John Dewey Memorial Lounge
Located in the central portion of Old Mill (formerly the chapel of the original 1825 structure) John Dewey Memorial Lounge is dramatically lit by four stained glass lancet windows which extend the full two stories of the space; three on the west wall, and one on the south wall. The space was named in honor of John Dewey, the prominent American philosopher, Burlington native, and UVM alumnus (1879) whose oil portrait (1929) by Edwin B.Child hangs on the south wall. (See also the 1931 charcoal drawing of John Dewey by Henri Matisse in the collection of the Robert Hull Fleming Museum)
The Lounge is used as a space for lectures and special events. It functions primarily
as a commemorative place, which honors distinguished faculty and former UVM
presidents. A portrait of UVM President (1871-1910) Matthew H. Buckham painted by
Vemont artist Scott Carbee is placed on the east wall. A marble tablet given in
1882 and placed on the north wall honors the nineteen University of Vermont men who
died in the Civil War. (A memorial plaque to UVM students/alumni who served in the
Second World War is mounted on the west wall of the main corridor of Waterman
Building, to the south of Memorial Lounge)
Three lancet stained glass windows dominate the west wall. The two most significant are the center and right windows. The center window is dedicated to Reverend Joseph Torrey, President of UVM from 1862-1866 and a Professor of Greek and Latin, and Philosophy as well as to his nephew, Henry Augustus Pearson Torrey, also a professor of Philosophy. This window was a 1908 alumni gift. The central image portrays the Italian poet, Dante, and includes a quote from his Divine Comedy that reads " persons with grave and tranquil eyes, and great authority in their carriage and attitude, who spoke but seldom and in a voice sedate." The bottom line on the window reads, "cultured in philosophy and literature, diligent in teaching, pre-eminent in learning, they drew all to the full life."
The window to the right (north) of the Torrey window is dedicated to the Reverend James Marsh.D.D., UVM President from 1826-1833. Marsh made many innovations in the curriculum of the University, offering lectures in the Philosophy of Fine Arts, introducing the study of English Literature. Marsh is best known nationally for his important contribution to the development and acceptance of Transcendental thought in this country. Given by the class of 1836, the window was dedicated in 1885. Christian and Platonic sentiments are expressed in the lines "the life which is the light of man" and "The true, the beautiful and the good." And are expressed in a complex iconography that juxtaposes the intertwined Alpha and Omega, the head of St. John, and the bust of Plato. Marsh is also commemorated in the oil portrait by American painter Joseph Cole - now in the permanent collection of the Fleming Museum- as well as by a memorial tablet placed on the south wall of the Dewey Lounge in 1885, a gift of the class of 1839. It reads in part....."Himself an ardent and reverent seeker for truth, he is held in great veneration by his pupils."