Lawrence B. Hill was the first to have his position designated as president and the first to have earned a doctorate. He guided the course of the college from 1913-18, and made enormous gains in relating the college to the area. New courses were introduced, including manual training, agriculture, domestic science, and gardening. Courses in mining were also added.

Additional training was also given in the teaching profession. In 1915, the school became a two-year professional normal school, the short course for teachers was authorized, and first offered in 1915-16.

Under Dr. Hillīs administration, James F. Holroyd arranged to take the seniors to visit surrounding rural schools. Those graduating were to serve as apprentice teachers. The road connecting the town and the campus was improved, and a gesture of appreciation of beauty was made in 1915, in planting the famous Pines. Intended as a windbreak, the grove became in time a symbol of the college.