Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College History



Hebe Statue

Mrs. Wheaton gave the original lead statue and fountain of Hebe, the "cupbearer to the gods," to the Seminary for its fiftieth anniversary in 1884. Based on a sculpture by Thorwaldson, Hebe stands for the spirit of Wheaton: to be of service. Originally placed between Seminary (Mary Lyon) Hall and Old Metcalf, Hebe soon became the center of traditions. The daisy chain carried by the Seniors on Senior Day would be draped around the statue at the end of the festivities. She is also the "finish line" for the Senior Hoop Roll.

Old Metcalf was demolished during 1932-34, so in the fall of 1932 Hebe was moved to the courtyard created by the new Kilham and Metcalf dormitories (thus the name of the Parlors and Court). An electric light was added to the cup, and at one time an electrical alarm installed within the statue because she had been repeatedly damaged in abduction attempts. Sometimes the thefts were successful, and Hebe was finally so badly damaged that she was "retired" to the Potato Cellar.

Having remained in retirement since the 1970s, Hebe was restored in 1982 by sculptor Fritz Cleary, husband of Hope K. Cleary W1944 and father of Catherine Cleary W1982. Mr. Cleary made casts of the broken parts of the original statue, and reconstructed her. The current Hebe is the bronze casting made by Mr. Cleary, and was dedicated on Founders' Day, 1982.

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