War Memorial Tower and Chapel Development (1944)

The Gideon F. Egner Memorial Chapel (constructed from 1929-1931) was designed by Frank R. Watson. In 1944, a junior partner in the firm of Watson, Edkins, and Thompson, William Heyl Thompson, was called upon by President Tyson to design an expansion of the Chapel complex.

The additions would include a Memorial Tower to commemorate the College's war dead, as well as a Chaplain's residence and garden, a cloister, a reading room, and a commons area. 

The design was never pursued; contributing factors probably included the intense strain of the post-war, G.I. Bill-fueled exponential expansion of the student body and the accompanying concerns (enrollment in 1939 was around 550; in September 1947 it was 1377). 

In 1962, having heard of the College's $2M capital campaign, Thompson reached out to President Erling Jensen, enclosing these copies of the sketches, and asking whether the project might be revived. We have no copy of the response, but we may conclude that perhaps priorites had shifted...

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