Lee Harrington was an administrator who would go out of his way to support students, whether finding them jobs, housing or a much-needed financial boost.
Today, Bridgewater State aspires to help every student – one student at a time, making the naming of a campus building after Harrington all the more fitting.
Academic Dean Lee Harrington
Harrington came to Bridgewater as a mathematics instructor. He went on to serve as academic dean for a decade and spent time as dean of admissions.
Students recalled him as an energetic and inspirational educator and administrator whose leadership helped Bridgewater State grow and prosper.
“Dean Harrington's boundless enthusiasm has been contagious to many of us, and as we graduate we carry with us the abiding love and loyalty for Bridgewater instilled in us by this excellent teacher and wise administrator,” students wrote in the 1964 yearbook, which was dedicated to Harrington.
He once helped establish an arrangement so a student in need of housing could live on the nearby prison campus.
Harrington left Bridgewater in 1972 to become president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. A World War II Navy veteran, he led the academy for eight years and helped it evolve from a three-year to a four-year institution.
Harrington Hall opened in 1926 as a model elementary school that helped prepare Bridgewater students for teaching careers. It replaced a previous model school that was destroyed in a fire in 1924. The land housing Harrington Hall was once known as South Field and hosted high school and collegiate baseball and football games.
In 1979, the model school moved to the newly opened Burnell Hall, and the building was dedicated to Harrington in 1987.
Harrington, who was recalled as a strong supporter of college sports, is also remembered by the Mass. Maritime and BSU athletic departments. The MVP of the annual Cranberry Bowl between the schools’ football teams receives an award named after Harrington. His name also graces BSU Athletics’ annual Unsung Hero Award.
Located on the west side of campus on Grove Street, Harrington Hall is home to the Ricciardi College of Business. In addition to classrooms and offices, the building hosts Bloomberg terminals with real-time and historic financial data. A rotating stock ticker is on the first floor.
Material in this article comes from the 1964 Bridgewater State yearbook, “A History of the Parker-Gates House and its First Four Residents to 1925, Bridgewater, Massachusetts” by Dr. Benjamin A. Spence, Not to be Ministered Unto, But to Minister: Bridgewater State University, 1840-2010 by Dr. Thomas R. Turner, and “BSC Football: The Swenson Years” by Jim Tartari, '64, Mike Hughes, '65, Bob Mason, '65, and Charlie Worden, '70.