Special Collections

Campus Descriptions - Gorham

Russell Hall Pre-1965

Russell Hall


MCLELLAN HOUSE - The first brick house in Cumberland County was built for Hugh and Elizabeth McLellan in 1773. Acquired by Gorham State College in 1966 and used originally as an honors dormitory, it became a regular dormitory housing students 20 years of age or older. It now houses the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research and Evaluation.

ACADEMY BUILDING - The Academy was chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts in 1803. A land grant was made to produce income, providing that the trustees raised $3,000 within a year. The required $3,000 for construction was raised and, on a lot of land given by Thomas McLellan valued at $350, the Academy was built. The building was dedicated on September 8, 1806 and was leased to the State in 1878 for the use of the new normal school for educational purposes. It still is not the property of USM, but belongs to the Gorham Academy Association.

CAMPUS - The site of the new Normal School (there were already two in Maine— Castine and Farmington) was a five acre lot of land owned by another McLellan, J.T., which was on Townhouse Hill facing High Street, as College Avenue was then called. Since the Gorham Academy had been only for boys, the Academy Trustees established the Female Seminary in 1836. The building was erected on the strength of pledges amounting to $21,000. Only $7,000 was collected, so for some years the Trustees were in financial difficulties. However, both Academy and Seminary flourished. It is said that Kate Douglas Wiggins attended the Seminary. In the 1870’s, when public high schools became common in Maine, the school failed, as did many other private secondary schools of the time. The Trustees, who wanted the Normal School in Gorham, offered the buildings to the State for the use of the Normal School, and the Seminary building became the first dormitory for women.

CORTHELL HALL — Designed by the architect F. H. Fassett, for the site which the Trustees had selected after a Gorham Town Meeting in March of 1878 unanimously voted to raise $15,000 toward its construction. Those of you who may be buying or have bought a house will appreciate the financial figures for the building —— according to the account now in the Archives, a total of $24,290.50 was raised for the building. The actual cost of everything (including 60 cents for the account book in which to keep the record) came to $23,170.39, leaving a balance of $120.11 when the account was audited. The new building was dedicated on December 26, 1878 and on January 29, 1879, the first class of 85 students entered, of which 45 graduated a year later. The addition to Corthell to bring it to its present size was built in 1905 and it was renovated in 1961, again in 1986. The USM School of Music resides in Corthell Hall.

ROBIE-ANDREWS HALL - Robie Hall, named for Governor Frederick Robie, who contributed to its construc­tion, was built in 1897. It was originally needed to house women students because the Seminary building had burned down in 1894. At this period, it was customary for male students to board in the town. Andrews Hall was constructed in 1916. It was called East Hall for forty years until in May 1956, it was named for Miriam E. Andrews. Ms. Andrews taught music at Gorham from 1922 to 1960. Robie - Andrews was extensively renovated in 1977 and today provides offices and studios for the Art Department as well as serving as a dormitory.

WOODWARD HALL - The building of this Hall in 1955 kicked off a flurry of construction on the Gorham Campus, which lasted through 1970. Woodward Hall was the first dormitory for men. It was named for Louis B. Woodward, who taught natural and social sciences at Gorham from 1913 to 1955, and also served as Vice Principal from 1935 to his retirement. The Russell Scholars Program can be found in this residence hall which also has a computer lab on the first floor.

UPTON-HASTINGS HALL - Upton Hall dates from 1960 and was originally a dormitory for women. It named for Ethelyn F. Upton who taught mathematics beginning in 1932 and was the Director of Student Teaching from 1945 to her retirement in 1962. Hastings Hall, the adjacent unit, opened in 1968 and was named for Mary Hastings who preceded Miss Upton as Director of Student Teaching. It has large lounge space and is, therefore, the scene of many activities. This dormitory was built at a cost of $947,000 (quite a contrast to the cost of Corthell, ninety years earlier!) The placing of the time capsule and the laying of the cornerstone by President Kenneth T. H. Brooks and Dean of Women Edna F. Dickey took place at ceremonies held on May 10, 1967. The Upton-Hastings complex houses 300 students. Dr. Brooks’ span as President, from 1960 to 1970, saw two large changes of name and function. In 1965, Gorham became a State College, thereby greatly broadening its academic purpose. In 1968, it became a unit of the newly created University of Maine system. Upton-Hastings now includes Campus Card Services, the Office of Community Standards, Mail Services, USM Police Department, Residence Hall, Residential Life and Resident Education, and University Health and Counseling.

ANDERSON HALL - Built as a men’s dormitory in 1963, this was named for Hayden L.V. Anderson, an alumnus who taught at Gorham for many years, and went on the serve as Director of Professional Services for the Maine Department of Education. Purchasing and Payables can also be found in this residence hall.

DICKEY-WOOD HALL - Known as the "towers", this residence hall was opened in 1970 but not formally dedicated and named until 1973. Edna F. Dickey, who taught History at Gorham from 1945 to 1972, was also Dean of Women from 1945 to 1969, a period of tremendous change both in society and on college campuses — from the days of parietals to co-ed dorms. Her performance in dealing with such changes was excellent. Esther E. Wood, who served from 1930 to 1973, taught the Social Sciences.

PHILIPPI HALL – This residence hall opened in 2004.

UPPERCLASS HALL - This new residence hall, which opened in 2007, earned a Gold LEED rating.

PRESIDENT’S HOUSE - Another example of the generosity of Frederick Robie, who contributed $7,000 of the $10,000 cost, the President's House was built in 1906. Dr. Walter Russell, who succeeded Dr. William Corthell as Principal in 1905, was its first occupant and lived there until he retired in 1940.

ART GALLERY – This building has a funny history – it was erected in 1821 as a free meeting house because of the rivalries of two singing societies, the Haydns and the Handels, both vying for the singing seats in the old Congregational church. Needless to say, there was no way they could agree and the Haydns finally won out. Therefore, a subscription was started to build the free meeting house in which the Handels held the singing seats, regardless of what denomination was holding the service! In 1840, the Free Meeting House came into the possession of the town and, after removing the spire, installing the columns, and refitting the interior, it was used as the Town Hall until 1960, when it came to Gorham State Teachers College. It has been used as an Art Gallery since 1966. The Civil War Soldiers’ Monument in front was the gift to the town of Gorham of Toppan Robie (Frederick Robie’s father and the first Robie in Gorham), from whom the town had acquired the meeting house. Its cost was $2,000. He was a trustee of Gorham Academy for fifty years and was a large contributor to the town and the Congregational Church as well as to the Academy.

RUSSELL HALL - Built in 1931 and named for Dr. Walter E. Russell, principal of Gorham Normal School from 1905 to 1940, this was the only building erected on the campus between 1916 and 1955. The architect was Raymond Mayo of Portland. It provides the stage, auditorium, and offices for the Theatre Department.

BAILEY HALL - The largest academic building on the campus, Bailey was built in three units. The first was the Science Wing, constructed in 1958, which contains classrooms, laboratories, and offices. It was followed in 1961 by the Library Wing, which contains classrooms, conference rooms, and faculty offices, as well as the separate two-story Library. The third and final unit, a classroom wing, opened in 1969. Dedication of the building to Dr. Francis L. Bailey, who served as the President of Gorham from 1940 to 1960, was conducted on November 17, 1959. Dr. Bailey’s administration saw the name of the institution changed from a Normal School to a State Teacher’s College in 1945.

WARREN HILL GYMNASIUM - This provided badly needed facilities on the Gorham Campus, since the small gym in Russell Hall was inadequate. It was built in 1963 and named for Warren G. Hill, a 1939 graduate of Gorham and a former Maine Commissioner of Education. The gym can seat 2,500 people. It has been enlarged to include the Ice Arena and the Field House.

JOHN MITCHELL CENTER - This building, erected in 1965, houses the Industrial Arts program, one of the oldest special programs— established in 1911. The program inhabited several buildings in its lifetime, at one point being housed in the Academy Building. The Center houses, besides offices and classrooms for the industrial arts and vocational—industrial teacher education, all the necessary laboratories and facilities. After renovation in 2004, this was the first university building statewide to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. The center has laboratories and classrooom facilities for the College of Science, Technology and Health.

KENNETH BROOKS STUDENT CENTER - The center was named after Kenneth Brooks who served as President of Gorham State Teacher College, 1960 to 1968, then as President of the University of Maine at Gorham until 1970. In the student center you can find a bookstore, Campus Involvement and Activities, Dining Services, Greek Life Organizations and Student Life.

ARBORETUM - This project was begun on the Gorham Campus after around 175 trees were lost in an ice storm in 1998. The goal was not only to begin to replace the trees but also to increase the diversity of species for ecological and educational purposes. The Arboretum was officially recognized on Earth Day, 2001 and continues to expand. For more information, including a walking tour map, and photographs identifying some of the tree species on campus please click here.

ACADEMY BUILDING - Art Department Studios

ADMISSIONS HOUSE - Undergraduate Admissions, Transfer Affairs







19 COLLEGE AVENUE - University Environmental Health and Safety


28 HUSKY DRIVE - USM Public Safety

62 SCHOOL STREET - Multicultural Education Programs

128 SCHOOL STREET - Human Resources, Payroll System



*Compiled by Special Collections Staff from USM Archives and other sources.