Whitney Hall is a residence hall in East Campus
at the University of Connecticut, named after Edwina Maude Whitney. Born
February 26, 1868, in the Whitney homestead (now the International House)
on Route 195, Edwina Whitney lived most of her 102 years in Storrs. She attended
a private school in Whitney Hall with future Governor Cross (see Wilbur Cross
Building). She then went to Middletown High School, completed one year, and
began teaching district school to earn money to attend Northfield Seminary
in Northfield, Massachusetts. After graduation she taught again until she
earned enough money to attend Oberlin college, where she graduated in 1894.
Old Whitney Hall was built by her father, Edwin, to
be used for the Connecticut Soldiers' Orphans' Home. After the Home closed
in 1875, it stood empty until 1878, when Augustus Storrs bought the land and
offered the buildings to the state. These buildings formed the foundation of
the Storrs Agricultural College, now the University of Connecticut. The
new hall was built in 1939.
In 1900 the school bore the name of the Connecticut
Agricultural College. It was in this year that Edwina Whitney was employed
by the college as a librarian for $500 a year. The library boasted 8,000 volumes
and was lit by kerosene lamps (electricity was installed in 1907, much to
her delight). During her employment at UConn, Miss Whitney also taught German
and, occasionally, English and American literature. Retired by President C.C.
McCracken in 1934, she was awarded a Master of Letters, and the May 29 issues
of The Campus was dedicated to her. Upon her retirement she built a
new house for herself, where she resided with companion-housekeeper Pearl Fisher.
She continued to attend the Storrs Congregational Church and participated
in other local organizations until her death in 1970.
During the summer of 1999, the University began the
renovation of the Northwest Quadrangle, beginning with Wright,
Terry and Rodgers Hall. Terry Hall was the engineering dorm,
and Wright Hall was the lab science/engineering dorm. Terry Hall is
now freshman housing, and Wright Hall is no more. It was replaced with a dining
hall for the rest of the Northwest Quadrangle residence halls. During the
1999-2000 school year, Whitney Hall became the new lab science/engineering
dorm, but became open to all in the 2000-2001 year due to housing shortages.
It is uncertain whether the lab science/engineering dorm will be reinstated,
or university mismanagement will leave things as they are.
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