Named places: Stevenson Hall

Dr. Edgar M. Stevenson

Dr. Edgar M. Stevenson

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.


Dr. Carolyn Jarvis

Dr. Carolyn Jarvis

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.”

Named places: Eckley Quadrangle

Robert and Nell Eckley

Robert S. and Nell Eckley

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.

1970 campus aerial view

1970 campus aerial view prior to Quad redesign


1974 Aerial view of campus

1974 Aerial view of campus following redesign

Named places: Minor Myers, jr. Welcome Center

Minor Myers, jr.

Minor Myers, jr.. 1989

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.

Then-BOT President Craig Hart, 2003

Craig Hart, 2003





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.

Named places: Gulick Hall

Anna Gulick

Anna Gulick

The building we know today as Gulick Hall was called the “Southwest Hall” when it opened in October of 1956. According to the front page story in the 1956 IWU Bulletin, it was also home to “The Sarepta Bane Whipp Department of Home Economics,” located on the ground floor of the West wing, at the time of opening. The last official account of a benefactor group called the Women’s University Guild was the transfer of funds in 1955 in the amount of $2000 (which they previously designated for a women’s dorm fund) and the placement of a plaque commemorating their founding members in Southwest Hall.

The building 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….”.

There was an earlier Gulick Hall—a house located at 1314 Fell Avenue—which the University sold to Alpha Omicron Pi.

Photo from July 1942 IWU Bulletin (p. 9)

Named places: Bertholf Commons

President and Mrs. Bertholf

President and Mrs. Bertholf (no date on photo)

Bertholf Commons, aka “Saga,” in the Memorial Student Center honors President and professor of Biology Lloyd Bertholf (1959-1968) and his wife Martha. During his presidency IWU established the practice of offering a “short term” in our academic year. What we now know as May Term started out as travel course offerings in a January short term. IWU added ten new buildings during this time, including three dormitories.

For more on President Bertholf, see the blog post containing his biographical description and his 1984 book, A Personal Memoir of the Bertholf Years at Illinois Wesleyan: 1958-1968


President Lloyd Bertholf

Named places: Blackstock Hall


Mary Blackstock

Blackstock Hall is named in memory of a long-time benefactress, Mary Hardtner Blackstock. In June 1937, IWU purchased the Benson residence, what we know now as Blackstock, to use as a women’s residence with housing for 24. It also held the Printmaking Studio for the School of Art in one wing.

At Commencement 1947 Dean Malcolm A. Love, presented Mrs. Blackstock for the degree of Doctor of Letters of Humanity by saying, “your … loyalty to the ideals of the church has passed over into the fields of education. You have been deeply concerned with the proper training of American youth and especially with the program of the Christian college…our institution acknowledges you as one of its most earnest and staunchest friends….”

More information on Mrs. Blackstock is available in the tributes published about her in the September 1954 IWU Bulletin (p. ).

Named places: McPherson Hall


President Harry McPherson

McPherson Hall opened as IWU’s first modern production and instructional facility for Theatre on April 17, 1963. Prior to the Hall, a carriage house adjacent to Kemp Hall had been in use since 1949. This building is named for Harry W. McPherson, IWU President (1933-37), long-time Trustee and member of the Class of 1907. More information about him is available in his presidential blog post.

The Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory Theatre and Jerome Mirza Theatre are part of the McPherson Theatre Arts department.

Ken Albers (standing) is pictured with Mr. and Mrs. Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick was a 1932 IWU graduate and headed the University’s Drama Department from 1938 to 1943. A champion of the arts in Bloomington for several decades, she received both the McLean County Women of Distinction Award and Illinois Wesleyan’s Distinguished Alumni Award.


Jerome Mirza

The theatre in Illinois Wesleyan’s McPherson Hall was named the Jerome Mirza Theatre in recognition of a $2.5 million gift to the School of Theatre Arts (SoTA) from the Jerome Mirza Foundation in October 2015.

  A 1960 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, Mirza (1937-2007) was a well-known Bloomington and Chicago trial attorney, who often credited his courtroom success to the theatre training he received at Illinois Wesleyan. See the press release for more information.


Research Files: The Founder’s Gate/West Gate

Guest posted by Melissa Mariotti

IWU West Gate. Found on IWU Website.

IWU West Gate. Photo copied from IWU Website.

As most students and faculty know, there are several main entrances into Wesleyan’s campuses. There is the North entrance on Franklin Avenue, the South entrance by Empire Street, the East entrance by Park Street, and the West entrance by Main Street. There is not much known about the latter entrance. It stands between Pfieffer and Gulick Halls and bears the inscription:

“We stand in a position of incalculable responsibility to the great wave of population overspreading the valley of the Mississippi. Destiny seems to point out this valley as the depository of great heart of the Nation. From this center mighty pulsations, for good or evil, must in future flow, which shall not only affect the fortunes of the Republic but reach in their influence other and distant Nations of the earth.”

The West Gates, looking north toward the Women’s Dormitory. From a 1931 booklet of pen sketches of Illinois Wesleyan University.

The West Gates, looking north toward the Women’s Dormitory. From a 1931 booklet of pen sketches of Illinois Wesleyan University; RG 4-16/2/4.

Upon further research, it was discovered that the gates were ”erected and presented to the school by the Bloomington Association of Commerce in 1921” (Founders’ Day Convocation, 2006). There are two differing theories about where this quote came from. According to the 1960 Wesleyana, it is “an excerpt from the report on education to the annual meeting of the Illinois Conference held in Springfield in 1854.” But according to an Argus article from February 13th, 1940, it was said on December 18th, 1850 from the “Conference Record.”

The quote (see image below) was verified in the Methodist Conference Record of 1854 by the archives that holds the Conference Record for 1854: The Illinois Great Rivers Conference Archives at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois. There is more to the quote than was summarized on our West Gates, but the spirit of the passage resonates just as much today as it did for our Founders.

Students around the West Gate in 1951. From the 1951 Wesleyana.

Students around the West Gate in 1951. From the 1951 Wesleyana.

The quote that is inscribed on the gate is said to represent “the ‘incalculable responsibility’ the founders of Illinois Wesleyan felt in the work they had undertaken” in establishing Illinois Wesleyan as an “institution of learning” (President Wilson, Founder’s Day Convocation Remarks, 2006). It describes the passion that the Founder’s had for teaching and learning, along with the many obstacles they had to face into creating the school. This inscription is referenced many times during Founder’s Day Convocations, and is evident in the care and consideration of all who work to sustain and advance that goal today.

Education Committee Report

Education Committee Report, 1854 Central Illinois Conference Journal

The text is as follows: “The Methodist Church, in the West and Southwest, stands in a position of incalculable responsibility to the great wave of population overspreading the valley of the Mississippi. Destiny seems to point out this valley as the depository of the great heart of the nation. From this center mighty pulsations, for good or evil, must in future flow, which shall not only affect the fortunes of the republic, but reach in their influence, other and distant nations of the earth. The advances herein reported which are being made by the Methodists on the subject of education in the bounds of the Illinois Conference, flatter the idea that, in so far as our section of the church is concerned and especially the division of it embraced in the Illinois Conference, cheering success will attend our future efforts to contribute our share towards the general education of the great masses. In addition to all other motives conspiring to lead us forward in this noble work, patriotism or the love of country is not the least. The nature of our constitutions and laws demands it. The tenure and price of our liberties are involved in it. The sovereignty invested in the whole people imperiously requires it; and recent events, as they have been connected with the civil questions which have agitated the nation, some of which questions have sprung from the tide of foreign emigration setting in upon American soil, call loudly for the work of education to go forward-the education of nothing less than the whole American mind; an education, too, that shall be American in all its essential principles.”


Research files: Acquisition/construction dates

Guest posted by Melissa Mariotti

As students and faculty, we are constantly on the move across campus, but while walking have you ever wondered about all the different buildings that are around us? Though Illinois Wesleyan is not a large campus, the number of buildings and their individual histories make up for its small size. The dates of acquisition and construction of each building range over time, creating a blend of older and newer buildings on campus.

The most recent building, State Farm Hall, was finished in 2013 and replaced the Sheean library, constructed in 1968. Before the Sheean and State Farm Hall, the first building on IWU’s campus, Old North Hall, was built in roughly the same area and lasted from 1856 until 1966.

The Alumni Relations Office was created in 1991 on January 15th alongside the later dedication of well-used Baseball Field in honor of Jack Horenberger on April 11, 1999. Only a year later, on April 14, 2000 the Softball Field also held its inauguration when the Titans hosted North Park.

Dialing the clock only a little farther back, the records of the Physical Plant also reveal the creation of buildings such as Publications, Printing, and Mailing Services on January 3, 1996; Information Technology on August 4, 1983; and the well-known Multicultural Center on November 20, 1980.

Some of the more common and well-loved buildings of campus also have long histories. The E. Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory, or better known by theatre goers as the Lab Theatre, is actually part of the Alice Millar Center for Fine Arts which received its dedication on March 18, 1973. It was not until the autumn of 1993 that the Lab Theatre received its name in dedication. The Memorial Center has been home to many offices, rooms, and places of events. For instance, the Bertholf Commons, the campus’s largest dining hall, can be found there. The commons was dedicated to President Bertholf, who held office between the years of 1958 and 1968. Even the International Office, which is currently located in the Center for Liberal Arts (CLA), used to be housed in the Memorial Center. Some of the oldest buildings on campus are some of the least known. The English House was built in 1911, but was not acquired by Wesleyan until 1947. The Security office that we know today was a coach house for what is now called Blackstock Hall (acquired in 1937). The coach house has also been an art studio and the English House was once the Gallery Building. Look through the changes to our campus at the collection of historical maps online at,1185.

For many of the students on campus, after a day of classes, work study jobs, extracurricular activities, and studying, we all enjoy being able to return to our various residence halls for a bit of relaxation and rest, not to mention a place to live during the school year. The first residence hall was built in 1878 and was known as Henrietta Hall, a residence hall for women only. It was run by a group expressly created for that purpose: the Women’s Education Association of IWU. It was also originally known as the Young Ladies’ Boarding Hall. The second residence hall was Kemp Hall. It was formerly known as the DeMange Mansion and was renamed in honor of President Kemp after it was acquired in 1912 and was also an all-women residence hall. Until 1987, it also was home to a dining hall and offices for faculty members. Dolan Hall – formerly Franklin Hall for Men – was built in 1955 and was one of the first dormitories established for men. Prior to this time, men either lived in fraternities or resided off campus. A new Women’s Residence Hall is opened on the corner of East and University Streets in October of 1956. We know it today as Anna Gulick Hall. At the time of opening, it was also home to “The Sarepta Bane Whipp Department of Home Economics.” See front page story in the 1956 IWU Bulletin.

Until 1998, IWU’s Publications, Printing, and Mailing services resided in Holmes Hall. It was decided that the space was too small for the services and was moved to its current location, a small building off of Franklin Avenue nearby the TKE fraternity house. Before that, the building was actually a dentist’s office until it was acquired by Wesleyan at an unknown date. The space was vacant for sometime, and it was supposedly meant to be used as a child care facility. See the full article in the February 6,1998 IWU Argus.

Publishing, Printing, and Mailing services

Publishing, Printing, and Mailing services. From the IWU website.

Architectural history is alive and well on our campus, but this is only a short list of the buildings that cover the grounds. You will find photographs of these and other IWU landmarks in our online collection.

To learn more about other buildings new or old you can also visit Tate Archives and Special Collections in the Ames Library, or contact the Archives at!


Connecting the new to the old: time travel through “Re-Photography “

This recent addition to the archives offers an opportunity to introduce the campus to a trend in the archives world called re-photography.

1960_Holmes_hall_plantRe-photography involves re-enacting a scene from an earlier period in time by recreating it in a modern context. This is done in at least two ways: by deliberate restaging or reenactment without any variation such as is illustrated here, or by using an old photo for inspiration to create something with a modern twist.


2014_Holmes_hall_remakeWe are illustrating the first case with the 1960 photo (above). It was donated to the archives recently and arrived with an article about planting the nascent rubber tree in Holmes Hall (see this Fall 2007 IWU Magazine story for more on the plant). Last summer Archives Student Assistant Melissa Mariotti (right) posed for a re-shoot in the same spot so it is possible to see how different the same location looks today. (Photo credit: Megan Dickey)

The second way we’ve seen this done is by offering a new interpretation of an old scene that isn’t dependent on the specific location. Anyone can try this out by looking up old photos such as the ones added below. Over 1400 historical IWU photos, scanned from among the many thousands held in the University Archives, are available at

Make your mark on IWU history…re-make an old scene in your own way today!