Founder’s Day speaker Eric Fruge marks the oldest vestige of Georgetown College, the Hawkings Family graveyard – between Cooke Memorial hall and Jackson Street. Etching on the oldest stones are no longer legible, but probably date back to 1798 when Rittenhouse Academy was formed on the college grounds. (Photo by Jessica Ehleben)
In preparation for the Founder’s Day convocation, Eric Fruge has spent much of the last year researching Georgetown College’s rich history for a visual presentation. And, he believes Scott Countians – even those without ties to the college – will at least be interested and entertained by what’s being displayed behind him 11 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 23) in John L. Hill Chapel.
“The presentation focuses on the early decades of the college,” Dr. Fruge said. “I wanted to hit on a few things with images…I want to let (the audience) see the people and students that comprised Georgetown’s beginning.”
Using many images that have never before been seen by the public, Fruge will take viewers back to 1830 when there were only 13 students and tuition was $25 a year. Through the entire research process, which included hours of digging through campus archives, the library and sifting through documents, Fruge said the highlight of it all was Dr. Glen Taul’s discovery of a diploma from 1832 on eBay.
Other historical treasures to be shown include the first image of Georgetown College ever made, a photo of the first football team in 1893 and the recently discovered headstone of Issachar Pawling, donor of the first monetary gift to help create the college.
Aside from showing a bit of Georgetown’s history in photos and slides, Fruge hopes to give a glimpse into the 19th century student’s life using the journal of an actual student and the account of the campus’ reaction to the news of the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861.
Fruge, director of the capital campaign, also recently published his first book, “The Traitors of Montsecours” and received a positive review by Kentucky Monthly magazine.