Classroom Buildings


Two classroom buildings were constructed as  part of the original six-building campus, but increasing enrollment created an almost immediate need for more classroom space.  John Clarke Science was constructed in 1962 to meet that need and was followed by two more dedicated classroom buildings (William C. Gaige Hall and John E. Fogarty Hall) and a Professional Studies building (Horace Mann Hall) that also contains classrooms.

John Clarke Science Building (1963)

Though less well known today than his associ­ate Roger Williams, John Clarke played a ma­jor role in the colonial history of Rhode Island . Having fled first England and then Massachu­setts because of religious persecution , he set­tled on Aquidneck  Island, co-founded  New­port, and led the second Baptist church in the colonies. As a result of his long term diplomat­ic efforts, King Charles II of England granted the Royal Charter of 1663 that recognized the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Planta­ tions. This document, authored by John Clarke, guaranteed religious freedom and served until 1843 as the Rhode Island Constitution.[1]

'Portrait of a Clergyman' (believed to be John Clarke; attributed to Guilliam de Ville c. 1659 photo: File:John Clarke picture.jpg#filelink
‘Portrait of a Clergyman’ (believed to be John Clarke; attributed to Guilliam de Ville c. 1659 photo:
File:John Clarke picture.jpg#filelink

On May 8, 1963 at the dedication ceremony for the John Clarke Science Building, Dr. William D. Metz commented that though many in attendance would have wished to name the building after a philanthropic donor, no large donation was present for the con­struction of the building.  Additionally, the college chose not to name the building after someone associated with the college, but rather “after a person who never had any con­tact whatsoever with the college …one of the great founders of Rhode Island, a man whose achievements were great and whose character was worthy of emulation.”[2]

Clarke Science (photo:  RIC Archives)
Clarke Science (photo: RIC Archives)

The John Clarke Science Building was designed by Charles A. Maguire and Associates. The horizontal building of light -colored brick with a flat roof complimented the original designs of Alger and Craig-Lee Halls. Two narrow sets of ribbon windows with square panes increase the build­ings  horizontal  qualities and provide the only orna­mentation on the other­wise stark building. Small entry-ells project from the building’s southern facade facing the quadrangle at the western and eastern ends.  An additional wing is located off the northwestern cor­ner of the building.

William C. Gaige Hall (1966)

Originally called Horace Mann Hall when it opened in Febru­ary 1966, Gaige Hall provided needed classroom and office space for the overflowing campus. Designed by Donald J. Prout Associates, construction on the building’s west wing began that spring.[3]  In 1971 this building which housed lib­eral arts classrooms  was renamed for Dr. William Gaige because of his commitment to expanding the College’s liber­al arts curriculum .[4]  At the dedication, Dr. Gaige said, ” I’m very pleased to have that particular building named after me… I like being between James Adams and Michael Walsh. “[5]

Above right: William C. Gaige, 3rd President of the Rhode Island College of Education with his wrre (photo: RIC Archives)
Above right: William C. Gaige, 3rd President of the Rhode Island College of
Education with his wife (photo: RIC Archives)

William Clement Gaige was the third President (1952-1966) of the Rhode Island College of Education .  He oversaw the move to the new Mount Pleasant Campus, the subsequent growth in enrollment, the change of name to Rhode Island College, and the institution ‘s first accreditation.  Under his leadership, Rhode Island College expanded its liberal a1ts curriculum, providing a variety of courses of study in addition to the Education program for which the school had long been known . During his tenure he oversaw the construction of fourteen campus buildings and helped to es­tablish the Council of Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island College Foundation.

Born in Pennsylvania, Dr. Gaige graduated from Oberlin College and earned advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and Harvard University.[6] Prior to taking office at Rhode Island College he had been a teacher, high school principal, school superinten­dent, and college instructor in several states. His accomplishments were well recog­nized, and he was awarded honorary degrees, from not only Rhode  Island College (1970), but also the Rhode Island School of Pharmacy and Allied Sciences, Brown Uni­versity, Providence College, Bryant College, and the University of Rhode Island.

Gaige Hall (photo.  RIC Archives)
Gaige Hall (photo. RIC Archives)

With  its light-colored brick,  flat  roof,  and horizontal massing, Gaige  Hall  is  con­sistent and complimen­tary to the overall cam­pus  design. Narrow vertical windows ech­oed the former Walsh Center that stood near­by.  A two-story lobby hyphenates the wings and opens onto a small patio and steps leading down into the quadran­gle.

John E. Fogarty Life Science Building (1975)

Congressman John E. Fogarty served  in the US House  of  Representatives from  1940 until  his death in 1967.  Born in Providence, he attended LaSalle Academy and Providence College, was trained as a bricklayer, and led a bricklayer’s un­ion before being elected.  ln Washington D.C., he earned the nickname “Mr. Public Health” for his commitment to funding health initiatives.[7] Ac­knowledging  his many  contributions, a plaque, gift of the Class of 1975, inside the Fogarty  Life Science  Building, indicates that  the  building is named in his honor “in recognition of his out­standing contribution to the improvement of edu­cational, medical, and public welfare facilities and programs in the state and nation.”

Congressman John E. Fogarty! (photo: jpgJ
Congressman John E. Fogarty! (photo: jpgJ

In 1967 faculty from  the biology  and  physical science departments began  to draw  up preliminary specifications for the construction of a new science facility that would  be based upon their teaching experience and the specific needs of each discipline. Plans focused on creating a life science center and looked forward to the inclusion of future programs in nursing, m ed ica l technology, health science, and physical education . The physical sciences would remain  in the John Clarke Science Building and would expand into the spaces vacated by biology. Designed by Donald J. Prout Associates, the John E. Fogarty Life Science Building was dedicated on October 19, 1975.  Dr. George Hartmann, then chair of the Biology Department, observed that its design created a tremendous increase in the opportunity for interaction between  students and faculty.  Built of light colored brick and contrasting concrete, the rectangular building’s slightly recessed windows and horizontal massing give it fortress-like qualities. Within  its two  stories it housed ten biology laboratories, one nursing lecture room  , one  nursing self­ study  room , nine seminar rooms, nine laboratories, a large lecture hall, three multi-purpose classrooms, three  lounge areas,  three environmental chambers, and office space for sixty faculty.[8]

Fogarty Life Science  (photo: RIC Archives)
Fogarty Life Science (photo: RIC Archives)

Horace Mann Hall (1971)

Horace Mann, often referred to as the father of public schools in America,” served as a model for Henry Barnard and other educational reformers.  Born in Massachusetts, he enrolled at Brown University in 1816, after graduating became a tutor at Brown, and then studied  law.  Becoming  well known for his public speeches, he grew increasingly active in advo­cating for social reform, particularly in the area of education where he viewed public schools as tools for personal enlightenment.  As secretary of the Mas­sachusetts Board of Education (1837 to 1848), he started a reform movement that spread throughout the country.  He later served in Congress and went on to become the first president of Antioch College.

Horace Mann (photo:,_c1850.jpg
Horace Mann (photo:,_c1850.jpg

The classroom building now called William C. Gaige Hall was originally named for Horace Mann.  Both the president of Antioch College and the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education participated in its dedication on April 27, 1966. Designed as the Professional Studies building by Fenton G. Keyes Associates, Architects and located close to the Henry Barnard School , the new Horace Mann Hall was dedicated on April 27, 1971 during a conference of educators from throughout the nation , and Horace Mann was once again recognized as the “prime mover m the cause of teacher education  and free public education  in the United States.”[9]

Horace Mann Hall (photo: RIC Archives)
Horace Mann Hall (photo: RIC Archives)

The looming geometric con­crete building features a recessed entryway with brick accents.  Jutting out from the northern side of the entrance is a windowless concrete wing that gives the building a fortress-like ap­pearance.  A square three­ story tower with ribbon­ windows  divides  the  con­crete and provides height to the otherwise horizontal building. Heavy concrete piers prevent the windows from cir­cling the entire tower. The building is a good example of Brutalist architecture, popular on college campuses and elsewhere throughout the country in the late 1960s, and it is a more pure illustration of the style than the later 1979 addition to Adams Library.

  1. 'John Clarke Science Building," Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  2. Speech, Dr. William D. Metz. July 8, 1963. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections.
  3. 'Still More: As New Buildings Rise, Others are Planned." Folio, Number 1. March 1966. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections.
  4. "R.I. College to Rename Hall for Dr. Gaige, Former Prexy, WHS Head." Greenville Observer Townsman. April 22, 1971. Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  5. Robert Chiappinelli. "Is Mann Gaiged by name alone?" in "Gaige." Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  6. "Gaige Hall,' Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  7. "Inductee Details: Congressman John E. Fogarty."  Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. (accessed June 29, 2012).
  8. "Fogarty Life Science Building," Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  9. "Horace Mann Hall dedication brochure.  Rhode Island College.  James P. Adams Library, Special Collections. 0.0/11; "Horace Mann Hall," Buildings and Named Places Binder.



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