Professor Francis A. March arrives at Lafayette College in 1855.  He is widely credited with introducing Shakespeare to the American college classroom and is granted the first chair in the English language and comparative philology in the United States.  As both a teacher of reading and writing in English, March is instrumental in the origin of English composition as a discipline at Lafayette.  For the first time, students are taught to write and declaim in the classroom under March’s tutelage.  In 1861-62 the Fowler Prize is established by Professor William C. Fowler, friend and teacher of Francis March.  The prize, awarded annually to a member of the senior class, is designed to encourage students in the recently formed study of English at Lafayette.

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