Christian Spectator

The Western Reserve Academy Archives holds some fascinating items relevant to the history of the school. One such item is this copy of The Christian Spectator, published the same year the school opened, 1826.

The plaque on WRA Chapel’s front reads, “was dedicated in 1836 to the service of Almighty God.” In the early days of the old college, upwards of one-third of Western Reserve College students focused their studies (today we call this majoring) on theology. Our campus – and for that matter, the town of Hudson – was at that time located in a not-yet-developed area, referred to in many history books as “wilderness”. As such, David Hudson and other town founders saw the need to educate and develop young ministers, who would provide moral and spiritual support to the early pioneers moving to and living in such untamed environs.

The surname inscribed inside the book is Pierce. The Reverend George E. Pierce served as Western Reserve College’s second president from 1834-1855. Though he did not arrive in Hudson until eight years after the school’s opening, his possession of the book during the days of his administration suggests that Pierce foresaw the historical importance of the yet-very small school in the wilderness. We benefit today – nearly 200 years later – by way of President Pierce’s foresight.

Mr. Hoffman

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