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Western Michigan University
Building Timeline ~ 1934-1943

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1934
1935
1936
Dr. Paul V. Sangren appointed President
Dr. Paul V. Sangren
Dr. Sangren first came to Western in 1923 as a member of the Education Department. He served as President from 1936 to 1960.
The first B.S. and B.A. programs not related to teacher-training offered.
1937
1938

Walwood Union and Dormitory for Women

International students exiting the Union in 1947
Walwood Hall was built on the land between Walwood Place and Austin Street. Walwood Place residences were used for offices and faculty housing.
The name "Walwood" was created by combining 'Wal' and 'Wood', after the first president Dwight Waldo and the first head of the Geology Department, Leslie Wood.
Temporary buildings and 'fieldhouse' demolished.
1939

Health and Personnel Building

Architects rendering of Health Building
Click to view architects rendering.

Health and Personnel Building; early 1940's
Newly planted evergreens grace the lawn by the Health and Personnel Building. Notice the cars bumper-to-bumper along the campus road.
The Speech Correction Clinic, directed by Dr. Charles H. Van Riper, was started in 1936. It moved into the third floor of the Health Building in the early 40's. Eventually the entire building would be occupied by the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. In 2005 the Department will move into the new College of Health and Human Services Building on the Oakland Drive Campus.
Henry B. Vandercook Hall for Men
Vandercook Hall during construction
In 1903 Henry B. Vandercook was an elected member of the State House from Grand Rapids. He led the legislative campaign to authorize the Western State Normal School, and was often referred to as "The Father of Western".
Waldo Stadium
Waldo Stadium; detail from 1941 postcard

The Stadium, which included an eight-lane track, was dedicated to Western's first President.

Hyames Field and grandstand

1940's baseball game at Hyames Field

Judson A. Hyames was Western's baseball coach (starting in 1915) and athletic director (appointed in 1920) until his death in 1949.

Dedicated on May 2, 1939.

1940
Lavina Spindler Hall for Women
Spindler Hall, 1940's
Lavina Spindler served at Western from 1907 to 1938. Her positions included Director of the Campus School, Dean of Women, and Freshman Advisor.
1941

Mechanical Trades Building

The building would be demolished in 2002 during planning of the Seelye Practice Center.

Mechanical Trades Building; early 1940's
Aviation mechanics was a two-year degree program in Industrial Arts, first offered in 1942. This inspired the stylized bas-reliefs of turbines flanking the front door.
1942
The Theatre, or The Little Theatre
Click to view enlargement.
The Theatre, later called the Oakland Recital Hall, was in continuous use from 1942 until the Shaw Theatre was built on the West Campus in 1967.
The Play House (Eames Mill) demolished
1943

 

 

 

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