Hamilton and Whitten Halls, the first two of a planned complex of four, opened in September 1960, just in time for the fall semester. President Bone led the faculty in carrying in the furniture. Hamilton Hall was named after Alma Mary Hamilton, an Assistant Professor of English, who was also the first recipient of an Illinois State Normal University bachelor's degree. Whitten Hall was named after Jennie Alma Whitten, head of Foreign Languages from 1919-1959.
Hamilton/Whitten dedication, 1960 (Courtesy of Dr. JoAnn Rayfield Archives)
The third and fourth residence halls, Atkin and Colby Hall, opened in September 1962. Atkin Hall was named after Edith Irene Atkin, a distinguished math teacher, and Colby Hall was named after Dr. June Rose Colby, a literature professor. Like Hamilton-Whitten, Atkin-Colby was home to over 800 female students.
Atkin/Colby dedication, 1962 (Courtesy of Dr. JoAnn Rayfield Archives)
Points of Interest
The first residence hall fitness center was constructed in South Campus in 1984. In 1996, International House moved to Atkin-Colby from Walker, and at this same time, South Campus stayed open during breaks for students that needed to stay in the area over the holidays because of work and other commitments, or simply by choice.
After the summer of 2012, the South Campus buildings were decommissioned and not used in their capacity of serving as student housing or dining. The buildings may have another life to assist the campus in the short-term during renovation of academic/administrative buildings. This possibility is still being explored.
To celebrate the long history of these buildings and the thousands of students who called South Campus home, an open house was held on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Guests toured portions of the residence halls and attended a reception where they were invited to share a favorite memory of their time at South Campus.
Several guests also stayed and enjoyed lunch at Feeney Dining Center.
See some of the media coverage from the event.