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In 1919, F.W. Woolworth Co. executive Harry Hermance pledged $50,000 for the construction of the first section of an "athletic stadium and Greek theater." On May 29, 1926, the cornerstone was laid, and on October 26, 1929 the first section was formally dedicated during a football game against the University of Dayton.
Dr. Thornwell Jacobs envisioned an athletic arena resembling the "Roman Colosseum made of granite." The initial section (capacity for about 5000 spectators) was to be the first of seven other parts that would form a unified bowl. This plan was never realized after Hermance lost his entire fortune in the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Hermance Stadium was not part of the original Morgan and Dillon design for Oglethorpe campus. But the architects did design a highly unusual stadium in Gothic design that matches the academic halls (from National Register report, "Oglethorpe University Historic District" ).