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June 22, 2012

Namesakes - Haydn Hall and Hiram C. Haydn

Haydn Hall was the first WRU building formally named for a president, Hiram C. Haydn. It was dedicated 11/11/1902 for the use of Mather College. President Haydn was instrumental in the establishment of Mather College (originally known as the College for Women) in 1888.

The building was a student union, headquarters for commuter students and also served as a dormitory for the overflow of resident students from Guilford House (the first dormitory). While the building was a gift of Flora Stone Mather, the furnishings were a gift of the Mather Advisory Council and this group was in charge of the building. The building has been in continuous use for 110 years, its most recent major renovation in the 1980s as part of the Mather Quad Restoration Project. It is currently home to the Music Library, classrooms and offices.

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Mather College students having tea in Haydn Hall drawing room, 1929/30

When elected president of Western Reserve University in 1887, Haydn was a trustee. Born in 1831 in Pompey, New York, he studied at Pompey Academy and then Amherst College. After graduation from Amherst he attended Union Theological Seminary. Haydn came to Ohio in 1866 as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Painesville. He became associated with Western Reserve College (then in Hudson) in 1869 as a trustee. In 1872 Haydn became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland (commonly known as the Old Stone Church). As pastor of Old Stone Church he knew many of Cleveland’s influential families, such as the Stones and Mathers.

As president Haydn became a faculty member, teaching religion courses. He continued as a faculty member and trustee after his tenure as president ended. President Haydn had accepted the presidency with the understanding that he would serve until another suitable candidate was found. in 1890 he was succeeded as president by Charles F. Thwing, who became the longest-serving president in the university’s history.

President Haydn’s 2 sons attended and graduated from Adelbert College of WRU. His son, Howell, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a faculty member at WRU from 1899 until his death in 1938.

President Haydn died 7/31/1913.


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Hiram C. Haydn in his study, ca. 1900

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