Stand in the middle of the bridge, facing away from the lake, and look to your right to Chadbourne Hall. Back in 1871, this building was the Female College and women’s dorm. The Female College had been created a few years earlier to separate men and women students, who had been enrolling together since 1863. The UW president who insisted on the separation was Paul Chadbourne. After he retired and John Bascom took over, the Female College was disbanded and co-education resumed. The original name of the building was Ladies’ Hall. In 1901, in an act of ironic revenge, the University renamed it Chadbourne Hall in honor of the president in UW’s history least enthusiastic about co-education.
Chadbourne Hall included a room designated as a non-sectarian chapel, as did North and South Halls. It’s hard to believe now, but through the 1860s, daily chapel was a compulsory part of the university program. Attendance became voluntary in the 1870s. As much as chapel facilitated student religious life, it was also seen, especially by faculty and administrators, as necessary moral instruction for young adults. The architectural legacy of these chapels has been entirely erased by successive remodeling of the buildings, providing a stark reminder of how much differently the relationship between church and state was conceived at the beginning of UW’s history.
Continue across the bridge and begin your way up Bascom Hill. Stop on the first building on your left, Music Hall, for the next stop.