The Field House was constructed in 1937. As early as 1938, there was a movement to rename the building for William H. Cowell, a former director of physical education and athletics. Initiated by the Student Council, this motion was blocked by the Board of Trustees, who had already formally named it the University of New Hampshire Field House. However, in 1940, a memorial tablet was commissioned to be hung beneath a painting of Cowell outside the gymnasium named in his honor.
The athletic fields outside the Field House are named “Lewis Fields” in honor of Dr. Edward Morgan Lewis, whose efforts helped secure funding for both the fields and a physical education facility.
Snively Arena and Hamel Recreation Center
Hamel Recreation Center was originally constructed in 1965 as Snively Arena, named for A. Barr “Whoop” Snively (1899-1964), a long-time coach at the University of New Hampshire. A 1923 graduate of Princeton University, Snively introduced lacrosse at both Brown University and Williams College before coming to the University of New Hampshire, where his team’s record during his career was 85-47, including an undefeated 1955 season in which they won a national divisional championship. He also hockey at Williams for 16 years before becoming the UNH varsity coach in 1962 after seven years as the coach of the freshmen team.
In 1995, after renovation and expansion, Snively Arena was renamed Hamel Recreation Center, in honor of Dana Hamel, a generous benefactor of the University. Active on the board of the UNH Foundation, Hamel also lends his name to the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research and the Hamel Scholarship program. In 2016, a 100,000 square foot expansion and renovation was undertaken by Hughes Group Architects and Shawmut Design and Construction. This included the replacement and expansion of the outdoor pool.
Construction of the Whittemore Center began on November 12, 1994, with the building opening for the first time nearly a year later. The athletic center was dedicated May 5, 1996 and named for Frederick B. Whittemore, a chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Mutual Funds, who donated $1.5 million toward the construction of the Whittemore Center, and the Whittemore family, who can trace their New Hampshire residency back to 1732. Frederick’s father, Laurence Whittemore, had been a UNH trustee from 1944-1960 and served as president of the Board of Trustees from 1954-1960. Frederick later served as a founding director of the UNH Foundation and on the executive board for the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, named for his father.
The Whittemore Center houses the Hamel Recreation Center, a three-level student recreational facility encompassing two multi-purpose athletic courts, racquetball and squash courts, aerobics and martial arts rooms, a fitness center, an indoor track, and a gym with three basketball courts; as well as an arena housing an Olympic-size hockey rink.