Explore the namesakes of EU's various academic buildings

Category:  News
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 at 6:17 PM
Explore the namesakes of EU's various academic buildings by Dakota Palmer

Chances are, you’ve probably walked into academic buildings on campus multiple times without thinking anything of it. You’re simply on autopilot, walking around and following the same paths each day that lead you to your classes.

But, have you ever thought about who the buildings were named after? 

All information was compiled from the books “Edinboro University” by Dave Obringer, “Edinboro University: An Adminstrative History” by Roy Strausbaugh, “A Portrait of Edinboro” by Russell Vance and “A Building History of Edinboro University” by Jennifer Boser. Additional information can be found on the seventh floor of the Baron-Forness Library in the university archives.

Here are the stories.

Baron-Forness Library

Named after: Justina Baron, Mildred Forness

Built in: 1976

Cost: $3,541,000

Both Justina Baron and Mildred Forness were librarians. Forness began working as an assistant librarian in 1922 and became head librarian in 1925. In 1960, she founded the library science department. She retired in 1969. Baron began working in 1925, retiring in 1966.

Forness sponsored the first sorority, Alpha Delta, in October 1928. She also used to drive students to church in Cambridge Springs since there were not any Catholic churches in Edinboro.

Both Baron and Forness visited libraries all over the U.S. to get ideas for what the Edinboro one should be like.

Butterfield Hall

Named after: Dr. Clair Butterfield

Built in: 1972

Cost: $1,872,000

Dr. Clair Butterfield came to Edinboro in the 1946-47 academic year. In 1966, university president Dr. Thomas Miller died in his office. Dr. Harry Earlley took over, but died within a month. Butterfield, chair of the education department at the time, was named acting president. 

In November 1967, he was named interim dean of student affairs. 

While he was acting president, Edinboro felt jinxed when the plane Butterfield was flying hit a deer on the runway when it landed in Bradford. 

Louis C. Cole Auditorium

Named after: Louis C. Cole

Built in: 1941

Cost: $250,000

Louis Cole graduated from Edinboro in 1965 with a math education degree. He taught for a few years before getting a job in Silicon Valley in 1969. He became president of CXI in 1983 and then president and CEO of Legato Systems in 1989. 

The building, originally named Memorial Hall, listing the names of students who entered the service during WWII, was dedicated to Cole at Fall Convocation and Founders’ Day in 2003. 

Compton Hall

Named after: Margaret Compton

Built in: 1940

Named in: 1947

Margaret Compton graduated from the Northwestern Normal School in 1866 and taught science courses there from 1868 to 1892. She was fired by the Council of Trustees, along with five other professors, in 1892 for supporting Joseph Cooper (see more about Cooper below) during his trial. 

Compton Hall originally housed the department of education, which was a laboratory school with six grades and kindergarten. 

Cooper Science Center

Named after: Joseph A. Cooper

Built in: 1965

Cost: $692,000

Joseph Cooper came to the Northwestern State Normal School in 1861. He was offered the principalship in 1863. His salary was $1 for every student for each term. He also built what is known as the president’s house, and he campaigned for money for a library.

He eventually was forced to resign because of charges against him regarding mishandling of university money and other university-related matters.

In March 1887, Cooper was charged with “charges of mismanagement and unauthorized expenditures.” The State Legislative Committee looked into the charges for a long while, and concluded that they could not find enough evidence to confirm Cooper acted inappropriately. 

Eventually, in 1892 the Trustees voted to oust the president and find a successor. He was accused of ordering books under the school’s name and giving them to his son to sell in his bookstore, falsifying which classes were taught in 1892, forcing a professor to make a false report as to what classes he taught and lying in financial reports about the use of money. 

Many students supported Cooper and were upset at the charges, and Cooper was excommunicated from the university in 1892. Additionally, members of the community collected funds for Cooper’s legal defense. In 1911, the Board of Trustees released a motion that said since Cooper’s firing without notice was “irregular,” they did not stand behind the minutes of the board, claiming they rescinded the dismissal motion.

Crawford Center

Named after: Clarence C. Crawford

Built in: 1940

Named in: 1942

Clarence C. Crawford was the principal of Normal School. He began as a vice principal and instructor in mathematics in 1918 and began as principal of the Normal School in 1922. In 1929, they changed from the Normal School to the Teachers College, making Crawford the first official president of the Edinboro State Teachers College.

He resigned in June 1934, but taught social studies until May 1940. Crawford did not contribute money to his Teachers Retirement Fund and instead used the money to help students and faculty. A man collected money from former students so Crawford would have pension. He died in 1942. 

The very last men’s intercollegiate basketball game was played in Crawford in December 1970, right as McComb Fieldhouse opened.

Dearborn Hall

Named after: Ned H. Dearborn

Built in: 1965

Cost: $1,166,000

Ned Dearborn graduated from Edinboro Normal School in 1912 and was vice president and president of the National Safety Council. 

Dearborn Hall was originally a women’s dorm and housed the Dean of Women’s Office. The dorm housed 300 students and had lounges, study areas, recreation and rooms. It housed men in 1965-66 and then women in 1966.

Diebold Center for the Performing Arts

Named after: Foster Diebold

Foster Diebold served as university president from 1979 to 1996. He was one of three presidential recommendations in 1979, and ultimately he was picked to be president.

During his presidency, he had Reeder Hall, Biggers House and Taylor House rehabilitated and also created an international program.

Doucette Hall

Named after: Amie H. Doucette

Built in: 1973

Named in: 1974

Cost: $1,176,000

Amie Doucette was an art professor who taught until 1960. He and Mildred Forness drove students to church in Cambridge Springs. After 38 years of working at the university, he retired, but eventually came back for one year as acting chairman. 

Doucette Hall is located where Haven Hall was before it was torn down. It houses Bruce Gallery and used to house the art department and some offices for the math department.

Earlley Hall

Named after: Dr. Harry Earlley

Built in: 1969

Cost: $383,311

Dr. Harry Earlley came to Edinboro in the 1946-47 academic year. He was the dean of instruction until Dr. Thomas Miller died in 1966, and then he became acting president. Not even two months later, he died of a heart attack while waiting in the Erie Airport for a plane to Harrisburg.

Earlley Hall was intended to be used for maintenance and after the fire in Normal Hall in 1969, the things from Normal got moved there. From 1969-76, it was used as the Academic Administration Center, which housed offices for maintenance, career counseling and placement center, and the graduate school. Students referred to it as “Abnormal Hall” after the fire. 

Earp Hall

Named after: John K. Earp

Built in: 1965

Cost: $1,116,000

John Earp was on the Board of Trustees from 1939 to 1957. 

Earp Hall was a male dorm for one year prior to the women taking over and housed the Office of Dean of Student Personnel and after 1970, the Dean of Women.

Frank G. Pogue Student Center

Named after: Frank G. Pogue

Built in: 1971

Cost: $1,850,000

Frank G. Pogue served as university president from 1996 to 2007 and preached a student-centered philosophy. 

The Pogue Student Center originally housed student government, the director of student activities, the college union board, director of college union, the Spectator staff, the Tartan staff, and the film unit in 1972. There were also offices, campus grill, a multipurpose room, a social lounge, 3 bowling lanes, a bookstore, a game room, pool room, 4 meeting rooms and 2 conference rooms.

Hamilton Hall

Named after: George Hamilton

Built in: 1961

Cost: $576,000

George Hamilton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and was president of the Keystone View Company in Meadville. He also was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of Education. Hamilton helped approve buildings and academic programs for Edinboro. 

Hamilton Hall was originally Hamilton Library, but eventually books got moved to Baron-Forness Library. In 1976, the School of Arts and Humanities and Nursing Division was in this building. The name changed in 1976 from Hamilton Library to Hamilton Hall. 

Hendricks Hall

Named after: Luther V. Hendricks

Built in: 1968

Named in: 1970 

Cost: $1,344,649

In 1949, Luther Hendricks founded the formation of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies. He was elected president of the State Teachers College Faculty Association (which later became APSCUF) from 1954 to 1964. He also began a course in world cultures in 1960. 

Hendricks was so annoyed with the electric school bell that rang, that he taped the bells in Academy Hall so they wouldn’t make noise. He was vice-chairman of the College Senate in 1968. Hendricks also was the chair of the social studies department and created the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences with John Schell (former chair of psychology). Eventually, he became the dean of the school. The social science division included economics, history, geography, political science, sociology and anthropology.

Hendricks Hall was originally named the World Cultures Building, but was renamed Hendricks Hall in 1970 after Hendricks died. 

Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building

Named after: Jeremy D. Brown

Named in: 2011

Carried out Pogue’s master plan and added Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Center. 

Lawrence Towers

Named after: Governor David Lawrence

Built in: 1974

Cost: $4,700,000

The Towers were named after Governor David Lawrence after Govenor Milton Shapp didn’t want them named after him. The dorm buildings were meant to house women in one building, men in another. Originally, North tower was named Lawrence Tower and south tower was named Shapp Tower until it was just Lawrence Towers. 

Each tower was made to house 400 students, with two high speed elevators. The common area between the towers was for the admissions office suite of the college, managers apartments, and common recreational areas. 

Leader Speech and Hearing Center

Named after: George Leader

Built in: 1961

Cost: $125,000

George Leader was a Pennsylvania governor. He formed the “Committee of 100 for Better Education.”

Loveland Hall

Named after: Francis A. Loveland

Built in: 1931

Cost: $134,000

Francis Loveland was a Trustee from 1917-1939. During the construction of the building, the alumni organization of Erie County suggested the building be named after Loveland. Was the vice president and treasurer of J.W. & A.P. Howard Leather Company.

Loveland Hall became the art and science department buildings. He died in office in 1939. It became solely an art building in 1965. In 1969, the building underwent renovations and added a small annex for ceramic work. 

McComb Fieldhouse

Named after: Arthur L. McComb

Built in: 1971

Cost: $2,200,000

Arthur McComb began in 1946-47 coaching football. When Sox Harrison left in 1953, McComb coached every sport for two years. 

The Fieldhouse opened in 1970, and had “up-to-date court, national meet-zied swimming pool, wrestling area, and other necessities for a strong athletic program.” Outside of the building is a bell from Recitation Hall which was dedicated by the Class of 1967. McComb coached until 1962 and died in 1975. 

McNerney Hall

Named after: Chester T. McNerney

Built in: 1976

Cost: $942,000

Chester McNerney became president in August 1966 and served until 1979. During his time in office, the university added 15 new facilities, the student body more than doubled and they added 33 new programs. 

McNerney Hall originally housed office of the president, business office complex, development office, support services office, student personnel services offices, and other administration offices. This was intended to replace Normal Hall and was originally named Administration Hall.

Mike S. Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Center

Named after: Mike S. Zafirovski

Built in: 2009

Mike Zafirovski was a former swimmer and soccer player at Edinboro. He graduated from Edinboro in 1975 with a B.A. in mathematics. He worked at GE for 24 years, including 2 years as President and CEO of GE Lighting. Eventually, he became the President and CEO of the Handset Division of Motorola. He’s currently an Executive Advisor of The Blackstone group and the Founder and President/CEO of The Zaf Group.

He has given more than $1.5 million to the university. 

The dome is 85,000 square feet. 

Miller Hall

Named after: Dr. Thomas Miller

Built in: 1971

Cost: $1,704,000

Dr. Thomas Miller became president in 1954, and during his tenure Edinboro changed from a Teachers College to a “multi-purpose college with a liberal arts curriculum and a graduate program in education.”

Before he died, he completed ten buildings and purchased land, which brought the university to 585 acres. He formed an administrative council and the “kitchen cabinet” which included him, his secretary, dean of instruction, directors of admission, dean of men, dean of women, supervisor of maintenance, head housekeeper, head of the art department, and other department heads.

He and other state college presidents wrote a master plan for Higher Education in Pennsylvania in 1966, which helped create the largest capital campaign in state history. Edinboro received $14 million for a building program at Edinboro. He served as the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the State Board of College Presidents. 

He died in February 1966 from a heart attack at his desk. His son was the physician who called his time of death. Thomas R. Miller Research Learning Center was used as a learning center for kids and research center for Teacher Education students. 

R. Benjamin Wiley Arts and Sciences Center

Named after: R. Benjamin Wiley

Named in: 2004

R. Benjamin Wiley was a member of the Council of Trustees. In 1984, he and another trustee talked to Foster Diebold about various initiatives to recruit more minorities and focus on minority success. 

He also served on the Board of Governors.

Reeder Hall

Named after: Isaac Reeder

Built in: 1908

Cost: $35,000

Isaac Reeder was one of the builders of the school. Edinboro High School had vocational classes in the basement of Reeder Hall in 1919. The Dean of Men’s office was in there in 1950. In 1961, the building was used for offices. 

Reeder Hall was the first building to be named after someone on campus, and began as a men’s dorm. It was a men’s dorm until 1920 — then it had faculty apartments on the first floor, girls dorm’s on the second, and men’s dorms on the third. In 1922, Trustees decided men had to live off campus. Reeder was a women’s dorm for a few years, but became all men again in 1940, and in 1945 it was women again. Mildred Forness’ mom was the housemother in Reeder from 1936-1946. 

Rose Hall

Named after: William P. Rose

Built in: 1966

Cost: $1,391,000

William P. Rose served as a Trustee from 1940 to 1964. Governor William Scranton granted him President Emeritus of the Board and a plaque. Rose ran for state senator for Pennsylvania in 1926 and was the Republican congressman for Erie and Crawford in 1934 and 36. He owned Will Rose Newspapers. 

Rose Hall opened as a men’s dorm in 1966. It housed 400 men and was constructed as separate sections with a common lobby.

Ross Hall 

Named after: Carmon Ross

Built in: 1962

Cost: $603,000

Carmon Ross served as president from 1934 to 1940. He was also the president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. The Trustees called for his resignation in 1940, and he died in 1946. 

In 1962, Ross Dining Hall was opened. This building replaced Haven Hall because the school wanted a larger room. In 1976, it was converted for meetings, conferences and academic learning space. In 1978, the university wanted to convert it to a college computer center.

Sox Harrison Stadium

Named after: B. Regis ‘Sox’ Harrison

Built in: 1965

Cost: $386,000

Sox Harrison was a coach and athletic director from 1919 to 1953. He was also the first member inducted into the Edinboro Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. He coached the football team from 1926-1938, and 1941-42, and coached basketball from 1928-1953. 

When he wasn’t coaching, he was a streetcar conductor. 

Van Houten Dining Hall

Named after: Lyman H. VanHouten

Built in: 1969

Cost: $2,200,000

Lyman VanHouten became acting president after Carmon Ross resigned. The Trustees elected two people before VanHouten for president, L.J. Lomng and Harry Kriner, but Governor Arthur James rejected both candidates. VanHouten became the permanent president in 1941 and resigned in 1954. After his resignation, he taught psychology at Westminster.

In 1921, he was the director of the Edinboro branch in Erie and was a psych professor beginning in 1929. 

He began a freshman orientation program in 1928 that included “detailed instruction by the faculty in registration, use of the library, and other academic requirements while the preceptors and, later, the deans explained the regulations.” 

In October 1969, Lyman Van Houten Dining Hall opened.

William P. Alexander Music Center

Named after: William P. Alexander

Built in: 2008

William P. Alexander was the head of the music department and created the first marching band in 1962. In less than a decade, the band grew from 17 to 160 members. He also developed a cultural series in 1961. 

He was the president of APSCUF at one point. When the university televised lectures to students across campus, one of the first televised programs was Alexander’s Introduction to Music course. He was also part of a Concert and Lecture Committee in 1967. 

He requested faculty involvement in the search for a President after Miller had died. 

Dakota Palmer is the executive editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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