Rev. McConaughy was elected the fourth president of Washington College on December 21, 1831, with a salary of $800 per year. Dr. McConaughy was born September 29, 1775, in York (now Adams) County, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from Dickinson College in 1795 and at the time of his nomination was pastor of a church in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. During his tenure the campus expanded from one building to two with the construction of a new building later known as Old Main, and courses in civil engineering, political economy, and the French language were established. The number of graduates increased from three in 1832 to over fifty in 1849, the year of his resignation, totaling 388 during his administration. In 1843 tuition was raised to $15 per term. He helped organize and was appointed a Trustee of the Washington Female Seminary, which was established in 1837 near the College campus. In 1847 interest in uniting the two colleges of Jefferson and Washington again arose. Although no action resulted, relations between the two colleges were friendly and it appeared that "The College War" was over. Dr. McConaughy resigned as president October 12, 1849, at the age of 74. He died January 29, 1852, in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Photograph courtesy of Observer Publishing Company.