Hebe Statue

Mrs. Wheaton gave the original lead statue and fountain of Hebe, the “cupbearer to the gods,” to the Seminary for its fiftieth anniversary in 1884. Based on a sculpture by Thorvaldson, Hebe stands for the spirit of Wheaton: to be of service.

Originally placed between Mary Lyon Hall and the Boarding House, Hebe soon became the center of traditions. The daisy chain carried by the seniors on Senior Day would be draped around the statue at the end of the festivities. She is also the finish line for the Senior Hoop Roll.

When the Boarding House was demolished in 1932, Hebe was moved to the courtyard created by the new Kilham and Metcalf dormitories. An electric light was added to the cup and, at one time, an electrical alarm was installed within the statue because she had been repeatedly damaged in abduction attempts. Sometimes the thefts were successful, and Hebe was finally so badly damaged that she was “retired” to the Potato Cellar.

Having remained in retirement since the 1970s, Hebe was restored in 1982 by sculptor Fritz Cleary, husband of Hope K. Cleary 1944 and father of Catherine Cleary 1982. Mr. Cleary made casts of the broken parts of the original statue and reconstructed her. The current Hebe is the bronze casting made by Mr. Cleary and was dedicated on Founders’ Day in 1982.