‘New Hall’ Becomes ‘Willard Duncan Vandiver Hall’

Photo of Willard Duncan Vandiver Hall

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today officially designated “New Hall” as “Willard Duncan Vandiver Hall.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 11, 2007 — The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today officially designated “New Hall” as “Willard Duncan Vandiver Hall.”

The Board adopted the name after hearing a presentation from Southeast student Brian Whitehead, a member of an ad-hoc committee formed last fall to develop recommendations for a permanent name for the residence hall located on the east side of Henderson Street between Broadway and Normal Avenue.

The committee adopted guidelines calling for an option to be presented from three categories: local or faculty historical figure, past president or Board member, and an unconventional name. The committee recommended three names: Vandiver, representing a local or faculty historical figure; Leon J. Albert, who served on the Board of Regents from 1889 to 1912, representing the category of past Southeast presidents or Board of Regents members; and Hawthorn, the official state flower emblem of Missouri, representing the category of unconventional names.

Vandiver was the University’s fifth president, serving from 1893 to 1897 when the University was known as the Third District Normal School. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1896 and resigned the presidency in March 1897. It was during his years in political office that Vandiver was credited for coining the Show Me State phrase, saying during a political debate, “I am from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor safisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” The Missouri Secretary of State Web site states that while the “Show Me” state is not an official slogan, it is common statewide and is used on state license plates.

Those serving on the ad hoc committee recommending the slate of possible names for “New Hall” included two members from the Residence Hall Association, two members of Student Government, two members from the “New Hall” Council, the student representative to the Board of Regents, and a chairperson appointed by former Student Government President Adam Hanna. The presidents of the “New Hall” Council, Student Government and the Residence Hall Association also participated as ex-officio members.

Southeast’s newest residence hall, now named Vandiver Hall, was officially dedicated Oct. 18, 2002. The five-story building is home to about 300 Southeast students. The residence hall features movable furniture, bunkable beds, suite style rooms, phone jacks, cable jacks and high-speed internet access in every room. The building also features high ceilings, large windows and many electrical outlets. A typical suite is shared by four students, with two in each room. Semiprivate bathrooms connect the two rooms.

The building is carpeted throughout with the exception of laundry facilities, which are located on the first level and have a large, adjacent television/game room. Floors two through five each feature a large glassed-in living room area with a view to the southwest. These areas contain a kitchenette, LAN drops and plenty of room for meetings, social gatherings, studying or just a place to go and relax. A second, mid-sized lounge on each floor provides a more social and intimate space for residents to meet. Also located on each floor is a designated study room designed for eight to 10 students to meet and practice a presentation or conduct a small group study session. The building also features the latest in life safety equipment with sprinklers and smoke detectors throughout the facility.

The hall’s brick and stone exterior blends in well with neighboring facilities. A large green space behind the new residence hall creates a welcome environment for students to recreate or to just enjoy the outdoors. With the addition of the hall, the formation of a residential unit consisting of Dearmont, Myers and now Vandiver was completed.

Jacobs Facilities, Inc., formerly Sverdrup, provided architectural and engineering services. Paric Corp. served as construction managers. Total cost of the project was $13.4 million, which was financed through the issuance of bonds. The bonds are being retired through residence hall fees paid by student residents.

Prior to the construction of the new facility, Southeast’s residence hall system consisted of 12 separate buildings, all of which were built before 1970. Two of the buildings in the Towers Complex were renovated into suites in 1993-1995. All five Group houses and the Towers main complex were renovated in 1999-2000.