Dr. Harry V. Masters was installed as president of Albright College in February, 1938. This was the beginning of a period of expansion and academic growth unequaled in the eighty-two preceding years of the college's existence. However, President Masters, while avoiding sudden or radical changes, has yet maintained his familiar characteristics of understanding and fairness.
Although there were some financial troubles in 1938, Albright was in reasonably good condition. It had an enrollment of three hundred and eighty students; the faculty numbered thirty-eight, and the land, buildings, and equipment were valued at $1,382,974. There were scholarship funds of $4,896 and an endowment of $296,141. The net worth of the college was assessed at $1,037,191
After the war, a need arose for expansion due to an increase of students. Several co-operative programs were initiated between Albright and other institutions to provide a more rounded curriculum.
President Masters has improved Albright's financial condition in an astounding way over the past twenty-five years. He as balanced the budget every year except 1951 and 1954 when there were small deficits. The campus now covers more than fifty acres; compared to thirty-one acres in 1938.
A measure of the progress which Albright has made under President Masters is the number of buildings erected during his term of office. Dedicated as Sylvan Chapel on September 18, 1942, was the renovated old "spring house". In 1945 , the house at 1605 Palm Street was purchased as a home for the president. A gift from the federal government enabled the erection in 1948 of Krause Hall. Two major buildings, a physical education building and a chapel had long been in prospect. The first of these, a building with seats for three thousand five hundred spectators, was completed in 1952. In 1960 the Merner-Pfeiffer-Klein Memorial Chapel-Auditorium was dedicated. Meanwhile, an addition to the Alumni Memorial Library had been completed in 1956.
With the growing number of resident students, the need for more space required the erection of a new Food Service Building in 1959. Completed in 1962 were two new dormitories, North and West Halls. The same need for dormitory space had caused the college to buy the Albright Court Apartments in 1951 and to purchase four large residences to serve as fraternity houses.
in April of this year construction of the new library was completed. This building which cost $778,750 will hold a capacity of 150,000 volumes. This summer extensive renovation was extended to Science Hall, the old library, and what is now Harry V. Masters Hall. Currently a new wing is being added to the Science building.
The list of additions and innovations at Albright College during President Master's administration, which spans more than a quarter of a century, may only be termed as long and impressive.