Hawley Armory (1915)

September 14th, 2015 Posted in Collegiate, Gothic, Mansfield, Military

Hawley Armory

Hawley Armory on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs was built in 1914-1915 for the school’s military department, but its gymnasium and drill hall also served as the location for numerous athletic and social activities over the years. The Armory was named for Willis N. Hawley, a student at what was then called the Storrs Agricultural College. A first lieutenant of the cadet company on campus, he joined the army after graduating in 1898, but before he could fight in the Spanish-American War, he died of typhoid fever at the Red Cross Hospital in Philadelphia. As noted by President George W. Flint in the Annual Report of the Trustees of the Storrs Agricultural College (1899):

When the war with Spain was imminent, and the President of the United States issued his call for volunteers, five students of Storrs Agricultural College responded to the call, and were found to be well qualified for official positions. Of these, First Sergeant Willis N. Hawley was taken sick at Camp Meade, and died in the hospital at Philadelphia, November 19, 1898. When the State shall erect its library building at Storrs Agricultural College, we trust that some memorial will find a place in that structure to show the State’s appreciation of those who are willing to die for her honor, and for the freedom of an oppressed people.

Mention of the Armory and athletics at the College in general is made by Charles A. Wheeler in the Biennial Report (1917):

As chairman of the Athletic Advisory Board from its inception and now of the Athletic Council, which continues the work of the former organization, I think it fitting to mention our greatly increased facilities for athletic work, and the marked improvement in our standing among colleges. The Hawley Armory gives facilities for every student to exercise, and provision for athletic teams in the way of shower baths and dressing room with lockers. Our quartermile track has been re-surfaced with rock screenings and the opportunities for track-work increased. Our main interest in athletics has centered about football, basketball, and baseball. The support of athletics rests upon the student body, the faculty, and such alumni and others as attend the games. Football costs about $800. a year, basketball $300. and baseball $600. The past two years have been a transition period for us in athletics from the high and preparatory school group to the college group. We are now playing college and university teams, and, though victories for us are scarce, we have as a rule made a creditable showing in each game and have the respect of our adversaries. It seems to me that the past two years have shown 100% improvement in athletics. Looking back over a period of thirty years as student and teacher in college, I believe the interest of students in athletics has been a helpful influence in college life, and that our armory and gymnasium, is our most useful college building.

Renovated in the 1990s, the Hawley Armory now serves as a health and fitness training facility for the University community.

001

Post a Comment