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Welcome to Albright College's Past







The article below was written by the Dean, Wilson I. Miller, which appeared in the The Scriptus, (1929) the yearbook of Schuylkill College. When Schuylkill College merged with Albright College in 1929, Albright College took over the property where Albright College is still located.

History of the College

This institution was founded by the East Pennsylvania Conference in the city of Reading, August 19th, 1881 and removed to Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, September, 1886. It remained in that town until the close of the academic year, June 19th, 1902. A few weeks prior to this the property known as Selwayn Hall School in  Reading was taken into consideration by the Trustees of Schulykill Seminary as a providential opportunity for removing the school to this place, believing that the school would have a larger sphere and a greater chance for advancement in a bigger city, and on July 1st, 1902, it was unanimously decided to secure this property.

When the school was still at Fredericksburg and it was decided to move to Reading, a local minister in addressing the Chapel one day, dolefully lamented the fact that the school was going to move to such a large and wicked city, and predicted that Mt. Penn would open up like Mount Vesuvius and pour burning lava over the city. Of course, that did not keep the College authorities from bringing the school here. Needless to say that Mt. Penn has not become a Vesuvius and, nor have the students become any more wicked than they would have been if they had stayed there.

When they finally decided on this location, the buildings were terribly dilapidated and extensive alterations were necessary, as it had previously been an Episcopal Military School. Dut to the lack of funds a great deal of the work was done by members of the faculty, including President Teel, and the students. The faculty worked like day laborers, cleaning up dirty rooms putting in partitions, and laying brick walls, in order to have the buildings ready for school in September. The Chapel was where the parlor assembly room is now, and the present Chapel was divided into several rooms, one being a large general assembly room, which accounts for the huge, artistic fireplace that is in it now. The dining hall was only half as large, and the frame partitions in the Chapel Dorm only went half-way to the ceiling, just high enough so that they could not look over the top. The Gym was only a one-story building, the dormitory space being added later to accommodate the growing school. It was not the "Stable" as is the general belief among the students. The old Spring House was in the days long-gone-by a school house, to which the children of this neighborhood went to learn their three R's.

The only athletics we had was Tennis and Croquet. After we came to Reading we had a Football team, but they did not have anyone with whom to practice; we just had one team and no "scrubs."

They had just as much trouble with Chapel attendance in those good old days as they have today, and thus one of the Professors sought to improve matters by playing policeman. Of course, some boys were bad enough to run around the corner of the building, with the Professor going after them, but as they could run faster, they got out of sight.

It had long been the dream of those connected with Schuylkill Seminary to advance this preparatory school, so that it could take its place as a Senior college. In pursuance of these plans and purpose, application was made April 11th, 1923 for a college charter and this was approved by the State Council of Education May 31st, 1923--and thus Schuylkill College came into being, with its history and traditions still to be made by those who have the welfare of old Schullkill at heart.

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