A historical wayside marker commemorating Thaddeus Stevens’ connection to Gettysburg College will be dedicated April 16 on the Gettysburg College campus, less than two weeks after Stevens’ 220th birthday.
The 4 p.m. ceremony will take place near Stevens Hall at the new Thaddeus Stevens plaque, located on Carlisle Street between West Lincoln Avenue and West Stevens Street. In the event of rain, the dedication will be held in Weidensall Hall’s lobby, located along North Washington Street. The event is free and open to the public.
The brief dedication ceremony will include a welcome by Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs, and remarks by Alex Munro, director of alumni association at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, located in Lancaster, Pa.; Ross Hetrick, president of the Thaddeus Stevens Society; and local historian Dr. Brad Hoch.
The dedication ceremony is the first time in recent memory that officials from the two colleges that Stevens helped found are appearing together to honor his legacy.
Also opening on April 16 is an exhibit, “Rediscovering the Legacy of Thaddeus Stevens,” in Musselman Library’s Special Collections. The exhibit, which features several of Stevens’ possessions, will be open for a year.
Thaddeus Stevens was one of the country’s most powerful congressmen during and after the Civil War. He ushered through the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which requires equal treatment under the law and extends civil liberties to the state level. While representing Gettysburg in the state legislature in 1834, Stevens was instrumental in securing $18,000 from the state to construct Gettysburg College's first building, Pennsylvania Hall. Stevens served on the College's board from 1834 until his death in 1868.
This event is part of Gettysburg College’s American Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration. The College will sponsor events and programs throughout the anniversary. 2013 will mark the 150th anniversary of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. For more information, visit www.gettysburg.edu/civilwar2013 and www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com.
Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg College) played a vital role in the Civil War, with over 200 alumni serving the Union or Confederacy, and the College’s Pennsylvania Hall functioning as an observation post and hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. On November 19, 1863, College students and faculty processed to hear Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Earlier in the year, an 1851 graduate of the College, David Wills, had invited Lincoln to deliver a few appropriate remarks” at the cemetery’s dedication.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803