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Faces Behind the Places of DePauw University

This guide includes historical information about the people behind DePauw University's building names.

Hillary A. Gobin

                                                 Hillary Asbury Gobin
                                                March 25, 1842 – March 18, 1923

Hillary A. GobinA member of the class of 1870, Hillary Asbury Gobin returned to DePauw University as a professor of Greek. After then spending four years as President of Baker University in Kansas, Gobin returned to DePauw as Dean in 1890. Six years later, Gobin became the eighth president of his alma mater, holding the position until 1903.

During his time as president, Gobin led DePauw through the difficult decisions of dismantling departments with declining interest and funding, such as the School of Theology and student military training. Until his retirement in 1922, Gobin remained on the faculty as Professor of Theology and English. The Board of Trustees honored Gobin by naming him Vice-President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English Bible and DePauw conferred him the degrees of Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws.

Before his career in academia, Gobin served in the Union army during the Civil War and spent ten years in the Methodist ministry. Gobin was a four time delegate to the Methodist General Conference. During his early years as a minister, Gobin officiated a classmate’s wedding in 1871, the first campus wedding to take place at the university.

The original intent to use Gobin’s name was to build a space used by both the Methodist Church and DePauw University. While this exact vision did not materialize, the neo-Gothic Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church constructed on Locust Street in 1929 has become a resource to the Methodist, DePauw, and Greencastle community, bringing the worlds together.                                                  Gobin Church