Publication Date

December 2007


Adapted with permission from Echo (, September 2005.


Since Western purchased its present campus in 1909, building on the Hill has reflected the visions--some realized, many unrealized--of its presidents and architects. The construction of Van Meter Hall, a water tower, a proposed memorial tower and a comprehensive 1930s campus plan attest to the trials and tribulations of making the Hill a beautiful and functional place.

van_meter1910.jpg (410 kB)
Targeted for completion in May 1910, Van Meter Hall was clearly behind schedule when this photo was taken on June 23.

memorial_towers.jpg (361 kB)
President Henry Hardin Cherry introduced two designs, in 1923 (left) and 1930 (right), for a memorial clock tower to crown the Hill.

wright_plan.jpg (238 kB)
Henry Wright's 1931 campus plan imagined groups of dormitory and academic buildings extending southward from the Hill.