Davis & Elkins College celebrating Founders’ Day

Davis & Elkins College will celebrate Founders’ Day at 11 a.m. Thursday with a convocation ceremony in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. The public is invited to help mark the occasion of the College’s founding 109 years ago.

Student Assembly President Agustin Ochoa, a senior from Medellin, Colombia, will serve as keynote speaker. Also highlighting the ceremony will be the presentation of five student achievement awards.

The convocation will feature a processional, led by the West Virginia Highlanders and the Student Veterans of America D&E Chapter Color Guard, with the faculty in full regalia.

Davis & Elkins College was established through the influence and efforts of U.S. Sens. Gassaway Davis and Stephen Benton Elkins, who were responsible for building the first railroad into the area. In 1901, the senators donated land and money to establish a college and academy associated with the Presbyterian Church. Their gift was matched by donations from the residents of Randolph County and the Presbyteries of Lexington and Winchester, Va. In 1902, the college’s Board of Trustees met for the first time. The first classes were held on Sept. 21, 1904.

The original campus was located in south Elkins on a plot donated by Sen. Elkins. Later, a gift of property from Mrs. Hallie Davis Elkins, daughter of Sen. Davis and the widow of Sen. Elkins, prompted the move of the college to its present location in 1926. This property included her home, Halliehurst, and the surrounding estate. In 1941, Sen. Davis’s original estate, which included Graceland and the lands adjacent to Halliehurst, was acquired for the college.