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1866 Cornerstone Laid

Designed by Quaker architect Addison Hutton, College Hall, later named for President Edward Parrish, was 348 feet long with return wings of 92 feet each.  As the College's only building, it contained a library and geological museum as well as classrooms, a chemical laboratory, parlors, dining-room, kitchen, and student rooms. Rebuilt after the fire of 1881, the iconic building still contains a mix of dorm rooms and administrative offices.

Many people spoke at the ceremony for the laying of the building's cornerstone, including Dr. Thomas Joseph:

"What we Americans have most to fear is a dead level of mediocrity in the education of our people. Many persons seem to believe that a moderate education, if joined with good common sense, is sufficient for all purposes of life. It may be all that is needed for ordinary occasions, but not for the highest objects of our existence."

At the ceremony, President Parrish spoke of his desire to "claim a higher mission for Swarthmore College than that of fitting men and women for business - it should fit them for life, with all its possibilities."