In the late 1800s, a young Brethren minister named J. G. Francis had a vigorous interest in establishing a Brethren College east of the Susquehanna River. He rode his bicycle around parts of Lancaster County searching for and photographing suitable locations for the College.

On July 10, 1900, construction began on Elizabethtown College’s first building, simply named Alpha Hall. J.G. Francis’ likeness and camera sit prominently outside Alpha Hall today as a reminder of his vision and purpose for the future.  

The College honors individuals with the same vision for the College’s future through membership in the J.G. Francis Society, which recognizes the careful planning and generosity of those who include the College in their estate plan.