The story behind the names of SU dorms


Get the latest Syracuse news delivered straight to your inbox.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.

UPDATE: Sep 28, 2020 at 11:36 p.m.

The history of Syracuse University is rich and rich in stories, and there is much to be learned about the present by looking to the past. Naturally, League students get used to calling buildings by their abbreviation, from the abbreviation BBB to the Day and Flint Halls aggregation under The Mount. But remembering the personalities who shared their names with the campus allows today’s students to cultivate a knowledge of the past.

Located on the sixth floor of the Bird Library, the Special Collections Research Center looks like a well-kept secret. Barely populated by students, it has an impressive number of artifacts, such as historical images of the League campus. This is where the collection of SU buildings and grounds is stored.

On the main campus, 16 of the 18 dorms – all except Washington Arms and Walnut Hall – are named after prestigious League alumni or important members of the League community, and details from Bird’s archives tell their story. .


Shaw Room

Inhabited in 1952, the building was originally designated as a female dormitory and later as a living learning community in 1975. Since the late 1980s, Shaw has undergone multiple renovations to add more wings as well as the community center. restoration.

The namesake of this dormitory is Robert Shaw, his wife, May M. Shaw, donated $ 1.5 million during the construction of the building.

Marion Room

This room was built in 1954 and only accommodated female students until 1996.

Film producer and 1890 graduate Frank J. Marion gave this room his name. Marion, who was involved in campus student journalism and the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, served as a university administrator for over 50 years.

Marion formed his own film studio, Kalem Company, where he was the first to send film crews outside the United States to collect footage on location. “From the Crib to the Cross”, which was shot outdoors in Egypt and Palestine, is arguably Marion’s most influential film he has produced.

Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Archives

Watson Room

Watson Hall was built at the same time as Marion to be a dormitory for male students.

This dormitory was named after Thomas J. Watson, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the League in 1950. He was also director of the Syracuse Museum of Art and was appointed administrator of the League.

Watson, an American industrialist, was the founder of IBM and CEO of the technology company from 1914 to 1956. He was called “the world’s biggest salesman” and by his death in 1956 he had accumulated wealth. and considerable success during his life. , although some of this wealth was notably accumulated when IBM worked with Nazi Germany.

Day room

One of two buildings located on Mount Olympus, Day Hall was first inhabited in 1958.

James Roscoe Day, the fourth chancellor of Syracuse, gave his namesake to Day Hall. He is remembered for his expansion of the SU campus to 22 buildings, including the Carnegie Library – in part thanks to Andrew Carnegie’s donations to the SU – and medical schools and home economics. He increased both enrollment rates and university income while serving as chancellor from 1894 to 1922.


Flint room

The other dormitory on the mount, Flint Hall, was completed two years before Day Hall in 1956, and it was originally called Mt. Olympus Hall.

Today the building is named after Dr Charles Wesley Flint, the League’s fifth chancellor. Chancellor Flint continued the expansion efforts initiated by his predecessor, Chancellor Day, and was responsible for the significant increase in the endowment of the university as a whole.

Flint pulled SU out of a deep financial hole as Chancellor from 1922 to 1936. He is credited for his success in fundraising, as well as for the expansion of the School of Education. Chancellor Flint is also responsible for establishing the first iterations of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the League’s School of Journalism.

Sadler Room

Initially a lecture hall in the summer of 1960, Sadler Hall began welcoming students in the fall.

Sadler is named after John W. Sadler, class of 1896, and his sister Nettie M. Sadler, class of 1900. The two Sadlers allotted money to Syracuse in their wills – a combined total of 495,000 $.

Newspaper clipping on Sadler Hall

Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Archives

Kimmel Room
Completed in 1962, Kimmel Hall was the first dormitory on campus to house freshmen and second-class students on the same floor.

Kimmel is named after Claude L. Kimmel, who graduated from college in 1905. Kimmel was active in clubs on campus, including rowing, crew, and yearbook. In addition, he was a university administrator after graduation.

Dell Plain Room

Construction of DellPlain Hall was completed in 1959, but students – initially only men – began living there in 1961.

This dormitory takes its name from SU graduate Dr. Morse O. DellPlain, who received an electrical engineering degree from the university in 1903. The SU awarded DellPlain an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1951. He was actively involved. at the alumni fund and was Administrator of the League from 1956 to 1962.

Pit room

SU built Booth Hall as a companion dormitory at DellPlain Hall for male students.

The dormitory is named after Willis H. Booth, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1955 and was elected honorary administrator of the university in 1956.

photo of the pit room

Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Archives

Le Havre room

In 1964, SU built Haven Hall for female students. Haven existed in two different places, with the original dormitory where the Newhouse School of Public Communications is today.

The university named the hall after Erastus O. Haven, the League’s second chancellor. Chancellor Haven previously served as President of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University before becoming Chancellor of Syracuse in 1874.

Lawrinson Room

At 21 stories, Lawrinson Hall was the second tallest building in Syracuse when it was built in 1965, behind the State Tower Building. Originally, the room was reserved for male students.

The building is named after William Henry Lawrinson and Elizabeth M. Lawrinson, parents of Ronald K. Lawrinson, who made a donation in their honor. None of the Lawrinsons frequented Syracuse, but Ronald Lawrinson became a generous benefactor after befriending Lawrence S. Warren, an SU graduate of 1925. Lawrinson’s interest in higher education l ‘prompted him to make significant donations to SU, ultimately dedicating the room to his parents.

Newspaper clipping about Lawrinson

Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Archives

Boland room

Boland Hall was originally built as a dormitory with Brewster Hall in 1968.

The room is named after John C. Boland, Class of 1899 graduate and Class of 1901 law graduate, and his wife, May L. Boland.

Brewers Room

Boland Hall’s counterpart was named after Neal Brewster and his wife, Mabel Brewster Pierce. Neal Brewster graduated from the League College of Law in 1902 and served as administrator of the League from 1921. In his will, he designated $ 1 million in scholarships for law students.

Brockway Room

In 2005, Brockway Hall was added to the Brewster-Boland complex as an additional living space and dining center.

Brockway is named after Pearl Brown Brockway, who graduated from the League College of Medicine in 1908.

Oren Lyons Room

In 1971, Oren Lyons Hall was home to the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority until the organization sold the building to the university in 1974. After the purchase, the building was known as the International Living Center and housed 38 residents. in an intercultural community. It was not until 2007 that the dormitory was renamed after Oren Lyons.

Oren Lyons, an Onondaga Nation Faith Keeper and All-American lacrosse goaltender for the League, graduated in Fine Arts from Syracuse in 1958. After graduation, Lyons became a defender of the rights of indigenous peoples. His activist work led him to be a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on Indigenous Peoples.

Ernie Davis Room

Ernie Davis Hall received a lot of attention during its construction. As the first SU dorm that meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, Ernie Davis was considered a high-tech dorm when it was first occupied in 2009.

The dorm is named after Ernie Davis, who graduated from SU in 1962. Davis is known for his achievements as a football player, especially for becoming the first black athlete to receive the Heisman Trophy.

Ernie Davis was a two-time college football selection and the famous No.44 carrier. As a football player, Davis led the SU team to a national championship in 1959. After graduating in 1962, Davis was selected first in the NFL draft, and he was traded to play for the Cleveland Browns. However, the running back was never able to play an NFL game due to his diagnosis of leukemia in 1962. He died the following year. Davis’s legacy, however, lives on in the League through the various plaques and statues that honor him on campus.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Marion Hall housed only female students until 1996. Marion Hall initially housed only male students, and she later became a student. Le Quotidien Orange regrets this error.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.