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DeKalb County Historical Markers

Oglethorpe University

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Oglethorpe University
  • Location: 4484 Peachtree Rd. in front of Oglethorpe University north of Atlanta


Chartered in 1835 by Georgia Presbyterians near Milledgeville, Oglethorpe University was the first denominational college established in the Deep South. It perished during the Civil War and was briefly revived from 1870 to 1872 in Atlanta. Thornwell Jacobs refounded the University as a private, non-sectarian liberal arts college at the present site in 1915. Land on Peachtree Road was donated by realtor C.H. Ashford. By 1929 Oglethorpe had acquired about 600 acres, including nearby Silver Lake, a gift from publisher William Randolph Hearst. The Gothic revival architecture on the campus was intended as a “living memorial” to Georgia’s founder, James Edward Oglethorpe. It was inspired by his honorary alma mater, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, England. Four buildings of limestone and native granite, built beefier 1930, were designed by the noted firm of Morgan and Dillon. Phoebe Hearst Memorial Hall, Lumpton Hall with its distinctive bell tower, Hermance Stadium and the Lowry Hall section of Philip Weltner Library are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Crypt of Civilization time capsule, a vault located in Hearst Hall, was sealed in 1940 and is not to be opened until 8113 A.D.