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Leonard Auditorium

Written By: information_management - Aug• 06•09

For whom was Leonard Auditorium named?  

That's a strange question to ask.  After all, Leonard Auditorium is undoubtedly the most important room on the Wofford campus.  It's the site of all campus convocations, the place where the portraits of former presidents hang, the auditorium for major concerts, for events that bring the community together.  And yet nobody gives much thought to who "Leonard" was.  

It was this fellow, the Rev. George Clark Leonard, class of 1895.  

And how did Rev. Leonard get the auditorium named for him?  

George Leonard arrived at Wofford in 1891 as a 25-year old freshman.  He graduated four years later and the following year, became a Methodist minister in South Carolina.  In 1914, he became a member of Wofford's board of trustees, where he served for some 31 years.  During his ministry, he was twice a district superintendent.  He was on close terms with Wofford President Henry N. Snyder, both as a fellow churchman and as a trustee during most of Snyder's presidency.  Snyder would have been the younger man's professor in the early 1890s as well.  Snyder wrote Leonard's obituary in the Annual Conference minutes in 1945.  

On his death, he made a bequest to the college's postwar capital campaign.  In February 1946, the board of trustees voted to name the renovated chapel in Main Building, which had never been known as anything but the chapel, in his honor.  Since 1946, the primary auditorium on campus has borne the name "the Leonard Auditorium" out of respect for the long service of an alumnus, clergyman, and trustee.  

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