arts,Roberts & Davis

Three of the men directly associated with Bucknell University during the years of the Great Depression and World War II are standing in front of the bronze plaque marking the dedication of Roberts Hall, which occurred on Homecoming Day, November 13, 1937. The plaque, which at this time was placed on the west wall of the first floor lobby outside of the President's office in the newly re-constructed building, contained an image of Daniel C. Roberts in the circle at the top, as well as a commorative inscription. President Arnaud C. Marts is standing to the left; Daniel C. Roberts is standing in front of the plaque; and, J.Warren Davis, who was Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is standing to the right.

Daniel C. Roberts

Daniel C. Roberts was elected to the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University during the administration of President Homer Price Rainey (1931-1935). In 1937, Arnaud Marts, who was acting President, informed the trustees that Bucknell had received most of the $375,000.00 required to rebuild Old Main, which had been very severely damaged by a fire in 1932, but that $57,000.00 was still needed, at which time Mr. Roberts gave the university securities valued at $57,500.00. When President Marts began raising funds to construct the proposed new gymnasium for men, Roberts gave 1,000 shares of Woolworth stock worth approximately $50,000.00 toward the $150,000.00 needed to begin the project. Later, when more money was needed, Mr. Roberts gave an additional 2,000 shares of Woolworth stock for the project. In addition, Roberts gave $50,000.00 to the fund to complete and equip the Engineering Building. He was made Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees. At the time of his death in 1940, Daniel C. Roberts had given nearly $900,000.00 to the university, which included the value of 16,000 shares of Woolworth stock that he had donated.

Although he had made the largest contribution to the campaign to build the new gymnasium for men, Mr. Roberts declined the opportunity to have the facility bear his name because he felt that two buildings should not be named in his honor. As a consequence, at Commencement on June 13, 1938, the new gym was dedicated as the Davis Gymnasium in honor of Judge J. Warren Davis, an honor which was completely unexpected by the judge. During these same commencement exercises, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree was conferred upon Mr. Roberts.

The major sources for the information on this page are the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1920-1950 (BT '20-'50).