Campus News

Buildings Named to Honor Bowdoin's History, Supporters

Story posted March 15, 1999


March 3, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College last weekend approved names for two existing buildings on campus and two that are under construction.

  • The house at 238 Maine St. will be named Ernst C. Helmreich House after the late Bowdoin history professor and mentor to former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. Helmreich taught history at Bowdoin from 1931 to 1972. In 1959, he was named the Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of History and Political Science. He received the 1974 Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff, and in June 1991 was awarded the Gordon S. Hargraves Preservation of Freedom Fund Prize. Helmreich also served as the faculty advisor to the Thorndike Club, an organization of students not affiliated with fraternities, from its formation in 1937 until 1946. In 1946, the club petitioned the College to change to a local fraternity named Alpha Rho Upsilon ("All Races United"). ARU bought the house at 238 Maine St. in 1951.
  • A new dormitory under construction between South Street and College Street, will be called Joshua L. Chamberlain Hall in honor of the Civil War hero, Bowdoin College graduate and former College president.
  • The Admissions Office, located on between South Street and College Street and now called Chamberlain Hall, will be renamed Sarah Orne Jewett Hall after the Maine-born novelist best known for writing "The Country of the Pointed Firs." Bowdoin awarded Jewett an honorary degree in literature in 1901, the first degree given to a woman by an all-male college in the United States. Jewett was the daughter of Theodore Jewett, a Bowdoin-trained physician who went on to become president of the Maine Medical Association.
  • The new experimental theater under construction next to Memorial Hall on Bath Road, will be named the Wish Theater after Barry and Oblio Wish of Palm Beach, Fla., who donated $5.2 million toward the renovation of Memorial Hall and construction of the new theater. Barry Wish is a 1963 graduate of Bowdoin and serves on the College Board of Trustees.

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