Windham College & the Creation of the Campus
The history of the Landmark College campus begins with the history of Windham College (1951-1978)
Although Windham College closed its doors in 1978, it lives on in the hearts and minds of the many extraordinary individuals who taught and studied on its beautiful campus. A sizeable number still live in the area and they enrich the local community with their talents.
The Windham Alumni Association organizes regular meetings and alumni are also most welcome to register and attend Windham Reunion events and Landmark anniversary celebrations as well.
History of the Windham College Campus
Landmark owes an enormous debt to Walter Hendricks, founder of Windham College and the man who first envisioned the beautiful location in Putney on which the campus is situated.
Windham College was founded as the Vermont Institute for Special Studies with three students in the Winter of 1951 by Dr. Walter Hendricks and his wife, Flora in their home on Kimball Hill in Putney, Vermont. From that small beginning it would grow to encompass, by 1962, 21 buildings in Putney, and have 25 faculty and some 250 students.
Along with its regular academic offerings, it developed a number of very successful programs including the Fiction Writers Conference and Institute for Critical Languages, a summer linguistic and cultural immersion program. The College attracted a talented group of creative faculty whose efforts enriched not only the lives of the students, but through active and artistic programming, the lives of the greater community as a whole.
The success and growth of the College created a need for a more unified campus. Through the Higher Education Act of 1963, Windham obtained, by 1967, 4.3 million dollars of federal funding that would help finance 5.4 million dollars worth of construction. The remainder was made up with fundraising and loans (Windham College Newsletter, 1967). Ground for the new campus was broken in June of 1961. Poet Robert Frost, personal friend and mentor to Walter Hendricks, the College's founder and first President, attended the ground-breaking ceremony. The architect for the project was Edward Durell Stone, an internationally recognized architect of the era.
Campus Architect, Edward Durell Stone
Stone's career, begun in the midst of the Depression, was aided immensely by his commission from Henry Luce, publisher of Time magazine for whom he designed several homes. He would subsequently codesign the Museum of Modern Art (1939) and after the war: the U.S. embassy in India (1954), the National Geographic Society headquarters (1961), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1969) as well as the State University of New York at Albany main campus (1968).
Early in his career, Stone was a proponent of the International Style, a development in modern architecture epitomized by buildings that were simple, unadorned and used the most modern materials. Later in his career, he would become known for incorporating adornment in the form of grilles and cutouts, as well as emphasizing the importance of placement of buildings in relation to their surrounding landscape. Striking similarities can be noted when comparing Windham's architecture with other buildings he designed, including the use of the flat overhang roofs, skylights and colonnades. The campus was begun in 1961 with Aiken Hall ready for occupancy by the following September. Other dormitories and main buildings would soon follow.
Edward Durell Stone: Architect
A comprehensive site created by Stone's son and biographer Hicks Stone, who is also an architect.
Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect
Landmark College Library's copy of Hicks Stone's authoritative biography of his father.