Thomas Messinger Drown studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and later became professor of chemistry at Lafayette College. Drown's first years were difficult, as the Panic of 1893 decimated Lehigh's stock holdings in the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Nevertheless, Lehigh managed to grow in enrollment and academics. A degree in arts and engineering was established, as was the department of zoology and biology and new curricula in metallurgical engineering, geology and physics. Drown died in 1904, and Professor William H. Chandler became acting president.