Chadbourne Gymnasium

Perhaps in an effort to maintain financial resources during a period of national depression, President Paul Chadbourne paid less attention to athletics. As part of his program, he decided to convert (old) Goodrich Hall to classrooms, and build a less impressive wooden frame structure for “physical culture.” Thus the Chadbourne gym was erected south of West College and Clark Hall in 1882. The students were not enthusiastic about the gym:

“Our gymnasium is undeniably a wretched one, but it is all we are likely to have . . .” (Argo, June 30, 1883, p.58)

What proves most memorable about this gym are its last days. During Commencement and Reunion activities in 1883–exercises for both were held during the same period in those years–tables were set up in Chadbourne for the annual alumni dinner. A gale blew up that evening, however, demolishing the gym and smashing crockery, tables, and all. Needless to say, student exercise returned to the hall in Goodrich the following year.