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Virginia Tech Historical Data Book, Section 1.9:
The Eggleston Years (1913-1919)

During Eggleston's six-year tenure, several material improvements were made on the campus. The McBryde Building of Mechanic Arts (torn down in 1968 to make room for the new McBryde Hall) was erected, though not completed, and put into use in August 1917; the first building erected primarily to be used as a gymnasium was built with private donations (known as the "Field House" and located on a site approximately halfway between the present Carol M. Newman Library and Eggleston Dormitory; burned down November 4, 1923); 10 new faculty residences were constructed; and additional concrete walks were laid.

An Agricultural Extension Division was established in 1914 as a result of the federal Smith-Lever Act of May 8, 1914. The Virginia General Assembly transferred control of agricultural demonstration work, already being conducted in the state, to Tech's administration. The home demonstration program was begun in 1915.

The first Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the college was approved by the board of visitors on Nov. 23, 1916, and an Army ROTC infantry unit was established Jan. 5, 1917.

After the United States had entered World War I in April 1917, the college became a training school for both the Army and the Navy and was operated on a 12-month basis. The regular summer school was suspended until 1925.

As a result of the contribution that Tech alumni made to the war effort, the War Department designated the college as one of 12 "Distinguished Colleges" in the nation in June 1919.

In the spring of 1919, Eggleston announced that he was resigning to accept the presidency of his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College, effective July 1 (the end of the academic year in 1919). The board of visitors at a meeting in Richmond June 12, 1919, elected Julian A. Burruss as Tech's eighth president. Burruss was the first Tech alumnus (Class of 1898) to serve as president.


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Tamara Kennelly, University Archivist
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Blacksburg, VA, 24062-9001

Last Modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 08:16:07 EDT