Gettysburg celebrates 185th anniversary on Founders Day

Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College

Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College

By Benjamin Pontz, News Editor

Gettysburg College commemorated the 185th anniversary of its founding today as students donned orange and blue across campus in celebration.

An email from President Janet Morgan Riggs (herself an alumna from the class of 1977) encouraged students to post celebratory photos on social media, wear Gettysburg colors, listen for the bell atop Glatfelter Hall to toll 18 times (one for each decade), and look for the Founders Day 2017 video on Snapchat.

Originally founded as Pennsylvania College, Governor George Wolf signed the bill creating the institution on April 7, 1832, which, accordingly, is celebrated as Founder’s Day. Thaddeus Stevens, the venerated legislator who lived in Gettysburg in the latter part of his life, was instrumental in the founding of the college and served on the Board of Trustees for 34 years, according to an article in The Gettysburgian‘s commemoration of Founder’s Day in 1943.

Across campus, various yard signs and other displays have had various bits of information on early contributors to the college.

In the past, archives from The Gettysburgian indicate that some years have had more celebration of the event than others. During World War II, for example, the event passed largely “unnoticed” by students and staff.  In 1965, however, a special Founder’s Day Convocation was held, which featured a guest speaker on “Political Ideals and Practical Politics.”

Would you like to share a photo showing your orange and blue spirit? Tag it #Gburg185 on social media.

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian. Previously, he served as a staff writer, event coverage coordinator, news editor, and managing news editor. During his tenure, he has written more than 120 articles, and he led the team that won first place in the 2017 Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage of Robert Spencer's visit to Gettysburg College. Ben is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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