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Krause Hall: What's in a Name?

Krause Hall

Albright students utter their names everyday. "I’m on my way to Masters for my history class." "Teel is such a far walk from the suites." "I have to run back to Crowell to get my bag."

What many may never realize is that the names etched above the doorways and written on the sides of these buildings are tributes to people who have made significant contributions to Albright College.

When Schuylkill Seminary moved back to Reading in 1902, Lewis D. Krause was one of its largest contributors. His commitment to Schuylkill Seminary dated back to 1898, when he was appointed a seminary trustee. Having made his fortune in the shoe business, coupled with great success in real estate investments, Krause was able to devote his time to the College.

Later, as president of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, Krause never failed to contribute handsomely to the developing institution. When he died on July 11, 1935, Krause left more than $250,000 to the College in his will.

After Albright College and Schuylkill College merged in 1928 there was a desperate need for more space for the increasing student body. The College planned to erect both a new chapel and gymnasium but they needed the facilities faster than they could finance and build them. The Board of Trustees found a temporary solution.

The federal government offered the College a large wooden building that originally stood in Fort Patrick Henry, in Virginia. The building, which moved to Reading in 1947, provided enough floor space for a basketball court and also accommodated 450 students on folding chairs and in the main balcony. The basement of this structure included music practice rooms, a student lounge, a bookstore, a soda fountain and grill. Physical education classes, assemblies and special concerts were held on the main floor.

On April 26, 1952, the building was officially named Sarah E. Krause Hall, to honor the wife of Lewis D. Krause as directed in his will, which had provided specific funds for that purpose. Although it was known that the building would be temporary, it was the center of campus social life until 1967 when the present Campus Center was completed.

Fortunately the legacy of Lewis D. Krause and his family did not end with the destruction of this building. In early 1981, the Board of Trustees renamed East Hall, which was one of the residence halls that makes up the quad on campus, Lewis D. Krause Hall in his honor.

Today, is Krause Hall just a building where students live for nine months of the year? "I knew it was named after someone but I never really thought about why," says Lauren Finnigan ’04, a current Krause Hall resident. "I’m guessing that he gave a lot of money to Albright. Probably a lot more than my $28,000 a year," says Julie Horton ’05.

Krause was a true Albrightian in every sense of the word. According to Discovery and Promise: A History of Albright College, "At the moment when the institution was struggling financially and in grave danger, Lewis D. Krause had remembered her and his gift shed first light in the darkness."

-- Amy M. Buzinski ’03

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