June 30 – Middletown 366

1870

Industrial School For Girls Opens

On this day, the Connecticut Industrial School for Girls, later known as the Long Lane School, was opened with two buildings, the Pratt and the Street Homes in honor of the ladies who donated $5000 each to the school.  The purpose of the school was to house and educate girls between the ages of 8 and 16 “whose surroundings were likely to lead them to vicious or criminal lives.” (Beers History of Middlesex County, 1635-1885) The farm contained 46 acres with 20 acres suitable for the buildings.  A later building was named after a local benefactor, Mrs. Samuel M. Russell.  The class of girls admitted included “the stubborn and unruly; truants, vagrants, and beggars; those in danger of falling into vicious habits; and those who have been guilty of punishable offenses but who are not deemed incorrigible.”

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.


1967

Victor Butterfield steps down as Wesleyan’s President

Born on February 7, 1904, Victor L. Butterfield always planned to be a teacher. He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He later received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Deerfield Academy, the Riverdale School, and Lawrence College, he went onto Wesleyan University. He served as director of admissions, dean of freshman, philosophy professor, associate dean, and finally president of the university. Victor L. Butterfield left a legacy of friendliness, eloquence, and hard work during his tenure as president at Wesleyan University. He was elected in 1943 and understood incoming classes would be different from past classes due to wartime circumstances. He also developed the College of Letters and the College of Social Studies. Before leaving his position, Butterfield also added the Davison Art Center, Foss Hill Dorms, and new graduate programs in several disciplines.

Butterfield resigned on June 30, 1967 from his presidency at Wesleyan University. During his time at Wesleyan, he sought to “develop the freedom, the autonomy and the responsibility of the human mind and spirit.” He passed away on November 19, 1975.

Story contributed by Kimberly Singh.

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