Dr. Kenneth Gordon Matheson, Chairman of the English Department, was named chairman of the faculty and acting president of the school while a search for Hall's successor took place. Matheson interpreted his title of acting president literally: as a mandate to act--energetically and decisively--to further expand the buildings and programs of the school. While President Hall solidly established the School's reputation as the pre-eminent technical school of the South, President Matheson can be credited with turning the technical school into a full-fledged university.

Matheson accomplished this by focusing on key programs and services that are hallmarks of a major university and that complemented the solid technical education the School already afforded its students. John Heisman, the School's athletic coach since 1903, when he was hired away from Clemson University, obtained a baseball and football field for the School in 1903. Until this time, all games had been played in either Piedmont or Brisbane Park. Heisman leased land-the south two thirds of the present-day Grant field--from Edward Peters. Heisman leased the land with the option to buy. In 1906, during Matheson's administration, the land was purchased for $16,000. The remainder of land for present-day Grant Field was later purchased in 1913 with funds donated by John W. Grant. The field was named for Grant's son.

One of Matheson's strong interests-and of great importance to the School in its quest to be an academic institution of merit-was the development of a good library. While Chairman of the English Department, Matheson had begun a library first housed in his office and then on the third floor of the Academic Building. The Annual Announcement of 1902-1903 described the library on the third floor of the Academic Building as a "well-organized and well-selected library of nearly 2,000 volumes…Valuable literary and scientific reference-books have been acquired, and departments established in fiction, history, biography, travel, philosophy and natural science." In addition, the Announcement noted that a "handsomely-furnished and well-equipped reading room" equipped with "some forty of the leading papers and periodicals" had been established in connection with the library. (21)

Matheson wrote to Andrew Carnegie and persuaded him to fund a library at the Georgia School of Technology. Carnegie donated $20,000 to build the library, provided the school "agrees to furnish $2,000 a year to sustain the library and employ trained help." (22) The architectural firm of Morgan and Dillon was hired to design the library. President Matheson was enthusiastic about the proposed design, noting "every foot of available space will be used and the building will be flooded with light." (23) The Library was designed to hold 6,000 to 8,000 volumes in the library proper, with a stack room of 30,000 volumes. The Carnegie Library opened for business September 1907.

Robert Walker, in his master's thesis Georgia's Carnegie Libraries: a Study of Their History, Their Existing Conditions and Conservation, defines the architectural style as Italian Rennaissance. A major feature of this style is the concealment of the primary wall surface in the front of the building by layers of façade, including an outer wall surface, a projecting vestibule surface and a projecting portico with columns. Another feature of this style is the use of the pilaster as a decorative element. Each lateral wing has two pilasters, and pilasters articulate the building's corners, also adding depth and complexity to the front façade. The library also contains elements of Beaux Arts style: paired columns in the portico and a semi-circular Beaux-Arts window above the entrance. The exterior walls are festooned, and a relief includes the name of the school at the parapet level. The name is capped by the Georgia Tech shield. Walker notes that the "level of exterior elaboration separates this design from other Carnegie libraries statewide." (24)

In 1907, a fateful conversation between President Matheson and a freshman student would lead to a significant expansion of the school curriculum. Ernest D. Ivey was interested in obtaining a degree in Architecture and asked President Matheson what would be required to start such a program. Matheson responded that Architecture would be offered if Ivey could find 15 other students interested in pursuing this major. By Steptember 1908, Ivey had identified 20 students, and the Georgia School of Technology Architecture program was begun. With the broadening of the school's curriculum to include a degree that combined applied art as well as technical skill, the Georgia School of Technology stepped outside the niche it occupied as a first rate technical school "second to none in the work it undertakes to do" (25) to take its place among the premiere academic institutions in the New South.

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