Soon after the Rev. John Howard Harris became Bucknell’s president in 1889, he tasked William Gretzinger, Class of 1889, with leading the University’s publicity efforts. Gretzinger, who within a year of graduation also was named the University’s first registrar, began an unprecedented advertising campaign that included catalogs and pamphlets; paid advertisements in newspapers, prep-school publications and religious periodicals; and a news service.
The effort rapidly paid off. Enrollment nearly doubled within a decade, rising from 285 students in the 1889–90 academic year to 487 in 1899–1900, but the influx created a demand for housing as well as classroom space and teachers.
Bucknell broke ground April 3, 1899, on a building that could accommodate its growing student body: a living space for 100 men that would, until 1959, be known as West College and, thereafter, Kress Hall.
These four wooden stakes, representing the first-year through senior classes, with satin ribbons corresponding to the class colors, were driven into the ground with a wooden mallet at West College’s groundbreaking.
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