|Willard Geoffrey Lake was born to Alvin and Amelia
Haight Lake in Moravia, New York on November 26, 1863. He prepared
for college at the Pennington Seminary in New Jersey and entered Dickinson
with the class of 1887 in the fall of 1883. Known as "Ted" to his
classmates, the 5' 7" New Yorker became a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
He is perhaps far more known for his
contribution to Dickinson sports. He was captain of baseball on several
very successful teams and was such a driving power behind the organization
of a successfull football team at the College that he was know for long
after as "the father of Dickinson Football." He captained the 1885
and 1886 football teams from the quarterback position during these first
two years of organized intercollegiate competion that began with the inaugural
game in December, 1885 against Swarthmore in Carlisle. With the help
of Professor Fletcher Durell, he did much of the coaching, as well.
Lake graduated with his class in July 1887 and began a career as
a teacher, serving as a principal in the public schools of Smyrna, Delaware
until 1890 until he returned to the College as an adjunct professor of
Hygeine and Physicla Culture. For two years, he was very active in
the training and advising of athletes at the College, especially in football
and officiating in contests. When he left for a post as professor of Science
at Southwestern state normal school (now California University of Pennsylvania)
in 1892, Professor Reed took the opportunity to appoint to the vacancy
Lake left Southwestern Normal in 1895 and became the manager of the
Chautauqua Photographic Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania beginning in
1896. The photographs of this company oftern documented the industrial
city and its poor and many survive in collections like the Carnegie Museum
of Art. The company remained active until 1911. Lake then seemingly
went on to expand his career as a photographer working for several area
businesses such as the Baltimore and Ohio and the Wabash railroads.
Willard Geoffrey Lake died in 1940 at the age of seventy-six.