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C.C. Little: A Complicated Legacy

C.C. Little: A Complicated Legacy

 Rachel A. Snell, Ph.D. Candidate

The buildings along the University Mall compose the core of the campus, both physically and culturally. Completed in 1965, Little Hall was one of the last additions to the mall space. Little Hall’s distinctive colonnade, “dominated by a projecting structure containing entrances and lobby space and comprised of large expanses of aluminum-framed windows and doors under long row of barrel-vaulted canopy roofs,” coupled with its Modern-style make it unique among the mall buildings.[1] Built to house the Foreign Language and Psychology Departments, it continues to fulfill that function.

Today, Clarence Cook Little’s name embossed on the front of Little Hall points at the nature of the past, it is neither entirely good nor is it entirely bad. Historians generally seek to avoid judging historical actors and strive to present the past as unbiased observers. Of course, we regularly fail at this goal and our inherent biases, personal interests, and subconscious assumptions infiltrate our presentations of the past. This does not make the study of the past a wasted endeavor, but marks history as a human endeavor and suggests the need for professionally trained historians. Further, it reveals why we study the past: to better understand ourselves, our world, and our place in it. Little’s name on a building at the University of Maine connects the University to all of Little’s brilliant scientific contributions and questionable alliances with the tobacco industry and the American Eugenics Society. Read More.

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