Behind the Names of Widener’s Residence Halls

July 29, 2010

Have you ever walked across the Main Campus in Chester and wondered where the names for the residence halls originated?  If so, John Martins, Widener’s web content specialist,  has written the page for you.   In “So who were these guys anyway?” he has compiled biographical sketches of Joseph Emery Boettner, George Turner Cann, Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr., Caesar Augustin Grasselli II, John R. Hanna, Edwin A. Howell, Clarence Russell Moll, Lawrence P. Sharples (pictured), Clarence H. Thayer and James Elmer Turrell.

It’s a fascinating snapshot of key figures in Widener’s history.  And it is suprising sometimes, too,  such as the story of Sharples, chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1962-1972, who had a lifelong interest in aviation.  “As a pilot, Sharples won the Doherty Cup air race in Florida in 1934, competed in international balloon races, and was the recipient of the Collier Award for prestigious achievement in airplane racing. At the age of 71, Sharples completed his first parachuting jump.”

For more, be sure to visit the page.



  1. Love it but what about the Hannum House on the corner of 14th & Walnut given to us by Judge Hannum?!

  2. The Hannum house is not a residence hall. You should visit campus and check out more of the many changes over the past ten years.

  3. But what about “New Hall?” That’s where I lived last semester.

  4. Perhaps it was a “new” hall?

  5. Duh, sorry, I wasn’t paying attention–I was just looking at the “names” behind the buildings on campus. Thank You!

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