(WAYN) Waynesburg University Museum Collection
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF WAYNESBURG UNIVERSITY
In April 1849, the Pennsylvania Presbytery, meeting in Greenfield, Washington County, established a committee to found a new college. The committee, comprised of Reverend J. H. D. Henderson, General Jesse Lazear, and Samuel Moredock, Esq., chose Waynesburg as the site of the new college. The Reverend Joshua Loughran of Greene Academy was named Waynesburg's first president. The first classes were held in September, 1849, in the old Hayes Building at the corner of High and Washington Streets.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chartered Waynesburg College on March 25, 1850. In autumn of the same year, the University building now known as Hanna Hall was begun; it was completed a year later. A Female Seminary connected with the College was also established in 1850 and its first classes were held in the Baptist Church. Waynesburg College classrooms became coeducational by default in the school’s second year, when male and female students jointly entered the newly completed building in November 1851. Three women comprised the first graduating class in 1852; though they received diplomas from the Female Seminary. Five years later, the Seminary evolved into the Female Department of the college proper, and in that year three more women made the Class of 1857 historic when they received the first male-equivalent Bachelor’s Degrees issued in the state of Pennsylvania.
Following more than 150 years of education and service, Waynesburg College became Waynesburg University as it entered the 2007/08 school year.
(Sources: www.waynesburg.edu and graduate research by Candice Buchanan.)
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The centerpiece of this photograph collection is its several thousand student/alumni individual portraits and group photographs. The featured alumni date back to the very first Female Seminary class of 1852 and the very first Waynesburg College class of 1853. Many photographs in the collection are high-quality reproductions made in the 1930s when Paul Rich "Prexy" Stewart, then President of Waynesburg College, made a serious effort to collect and preserve the college history. Stewart requested donations by alumni to his project and received a wide variety of original and reproduced photographs. Many alumni, or their descendants, kept the original photographs, but allowed local photographers such as Clarence F. Long and the Babbitt Studio to create photographic copies for Stewart. In addition to the student/alumni are a variety of locally themed photographs that feature the people and places of Greene County, Pennsylvania. These photographs may have come in with the other donations Stewart requested or have been shared for other exhibits hosted by the Waynesburg University museum over the years. A lesser number of photographs in the collection feature extended family of alumni.
These photographs have been accumulated over many years and have been shifted between storage locations nearly just as many times. Ultimately, many were rescued from dumpster piles during renovations. Consequently, original order has been difficult to ascertain. In an effort to effectively manage the photographs an arrangement by subject category and then by chronological year has been adopted.
Due to the nature of its contents this collection is valuable not only to Waynesburg University history, but also to local history and genealogy. Therefore in order to increase ease of access to this collection all photographs pre-1940 are being digitized and will be available to view online through the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Photo Archives Project.
The series were initially arranged chronologically and/or alphabetically; however, additional photos continue to be added to the end of the series as they are shared for scanning. For best results, use the Index at www.GreeneConnections.com (see Photo Archives) to look for specific individuals or subjects.