A new building honors the legacy of a noted educator and humanitarian and houses the fastest-growing program on campus, computer science. A two-story atrium (pictured) now connects Kettering Labs to the former building for music and theater.
Named Jessie S. Hathcock Hall, the 58,000-square-foot construction and renovation project includes new laboratory, office and classroom spaces, many overlooking Baujan Field. Jessie Scott Hathcock ’30 was the first African American woman to graduate from the University. She received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from UD in 1978. In her words of thanks, she stated, “May the University of Dayton continue to grow in influence for the betterment of our city, and may its doors of learning be forever open to all races, creeds and nationalities, for the glory of God, who taught us the meaning of brotherhood and the oneness of mankind.”
Hathcock graduated from UD with a bachelor’s degree in education. She taught in Dayton public schools for 34 years, serving as Dean of Girls, English teacher and faculty adviser at Dunbar High School. She worked with the City Beautiful Council, Wegerzyn Garden Board and American Association of University Women. A global citizen, she traveled the world extensively, was active in the Dayton Council on World Affairs, and founded the Dayton and Miami Valley Committee for UNICEF.
She also was a charter member of Beta Eta Omega, the Dayton chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and served as its first president in 1934. Selected as one of the Top Ten Women in Dayton in 1966 for her humanitarian efforts and civic pride, she was a longtime member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Dayton. Hathcock died in 1986.
Hathcock’s family — granddaughter Beverly Hathcock Robinson and her husband, Leonard, grandson Lloyd Hathcock and his wife, Barbara — said the entire family, including many cousins, are pleased and honored.
“We are simply delighted and thrilled. As an educator for many years, our grandmother would be particularly pleased that the building named in her honor is a place of learning.”
“We are simply delighted and thrilled. As an educator for many years, our grandmother would be particularly pleased that the building named in her honor is a place of learning,” the family said.
The Jessie V. Scott Hathcock Memorial Scholarship was established in her honor in 2004 to support UD students who represent the qualities of leadership and service illustrated by Hathcock’s life.
President Eric F. Spina said the building is a fitting tribute to a quintessential educator and distinguished alumna.
“Naming the building for this trailblazing woman will make her life and her story visible to generations of UD students, inspiring them to continue her legacy of educational excellence, humanitarianism and community activism,” Spina said.
“Naming the building for this trailblazing woman will make her life and her story visible to generations of UD students, inspiring them to continue her legacy of educational excellence, humanitarianism and community activism.”
The University’s computer science program, founded in 1961, was one of the first such programs in the nation. Today, the program has 151 undergraduate students and 305 master’s and doctoral students. The department chair suite in Hathcock Hall is named for Father Thomas Schoen, S.M., who helped found the program and served UD for more than 50 years.
A formal dedication and blessing will be held in the fall, should pandemic conditions permit.