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Alumni Hall (RG 115)

This image is a copy of a sketch of the front entrance way of Springfield College's Alumni Hall.

Alumni Hall

Contracts for the construction of a new men’s dormitory were awarded to the E.J Pinney Company in June of 1926. On September 22nd of that same year the corner stone was laid. In the building’s corner stone resides a list of 1,041 Springfield Alumni who contributed to the hall’s construction. The construction cost $450,000 for which the Alumni secured $250,000. Just one year after the corner stone was laid, Alumni Hall was completed.

Alumni Hall was dedicated three years later, on June 15th, 1930, when all funds for the building were officially received. At the time of its dedication it was said that “the building will grow old in time. But the spiritual values which it symbolizes defy time and circumstance…the spirit will endure long after the “New Dorm” has become old.” Perhaps no other statement could have been more foretelling. Today, Alumni hall remains “a symbol to things unseen and eternal.” Apart from necessary renovations, the building remains largely unchanged. The building continued to serve as a men’s dormitory until the fall of 2017 when women were housed for the first time. The Carlisle Foyer, donated by Mr. S. Richard Carlisle of Springfield, and the MacLean Terrace, named in recognition of Mrs. Charles F. MacLean of New York City, continues to hold gatherings, presentations and student events for all students to enjoy and provide beautiful views of Lake Massasoit.

In October of 1944, Alumni Hall, in conjunction with the Administration building, was used as a US Navy Convalescent. Alumni Hall was used as a hospital and most of the patients were housed there. One wing was equipped for bed cases. The rest of the rooms were converted into hospital rooms for 2-4 men. Contract was terminated in February of 1946, with US flag being lowered for the last time under US Navy direction on February 28th.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents Springfield College’s second dormitory, Alumni Hall. The material in the collection consists of general information on the dormitory and materials contained in the Time Capsule buried in the cornerstone of the building in 1926. These materials consist of floor plans; bids for the addition of the greenhouse to the building; a book produced that commemorates the building with a listing of donors and descriptions of the rooms in the building; many photographs of the building (inside and out); dedication materials; pamphlets on the College, the YMCA and fund raising held during the 1920s (mostly having to do with raising money for the building); and newspaper articles, mostly related to the dedication of the building and ground breaking ceremonies. Included within the photographs are many small postcard sized prints of the construction of the building, images of many of the important features of the building, including MacLean Terrace, Carlisle Foyer, the William B. Kirkham Museum, and the Fred Morgan Kirby Biological Laboratory. Of note is information regarding the large-scale fundraising campaign related to the dormitory’s construction, much of the funds which came from Alumni. There are many posters or large pamphlet sheets reflecting both the call for funds and the direct recognition of Alumni who donated. Included within is a memorial pamphlet on Jacob Titus Bowne that contains biographical information and some letters celebrating his life and work. Another pamphlet of interest is one called “Manhood Engineering - a Challenging Opportunity” that talks about the different professions one could work in the YMCA. There are also some business cards from the contractors who built Alumni Hall and a letter that states that the firm of E.C. & G.C. Gardner, Architects designed and built Alumni Hall.