UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Winter 2004
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The faces behind the facades
A Pioneer for Science
Winning essay
Career Crossovers

More Individuals than can be recalled here are remembered as well through the many campus interior spaces, roadways and green space named in their honor. Among these "places with a story" are Puffer Grove, Putnam Way, Katherine Cornell heater, the Albert P. Sy Lecture Hall and the Francis M. Letro Courtroom.

Why the names changed
As the North Campus took shape in the 1970s, many building names were transferred from Main Street in Buffalo to the new campus in Amherst. According to University Archivist Emerita Shonnie Finnegan, this was done to help define the new campus, and also to adhere to terms of the original endowments, or bequests that made these structures possible.

In the case of Lockwood Memorial Library, for example, an endowment for a library had to move with the new physical library. In transferring other building names, planners wanted to preserve the history and lore associated with the arts and sciences on the Main Street Campus by thoughtfully transplanting these associations to the new setting in Amherst.

  The faces behind the facades
Recalling the namesakes of UB buildings

Compiled by Ann Whitcher and Shonnie Finnegan

Photographic and historical research for this article were provided by University Archives staff members.

More than 50 campus buildings bear the names of individuals who are forever part of UB history. Benefactors and community leaders from diverse walks of life, they include inventors, scholars, researchers, music lovers, art connoisseurs, businesspeople and many University at Buffalo alumni.

What follows is a list of these campus buildings, with descriptions of the intriguing personalities behind them.

South Campus

Abbott Hall
(formerly Lockwood Library)
Charles D. Abbott

Director of the university libraries from 1934 to 1960, Charles D. Abbott founded the university's famous poetry collection and originated the plan for collecting poets' worksheets, manuscripts, letters and first editions.

The original building was the gift of Thomas B. Lockwood (1873-1947) and his wife, Marion Birge Lockwood, in memory of Daniel N. Lockwood and George K. Birge. Thomas Lockwood, a Buffalo attorney, also donated his extensive collection of rare books to the new library. See Lockwood Library.

Acheson Hall
Edward Goodrich Acheson

An inventor and industrialist, Edward Goodrich Acheson worked for Thomas Edison from 1880 to 1886. He developed silicon carbide and founded the Carborundum Corporation. The Acheson family and the Carborundum Charitable Foundation contributed $250,000 toward construction of Acheson Hall, originally built as a hall of chemistry.

Allen Hall
(formerly Baird Hall)
Cornelia Hopkins Allen

A pioneer in the field of social work and in fostering camping opportunities for handicapped children, Cornelia Hopkins Allen served on the faculty of the University of Buffalo School of Social Work for 31 years.

Beck Hall
Edgar C. Beck

Edgar C. Beck graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School (Class of 1919) and joined its faculty in 1921. One of the first physicians in the U.S. to treat diabetic comas, he received the Capen Award in 1957.

Cary Hall
Charles Cary

A member of the University of Buffalo Medical School Class of 1875, Charles Cary was a professor of anatomy, dean of the medical school and for 49 years a member of the University Council.

Clark Hall
Irwin Brayton Clark

Completed in 1938, the Irwin B. Clark Memorial Gymnasium was built in memory of Mrs. Evelyn Clark's late husband, Irwin Brayton Clark, a well-known Buffalo seed merchant. A bequest of $300,000 from Mrs. Clark made possible the gymnasium construction.

Clement Hall
Carolyn Tripp Clement

The wife of Stephen M. Clement, Carolyn Tripp Clement was a distinguished community leader and philanthropist. She served on the University Council from 1920 to 1941 and donated her home at 786 Delaware Avenue to the American Red Cross. She also contributed $80,000 to the University of Buffalo.

Crosby Hall
Crosby Family

Crosby Hall was named by the University Council in honor of the contributions of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Crosby and their children to the university's development. William H. Crosby, a bicycle frame manufacturer, served on the UB Council and was active in the YMCA. At a critical point in the university's history, from 1919 to 1921, he served as university treasurer and also served for a number of years as chair of the finance committee. Crosby Hall, completed in 1932, was the first permanent home of the School of Business Administration (now the School of Management).

Diefendorf Hall
Charles Haas Diefendorf


A distinguished banker and a prime mover in civic, philanthropic and cultural affairs in Buffalo, Charles Haas Diefendorf was a member of the University Council and its general administration committee. He was awarded the Chancellor's Medal in 1961.

Farber Hall (formerly Capen Hall)
Sidney Farber

A member of the University of Buffalo Class of 1923 and an internationally recognized authority on cancer in children, Sidney Farber served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for 41 years. He was the brother of the noted philosopher and UB professor, Marvin Farber (1901-1980).

Foster Hall
Orin Elliott Foster

Orin Elliott Foster and members of his family gave a $500,000 gift to the university for a "Hall of Chemistry." Foster was a manufacturer of medicines and a member of the University Council. Foster Hall was the first building built by the university on the Main Street Campus.

Goodyear Hall
Ella Conger Goodyear

In 1960, the Goodyear family contributed $500,000 to the university's building program to honor the memory of Ella Conger Goodyear. Known for her philanthropies and interest in the arts, Goodyear was the mother of Gen. Anson Conger Goodyear and the grandmother of George F. Goodyear. In 1912, she established the Charles W. Goodyear fund at the Albright Art Gallery in memory of her late husband. A frequent visitor to the White House during the Cleveland administration, Goodyear was a lifelong friend of Carolyn Tripp Clement. See Clement Hall. Anson Conger Goodyear served on the board of the Albright Art Gallery; he insisted that the gallery begin acquiring modern art, for which the museum later became renowned. He later moved to New York City and helped found the Museum of Modern Art.

Harriman Hall (formerly Norton Union)
Lewis G. Harriman

Harriman Hall was originally constructed in 1933-1934 as Norton Union. When a new student union building was built on the Main Street Campus, the name Norton Union was transferred to the new structure, and the original Norton Union was renamed in honor of Lewis G. Harriman, a business and civic leader who also served on the University Council. This building is part of the quadrangle of buildings on the South Campus designed by the noted Buffalo architect E. B. Green and his firm.

Hayes Hall
Brig. Gen. Edmund B. Hayes

Edmund B. Hayes was an engineer and businessman who built bridges and manufactured autos. He also served as a member of the University of Buffalo Council from 1920 to 1923, and left a bequest of $389,000 to the university. Hayes Hall was one of the original poorhouse buildings on the Main Street property when the university acquired it in 1909. When the structure was remodeled for university use, the Hayes bequest was honored in naming the building. Photo courtesy of Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.

Howe Building
Lucien Howe

Lucien Howe was a UB professor of ophthalmology for 30 years. He was instrumental in establishing the Buffalo Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1876.

Kimball Tower
Stockon Kimball

A 1929 graduate of the University of Buffalo Medical School, Stockton Kimball served as a professor in the medical school from 1933 to 1946 and was medical school dean from 1946 to 1958.

MacDonald Hall
Lillias M. MacDonald

The University of Buffalo's first dean of women from 1922 to 1952, Lillias MacDonald was an advocate for student residences at the university.

MacKay Heating Plant
Gerald F. MacKay

A longtime industrial plant manager, Gerald F. MacKay later joined the university staff. He was known as a man motivated to render service to the university's academic mission with great economic efficiency.

Michael Hall
Edward Michael

At one time chair of the University Council's building and grounds committee, Edward Michael served on the council for 50 years. He is credited with originating the idea to purchase the Main Street property for the university.

Parker Hall
Karr Parker

Karr Parker was president of the Buffalo Electric Company and a member of the University Council (1945), and chair of the council's buildings and grounds committee (1947-1962). The Engineering Building, constructed in 1949, was the first of several buildings erected on the Main Street Campus under his chairmanship. It was named in his honor by the UB Council on June 4, 1962.

Pritchard Hall (formerly Cooke Hall)
Mearl D. Pritchard

A 1926 graduate of the School of Pharmacy, Mearl Pritchard was a pharmacist and civic leader. He received the Capen Award in 1926.

Schoellkopf Hall
Jacob Frederick Schoellkopf

A developer of Niagara Falls as a source of electric power, Jacob Frederick Schoellkopf made a generous donation to UB as a permanent memorial to his family.

Sherman Hall
DeWitt Halsey Sherman

Professor of pediatrics at UB from 1909 to 1929, DeWitt Halsey Sherman developed the university's Department of Pediatrics and also guided the expansion of Children's Hospital. A graduate of the medical school (Class of 1891), he left the bulk of his estate to the medical school. With the bequest and generous gift of Mrs. Sherman, almost $500,000 was used in the construction of a new medical building (a wing added to then-Capen Hall in 1958).

Squire Hall (formerly Norton Union)
Daniel H. Squire

A graduate of the first dental school class in 1892, Daniel H. Squire was a professor for 26 years and dean of the dental school from 1912 to 1935.

Townsend Hall
Harriet A. Townsend

A prominent figure in Buffalo's progressive movement, Harriet A. Townsend founded the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo in 1884. The organization was dedicated to promoting "the material, moral and intellectual welfare of the women of our city," and did so with lectures, classes and vocational training at the original Townsend Hall on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. In 1915, this building was given to the University of Buffalo by the Women's Educational and Industrial Union. When the building was sold, the university moved the Townsend name to the Main Street Campus.

Wende Hall (formerly Hochstetter Hall)
Grover William Wende

A prominent physician, Grover William Wende was a graduate of, and later professor in, the University of Buffalo Medical School.

North Campus

Baird Hall
Frank Burkett Baird

A philanthropist and successful industrialist who came to Buffalo in 1888, Frank Burkett Baird spurred the construction of the Tonawanda Iron Company, developed the Hanna Furnace Company and served on the board of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. He was also a prime mover in the building of the Peace Bridge between the U.S. and Canada. His son Cameron Baird (1906-1960) was a violist who was active in the Buffalo music community and supported the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1951 Cameron founded the university's music department, which he chaired until his death. Another son, William C. Baird (1907-1987), was chair of the UB Council and an exceedingly generous benefactor of UB.

Baker Chilled Water Plant
Melvin H. Baker

Melvin H. Baker was founder and former chief executive of National Gypsum Company, which at one time had its headquarters in Buffalo.

Baldy Hall
Christopher Baldy

A Buffalo native, Christopher Baldy graduated from the UB Law School in 1910. During his long and successful career, he was an active member of the Alumni Association and a member of the University Council from 1950 to 1959. With a $1.5 million gift to the university, he became a major University of Buffalo benefactor.

Beane Center
John Beane

An associate director of planning and development at the university, John Beane served for a time as dean of Millard Fillmore College, UB's evening division.

Bell Hall
Lawrence D. Bell

Developer of the Bell Helicopter and founder of Bell Aerosystems, Lawrence D. Bell was known as "the dean of American aviation executives." In addition to the building, he is honored through a general-purpose fund in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Bissell Hall
Wilson S. Bissell

Wilson S. Bissell was chancellor of the University of Buffalo from 1902 to 1903. He was also a former U.S. Postmaster General appointed by President Cleveland.

Bonner Hall
Willard H. Bonner

William R. Bonner was an English professor at UB from 1922 until his retirement in 1968. He was one of the original faculty members from the Capen era and was known as a fabulous teacher and a vigorous scholar. James H. McNulty Professor of English from 1955 until his retirement, he was involved in all aspects of academic life and was perceived as a "complete university man" who effortlessly conveyed the pleasures of literature to generations of UB students.

Capen Hall
Samuel P. Capen

Samuel P. Capen, UB chancellor from 1922 to 1950, was one of the most remarkable figures in UB's history. Nearly 50 years after his death, he is still remembered for his keen intellect and decisive leadership. The university's first full-time chancellor, Capen developed a true university out of what had been a small collection of professional schools, integrating undergraduate education in a distinctive manner. Throughout his UB career, he championed academic freedom and was an innovator in liberal arts education, as well. By the time of his retirement from UB, he was a nationally known authority in college and university planning.

Clemens Hall
Samuel L. Clemens

The name of one of America's most distinctive writers graces the 10-story building that houses UB's English department and other humanities departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. A Clemens seminar room will shortly be named for one of UB's most illustrious professors, the late Leslie A. Fiedler, who was SUNY Distinguished Professor and holder of UB's Samuel Clemens Chair in English at the time of his death in 2003.

Cooke Hall
Walter Platt Cooke

Lawyer, financier and civic leader, Walter Platt Cooke was chair of the University Council from 1920 to 1931 and received the Chancellor's Medal in 1926.

In his role as UB Council chair, he was responsible for bringing Samuel Capen to UB and is credited with spurring the development of both the physical campus and the College of Arts and Sciences as a distinct entity. He also led the university through two unprecedented successful endowment campaigns in the 1920s. Earlier, he enjoyed a distinguished diplomatic career, at one point serving as president of a tribunal at the Hague set up to settle reparations disputes in the aftermath of World War I.

Crofts Hall
George D. Crofts

George D. Crofts served the university for more than 50 years as a professor of law and as chief financial officer.

Dorsheimer Laboratory/Greenhouse
Philip Dorsheimer

Postmaster and collector of port duties in Buffalo, Philip Dorsheimer emigrated from Germany in 1816. He held several government posts under U.S. Presidents Van Buren, Polk and Lincoln, and also served as New York State Treasurer in 1859.

Ellicott Complex
Joseph Ellicott

Joseph Ellicott, the first resident agent with the Holland Land Company, is credited with picking the site for, and planning, the City of Buffalo. The individual buildings that make up the Ellicott Complex are named for figures prominent in New York State history.

Fronczak Hall
Francis E. Fronczak

A Buffalo native who held both medical and law degrees from the University of Buffalo, Francis E. Fronczak was recognized as one of the foremost public health authorities in the U.S. He began his long association with the Buffalo Health Department in 1907 and was its commissioner from 1919 to 1946. During World War I, he gained international fame as president of a central relief committee that brought aid to Poland.

Furnas Hall
Clifford C. Furnas

A leading force in the negotiations and decision to merge the private University of Buffalo with the State University of New York, Clifford Furnas was both chancellor of the private university and president of the new state-affiliated institution. Under his direction, both as chancellor (1954-1962) and as president (1962-1966), 22 new buildings were erected, the faculty doubled in size from 1,200 to 2,400, research funds increased substantially and the UB Foundation was established.

Governors Residence Halls

These residence halls bear the names of four former New York State governors-Herbert Lehman (1878-1963), De Witt Clinton (1769-1828), Thomas E. Dewey (1902-1971) and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).

Helm Building
Samuel Helm
(d. 1813)

Samuel Helm was the first landowner of German descent in Buffalo and the first Buffalo-area farmer to grow produce for market.

Hochstetter Hall
Ralph Hochstetter

President of Cliff Petroleum Co. and director of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., Ralph Hochstetter bequeathed several million dollars to UB; at the time it was the largest single gift the university had received. A bachelor, he had planned to leave his estate to the University of Rochester, when Chancellor Furnas persuaded him to do otherwise. Hochstetter ended up splitting his bequest equally between the two institutions, with the monies to be used for research fellowships for the advancement of medical science. The UB fund benefits the medical school.

Jacobs Management Center
Jacobs Family

The School of Management's building bears the Jacobs family name, in honor of a $1 million gift provided in 1985. The building honors the late Louis Jacobs and his wife, the late Genevieve Bibby Jacobs. The couple had three sons: Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair and CEO of Delaware North Companies, is chair of the UB Council and chaired the UB Presidential Search Advisory Committee whose efforts led to the naming of John B. Simpson as UB's 14th president. The late Lawrence D. Jacobs, a world-renowned researcher in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, was professor and chair of the UB Department of Neurology at the time of his death in 2001. Max Jacobs, a successful stage actor who counts King Lear among his roles, is active in a wide range of community and cultural activities.

Jarvis Hall
Gregory Jarvis

A graduate of UB's electrical engineering program, astronaut Gregory Jarvis lost his life with six others on the space shuttle Challenger in the 1986 explosion. Just one year earlier, Jarvis had given an inspirational commencement address at UB's 1985 graduation ceremony. After his death, students affixed a sign reading "Jarvis Hall" to the Engineering East building. The name was made official in a 1987 dedication ceremony.

Ketter Hall
Robert L. Ketter

In naming the building after Robert L. Ketter, UB president from 1970 to 1982, an exception was made to the rule to not name campus buildings after living individuals. President Ketter was a noted engineer who oversaw construction of the North Campus during his tenure as president. He also strengthened research programs and initiated international programs in Korea, Japan and China. Earlier, he had served the university as first chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, dean of the Graduate School and vice president for facilities planning. He was also a founder and the first director of MCEER (Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research).

Knox Lecture Hall
Grace Knox

Grace Knox generously provided the university with the means to establish the College of Arts and Sciences after the death of her husband, Seymour Knox. The Knox family continues to serve both the university and the greater Buffalo area as civic, cultural and philanthropic leaders.

Lockwood Memorial Library
Lockwood Family

Thomas B. Lockwood (1873-1947) was a Buffalo attorney who served on the University Council for 28 years. A legendary book lover, he amassed what was known as the finest collection of rare books, first editions and manuscripts in the region. The Lockwood family generously contributed $400,000 toward the original Lockwood library-now the Health Sciences Library in Abbott Hall on the South Campus. The Lockwood Memorial Library name was placed on the new library, in recognition of the original endowment. See Abbott Hall.

Norton Hall
Charles Phelps Norton

The Norton name is the only name that went to three different buildings over UB's history.

Charles Phelps Norton was chancellor of the University of Buffalo from 1909 to 1920 and a founder of the University of Buffalo Law School. He also endowed the Norton Medal, UB's highest honor, which in 2003 went to outgoing UB President William R. Greiner. Norton left his estate to the university on the condition that within three years of the probate of the will, all principal and interest would be applied to the erection of a building known as Norton Hall to be used as a meeting place for student activities.

O'Brian Hall
John Lord O'Brian

A Buffalo native and 1898 graduate of the UB Law School, John Lord O'Brian was based in Washington, D.C., where he held various government posts and advised six U.S. presidents. One of the nation's foremost constitutional lawyers, he successfully defended the constitutionality of the TVA before the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as national chair of endowment at Harvard Divinity School, worked as a U.S. Attorney for Western New York and acted as a University of Buffalo trustee from 1903 to 1929. He received the Chancellor's Award in 1940 and lived to be nearly 100.

Park Hall
Julian Park

The university's first dean of arts and sciences (1919-1954), Julian Park also served as the university's first historian and was a noted bibliophile. He was the son of Dr. Roswell Park, for whom Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute is named.

Slee Hall
Frederick and Alice Slee
(1870-1954, 1875-1956)

Frederick and Alice Slee were Buffalo music aficionados who gave the university a $900,000 endowment to support the annual playing of Beethoven's complete works for string quartet. Frederick Slee was a noted Buffalo corporate lawyer and a devoted yachtsman. Alice Slee was an honored member of the American Red Cross who was known for her flair in choosing hats. The first Beethoven cycle was performed in 1955 by the renowned Budapest String Quartet, which performed it for the next 11 years. The cycle continues in 2004 with the Vermeer, Ives and Muir String Quartets.

Statler Commissary
Ellsworth M. Statler

Ellsworth M. Statler was a well-known American hotel operator who began his career in Buffalo in 1896 with a restaurant on the first floor of the Ellicott Square Building. He built and operated a temporary hotel at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. Statler later became president and director of the Hotel Statler Company Inc. Over the years, Statler Hotels appeared in most of the country's major cities before being merged into the Hilton Corp.

Talbert Hall
Mary Burnett Talbert

One of the nation's most prominent black leaders, Mary Burnett Talbert came to Buffalo in 1894 and quickly became involved in the city's church and community life. Her civil rights efforts helped lead to the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

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