Stockton Record Columns Article

The columns between Knoles Hall and the William Knox Holt Memorial Library have a history going back further than their installation on campus. They were first erected in the 1890s as part of the Hazelton Free Public Library on Market and Hunter Streets in Stockton. In 1965, before that building was demolished, the city council voted to give the columns to Pacific. By 1967, the columns were reassembled as they are seen today (below). They were installed at a tilt in order that they would appear straight, as setting them exactly perpendicular to the ground would have created the illusion that they were bowing outward. The tilt is so slight that if an imaginary line were traced upward though each column, the lines would not connect until they were about one mile above the earth. The columns stand as a memorial to Grace Condit Weeks, Lois Condit Keys, and Ida Elizabeth Condit—the mother and aunts of Grace Burns, the wife of President Burns. Besides being an attractive and unique feature, the columns have a secret: if a person stands on the metal plate in the center of the rotunda and talks in the direction of one of the columns, their voice will be echoed back to them. The Stockton College class of 1951 dedicated a plaque for the columns in 2015.


Left: a Stockton Record article and picture of the columns at Hazelton Free Public Library, 1967

Right: the columns on University of the Pacific campus outside the William Knox Holt Memorial Library, 2023