In the summer of 1920, the Board of Trustees authorized a campaign to raise $750,000 to coincide with Hobart's upcoming Centennial, officially kicking-off the planning for the 1922 milestone. Several months later, in October, they selected Frederick W. Herendeen ’93 of Geneva as the director of the campaign.
Recognizing that “the Centennial idea is of great psychological value, and should be used to provide for the needs of the future,” Herendeen immediately challenged the Board to set their goal even higher at $1,000,000. At the time, this was the largest campaign ever undertaken by an institution of Hobart’s size. To keep alumni informed of the campaign's progression, they were each added to the distribution list for the student-run Hobart Herald newspaper.
The Trustees determined early on that the money raised during the Centennial Campaign would be used for the benefit of both Colleges. At less than 15 years old, William Smith College was still growing from its initial founding in 1908. Meanwhile, Hobart College was recovering from World War I, which had depleted its student body only a few years prior.
While the growth in the size of the student body was something to celebrate, it also posed some challenges. The dormitories were filled to absolute capacity, and more faculty were needed, especially for introductory courses in English, Mathematics, and Foreign Languages.
By mid‐July of 1921, the Board of Trustees and Hobart College administration determined that a celebratory event should be held to commemorate the Centennial. The Board of Trustees and College faculty approved a Centennial date for the following June, and Beverly Chew ’69 was named Honorary Chairman of a newly formed Centennial Committee, separate from the Centennial Campaign Committee.