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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Sayles Tales, Boliou Portfolio, and Olin

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Although some Carleton buildings’ names simply reflect their purpose (e.g., Music Hall and the Recreation Center), many are named for the financial donors who made the facilities’ construction possible. These three examples were garnered from Jarchow and Headley’s 1966 book Carleton: The First Century.

Sayles-Hill Campus Center’s Fred Burnett Hill, Class of 1900, was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, in 1876. He was pastor of a Rhode Island Congregational church until 1905 when he married Deborah Wilcox Sayles, whose father owned New England textile mills. Mr. Hill became a Biblical Literature Professor at Carleton in 1907. The Hills first lived in what is now the off-campus residence Hill House. In 1912, the couple built a new brick home that Mrs. Hill gave to the Northfield Methodists following her husband’s death. Today, the former Hill mansion is the College-owned Parish International House.

Mr. and Mrs. Hill underwrote $35,000 in 1909 for a new men’s gymnasium and natatorium that is now the Campus Center. In 1913, Professor Hill set up the first Minnesota State High School Basketball Tournament, held yearly at the new gymnasium for ten years. (Hill was a baseball player in college and belonged to the Minneapolis Athletic Club.) Fred Hill died of influenza in 1919; Deborah Hill died in 1953.

Boliou Art Hall’s George H. Boliou, of Waltham, Minnesota, died in 1933, leaving his estate to Carleton upon the death of his widow in 1942. Carleton received $150,000 for the expressed purpose of constructing a building named for Mr. Boliou, who amassed his fortune through a hardware store and securities investments. His motives for his donation are unclear, especially considering he had no connection to Carleton, or even a college education. He admired Carleton nonetheless and stipulated that the new building be “free from all narrow sectarian influences or prejudices.” The College considered a women’s gym, an auditorium, or an addition to the Scoville Memorial Library before deciding on a new art facility. The Boliou Memorial Art Building opened in 1949, the first new building on campus since the onset of the Great Depression.

Olin Hall of Science Franklin Olin, a New York baseball player and ammunition manufacturer, formed the F. W. Olin Foundation in 1938, intending to aid science education. The foundation helped fund science buildings in 58 American colleges, as well as the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. The foundation required all educational facilities to be racially integrated.

At the February 6, 1959 convocation, representatives of the Olin Foundation presented Carleton with the largest gift the college had yet received: $1.5 million to construct a science hall. Carleton President Laurence M. Gould enthusiastically accepted the donation, which was followed by a $35,000 electron microscope. Olin Hall opened in 1961. 54 years later, a good rhyming word for the title of this article was nowhere to be found.

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