914 – Fence and entrance to Alumni field.
  100. Helen Keller visits Albion and speaks, January 14, 1914.
  101. Alpha Xi Delta sorority founded, 1915.
  102. Fire Department introduces first motorized unit in 1916.
  103. Dedication of Epworth Hall with state-of-the-art laboratories and scientific equipment, June 12, 1916.
  104. Delta Sigma Phi fraternity founded, 1917.
  105. U.S. Post Office built at 307 N. Superior Street in 1917.
  106. Thomas T. Lloyd Building completed ca. 1917 at 203 S. Superior Street.
  107. Massive parade downtown to celebrate the end of the World War, November 7, 1918. Armistice announced three days later and another parade held.
  108. African-American population in Albion increases from 10 to 620 between 1917 and 1920, due to recruitment efforts by local industry.
  109. Department of Education established at Albion College, 1919.
  110. Andrew Carnegie Public Library opened on April 31, 1919.
  111. FIRST ALUMNI HOMECOMING DAY, November 21, 1919.
  112. 60th ANNIVERSARY celebrated on Commencement Week, June 12, 1921.
  113. Inauguration of Dr. Laird as Albion College President, October 25-26, 1921.
  114. Major/minor system instituted for 1922/1923 school year.
  115. College Eat Shop opened in a grocery store across from North Hall on Cass Street that was converted for that use.
  116. Albion Chamber of Commerce founded November 19, 1923.
  117. Stanley S. Kresge announces $175,000 gift to be used for a new gymnasium, December 20, 1923.
  118. Methodist Educational Advance celebration completed (March 1923).
  119. Dr. John L. Seaton recommended as President of Albion College,  April 26, 1924.
  120. Turner will and bequest of R330,000 made to Albion College, June 16, 1924.
  121. Albion Recorder Building constructed at 111 West Center Street in 1925.
  122. Electric interurban passenger service ended, November 30, 1928.
  123. Bohm Theater officially opened December 25, 1929.
  124. Albion City Hall constructed at 112 West Cass Street between 1933-1936.
  125. Beta Iota chapter of Phi Mu Alpha established at Albion in 1930.
  126. Goodrich Club, a cooperative living residence for men founded in 19392.
  127. CENTENNIAL celebrated during commencement, June 1935 and Albion Centennial Pageant held July 1-7, 1935.
  128. Ground broken for Stockwell Memorial Library, April 12, 1937, dedicated June 4, 1938.
  129. Plans and donation for Susanna Wesley Hall formally announced, October 1938.
  130. Albion’s population increased 53% from 8,345 to 12,749 between 1940 and 1960.
  131. Superior Street brick repaving completed and ribbon cutting ceremony held, October 17, 1940.
  132. Albion’s manufacturing employment rises 57% from 2,100 to 3,300 between 1949 and 1951.
  133. Dedication of Phi Beta Kappa chapter on campus, November 8, 1940.
  134. David Strickler begins long tendure as director of the Albion College Choir in 1943.
  135. President Seaton announces start of collaboration with Bay View Summer School in March 1944.
  136. INAUGURATION of Dr. William Whitcomb Whitehouse held on April 26, 1946.
  137. Much loved Chaplain and Bible Professor Frederic S. Goodrich dies April 17, 1948, and is laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.
  138. Seaton Hall dedicated in 1949.
  139. Corning Glass Works opens in Albion, employing over 1,000 people.
  140. Interstate 94 constructed from 1958-60 facilitating easier access to Albion, while also bypassing the downtown and college where Michigan Avenue had been the primary route between Detroit and Chicago.
  141. Ground broken for Baldwin Hall on January 15, 1951, built with support from the Kresge Foundation, completed August 1952.
  142. Dedication of Dorothy McVittie Kresge Dining Hall and East and West Halls, September 4, 1956.
  143. Cornerstone for Goodrich Chapel laid October 13, 1956.
  144. Pi Beta Phi sorority founded, 1958.
  145. Laster service held at historic Erie St. Methodist Church (later demolished) and march made to Goodrich Chapel for Dedication Service, September 21, 1958.
  146. Gale Manufacturing founded in 1862, applies for bankruptcy and ceases operations in 1968.
  147. West Central Urban Renewal Project carried out in Albion, resulting in demolition of over 100 homes.
  148. 1,300 students and police escort surprise President Whitehouse with a scroll recognizing him for his service to the college, May 1960.
  149. Albion College became a founding member fo the Great Lakes Colleges Association, 1961, Morley Fraser named Michigan’s coach of the year that same year.
  150. President Emeritus John L. Seaton passes away January 28, 961, and is later laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.
  151. Dr. Louis William Norris inaugurated president of Albion College on April 14, 1961.
  152. Union Board organization formed in 1962 to bring big name popular entertainment acts to campus.
  153. Albion College named recipient of a $2 million Ford Foundation grant requiring a challenge grant be raised by June 30, 196.
  154. Whitehouse Hall dedicated, October 17, 1964.
  155. Cornerstone ceremony held for the Bobbitt Visual Arts Building, October 16, 1965.
  156. Twin Towers dormitory and college fraternity buildings dedicated October 22, 1966.
  157. Groundbreaking ceremony held for science center, on October 20, 1967.
  158. Relationship with Bay View Summer School ends effective September 1, 1969.
  159. 1,200 Students submit petition and proposal for open housing policy, April 1970.
  160. New science complex dedicated April 23, 1970.
  161. Dr. Bernard T. Lomas inaugurated as 12 president of Albion College on February 6, 1971.
  162. Dedication Ceremony ofor the Gerstacker International House held October 22, 1971.
  163. Faculty vote to accept a revamped set of core requirements, November 19, 1971.
  164. Albion one of 10 communities nationally to win the All America City Award in 1973, recognizing community-led efforts to respond to challenges at the time.
  165. Herrick Center for Speech Communication and Theater built with support in 1975 from the Herrick Foundation.
  166. “The Best is Yet to Be” capital campaign begun in November 1975, to raise $16 million in capital gifts.
  167. Sprankle-Sprandle Stadium completed in 1976.
  168. General Motors executive Roger B. Smith becomes campaign of $15 million campaign named Albion’s Bridge to the Future.
  169. American Molder monument dedicated at N. Superior and Michigan to honor foundry workers from Albion.
  170. Albion Depot reopened in 1986 after extensive restoration.
  171. Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center completed in 1980.
  172. Olin Hall built with support from the Olin Foundation in 1983 and opened to students in the fall.
  173. Goodrich Club holds open house on February 5, 1983 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
  174. President Melvin L. Vulgamore inaugurated September 30, 1983, as the 13th College President, Bernard T. Lomas became first college chancellor.
  175. Albion Sesquicentennial Celebration held July 4, 1985. Walking Tour of Albion first published.
  176. Brick re-paving of Superior Street completed in 1992.
  177. Albion College wins NCAA Division III football championship in 1994.
  178. East Cass Street Bridge reconstructed in 1996 retaining brick facing from original bridge built when Dr. Samuel Dickie was mayor.
  179. Dr. Peter T. Mitchell becomes President in 1997, begins college visioning process that year, and community visioning process the following year.
  180. “Liberal Arts at Work”  slogan announced in 1998, ,followed by “Liberal Arts at Play” initiative in 1999.
  181. Donation of $7,000,000 made to build the Ferguson Administration Building and Karro Student Village.
  182. Gerstacker Foundation provides $2,000,000 grant in 2000.
  183. 20 ton cupola added to the top of the new Ferguson Building at Albion College on May 6, 2002

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