Architect: Office of Horace Trumbauer
John Spencer Bassett (1867-1928) was graduated from Trinity College in 1888. Bassett went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1894, and then returned to Trinity as a professor of history. He was the primary focus of an academic freedom controversy in 1903, when he published an article that named Booker T. Washington the greatest person, save General Lee, to be born in the south in the previous century. The college faced great external pressure to fire him; when the Board of Trustees refused to do so, they set a powerful precedent for academic freedom at Trinity College. In 1906, Bassett took a position as professor at Smith College.
Bassett Residence Hall was completed in the spring of 1927 and was known as Dormitory No. 4 until it was renamed in honor of John Spencer Bassett in 1930. Alspaugh, Bassett, Brown, Giles, and Pegram dormitories were all completed in a two year period between the fall of 1926 and the fall of 1928, and are all minor variations on the same design.
For Further Research:
- Biographical Reference Collection: Contains biographical information on Bassett
- Building Reference Collection: Contains building history information
- Bassett Residence Hall records: Scrapbooks and other documentation created by students living in Bassett Residence Hall between 1950-1979
- Photographs related to Bassett Residence Hall on Flickr