From the Archives – First Residence Hall

Mar 12th, 2009 | By | Category: From the Archives, Issue, March 12, 2009

In the fall of 1932, the university dedicated Carrie Belle Raymond Hall, its first dormitory, located at 16th and S streets. For many years the university had hoped to provide housing for students, particularly coeds, but was unable to secure funding.

By the 1920s, the Greek societies were an established part of university life; construction of fraternities and sororities surged after the university allocated a segment of newly acquired property for Greek houses. But the fact remained that only about one in every four girls lived in a sorority house.

At the time Raymond Hall was constructed, the University Dormitory Corporation, a non-profit corporation, was created. While a portion of the dormitory was paid for with state funds, the remainder was paid through bonds, which were then paid off with dormitory earnings. This model has continued as a means to finance residence halls at UNL.

Carrie Belle Raymond Hall
Carrie Belle Raymond Hall. Courtesy photo/UNL Archives.

The dormitory was designed to serve as the center for two planned wings extending to the north and south. In 1940, the Love and Heppner wings were added on the north and were architecturally consistent. In 1956, a modern wing, Piper Hall, was added on the south.

When Raymond Hall opened in 1932, cost for one semester in a double room was $60. An additional fee of $26 per month was charged for board. The original facility housed 170 women.

Originally, the dormitory was named in honor of Carrie Belle Raymond, a popular music professor who had served the university for more than 30 years. The 1940 wings were named for Amanda Heppner, the recently retired Dean of Women; and for Julia Love, wife of Don L. Love, mayor of Lincoln and university benefactor. The 1956 wing was named for Elsie Piper, retired Associate Dean of Women, who championed good housing for young women at the university. Together these wings were called the Women’s Residence Halls for 40 years. In 1973, at the request of students living in the halls, the name was changed to John G. Neihardt Residential Center to reflect the fact that men also lived in the dormitories.

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  1. Carrie Belle Raymond is my great grandmother!

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