Just in time for the kickoff of the annual Friday Evening Lecture series, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has completed renovations to the Cornelia Clapp Auditorium in Lillie Laboratory.
The renovations — which include larger, motorized presentation screens, floor safety lighting, and enhanced lecture recording and streaming equipment— bring the iconic auditorium further into the 21st century. Other upgrades include: remote-controlled lighting, additional speakers, power-controlled stage curtains, as well as new carpeting and wall coverings.
These upgrades were completed thanks to a generous donation from the Millicent and Eugene Bell Foundation and a grant awarded from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, administered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Formerly called the Lillie Auditorium, the Cornelia Clapp Auditorium was renamed to recognize Cornelia Clapp, the first scientist to arrive in Woods Hole for the MBL’s inaugural summer in 1888. Clapp, who worked at the MBL as a student, investigator, instructor, and the first librarian, became the first elected woman trustee of the MBL in 1910 and held the position until her death in 1934.
Constructed in the early 1930s, Lillie Laboratory was named after Frank R. Lillie, director of the MBL from 1908-1925 and a prominent embryologist. Today, the MBL is pleased to formally honor Cornelia Clapp within its flagship Lillie building for her foundational role as an MBL researcher, teacher and trustee, at a time when few women pursued science.