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Coburn Classroom Named for Beloved Professors

Former Students and Colleagues of Bergeron and Denning Raise $60K in Tribute

Bernie Battle, Prof. Emertius Dean Bergeron, Don Pierson, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and Heather Makrez Allen
Prof. Emeritus Dean Bergeron, second from right, toured the newly renovated Coburn Hall with, from left, Bernie Battle ’69, former Provost Don Pierson, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney ’75, ’92 and Executive Director of Alumni Relations Heather Makrez Allen ’06, ’08.


Coburn Hall’s classroom 110 may be just a quick jog up a flight of stairs from the basement office once shared by former professors Dean Bergeron and Joyce Denning — but nonetheless, it’s a different world. 

The light-filled modern classroom – part of the $47 million renovation to the 124-year-old building, completed last year—is tricked out with the latest instructional technology, like all academic spaces in the new home to the College of Education and the Psychology Department.

This particular room, however, bears a special name: The Dean Bergeron and Joyce Denning Classroom.

A group of former students and current faculty and staff got together to raise over $60,000 to name the room in honor of Bergeron, professor emeritus of history and political science and founding advisor for the International Relations Club and Model UN program on campus, and the late Prof. Denning, his friend and colleague on the political science faculty.

The two enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration from the time Denning arrived on campus in 1967, two years after Bergeron, until her death in 2014.

Bergeron, who says he choked up upon visiting the completed classroom, is gratified to know that generations of students will continue to learn in the space named in his and Denning’s honor.

“I can picture a great exchange of ideas happening in this classroom, and am honored to be associated with it,” he says.

To make a leadership gift in support of the classroom, please email Executive Director of Alumni Relations Heather Makrez Allen ’06, ’08 by Feb. 24.