College Hall
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Panorama





Panoramas from the tower of College Hall

College Hall

By June 1, 1871 enough money had been collected in America to proceed at once with the construction of the first and most important building. Final plans were ordered and prepared. President Bliss was sent to Costantinople to consult with President Cyrus Hamlin of Robert College who had just completed the first building for that institution, superintending the whole procedure himself. The Trustees felt sure that Dr. Bliss must likewise become a builder and wanted him to have the benefits of Dr. Hamlin's experience. The corner stone was laid on December 7, 1871 by William E. Dodge, treasurer of the Board of Trustees. On January 23, 1872 ground was broken for the Medical Building. President Bliss said this college is for all conditions and classes of men without regard to color, nationality, race, or religion. A man white, black or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or Heathen may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution for three, four or eight years and go out believing in one God, in many Gods or in no God. But it will be impossible for anyone to continue with us long without knowing what we believe to be the truth. It took almost two years to complete the three buildings in the original plan: College Hall, a small office and refectory building a part of the present Dodge Hall, and the Medical Hall. President Bliss records that it was not until March 13, 1874 that the risky task of hanging the bell in the tower of College Hall was accomplished with the students pulling on the ropes. The college was moved into the new campus long before the tower clock and bell (a gift from William E. Dodge) were installed. The opening of the year 1873-1874 found the building occupied.


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