Dr. Herrick was inducted as President of Girard College on
When the students and alumni
returned to the campus after the summer of 1910, they found significant
changes. A new heating and lighting
facility was nearly complete. A new coal
vault had been constructed. The north
gate was being removed and relocated near
In 1911, Louis Otto Heiland, a graduate of the College, was elected Secretary of the Board of City Trust. He was the first graduate to hold a position with the Board. Many College staff changes happened this year. The regular Army appointment assignment to direct the Battalion was eliminated and Major Robert Brookfield (later General) was added to the College staff. Mr. C. Stanley Mackey, a Girard graduate, was appointed Music Director. Ernest Cunningham, another Girard graduate, was appointed Assistant Steward. Dr. Greenewalt was appointed Physician. The dental department was expanded and an Ear, Nose and Throat Department was established. Many of Dr. Herrick’s building changes occurred. The third floors of the original buildings, Nos. 1,2,3,and 4, were improved to eliminate the low ceilings, poor ventilation and lighting. Without touching the gable, the roofs were removed. Four feet of stone wall and windows were added and then the roofs were replaced. The same buildings originally had large side center entrances and connecting walls that were eliminated.
He changed all the lavatories, adding hot water, individual sinks, showers to eliminate the community baths, and tile to improve sanitation. He asked that President's quarters be built so that No.1 building might be better used to relieve the overcrowded student dormitories. He hired a grounds-keeper to improve the campus appearance, to plant new trees and care for the aging ones. The infirmary was enlarged, and a new wing was added to No. 7. The unfinished things he asked for in his 1910 report he included in his 1911 report and his top priority was new housing for the President and Vice President so that Allen Hall could be turned into four cottages for older students. Next on his list was a new high school and then a place in the country for the students.
The commencement speaker in 1912 was
John Wanamaker, the founder of the famous
Dr. Herrick was a prolific writer,
lecturer, and a man full of ideas.
Whereas, Herrick concentrated on the facility during his first two
years, in 1912 he was changing the educational and household systems and the
staff organizational set-up. The concept
of a junior school, middle school, and high school was enacted to replace the
English system of First, Second, Third and
In 1913 Dr. Herrick proceeded to
hire the best educators he could find.
Dr. Joseph Jameson was hired as Vice President, D. Montford Melchoir as
Professor of History, David McIlhatten as teacher of mathematics and science,
and William Dunlap as Prefect. They
would remain at
hall was an inadequate high school building so Herrick's priority was to build
a new high school. On
His goals, nearly all achieved, for 1914 were these: that Mechanical School instruction be broadened; the vocal department be reorganized so that the chapel singing might be improved; school gardens be extended; the boys annual field visit include a trip to the Girard coal lands; playground supervision be increased; open air classrooms be introduced; the diet of the students be studied; the Main Building be renamed “Girard Building”; Lafayette Building be renamed Todd Hall; the grounds be improved; the system of qualifying potential students be modified and simplified; the Philadelphia employment base be studied for student reference; Industrial activities of the boys be extended; Allen Hall be vacated by the President and Vice President and be modified into four residencies for older boys; more boys graduate rather than be dismissed at 18 years old; 100 acres of farm land be acquired to be used as a branch of the College, for vacationing, and for training of certain boys.
Where the servicemen’s statue is today, there once stood a magnificent memorial to those who fought in the Civil War. It consisted of soldiers standing beneath a marble canopy. Over time the canopy became dangerous, so the memorial was replaced on Founder’s Day, 1914. The statues from the old memorial were placed in the north vestibule of Founder’s Hall. The present Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was sculptured by J. Massey Rhind, who also designed the statue of Stephen Girard that once stood at City Hall and now stands behind the Philadelphia Art Museum.
A new educational structure was
instituted in 1915 in anticipation of the new high school. It featured a five-year High School and a
six-year Elementary School, a new concept in American education. The new High School was occupied on
1915 the will of Stephen Girard was used as a text-book for study by the older
boys. This year the concept of “
In 1916, discussions began about the need for a drill hall and recreation room to be used during bad weather. The Alumni presented the College portraits of Drs. William H. Allen and Adam H. Fetterolf, past Presidents of the College. Mr. Frank B. A. Linton, an artist of “significant repute”, painted the portraits.
In the 1917, Dr. Herrick
acknowledged the dedication of the Girard boys in their defense of the country
during WW I. One boy took what Herrick called “French
leave” to enter the service, but Herrick mentions that, unlike the past when
boys “hopped the wall,” most of the boys waited until they graduated before
joining the service. The war caused
shortages of almost everything, and conservation procedures had to be
installed. The costs of clothing,
footwear and food were highly inflated.
Since many of the College’s staff left to join the service and war
effort, the boys were assigned to help in many domestic operations of the
college. The mechanical school shops
were used to manufacture and repair items used in the College. The Alumni presented the College with a large
flag containing 298 stars
representing the Girard men in the
service. This flag was suspended in the
front portico of Founder’s Hall. Charles
F. Hummel, the Head Baker in the College for 43 years, and the originator of
the Hum Mud, retired. Great care was used to select the pictures to
be displayed in the new High School. The
notable selections included reproductions of the Abbey paintings in the Boston
Public Library, the Violet Oakley paintings in the Harrisburg State Capitol,
and the Alexander series of the “Evolution of a Book” in the Library of
Congress. Before they were displayed in
the High School they were exhibited in a
The cost to operate the College
exceeded a million dollars for the first time in 1918. The student-body was at 1570 and slowly
increasing. Many graduates wrote to the
College telling about their experiences in the Army, especially in
number of students in the College in 1919 was 1583, and it was costing $1.2
million to operate the College. James E.
Lennon, a Girard graduate, was elected President of the Select Council (today’s
City Council), and in that capacity became a member of the Board of City
Trusts. The concept of Teaching
Housemasters was introduced, but the position was restricted to ten teaching
periods per week. With the war over,
many of the staff had returned including Col. Brookfield who returned to
command the Battalion. Most of the
graduates were discharged; records revealed that 837 were called and 27 were
known to have lost their lives. A month
after Congress granted the American Legion a Charter, the Stephen Girard Post
No. 320 American Legion was officially organized on
H. Kingsley, a graduate of the College, was appointed to the Board in 1920.
These vocational courses were being
taught: carpentry, drafting,
electrical, forge, foundry, machine, pattern, printing, and commercial
shops. Herrick commented that in keeping
with the desires of Stephen Girard, “
The students were preparing an
exhibit to be displayed at the United States Sesqui-Centennial in 1927. The Girard Exhibit was to be a booth modeled
The College population was 1530 in
1927 and $1.7 million was being spent to operate the College. The Dining and Services building opened in
September 1927. Construction began in
1926 and it cost approximately $234,823 to construct. George Dunkle, a graduate much loved by the
students, was hired this year as a relief housemaster, and he went on to serve
more then 50 years before retiring. The
new house arrangement, with each upper buildings containing 144 students,
representing all grades of the high school, began this year. The Girard soccer team had become the power
team of the city, and although not in a league, the team beat both the
champions of the inter-academic and public school leagues. Dr. Herrick began to discuss the need of a
new larger Chapel and buildings for the smallest of children. This was the year that the first Girard News
was published, a project of the high school English Department. Two graduates received appointments to
In 1928, Dr. Herrick’s building
program was proceeding as was his quest for educational excellence. The west-end buildings, and an annex to the
High School were being constructed. The
west-end buildings were intended to accommodate 150 new boys. The annex to the High School was to join the
old middle school with the high school and it included a small gym and
pool. Attached to
The Director’s Room in Founder’s Hall
was impressively refurbished in 1928.
The work was performed by the Chapman Decorative Company that altered
the cabinets to provide space above the bookcases for lunettes painted by
George Gibbs, a prominent
Next on Dr. Herrick’s plans were a new
In 1929 Dr. Herrick, continued his
quest to hire the best educators. Owen
Evans, Superintendent of the
Radio was becoming popular with the
students, many building their own crystal sets. The Bible was being taught “as a book of
ethics”, and used for moral training.
The curriculum was again changed to include college prep for Liberal
Arts colleges, and preparation for entrance to the
In 1929, Building 7, (
The Board of Directors, in July 1929,
purchased a tract of land in
In May 1930 the Board authorized construction of three executives houses. In 1932 the new residences of the President, Vice President, and Superintendent of Household were occupied. The cost to build the three executive residences was $102,000. That permitted Building No. 1, Allen Hall, to be converted to dormitories. At first it was to be used for post-graduate students but there weren’t enough of them to fill the building. Then it was used for students in the first year of high school. In 1937 it was decided to use it to house the graduating class in apartment type arrangements, and Mr. and Mrs Emil Zarella were assigned to care for the students and prepare them for life outside the walls. The graduating class of January 1938 was the first graduating class to have been assigned to the converted building.
In 1930, the lodges were separated
farther apart and adjacent gates replaced the high wall. The operating cost per year of the College
was approaching $2 million and the cost per student was $1160. On
September 1930, the Board authorized an architectural competition to construct
a new Chapel. Ten architects competed
and their drawings were displayed at the downtown Architects Club. An
impressive judging panel including the Dean of the Fine Arts School at Yale
University, and the Professor of Design at the University Of Pennsylvania
School of Fine Arts judged the plans and selected the architectural firm of
Thomas, Martin & Kirkpatrick and Turner Construction Company to be the
contractor. Construction began on
For many years, students attended Chapel services six days a week. The services consisted of Scripture readings and prayer. Girard boys probably knew more about the Bible than children who attended religious schools. In addition to the formal Chapel services, there were smaller groups of Bible study. Here are a few of the topics they discussed: Devotion---Ruth who chose a new home; Self-deceit--Saul, the king that did not govern himself; Fidelity--David, the boy who was true to his trust; Repentance---David, the king who triumphed over himself; Divided Allegiance---Rehoboam or Jereboam; Loyalty to God---Elijah, the champion of true religion; Faithfulness--Amos, the Herdsman Preacher, etc. The list covered 24 subjects.
By using the limestone instead of
marble, the bids for the Chapel were $400,000 less than expected so that money
was used to construct the Library. The
firm of Tilton and Githens, well known designers of many libraries, was chosen
to design the new library. The Library
would be of “
Mike Feldman graduated from Girard College in 1930 and went on to serve with distinction on President Kennedy’s White House staff and remained as Deputy Special Council to President Johnson. In 1962 Feldman was sent as a presidential representative to confer with Ben-Gurion, then leader of Israel. Previous to his White House assignment, Feldman acted as council to several Senate committees.
By November 1931, the enrollment at the College had reached 1717, and it was expected that it would rise to 1900 (It never got that high). In September 1931, 181 “newbies” were admitted and the list of potential applicants was growing rapidly. In addition to local boys, there were newbies from as far south as Birmingham, Alabama and as far west as Michigan. Many students were from up-state Pennsylvania and some were from New York City. That October, 264 boys were summoned for testing and interviews and only 101 were selected.
In 1932, Mr.(later Dr.) E. Newbold Cooper, was hired to be Superintendent of Elementary Schools. He had been Principal of Riverton School in New Jersey. He was a graduate of Haverford College and the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and he was finishing his Doctorate at Rutgers. The depression finally was felt in the College in 1932, and austere financial practices were implemented that saved $250,000. Staff salaries were reduced, purchasing of clothing and supplies was curtailed, and some school trips were eliminated. Although the College got its summer camp, Dr. Herrick was still asking the Board to purchase and set-up a country, agricultural branch to be operated by the College students with fewer academic skills. The depression continued into 1933 causing addition staff cuts and, students were assigned chores of the former custodial and kitchen workers. A chapter of the National Honor Society was established this year. The entire campus was landscaped and “permanent planting of flowering and decorative shrubs in the circle replaced the tulip bulbs and annual flower planting------.”
In 1933, year John T. Windrim resigned as architect for the Board of City Trust. James H. followed by son, John T., were the architects for the Estate for many years. James H. was among the first 100 boys who entered the College and he later designed the Building 7, Good Friends, Lafayette, and the Middle School. Both father and son designed the High School. John T. designed the Armory, the Dining & Services Building, the House Group (West End), the Junior School, and the executive houses. He also redesigned the Mechanical School.
In 1934, the student population was 1724 and plans were being made to increase to 1900, the maximum number the college could house. More than half, 894 of the 1724, came from Philadelphia. Nearly 250 boys were from Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Schuylkill Counties, large coal mining counties that produced many orphans by mining accidents. Nearly every county in the state was represented in the College.
In the interest of economy, more positions were abolished in 1934 including the Vice President. A position of Assistant to the President was created in 1934 after the death of Dr. Jameson, Vice President of the College. Now that all the major construction was completed, attention turned toward improving the playgrounds and seeking ways to reduce operating expenses. Karl R. Friedmann, who later became the President, was hired in 1935 to teach mathematics. He was a Dartmouth graduate and earned a Masters at Columbia. 
In 1936, a branch of the Library was established in the High School to make it more accessible during after dinner study periods. Housemasters replaced governesses in Lafayette. It was thought that boys 13 to 15 years old were “too vigorous for women to control”. Until 1936 all Girard boys wore high black shoes and stockings. This year low black shoes were purchased to be used on special occasions by boys over thirteen years old.
In January 1936, Dr. Herrick announced his intentions to retire at the end of the year. He had already stayed, at the Board’s request, three years beyond the retirement age of 67. His replacement, Dr. Merle M. Odgers, was introduced at the annual Alumni dinner in April. Dr. Herrick never stopped improving the College. Examine the following table to appreciate the number of buildings constructed while he was President. All were outstanding contributions to the excellence of the College. When he retired his legacy was an outstanding educational institute that had few equals. He had a progressive image of what Girard College should be and how its students were to be trained and educated. When he became President, only twenty-five percent of the students stayed to graduate, but when he retired that figure had increased to seventy-five percent. Volumes could be written about Dr. Herrick’s accomplishments as President and each of his President’s Reports is a Girard College history lesson. He developed Girard College from an outstanding school to a world-renowned extraordinary school. His achievements are modestly reviewed in detail in the 1935 President’s Report, his final report and, an important document in Girard College’s recorded history.
DR. HERRICK'S BUILDING PROGRAM
Dining & Services
High School Annex
Three Staff Houses
House Group (West End)
It was directly behind the center of Founder’s Hall and if you look closely you can see the newer stone that was placed in the opening.
 Steel & Garnet Nov. 1910
 It is probable that the name Hum derived from his name, especially since his ginger’s were called Hum Muds.
 The model still exists and is displayed in Founder’s Hall. Some believe Thomas U. Walter, the architect of the original College, made this model. Many of us believe that students made the model, perhaps for this display.
Used for many years as the home field of the Philadelphia Eagles and for most of the Army/Navy football games. It was demolished in 1997 to make room for a new indoor stadium, home of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and Seventy-Sixers basketball team.
 Recent plans include building new buildings in the same vicinity to be used for elementary school children.
Steel & Garnet Aug. 1930
Steel & Garnet Jan 1964
The depression and later Social Security implementation prevented Girard College from the goal of 1900 children.
The writer entered Girard College on September 5, 1935 and after one month I became one of the reports medical statistics having contracted lobar pneumonia, a frequent illness in the College