Rev. George Price Hays was elected second president of Washington & Jefferson College August 3, 1870, and was inaugurated September 21, 1870, in the Town Hall at Washington, Pennsylvania. He was born at Miller's Run, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1838. He was graduated from Jefferson College in 1857, studied at the Western Theological Seminary and was licensed to preach in 1859. He received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Lafayette College in 1870 and later his LL.D. from Hanover College, Indiana. He resigned his presidency June 3, 1881, and returned to the ministry full time, first at Denver, Colorado, and later in Cincinnati and Kansas City.
During his administration, in 1875, the College began the addition of a new front with two towers and a third floor to "Old Main" at a cost of $65,000. By 1877 the enlargement reached a total cost of $73,196.51. In 1878 the Board resolved "That it is imperatively necessary on account of our financial condition, to make a reduction in the salaries of the President and professors". -Minutes March 19, 1878. On December 18, 1878, President Hays tendered his resignation but the Board declined to accept it. On March 26, 1879, President Hays was given a leave of absence without pay. On June 20, 1881, the Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Dr. Hays.
Photograph courtesy of Observer Publishing Company.