In 1864 Marquette College was incorporated, but it was not until 1880 that ground breaking occurred for the first building at 10th and State, and not until September 5, 1881 that the College opened with 35 students paying an annual tuition of $60. On December 17, 1894, Gesu was dedicated and opened on 12th and Grand Ave (now Wisconsin Ave). In 1907, the College moved into its new and only building, Johnston Hall (the building in the photo just east of Gesu) which was built for $110,000. At that time College had 81 faculty and 709 students. In the same year, the College affiliated with the Milwaukee Medical College to form Marquette University.
While the Department of Biology was not formed until 1933, it evolved from the merger of the Departments of Zoology (formed in 1920) and Botany (formed in 1922). Until 1924, these departments were housed in the attic of Johnston Hall (with Physics and Chemistry on the 3rd and 4th floors, respectively). In 1924, the Zoology and Botany department’s moved to a new science building built for $350,000 and located just west of Gesu (currently Marquette Hall). The photo shows Gesu and Johnston hall from the rear, and the greenhouse built for $6,000 in 1925.
The Graduate School was organized in 1932 which included a Master’s degree in Botany with an emphasis on cytology, morphology and plant genetics. In the 1930’s some 30 Master’s degrees were earned in Botany, and 6 in Zoology. In contrast, only 2 Ph.D. degrees were conferred; one each in Botany and Zoology.