1895-1915: Martin, Reaser, & McKeag

Samuel Martin

Rev. Dr. Samuel A. Martin

Dr. Samuel Martin (1895-1903)

Dr. Samuel Albert Martin was born in Canonsburg, PA in 1853. He was educated at Lafayette (class of 1877) and Princeton Theological Seminary (class of 1880). He received his Doctorate of Divinity in 1892. He served as the pastor of Christ Church in Lebanon from 1882-1885, and as professor of homiletics at Lincoln University from 1885-1895.

Dr. Martin was inaugurated as Wilson's president on May 28, 1895. While Martin was President, Wilson greatly expanded its facilities including the President's Hall (infirmary), Harmony Cottage, Science Hall, Latin School (Brick House), South Hall, a new gymnasium, a new dining hall, and work on the Frank Thomson Music Hall was begun. He was a champion of the music and art departments at Wilson. In addition, the Kittochtinny Historical Society was founded in the Martin home in 1898.

Dr. Martin left in 1903 to become president of Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham) until 1906. He served as chief executive/principal at Shippensburg University from 1907-1913. The President's House on that campus is named for him. He died in 1921.

Matthew Reaser

Rev. Dr. Matthew Howell Reaser

Rev. Dr. Matthew Howell Reaser (1903-1911)

Rev. Dr. Reaser officially accepted the presidency in a letter written on June 10, 1903.

Under President Reaser, Wilson's campus doubled in size to nearly 50 acres. In 1906, the athletic fields were developed on North campus. Reaser also sought to stiffen entrance requirements and increased the number of available elective courses. One of his first actions as President was to establish the Department of Bible in 1903.

During this time, Wilson's campus changed and modernized.  In 1903, Thomson Hall was finished and occupied. A pipe organ was added to the chapel, and the first telephone exchange was established in the newly enlarged post-office in 1909.

He resigned on June 7, 1911.

Anna J. McKeag

Dr. Anna J. McKeag

Dr. Anna J. McKeag (1911-1915)

Dr. McKeag had a long association with Wilson College. She received her AB from Wilson before going on to earn her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 1900. 

She became an instructor at Wilson in 1892, then a full professor, and finally a dean before leaving to serve as the Head of the Department of Education at Wellesley College. 

She returned to Wilson in 1911 to serve as President. She resigned on August 1, 1915.


1895-1915: Martin, Reaser, & McKeag