The Loomis Chaffee Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday the renaming of Mason Hall to Howe Hall in honor of Glover Howe '48 and Jane Mackay Howe '49, longtime faculty and dedicated members of the school community.
Many current dorm residents, students, faculty, staff, and members of the wider community welcomed the new moniker for the century-old residence hall.
After announcing the news at a faculty meeting on Monday evening, Head of School Sheila Culbert shared the decision with the current residents of Mason Hall, 34 girls this school year, who had been awaiting news of the renaming. Sheila read from a letter Jane sent after she was informed of the change.
"Glover would be highly honored and deeply touched, as am I, to know that Howe Hall will be part of the stately Grubbs Quadrangle," Jane wrote in the letter. Glover, who passed away in 2010, and Jane, who resides in Marlborough, New Hampshire, both served as dorm heads of Mason Hall, among their many roles at the school, and they raised their four children on campus, all of whom have gone on to work at independent schools.
"We always felt that the quality of residential life is a vital part of the boarding school experience," Jane wrote. "Our own lives were certainly enriched by including the dormitory girls and boys in our family — sharing ideas and experiences, lending an ear, helping when needed, just being there for them, and over time becoming mentors; and true friends. Living in a dormitory and caring for and parenting students wove us into the fabric of the community and helped produce a healthy student body. Our years living on the Island were happy, fulfilling, and treasured — even to be envied. Thank you, Loomis Chaffee, for this great honor."
Lori Caligiuri, current head of the newly renamed dorm, said the reaction among the resident students was positive. "In fact, a couple of girls had suggested Howe Hall when Dr. Culbert had first informed us that the name would be changed," Lori said. "Jane and Glover Howe impacted the lives of many students, both male and female, who resided in Mason throughout the years, and we are thrilled to honor their service in this way."
The girls in the dorm were pleased that the new name will "honor people who had a connection to the dorm and to the school," said senior Helena DuPont, a resident assistant in the dorm. "And Howe Hall has a nice ring to it," she added.An email announcement of the Howe Hall name change was distributed to all students, family members, faculty, and alumni on Tuesday afternoon. Connect to the letter from Head of School Sheila Culbert and Christopher Norton '76, chair of the Board of Trustees, to learn more about the decision and Glover's and Jane's legacy at Loomis Chaffee.