The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) congratulates AHI alumnae Eryn Boyce of North Wales, Pennsylvania, on receiving a best thesis award from the Department of Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania. She wrote her master’s thesis on John Riddell (d. 1873), an architect who specialized in Italianate and Gothic designs. His Architectural Designs for Model Country Residences(1861) stands as one of the most beautiful volumes of architecture produced in the nineteenth century.
Eryn, a 2013 graduate of Hamilton College, majored in history. She attended courses taught by AHI Charter Fellows Douglas Ambrose and Robert Paquette. Paquette supervised her senior honors thesis on Henry Chapman Mercer, the amateur archaeologist and ceramicist who built the renowned Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Eryn reached out to the AHI after receiving her master’s degree to thank Ambrose and Paquette for their guidance and support. The award, she said, reflected “in large part . . . the instruction in historiography and writing I received from you, Professor Ambrose, and other members of the history department.” Eryn is currently working at the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle in Doylestown.
“Simply put, Eryn Boyce composed one of the finest senior theses I have supervised during my thirty-five year career at Hamilton College,” said Paquette. “Henry Chapman Mercer possessed an impressively versatile mind. His interests ranged from the history of antiquity to tile making, to the formulation of reinforced concrete. Like Mercer, Eryn Boyce has an impressively versatile mind. During her matriculation at Hamilton College, she lived up to the high standards of a traditional liberal arts education. I fully expect her to rise to preeminence in her field.”