Helyar Woods

Frank G. Helyar

Frank G. Helyar

Helyar Woods was named for Frank G. Helyar,  who served as director of Short Courses, Professor of Animal Husbandry and Director of Resident Instruction at the College of Agriculture from 1917 to 1953. Since he had grown up in an agricultural area, Helyar was aware of the problems facing his students.   Throughout the 1930's, rising enrollment in the College of Agriculture, the depression and a decline in government funding put a strain on housing and teaching facilities. The sudden growth of the college also brought problems in apportioning rooms and finding scholarship funds for needy students.  Helyar originated the concept of cooperative living groups, which were to become home to several generations of students at The Agricultural College.

Helyar received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Rutgers in 1948 and retired in 1953. He died on April 15, 1963.  A longtimeHelyarWoods trails proponent of woodlands and hiking, Helyar Woods was named in honor of Frank G. Helyar October 14, 1961.  Helyar Woods consists of two bequests to the University, one in 1927 and the remainder in 1937.  The hardwood forest was initially composed of predominantly Chestnut, Beech, Oak and Maple, but following the onset of the Chestnut blight, all but one or two Chestnut trees remain.  The woodland currently spans nearly 70 acres and includes several springs a stream and an old quarry near Weston Mill Pond.

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In the early 1960s, a group of alumni joined together to create a living tribute to Professor Helyar. Through their efforts, Helyar House, a permanent cooperative living dormitory for 40 students of agriculture with needs for financial assistance, was dedicated on October 22, 1968.