Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Wardman Residence Hall and Scholars Center

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Institution Name: Whittier College
Original/Historic Place Name: Wardman Residence Hall
Location on Campus: crest of a hill to the east of the Upper Quad
Date(s) of Construction:
1924original construction Allison & Allison
Designer: Allison & Allison
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: cement
Walls: reinforced cement
Roof: red tile
ca. 1924-present (2006)residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (Whittier Scholars Program)

The Aubrey Wardman Residence Hall and Scholars Center, opened as a dormitory in 1924, is a facility with two classrooms, faculty offices, and fourteen dormitory rooms. It also serves as headquarters for the Whittier Scholars Program. The building was once the residence of Harry Nerhood, an outstanding faculty member in whose name an annual award is given to a faculty member in recognition of extraordinary teaching abilities.

The major donor for the construction of this building, Aubrey Wardman, was a Whittier area pioneer of the oil and telephone industries during the early part of the twentieth century, who also served on the Whittier College board of trustees. Wardman arrived in Whittier in 1903 and built the Whittier Home Telephone Co. system from the ground up. He later also owned orange groves and oil-producing property throughout southern California, a cattle ranch in Oregon, a Whittier hotel and local movie theater in addition to other investment properties, and was part owner and president of Rose Hills Memorial Park.

The fireplace mantle in the interior lounge includes an historic mural depicting the work of the Society of Friends, the religious denomination that founded Whittier College. Painted by Richard Harris '34, its central portion depicts Quaker relief work in France during World War I, flanked by two additional scenes showing William Penn with the Indians and Levi Coffin with a runaway slave.


Arnold, Benjamin F. History of Whittier. Whittier, CA: Western Print Corporation, 1933.

Carter, Coila. "History of Whittier." B. A. thesis, Whittier College, 1908.

Cooper, Charles W. Whittier: Independent College in California. Los Angeles, CA: Ward Ritchie Press, 1967.

Cooper, Charles W. The A. Wardman Story. Whittier, CA: Whittier College, 1961.

Elliott, Charles, Jr. Whittier College: The First Century on the Poet Campus, a Pictorial Remembrance. Redondo Beach, CA: Legends Press, 1986.

Feeler, William Henry. History of Whittier College. M. A. thesis, University of Southern California, 1919.

Harris, Herbert Eugene. The Quaker and the West: The First Sixty Years of Whittier College. [s.l.:] Whittier College, 1948.

Pearce, Phyllis M., Claire G. Radford, and Mary Ann Rummel. Founders and Friends. Whittier, CA: Rio Hondo College Community Services, 1977.


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Last update: November 2006