Emory & Henry College will celebrate the laying of the cornerstone of its original administration building on Friday, Sept. 30, exactly 175 years after the cornerstone was laid.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. near Wiley Hall, which stands where the original administration building had been built. The occasion will be marked with celebratory remarks and a return of the bell that once hung in the bell tower atop Wiley Hall.
The cornerstone for the original administration building, which was known as “The College,” was placed Sept. 30, 1836.
The original administration building served not only as an administration building, but also as a residence hall for students and faculty and an instructional building. During the 74 years that "The College" remained standing, it was the scene of some of the most colorful events in the life of Emory & Henry, including a tragic shooting during the Civil War. The building had been taken over by the Confederacy for use as a hospital.
Eventually, the building was replaced by a more distinguished, strictly academic structure, very similar to the modern-day Wiley Hall. A fire in 1928 devastated all but the building's foundation, upon which the current Wiley Hall was constructed.