unt Hall

After the demise of the Female Institute, the number of female college students grew steadily; during the 1920's the number of women admitted to the university increased dramatically.

The number of women applicants for admission to the college increased so rapidly that the rooming facilities were taxed beyond their capacity. To meet the growing demand, every available near-by house was secured and pressed into service as a girl's dormitory, and finally many women students were placed in private homes throughout the town. This complicated matters greatly, and the comforts of institutional life were impossible for these students. Discipline was hard to maintain. Long walks for meals were necessary, as all students were required to take their meals in the women's dining room. This arrangement was inconvenient and the unity of the women was destroyed.

In response to this situation, "...the Board of Trustees voted to erect a strictly modern fireproof dormitory building to house the college women scattered through the town in rented dwellings and private homes."

The Construction of Hunt Hall

In February 1927, the foundation was excavated for a residence hall for women, which was built at a cost of $250,000.00. Lockwood, Greene and Company supplied the plans and specifications for the building., which was constructed by local workmen under the supervision of Professor Frank E. Burpee, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. Even the steel work was erected by local men who were directed by George M. Kunkel, Instructor in Mechanical Engineering. In February 1928, "the 160 [women] living in small groups scattered abut the town were gathered into the splendid new dormitory", Hunt Hall, which was named for Rev. Emory William Hunt, President of Bucknell from 1919 to 1931. In 1931, three years after the completion of the building, the American Association of University Women gave full accreditation to Bucknell.

Suites for Sororities

Each Bucknell sorority maintained a suite in the building. In 1930, the same year that Robert L. Rooke, Class of ‘13, was nominated as an alumni trustee, several “women’s fraternities” petitioned the Trustees “for a reduction in the amount of rent they [had] been paying for fraternity suites in the new building.” This request was referred to the Trustee Committee on Buildings and Grounds. .Four years later, Dayton Rank, the Treasurer, reported to the Trustees

...that the University was charging the sororities $200.00 a semester or the sum of $400.00 a year as rental for three large rooms in which to hold their meetings, which was less money that the University would derive from renting those same rooms to students, but that the sororities asked that their rental be reduced..

The Trustees voted “...that no reduction in ...rental be granted.”

Hunt Hall in 1945

On the first floor were parlors, a library and a large social room. In 1940, eight Trustees had contributed $1,900.00 to equip and furnish the social room. Study rooms for commuting students and a general recreation room were located on the ground floor. The remaining floors contained rooms for one hundred and sixty women. Each Bucknell sorority continued to maintain a suite in the building. In 1945, there were six sororities at Bucknell, which were (with their charter dates in parentheses): Phi Beta Phi (1895), Alpha Chi Omega (1898), Delta Delta Delta (1915), Phi Mu (1922), and Delta Zeta (1930)

"the number of..." MBU '19-'31, p. 108

"...the Board of Trustees..."ib.

"it became necessary to..." ib., p. 131

"the [160] women..." ib., p. 131

"for a reduction in..." BT '20-'50, 6/10/1930, p.3

"...that the University was charging..." ib., 4/24/1934, p. 2

"...that no reduction..." ib.

The major source for the information on this page is the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1920-1950 (BT '20-'50). Additional sources are Memorials of Bucknell University, 1919-1931 (MBU '19-'31); "Directory of Faculty, Officers of Administration and Ship's Company of Bucknell University, November, 1945"; and the Bucknell University Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, Ninety-Ninth Year, 1944-1945 (CAT '44-'45) and the Bucknell University Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, One Hundredth Year, January, 1946 (CAT '45-'46).

This building in other years: 1965 | 1985 | Current
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