CM: This portrait of ACG President Miss Emily McCallum is by Nicos Zographos, perhaps the finest photographer of pre-war Greece. Undoubtedly, Miss McCallum was one of the greatest figures in the college's history. A fire that destroyed part of the school on 30 January 1891 provided the impetus for action. Within a year of the fire, the Institute bought a property in Göztepe, and purchased an adjoining building. In 1898, the college was divided into three main departments - primary, preparatory, and collegiate - and was named the American Collegiate Institute for Girls, which indicated that it had a college preparatory program. In 1910, the number of main departments had grown to five - kindergarten, primary, intermediate, collegiate, and normal. With over 300 students enrolled, the institute needed to use three buildings near the school, and plans to build a new facility in Smyrna were discussed. Obtaining the land was only the first step toward building a new school, but the financial hardships brought about by the First World War, which broke out in 1914, delayed the process. Even following the Greek occupation of Smyrna in 1919, the missionaries of the Station had approved the proposal for the establishment of a separate department for Turkish children. The Institute's Turkish branch opened in early October 1919 at a rented site in Sala Hane. The curriculum included lessons in the Turkish language and Islamic religious instruction by a Turkish teacher. In 1922, a design was prepared for the first of a series of major buildings on the new campus at Göztepe, but the turmoil of war altered the Institute's destiny. During the crisis of 1922, she opened the gates and gave refuge to students, families, and the general public. Approximately 1,500 Greeks are recorded to have found shelter, food, and protection on the school grounds, and, for a time, the American flags flown along its outer walls and the marines guarding its three gates managed to protect the institution. But when the conflagration finally reached its buildings, everyone fled to the harbor - abandoning the school to the flames that swept through Smyrna in September 1922. A number of students, parents, and instructors managed to save their lives by boarding American, English, French, and Italian ships anchored a short distance from the shore. The fire, however, destroyed not only the school's buildings but also its files, and marked the end of the first period of its history. With a nucleous of the pupils from the school in Sala Hane, Principal McCallum opened the American Junior College for Girls in Athens in 1923.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2005]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens