Fenn 100

The Name Fenn College Becomes Official

Date of Event: 
Wednesday, October 23, 1929

The name "Fenn College" becomes official! On October 23, 1929 the Board of Governors vote unanimously that the college-level work be givn collegiate recognition. The Executive Board of the Trustees of the YMCA approved the name in early December of the same year.

Named after Sereno Peck Fenn, Sherwin-Williams and president of the Cleveland YMCA for 25 years. Sereno Peck Fenn bequeathed $100,000 to Fenn College in his will, which in turn further fueled the development of the college. He passed away in 1927 and is buried at Lake View Cemetery.

Sereno Peck Fenn was born in Tallmadge, Ohio on April 25, 1844. After enlisting in Co. B-164th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War in 1864, he was first employed as a clerk in the freight department of the Big Four Railroad until 1870. He became acquainted with Henry A. Sherwin through activities with the YMCA. Fenn joined the Sherwin-Williams Company as a bookkeeper and served the company for fifty years ending his career and Vice President and Treasurer. Learn more about Sereno Peck Fenn here.

Eventually, Fenn College would take over several area buildings including Fenn, Stilwell and Foster Halls from 1929 to 1930. Stillwell Hall was renamed, and reinvigorated as the home of the Engineering programs. Eventually Stillwell Hall would become Fenn Hall. Today, it is the the Washkewicz College of Engineering after a transformative gift  from alum/ former president/CEO of Parker Hannefin Corp. Donald E. Washkewicz and his wife Pamela.