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The crowning achievement of the Hughes administration was the acquisition in 1908 of the Carnegie Library, replacing the long-obsolete facilities in West College. Shortly after his appointment as financial secretary, Salem Town reopened negotiations, hitherto unavailing, with the steelmaker-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who eventually agreed to contribute $50,000 for the construction of a library building if the university raised an equal amount for its endowment.  When that condition was finally met, the new library was erected on a lot next to College Avenue Methodist Church.

Designed by Indianapolis architect Oscar Bohlen, it was constructed entirely of Bedford limestone in a neo-Greek style, with four great columns of the Ionic order adorning both the front entrance and the south side facing East College. Contrasting strikingly with the predominantly red-brick surfaces of the rest of the physical plant, the Carnegie Library was described at the time as the "most beautiful building on campus." Inside, the main floor contained the book stacks and a spacious reading room, its ceiling supported by massive pillars echoing the classical columns on the exterior of the building. Second floor seminar rooms provided housing for several of the departmental libraries formerly located elsewhere. Unfortunately, the Greek temple-like structure proved less than adequate for the expanding functions of the university library long before it was finally replaced.

 

 

 

 

The only other addition to the physical plant in this period was an official residence for the president. In 1906 the trustees authorized the purchase for that purpose of the F.P. Nelson home on the corner of Seminary and Arlington Street. Known as "The Towers," this handsome Italianate structure became the Greencastle home of President Hughes and his two immediate successors, furnishing a gracious setting for formal receptions, trustee sessions, and an occasional faculty meeting. ____________________________________________
President Edwin H. Hughes works in his office on the
second floor of East College, with his secretary.  His
typewriter introduced the university to a new era of
bureaucracy and record keeping.  (Indiana State Library)

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President Hughes was elected a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, the third Asbury DePauw president to receive that honor, and went on in the prime of life to a long and notable career in ecclesiastical leadership.

To succeed him the trustees turned to another graduate of Ohio Wesleyan and the Boston University School of Theology, Francis J. McConnell, who was serving as pastor of a large Methodist church in Brooklyn, New York. Though he remained only three years in the DePauw presidency before following his predecessor into the Methodist espiscopacy, McConnell took a special interest in the university's financial condition and led the institution's first major fund drive.

Directed by financial secretary Salem Town and endowment secretary Cyrus U. Wade, the campaign for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Fund, as it was called, was extraordinarily successful, producing a total subscription of $550,546 by mid-1912. This included $100,000 provided by the Rockefeller-funded General Education Board as well as substantial individual gifts from Washington C. DePauw's widow, Clement Studebaker, and Asbury alumnus Jay H. Neff and smaller sums donated by trustees, faculty, students, and Methodist clergy.

 

 

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Eva Thomas McConnell was the wife of
Francis J. McConnell, who served as
     DePauw's president from 1909-12.  She was
active in Methodist circles, particularly after her
husband became bishop.

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In his later career as a leading Methodist bishop, McConnell was able to exert a wider influence and achieve a national reputation as a religious thinker and social reformer. He was the author of numerous books, including biographies of his personal mentor Borden Parke Bowne and Methodist founder John Wesley. As did his predecessor Hughes, McConnell published an autobiography which devoted an appreciative chapter to his DePauw years.

 

 



The Hughes-McConnell era witnessed significant growth in the administrative organization of the university. One of President Hughes' first steps was to name Edwin Post, who had been professor of Latin language and literature since 1879 and vice president since 1896, to the office of dean of the College of Liberal Arts, an office he held until 1930.

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