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Beveridge Center (RG 117)

A booklet providing a general overview of Springfield College's Beveridge Center.  The booklet includes information about the building's purpose, features and hours.

Beveridge Center

The Beveridge Center, or BC, was built as a place where students, faculty, and administration could gather in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The building was also to become the center of all social and cultural activities on campus. It was built between Abbey-Appleton Halls and Woods Hall and replaced the former campus student union, sometimes referred to as Doggett’s House or Gulick’s House (both men lived there) set across the Alden Street where Babson Library now stands. The new student union at Springfield College was named after Frank Stanley Beveridge of the Stanley Home Products company of Westfield, Massachusetts. He was a trustee and long-time friend of the college, and it was mainly through his dedication and financial assistance that the building of the new student center was funded. The original name was the Beveridge College Center, but confusion with delivery trucks looking for “Beveridge College” forced the name to be changed shortly after the building was opened on January 9, 1959.

Students were also instrumental in the building of the new Center. On September 27, 1957, students were told they would be assessed $10 a year in order to pay for construction of the new Beveridge Center. The estimated total cost of the entire project was $425,000, and a 2/3 majority vote was needed of the students in order for this fee to be leveled and construction to take place. On October 8, 1957 voting began, and on October 10, 1957 the BC was approved with a vote count of 651-43. On January 5, 1959, a welcome home sign above the new Beveridge Center read, “welcome home gang.” On January 23, 1959, the Dedication Ceremony for the building was held.

The building housed several different facilities for the student’s enjoyment. The BC had a snack bar as well as two informal dining areas called the “Infield” and the “Dugout.” There was an air conditioned game room with pool, billiard, and ping-pong tables. On the main floor of the building was a comfortable furnished lounge and information desk. The Information Desk was located just inside the front doors on the main level of the building and was where newspapers, magazines, candy and tobacco could be purchased. The Information Desk also contained the college's lost and found, a public address system, and was where students could sign out board and card games. A room called Moses Hall was located on the second floor, and was used for events like movies, dances, and banquets. Other facilities found in the BC were a faculty lounge, radio station, the newspaper and yearbook offices, meeting and conference rooms, a meditation chapel, and the college post office.

The Beveridge Center along with Woods Hall served as the “living room” of the campus providing a variety of uses and services to the campus community. The two building came to be regarded as one due to their shared mission and functions. In 1961, shortly after the opening of the BC, Woods Hall, the main dining facilities on campus, underwent its largest renovation, with a complete facelift to provide more seating capacity, a faculty dining room and a conference room on the first floor and a large multi-purpose room on the second floor to better compliment the newer BC. In 1969 an enclosed walkway from the Grumman Room in Woods Hall to the Chaplain’s office area in Beveridge Center was added to allow for dry access between the buildings. In 2008, Woods Hall was demolished to make way for the construction of the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union., and the Beveridge Center was renovated and joined to the new campus union which was dedicated on February 4, 2010. Only a couple of walls remain of the original BC, and today one would most likely not recognize these few vestiges of the old BC.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents Beveridge Center which was built in 1959 and served as the main student union building through 2009. Mostly the collection contains photographs of the interior and exterior of the building. Included in the pictures of the interior are a couple of pictures of the snack bar, the book store, the chapel or Manley Room as it was called later, and Moses Hall. In addition to the photographs, there are dedication materials from the original opening of the building in 1959, some early pamphlets created on the building when it first opened, a bunch of newspaper articles on the planning, construction, and opening of the building, and, within the Woods Hall collection, some information on renovations that took place in the late 1960s. Also included the Beveridge center dedication plaque. Plaque measures 38” wide x 24” high. Made of bronze, Plague says, “Beveridge College Center / Frank Stanley Beveridge / 1879-1956 / Humanitarian – Businessman – Christian Leader / His faith and ideals made possible the initial gift for this building, and inspired generous gifts from Trustees, Faculty, Alumni, Students, Parents, and Friends of the College / What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness – Rousseau”