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Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2009


In the winter of 1954, four men and one woman set out to accomplish a goal that Gettysburg College had been pursuing for more than forty years. All five of them were trustees of the college, and together they formed a special committee within the Board of Trustees. They were the Infirmary Committee, a small body composed of Paul R. Sieber, Nelson F. Fisher, Mrs. Charles W. Baker, John H. Beerits, and Arthur Hendley. In 1954, following one of the most violent outbreaks of influenza ever to strike the college campus, Chairman Hiram H. Keller authorized Paul Sieber, a prominent alumnus, surgeon, and five-year member of the Board of Trustees, to chair a committee whose goal was to “bring in a report at the Annual Meeting in June as to the manner of raising money for the „Infirmary‟ Fund.” The establishment of this committee would prove to be the first step towards the erection of a new infirmary, a modern medical center that the college desperately needed. For years, the Infirmary Committee‟s predecessors on the Board of Trustees had attempted to raise funds for the purpose of establishing a permanent medical facility. However, the influx of funds proved inadequate, and the board was forced to put aside its plans for a new infirmary. Finally, in 1954, Dr. Paul R. Sieber was appointed chairman of the Infirmary Committee. He and Dr. Nelson F. Fisher, the vice chairman of the committee, would charge forth with renewed zeal, determined to lay the foundation of a new infirmary. Their efforts would result in the establishment of the Sieber-Fisher Infirmary, more commonly known as the Health Center. Today, their efforts are recognized on the eastern wall of the center‟s waiting room, on a prominent brown and gold plaque that bears their names. [excerpt]

Course Information:

  • Course Title: HIST 300: Historical Method
  • Academic Term: Fall 2009
  • Course Instructor: Dr. Michael J. Birkner '72

Hidden in Plain Sight is a collection of student papers on objects that are "hidden in plain sight" around the Gettysburg College campus. Topics range from the Glatfelter Hall gargoyles to the statue of Eisenhower and from historical markers to athletic accomplishments. You can download the paper in pdf format and click "View Photo" to see the image in greater detail.


Gettysburg College, infirmary, health center, Infirmary Committee, Paul R. Sieber, Nelson F. Fisher, Mrs. Charles W. Baker, John H. Berrits, Arthur Hendley, medical facility, influenza


History | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | United States History

Department 1


Campus Location

Sieber-Fisher Infirmary

Failure and Success: Paul R. Sieber, Nelson F. Fisher, and the Fifty-Year Struggle for the Gettysburg College Health Center