Left to right: Church Hall, Alonzo Church
Church Hall, a dormitory, is named for the longest-serving president of UGA, Alonzo Church. Church served for 30 years, from 1829 to 1859, and was one of the most controversial heads of the institution.
Born in Vermont in 1793, Church moved to Georgia in the early 1800s. He was educated at Middlebury College and Yale University.
He taught at the Academy at Eatonton before being hired as a professor of mathematics at UGA in 1819. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister and a strict disciplinarian. He and his wife, Sarah, had eight children.
Historians say that Church had “serious difficulties with the faculty, but always had his way.” They call his administration “the Golden Age of the University.”
In the latter half of his time in office, science and vocational training were added to the University’s curriculum.
Church was a gifted fundraiser and several buildings were completed during his presidency. The southern half of the academic building was built in 1831, and the Chapel completed in 1832. The Lumpkin House (old Rock House) was acquired and Phi Kappa Hall was constructed.
Other buildings included the Lustrat House, the faculty residence at the Memorial Garden, and the arch and fence erected from funds acquired in the selling of the old Botanical Garden between Finley Street and Tanyard branch.
Church died in Athens of pneumonia in 1862.