President Ira A. Priest, 1897-1901
Yet another pastor of the Universalist Church in Akron was chosen to lead the young institution through a very difficult period. During his four-year tenure, Ira A. Priest dealt with the effects of a nationwide economic depression and a devastating fire. He resigned in 1901 to go into business.
Fire destroys the original Buchtel Hall, threatening the very existence of the struggling school, but Akron’s citizens and local entrepreneurs once again come to the support of the young institution.