The faces behind the names on campus buildings

BY ELAINE WILNER

There is more than one way to get your name on a building at Penn. Buildings honor significant figures in Pennsylvania history, distinguished faculty, University presidents, outstanding students, successful alumni, relatives of successful alumni, generous friends, complete strangers and our founding father, who has both the stadium and an administration building named after him. Here are a few of the people behind the buildings.

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Henry Richard Dietrich

All images: University Archives

Daniel Wellington Deitrich ran a large baking company in Reading, Pa. His two nephews, Daniel Wellington Dietrich W’24 and Henry Richard Dietrich W’30,Hon’57made a generous gift toward the building of a new home for the Wharton School in 1952 (the largest since Joseph Wharton founded the School in 1881) and this gave them the privilege of naming it after their uncle.

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Henry Howard Houston, Jr.

Henry Howard Houston, Jr. C 1878 was the son of the Pennsylvania Railroad executive who developed West Chestnut Hill as one of the first planned communities in the United States. Upon graduating from Penn, young Houston set off on what was then the obligatory European tour enjoyed by scions of the upper class. In May, 1879, he died of typhoid fever in Rome. In 1894 his parents funded a “student clubhouse”—the first student union in the nation—to be named in his honor.

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Joseph Leidy

Joseph Leidy was appointed Professor of Anatomy in the School of Medicine in 1853, but that only begins to hint at his accomplishments. He was a renowned scientific illustrator, pioneer of protozoology, parasitology, forensic medicine and founder of vertebrate paleontology. He assembled the first complete American dinosaur, Hadrosaurus, found in Haddonfield, N.J. A recent biography by Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Emeritus Leonard Warren calls Leidy “The Last Man Who Knew Everything.”

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James Logan

In 1699, at the age of 25, James Logan served as William Penn’s secretary on his second trip to his colony. Logan remained in Philadelphia as agent for the Penn family and became successful in the fur-trading business. Profits from his enterprises went into building Stenton, his 1720s mansion in Germantown that is still standing, and book collecting. The Loganian Library, with over 2,000 volumes, was considered the best in the pre-1750 colonies. Today his collection is housed at the Library Company of Philadelphia. He is honored with a building because he was one of the original trustees of the institution.

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Alfred Fitler Moore

Alfred Fitler Moore was an electrical wire manufacturer in Philadelphia. When he died in 1912, his will called for the creation of a school of electrical engineering in his name. The trustees charged with the task soon realized that starting a school from scratch was more than even his handsome estate could handle, so in 1923, they reached an agreement with the Trustees of the University to separate electrical engineering from the Towne Scientific School and create the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. The Moore School was merged back into the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1989.

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Frederick Deyle Stiteler

Frederick Deyle Stiteler grew up in West Philadelphia at the turn of the 20th century and entered his father’s business, a chain of grocery stores called Stiteler Meat and Provisions. Later, he became a real estate broker with a special interest in West Philadelphia. A longtime friend of the University, in 1966 he donated $200,000 towards the building of a social sciences building.


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Originally published on January 15, 2004