109. Whig Hall


Whig Hall is home to the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, the oldest college literary and debating club in the nation.  Founded in 1769 and 1770 as two separate groups, Whig and “Clio” fostered fierce competition for membership and stature throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when a student’s affiliation with either group essentially defined his college experience.  In 1838, the societies put up identical wood and stucco buildings behind Nassau Hall, designed by the distinguished Philadelphia architect John Haviland in the style of Ionic temples; these structures were replaced in 1893 with marble edifices modeled after the smaller originals.  With the advent of the twentieth century came greater variety in extracurricular activities and, in 1929, Whig and Clio merged to become a single entity.  Whig Hall continues to house the debating society, while Clio Hall now contains the offices of student employment and the student agencies.