Photo courtesy of Baker University Archives.

Jolliffe Hall: History of the 82-year-old campus building

May 17, 2023

Jolliffe Hall has been a staple of Baker University for many years, known as “that cool looking building next to the NLC.” But no one really seems to know what it was used for, or only know bits and pieces. So here’s everything Jolliffe has been over years and what its future holds.

The Beginning

Photo courtesy of Baker University Archives

Jolliffe Hall was originally built in 1940 with the help of a $40,000 donation by O. Jolliffe, the equivalent of $836,000 in 2023. It was originally designed as a men’s dormitory with 10 four-person suites and a common space in the basement for students to hang out and study.

1974 Guest Housing

Courtesy of Baker University Archives

After 34 years as a men’s dorm, Jolliffe was renovated into a guest house and boarding house for alumni, parents, dignitaries, and other visitors to campus. The cost for one night was $6, $9 for two guests, $12 for 3 or 4. Jolliffe remained in this purpose for about 16 years before undergoing another renovation.

Photo Courtesy of Baker University Archives

Back to a Dorm

Photo courtesy of Baker University Archives

Following its tenure as a guest house for around 16 years, Jolliffe Hall was renovated again to revert back to a dormitory space, this time co-ed. The layout was different, as each room held obnly 3 students rather than 4. A communal kitchen and laundry room were added on top of the original hang out spaceĀ  in the basement. Jolliffe at this time was one of four resident halls at the time and was considered the one to be at.

Campus Storage Facility

Jolliffe Hall closed as a dorm in 2008, and was subsequently used for storage and left in a deteriorating state. According to Associate Professor of History John Richards, Jolliffe housed several types of items over the years, such as science equipment while the Boyd Science Center was renovated, and up until recently held old unused equipment, Christmas decorations, old desks and drawers. Jolliffe sat dormant otherwise and was allowed to fall into disrepair with mold growing in rooms and ceilings falling down on the third floor.

Current Renovations

Jolliffe’s next step in life is to become the new Applied Health Sciences building starting in the 2023-2024 school year. The current renovations are being funded by a generous donation of $2 million from the Howard family. The Howard Building will hold several beneficial rooms such as a new exercise room in the basement and multi-purpose classrooms on the second floor.

The blueprints below, provided by Associate Vice President of Capital Planning, Facilities and Emergency Management Scott George, depict the plans for the renovations.

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