James W. Cantwell became the college's seventh president, serving from 1915-1921. He called for the conversion of the institution into a multipurpose university and encouraged the expansion of the music department. Cantwell believed students came first and he supported new student organizations.
Cantwell believed students came first and he supported new student organizations and programs. Known for recruiting faculty with graduate degrees from major institutions, Cantwell also increased student recruitment.
He encouraged officer training programs as World War I escalated as well as vocational re-training for returning veterans.