FROM LAST TIME
Test tube babes?
“What a surprise to see my roommate, Mary Louise “Weezie” Cordes Denny ’48, on the far side of the lab,” writes Barbara Breen Brooks ’48. (Classmate Mary Jane Baker Macartney ’48 corroborates this identification.) Brooks says, “We were both enrolled in ‘Organic Chemistry,’ but I believe this photo was taken in the qual and quant lab in the top floor of Griffith Hall.” She adds, “Dr. Claussen assured us that we could pass, so we took the course—and received undeserved credit.”
By 1959 the old, wood-frame Griffith Hall (only its facade was brick) presented “a desperate situation,” according to science professors Karl Hyde (biology), Charlotte Fahey (physics), and Alton Markley (chemistry). Within months of this comment, a laboratory fire dramatically underscored their concerns. On the fourth floor, a spark from a refrigerator motor evidently ignited chemicals stored inside; after a huge explosion, the top of the building quickly burned and the floors below filled with thick orange smoke. Prompt action by college security officers and local firefighters ensured everyone’s safety and preserved the building. Repairs were made, and Griffith continued as the science building until the college moved to its new campus in the early 1970s.
More about Griffith Hall is in Make No Small Plans by Prof. Mary C. Lynn and The Architect of Necessity by Heather Moore ’08 and Prof. Bob Jones.