Munsell Hall is named for two brothers: Charles W. C. Munsell and Oliver Spencer Munsell. Both are credited with seeing IWU through its first financial crisis in 1857, growing student enrollment, and securing funds for the second campus building (1870). Charles served as IWU’s financial agent, in charge of raising funds for the struggling school, and Oliver served as second president of the University. President Munsell’s tenure also saw positive Board of Trustee action on admitting African American students (1867) and female students (1870). He resigned in 1873 due to questions raised about inappropriate contact with student. No criminal charges were brought but the incident was investigated by both the Methodist Conference and the Board of Trustees. Minutes of the latter are available in the University Archives.
Buck Memorial Library is named for Rev. Dr. Hiram and Martha A. Buck. The Bucks became benefactors of the University starting in the 1890s with a donation of farmland. Hiram served as a trustee and Martha became IWU’s first female trustee on his death. On Mrs. Buck’s death a gift to the University included a request that funds be designated for a library and World Culture Center
Buck was IWU’s first free-standing library and served our community in that capacity from 1923-1968. It continues to fill Martha Buck’s wishes as home to IWU’s World Languages, Literatures and Culture department.
More information on the Bucks is available in IWU’s Historical Sketch and Alumni Record (1895) pp. 50-53 available online at https://bit.ly/2QX8865
Harriett House completes the Dodds/Dolan/Magill housing quadrangle. It opened in the Fall of 1997 and was the first new residence hall built on the IWU campus since 1970. At first only known as “New House,” the hall was renamed on May 10, 1999 to honor Harriett Fuller Rust, an Illinois Wesleyan trustee and president of the Illinois Wesleyan President’s Club from 1983 until her death in July 1997.
Mrs. Rust was actively involved in the campus and local community. At the time of the hall’s naming, then-president of the Board of Trustees Craig Hart said, “Her enthusiasm and energy has helped IWU in so many ways, but especially her strong commitment to our students makes this tribute especially appropriate.”
Hansen Student Center is named in honor of lead donor Tom Hansen, Class of 1982. His gift made it possible to remodel the Memorial Gymnasium, the first athletic facility on IWU’s campus, which was built in 1922. The building was dedicated to IWU students who died in World War One and their names can still be seen at the entry to the main court, across from the Information Desk. The basement, now Tommy’s, once contained IWU’s first swimming pool. A dedication ceremony for Hansen took place on January 12, 2002.
Photo selections from the Memorial Gym’s early days are available online; more of these and of Hansen are held in the University’s archives online.
The Wilson Atrium in the Center for Natural Science Learning and Research (CNS) is named in honor of IWU’s 18th President Richard F. Wilson (2004-2015 and interim in summer 2019) and his wife, Patricia L. Wilson. Wilson gave special attention to developing a strategic plan for Illinois Wesleyan, strengthening the University’s financial position, and conducting the largest fund-raising campaign in the school’s history. Along with financing The Wilson Atrium seal, plaques and lettering, members of the Board of Trustees furnished the atrium with new chairs and couches to make the space more comfortable and functional in honor of Richard and Patricia Wilson.
Russell O. Shirk was a member of the Class of 1943. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1989 and was the Distinguished Alumnus in 1971. The Shirk Center opened in 1994 and is named in honor of him and his wife and Betty J. Shirk. Shirk is pictured here (on left) with his friend Jack Horenberger, who the Shirk Foundation honored through funding the improvement and expansion of IWU’s baseball field.
“The Shirks wanted a center for use by the students and faculty and also something they could be proud of. They were very pleased that the community was able to enjoy the facility as well, and that it has been such an asset to the community,” Ben Rhodes, then- director of development said in 1999.
Stevenson is the home of the School of Nursing and is currently IWU’s oldest building; when it was built in 1910 it received partial funding by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It was originally called the Science Building and was renamed for local doctor Edgar M. Stevenson after being renovated in 1965.
The Jarvis Center for Nursing Excellence was completed, along with several other updates to the building, in 2016. It was named in honor of “Professor of Nursing Carolyn Jarvis, whose lead gift provided substantial funding for these renovations.”
At the heart of IWU’s 82-acre campus is the park-like Eckley Quadrangle, named for IWU’s 15th president Robert S. Eckley (1968-1986) and his wife Nell. They were instrumental in developing and implementing a landscaping plan for the Quad after Dutch elm disease destroyed almost all of the trees in the 1970s.
The Minor Myers, jr. Welcome Center, honoring Illinois Wesleyan’s 17th president (1989-2003), houses the Admissions Office and the Hart Career Center. Myers tenure saw the creation of the Shirk Center, the Center for Natural Sciences and The Ames Library.
Craig C. Hart, former president of IWU’s Board of Trustees, is the Career Center’s namesake. The Welcome Center received Silver certification as a leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building – the first building in Bloomington to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The building we know today as Gulick Hall was originally named Southwest Hall and was built in 1956 as a woman’s residence. It also housed the Department of Home Economics in its basement. There was a previous Gulick Hall—a house located at 1314 Fell Avenue—which the University sold to Alpha Omicron Pi.
Southwest Hall was renamed for Anna Gulick in 1964 when the University received her bequest. Then President Bertholf said of her gift, “the major part will be added to our permanent endowment funds where the income will serve to bolster up our current budget and upgrade the quality of the University for centuries to come….”
Photo from July 1942 IWU Buleltin (p. 9)