History of Central Academy and Collegiate McPherson

Central Academy and Collegiate McPherson is one of the newer educational institutions of Kansas, and is the property and is conducted under the auspices of the Free Methodist Church. Many of the older citizens of McPherson and surrounding district attended Orleans Seminary. The Central Academy and College was founded in 1914 as successor to the old seminary.

The college buildings and campus are located on Main Street in McPherson, three quarters of a mile from the post office. The large campus offers excellent opportunities for athletic exercise and it is one of the beauty spots of the city.

The principal building is Science Hall, erected at a cost of $56,000. It is a brick structure, 112 by 50 feet, containing recitation rooms and quarters for administration offices. Lewis Hall was recently constructed as the ladies’ dormitory, and is a three-story brick structure, 70 by 60 feet, costing about $20,000. This building is especially attractive because in its architecture it avoids the appearance of an ordinary school structure.

The auditorium, which had been erected during the past school year, is located on the northeast corner of the college campus facing Main Street. The building had cost approximately $20,000 and serves both for a place of worship and a hall for general assemblies. The auditorium proper will seat comfortably 700 persons, and the balcony, which is well-lighted and arranged for proper ventilation, will seat at least 150 people. The large rooms on the first floor will serve as class rooms for instruction in the Christian Workers’ course and a place of meeting for the Ministerial Association and Missionary Society.

The building is erected on a substantial foundation. The walls are made of vitrified tapestry brick and carthclite stone. The large windows, fitted with opalescent glass, amply supply the building with light. In general appearance, the auditorium is a structure of beautiful and modern architecture of colonial style.

The new model school building, constructed upon the most up-to-date plans, had large well-lighted rooms, fitted with modern improvements, steam heat, a sanitary drinking fountain, and other conveniences. It is beautifully located on the corner of the campus, surrounded by large pine and elm trees.

The purpose of the school, as stated in the official college publication, “is to develop not only thorough scholarship but noble Christian character. As a means to this end we seek to throw around our students the very best Christian influences. Hence, great care is exercised in the selection of a faculty. In this as elsewhere we seek first the Kingdom of God. Thus far we have been blessed with instructors who combine thorough scholarship and efficiency with Christian devotion. * * * We believe obedience to authority is essential to good citizenship and true Christian character. Hence we insist that only such as are willing to comply with our regulations should apply for admission. While the discipline is mild, it is firm and seeks to develop self control and conscientiousness on the part of the students.”

The institution maintains an academy offering a four-year course equivalent to courses maintained in the regular high schools of the state. The college department offers a curricula leading up to the Bachelor’s degree. The college and academy also maintain special departments in commercial work, public speaking, domestic science and home economics, and also a theological course for the training of young men for the ministry.

The founder and president of Central Academy and College is Rev. L. Glenn Lewis, Ph. B.

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