Waddel Hall is named for Moses Waddel, the fifth president of the University of Georgia. It is the second oldest building on campus.
Moses Waddel was a noted Presbyterian minister and educator. Born in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1770, he was the son of Irish immigrants. He graduated from Hampton Sidney College in 1791 and was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry. He pastured and taught in South Carolina and founded a widely regarded classical school in Willington, S.C.
He became president of UGA in 1819 and served 10 years. He was married to the sister of famed South Carolina statesman, John C. Calhoun. He taught a number of the early leaders in both states.
Waddel Hall was named for him in the 1950s. Completed in 1821, it was originally known as Philosophical Hall.
Through the years, it has served many purposes including a classroom building, a gymnasium and a boarding house.
It was renovated in the 1970s to accommodate the Dean Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law. Other buildings constructed during Waddel’s administration included Demosthenian Hall and New College.
In 1820, he organized the Presbyterian congregation in Athens which became the First Presbyterian Church of Athens. He served as pastor until 1829.
After his tenure as president, he taught and pastored in South Carolina, but died in Athens in 1840.