Nowadays Ernest Hartwell is not the most familiar name, but Harwell Hall certainly is, at least on the Brockport campus. This flagship building was named after Ernest Hartwell in the 1960s, in commemoration of his service to the college.
The old Normal school building complex, that stood about where Hartwell Hall is today, had been poorly maintained for some years due to lack of funds. The Great Depression was having a negative impact on schools, reducing the number of students. A state panel even recommended closing one or two of the state Normal schools, and Brockport was named as a possible candidate!
Under Hartwell's energetic leadership a committee was organized which successfully lobbied against closing the school, and to in fact revitalize it by tearing down the old building and putting up a new structure. He was also a leader in the successful campaign in New York to see the Normal schools, which had a three year program and gave a license to teach, but no bachelor's degree, upgraded to Teachers Colleges, which had a four year program and did give the bachelor's degree.