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Millington Memories

By Steven Lovern ’13 February 17, 2017
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For 48 years, Millington Hall has stood on William & Mary’s campus — housing research facilities, classrooms, faculty offices, the biology and psychology departments, a greenhouse and much more. Named for John Millington, a professor of chemistry and natural philosophy from 1836-1848, Millington Hall is in the process of being demolished and will be the future home of the fourth Integrated Science Center (ISC4).

Here are two favorite memories about Millington Hall — one from a recent alumnus and one from the greenhouse manager.

Brett Presita ’14 

Millington Hall was the location of my first freshmen class ever. It was Professor Robin Looft-Wilson's Cardiovascular Physiology. Being the eager freshman, I showed up 20 minutes before class, so I had some time to kill. The early morning coffee kicked in, and I soon oriented myself to the first floor restroom. What I discovered immediately confirmed the culture of this school and continues to make me laugh to this day.

Written on one of the walls was the collaboration of dozens of artists’ over the years, who wrote down hundreds of famous novels and song titles that had the word “great” in them. However, the word ‘great’ was replaced with the word “grout.” I was really impressed with some of the selections on the wall. My favorite was “The Grout Gatsby.” It was at this moment that I loved just how nerdy W&M could be, and it was a grout — I mean great — start to my academic career.

Patty White Jackson, greenhouse manager

My favorite memory is when we had our first Greenhouse Tour Day for students.

I knew most students didn’t know the Millington greenhouse was here and were missing out on a truly amazing and diverse collection. My daughter was a freshman at William & Mary and had formed a small band with some friends, so they were recruited to provide the music. With the help of student volunteers and colleagues, the food was plentiful, music was played and our attendance was great. 

All of our visitors that day were excited to visit and see the “jungle” atop Millington. You cannot go wrong with plants, food and live music. We have had a Greenhouse Tour Day for students since then every year in the spring culminating with the Greenhouse Goodbye Party in March 2016.