Wesleyan is a campus of old brownstones and other stately architecture. Historic landmarks and academic buildings are scattered throughout campus. The social center for undergraduates, however, is not found along frat row or in a local coffee shop but is rather located on Foss Hill.
“Foss Hill is the most fundamentally important place on campus for social interaction,” said Spencer Sheridan ’10.
The sloping lawn, situated between the Olin Library, North and South College buildings and the new Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Campus Center, is a place of year-round social importance and gathering. Host to mud sliding in the fall, sledding in the winter and lounging in the spring, Foss Hill accommodates community needs at every time of the year.
“Sledding down Foss Hill is really fun,” said Jason Bigman ’10. “I really love how it brings together small elementary school children from Middletown and Wesleyan students in one giant party of plastic and ice.”
Students also have cherished memories of Foss Hill in September, when summer fades and fall begins.
“I particularly like the smell of Foss Hill in the fall afternoon,” Sheridan said. “The tang of MoCon and the tireless twirl of frisbees makes the end of summer feel as real as a morning shower.”
Students and Middletown residents alike gather in the fall and spring for football and baseball games, respectively.
“Foss Hill is a central space on campus for students to chill out, relax and take in a nice afternoon,” said Travis Fitzgerald ’09. “One of my fondest memories of Wesleyan is lying on my mattress out on the hill and stargazing in the fall.”
Foss Hill has a storied history as a central part of the campus in Wesleyan’s history as well. It is named after Professor Archibald Foss, who lived in a house next to the College Cemetery in the mid-1800s.
His house was purchased by Wesleyan in 1880 and was demolished in 1955 to make room for construction of the Foss Hill dormitories.