Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College History



  • Kate Upson Clark, date unknown

    1869 Kate Upson Clark

    Clark was an active and influential member of Alumnae Association for over 50 years. She was the founder of the New York Wheaton Club in 1885, Wheaton's first regional alumnae club; a Trustee from 1906-1935; and the recipient of Wheaton's first honorary degree in 1919 on the 50th anniversary of her graduation. More »
  • 1874-1917 Observatory/ Cheese Box

    In 1874, to celebrate the Seminary's 40th Anniversary, Mrs. Wheaton purchased a 4" refracting telescope (which is in the Archives) from the famed London firm of John Browning. Local workmen built a small observatory to house it. More »
  • Samuel V. Cole

    1897-1925 Samuel V. Cole

    Reverend Dr. Samuel Valentine Cole, first president of Wheaton College, was one of the most influential figures in the college's history. He served as a trustee from 1893 to 1925, Secretary of the Board from 1895 to 1908, President of the Board from 1908 to 1925, and President of the College from 1897 until his death in 1925. More »
  • 1910 Dr. LeBaron R. Briggs speaks at Commencement

    Dr. LeBaron R. Briggs, President of Radcliffe College, speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1911 Trustees vote for changes

    Trustees vote to change the name of Seminary Hall to Mary Lyon Hall. More »
  • 1911 House in the Pines is established

    As part of his plan to change Wheaton from a seminary to college, President Cole writes to Gertrude Cornish, a former Wheaton teacher, suggesting that she open a private secondary school for girls in a large house just east of the Seminary. More »
  • 19 E. Main St.

    1911-  Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning/ 19 E. Main St.

    This house on the corner of East Main and Howard Streets was acquired by the Seminary in 1911 from D. Gregory. An older house on the site burned in 1877 while it was owned by Mrs. Wheaton. In 1986 the house became known as the Multicultural Center. On April 15, 2005 the house was dedicated to Dale Rogers Marshall, President of Wheaton College, to commemorate her dedication to diversity at Wheaton. The house is now known as the Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning. More »
  • Knapton hall, 1912

    1911-  Knapton Hall/ Science Hall

    This building was built as a science and assembly hall in 1911. It was the first classroom building to be constructed at Wheaton since the additions made to Mary Lyon Hall in 1878. A wing added in 1941 to provide more modern laboratory space opened in 1942. This building remained the Science Hall until 1968, when the new Science Center was constructed. In 1971, the building was redesigned as a center for the social sciences, and renamed Knapton Hall in honor of Dr. Ernest John Knapton, Professor of History from 1931 to 1969. More »
  • Cragin Hall, 1924

    1911-  Cragin Hall

    This residence hall was built in 1911, designed by Ripley & Russell as a companion building to Larcom Hall. It was named for Mary Jane Cragin, a Seminary teacher of mathematics, natural science, mental philosophy, and general literature from 1851 to 1858. More »
  • 1911 Dr. David Snedden speaks at Commencement

    Dr. David Snedden, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1912-  Wheaton becomes a college

    Wheaton Seminary is granted a college charter by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and becomes Wheaton College. More »
  • Hoop Role Race, May 1965

    1912 First Senior Hoop Roll

    The senior hoop roll is one of Wheaton College's most familiar and longstanding traditions. Based on a popular children's game of the 19th century, Wheaton's event is reserved for graduating seniors on Class Day, and dates back to 1912. More »
  • Baby Party in the gymnasium, 1914

    1912 First Baby Party

    Baby parties, the first of which occurred in 1912, celebrated the rise from Junior to Senior status. They provided a chance to "let down one's hair" — literally — and be silly one last time, before becoming a more sedate and serious Senior, expected to provide an example to the younger classes. More »
  • Ida Josephine Everett

    1912-1905 Ida Josephine Everett

    Miss Everett taught English and Psychology from 1906 to 1913 and English Literature from 1912 to 1928, and was the first Dean of the college from 1912 to 1921. A native of Walpole, she graduated from Mount Holyoke College, received her A.M. from Bowdoin, studied at Oxford, and completed all but her dissertation for the […] More »
  • 1912 Reverend Charles P. Dole speaks at Commencement

    Reverend Charles P. Dole speaks at Commencement. More »
  • Grace Shepard, 1941

    1913 Grace F. Shepard

    Grace F. Shepard was a member of the English Department from 1913 to 1940 and author of Reference History of Wheaton College (1931). More »
  • 1913 Reverend George A. Gordon speaks at Commencement

    Reverend George A. Gordon, author and lecturer at Yale & Harvard, speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1914 College awards its first degrees

    Wheaton awards its first baccalaureate degrees to Margaret Gretchell and Eleanor Lord. More »
  • 1914 Reverend George Hodges speaks at Commencement

    Reverend George Hodges, Dean of the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1915 Field hockey team formed

    The first varsity field hockey team is chosen. More »
  • 1915 George Herbert Palmer speaks at Commencement

    George Herbert Palmer, Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University, speaks at Commencement. Learn more about Palmer from Wikipedia More »
  • 1916 First yearbook published

    The first yearbook is published. The Junior class edits it for the Class of 1916. More »
  • 1916 Reverend George Harris speaks at Commencement

    Reverend George Harris speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1917 Vocational conference held at Wheaton

    The first Women’s Intercollegiate Vocational Conference in the United States is held at Wheaton. More »
  • Cole Memorial Chapel, 1917

    1917-  Cole Memorial Chapel

    Designed by Ralph Adams Cram, and built by L.M. Witherell & Sons of Taunton for $61,693, the Chapel was constructed in 1917. It was dedicated on 16 October 1926 to the memory of the Rev. Samuel Valentine Cole, Trustee from 1893 to 1925, and College President from 1897 until his death in 1925. More »
  • Observatory, 1917

    1917-  Observatory

    When Wheaton was granted college status in 1912, the old "Cheese Box" Observatory became inadequate. Designed and built in 1917 by Wheaton workmen, this new observatory lay "on the hill" behind the President's House. The location was chosen because it afforded an excellent horizon. The building contained a class room and transit room with a […] More »
  • 1917 The Honorable Frederick P. Fish speaks at Commencement

    The Honorable Frederick P. Fish speaks at Commencement. Learn more about Fish from Wikipedia More »
  • Catherine Filene Shouse, undated

    1918 Catherine Filene Shouse

    Catherine Filene Shouse was a member of the class of 1918. Daughter of Lincoln and Theresa Filene, Catherine organized the first Intercollegiate Vocational Conference for Women at Wheaton in 1917, while still a junior. Vocational conferences were held at Wheaton annually until the 1950s. Based on this experience, Filene founded Wheaton's first Vocational Bureau, which assisted alumnae in locating employment. More »
  • 1918 Reverend George T. Smart speaks at Commencement

    Reverend George T. Smart, author and Wheaton College Trustee, speaks at Commencement. More »
  • 1919 The first African-American student is admitted

    In 1919 an African-American student named Elizabeth Baker Lewis attended Wheaton, and had little or no trouble gaining admission to the college. More »
  • 1919 Reverend Willard L. Sperry speaks at Commencement

    Reverend Willard L. Sperry speaks at Commencement. More »
  • Walter Oscar McIntire

    1941-1914 Walter Oscar McIntire

    "Dr. Mac," Walter Oscar McIntire was the Professor of Philosophy and Education from 1914 to 1941 and Professor Emeritus from 1941 to 1956. A beloved teacher, students knew him as gentle, dedicated, serious, and approachable. He performed marriage ceremonies for many alumnae, usually in Cole Chapel. In 1941, he spoke at Commencement and received a […] More »
  • Sarah Young

    1946-1909 Sarah Belle Young

    Sarah Belle Young was Professor of English, Registrar, and Secretary to the Faculty from 1909 to 1946 (Registrar Emerita, 1946-1973). In 1946, she was awarded as an Honorary Degree Recipient. Miss Young experienced many changes at Wheaton, having arrived in the days of the Seminary, with all of its strict rules. She served as Registrar […] More »