Benjamin Jackson Burris, 1924-1927
Benjamin J. Burris had been a school administrator and politician. He had served as a county attorney and first assistant to the state superintendent of public instruction. Burris was 42 years old when he was appointed president in 1924. By 1925, enrollment had increased to 1,016. The number of faculty and departments increased during this period also. Various types of social and intramural activities prospered. Ball Gymnasium opened in 1925, the Library and Assembly Hall were constructed in 1926, and Lucina Hall was built in 1927. Burris had a strong vision for the college and initially set two goals: achieving the highest accreditation of the college and building a laboratory school for teacher training. Unfortunately he died unexpectedly in 1927 before seeing these goals fully realized.