William Alfred Millis,
The History of Hanover College
From 1827 to 1927

(Hanover, Indiana: Hanover College, 1927).

Hanover Historical Texts Project

Scanned and proofread by Sadiye Amcaoglu, Nida Khan,
Julie Merkel, Jonathan Perry, Faiza Shah, and Cory Sims in November 2000.


[Page7] In its annual meeting of June, 1925, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution providing for the celebration of the centennial of the founding of Hanover College in connection with the 1927 Commencement exercises. They requested the Faculty to submit suggestions for the celebration, and in response to this request a formal report was presented at the meeting of the Trustees in June, 1926. Acting upon the suggestion that the presentation of the history of the Institution should be a prominent feature of the centennial program, the Board directed the President of the College to prepare the volume, and assumed responsibility for its publication.

The object of this volume, primarily, is to give a picture of the growth of Hanover College: its objectives; its struggles and its victories; and particularly to supply the information which will enable the alumni and the undergraduates to appreciate more fully their splendid heritage. Hanover has an interesting history, prophetic of an equally interesting future. The telling of the story has filled the writer with admiration for the sturdy courage and superb faith of the founder, of the men who were associated with him in the Board of Trustees and on the Faculty, the members of the Hanover Presbyterian Church and of Madison Presbytery, and the noble band of officers, teachers, and agents who gave us our College; and with gratitude for the lofty idealism and spirit of self-forgetting service which they wrought into its tradition. If these [Page 8] pages help to stimulate something of the same feeling in the reader, the author's reward will be ample.

Hanover College was the first church school established in Indiana, and for all these years has been active in meeting new educational conditions. Here we find the beginnings of many things prominent in modern college education. Here the great Presbyterian theological seminary of the Central West had its origin. The first experiment in vocational education was made at Hanover. The College Christian Association movement began here. The teaching of Science by the laboratory method was introduced into Indiana by Hanover, as were football and intercollegiate tennis. The evolution of the college curriculum is well shown here. Hanover thus is an exceedingly prominent factor in the educational history of an exceedingly interesting commonwealth. It is hoped that this book will make a substantial contribution to the history of college education in general, and so render a Service wholly beyond its immediate objective as a part of the centennial observance.

For source materials the writer has drawn upon a number of documents as well as the personal testimony of living alumni. He has had access to the minutes of all meetings of the Trustees and the Faculty except for a few years at the time of the removal of the College to Madison. This period, however, was well covered by the manuscript prepared by Dr. Crowe which covers rather minutely the activities of both the Board and the Faculty, and the actions of the Presbytery, Synod and Legislature relating to the College, up to the time of his death. Dr. Garritt's manuscript takes up the story at the point where Dr. Crowe ended, and carries it forward from personal recollection, Board and Faculty minutes, and his collection of Hanoveriana to the beginning of President [Page 9] Fisher's administration. The twenty-eight years of Dr. Fisher's presidency are fully covered in his autobiography, "A Human Life," written after his retirement. Some years ago a short history of the College was published by Rev. A.Y. Moore, D. D. Dr. Moore 's long service as fiscal agent gave him considerable person al knowledge of the Fisher regime, but his book for the most part is a resume of the Crowe manuscript. The annual catalogues have proven to be mines of information. The last fifty years are rather faithfully recorded in the files of the various student and other publications. Almost the entire story can be written from the personal testimony of four men: Dr. Crowe, Dr. Garritt, Dr. Fisher and the writer, with Dr. Garritt overlapping the periods covered by the other three.

It has been necessary to omit much interesting detail in order to keep within limits of space. The available data would fill a much larger volume. Rather ex pensive quotations from documentary and personal testimony have been made, in part to get such material into permanent and convenient record, and in part to secure the original picture.

Personal references have been made solely for the purpose of illustration, and with no thought of calling attention to particular individuals, and certainly without thought of publicity. The Alumni Record which is to be published as a companion volume will contain the biographical material which it is necessary to exclude from this book.

With grateful appreciation of the privilege of its composition, and dedicating it to the alumni, and present and future students, the author offers them the History of Hanover College.

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Hanover Historical Texts Project