Dorm Life Stories: Faculty Recall Campus Life

The teachers reflect on their stay in the dorms at Baylor. Photos courtesy of Jake Abell and Baylor University

By Emma Weidmann | Personal editor

Shared bathrooms, raised beds, and quirky roommates are hallmarks of a freshman dorm. Years and even decades after graduation, these Baylor alumni and faculty remember it all.

dr. Jerolyn Morrison earned her BFA at Baylor in 1995 and is now a lecturer in art history.

As a freshman, Morrison lived in Residence Kokernot. She said the experience was very much like being at camp and being from out of state, Morrison enjoyed getting to know the other girls.

“We knew everyone in the dorm,” Morrison said. “I just remember it was really small. It was on the edge of campus at the time… It was a quiet part of campus.

Morrison said his favorite memories of his time in Kokernot were with friends outside outside the dorm. At a time when the university had strict curfew rules, students congregated outside rather than in the building in order to circumvent the rules.

“Because we weren’t allowed to have guests back then, especially young men, they would come out and sit down and bring guitars,” Morrison said. “There was nobody [on that side of campus] except for the bears, so we weren’t
disturb anyone.

dr. Jacob Abellecturer in the French department, obtained his bachelor’s degree as part of the University Scholars program in 2013.

Abell said his favorite memory of his time at Alexander Room in freshman year there were the “nerdy” conversations he would have with people at Honors College. As a transfer student, he enjoyed meeting other students.

Abell recalls one night at Alexander doing his calculus homework, when a classics student struck up a conversation with him about math.

“It was the fun, for me, of the dorm, to be around students who were studying something very different from you, but they were interested in what you were studying,” Abell said. “There were a lot of conversations late at night about the kinds of questions we were asking in class.”

He said living at Honors Residential College was a great way to meet people from other countries because his first roommate was from El Salvador and their roommates were also international students.

“It was a cosmopolitan environment,” Abell said. “It certainly fanned the flames of my interest in global cultures.”

The personal relationships made in the dorms stand out for both Morrison and Abell. Morrison remains friends with her freshman roommate to this day, and Abell and her roommates keep in touch.

“The friendships I had at Baylor in first and second year and in college I still have today,” Morrison said. “A lot of our friends now, our kids are coming now and graduating from Baylor. It’s quite nice.

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