little-known facts about muw's buildings

Alexandra Woolbright


Mississippi University for Women is certainly a unique campus. Established as the first public women’s college in the United States in 1884, MUW is a university founded in rich history. Any student walking on campus can instantly recognize the buildings, some of which have been standing since the formation of the school.

Though students recognize each building and frequent many, most students don’t actually know very much at all about the buildings.  While students frequent the cafeteria, admissions and ballrooms, they very rarely understand the people that the buildings are named after, when they were built or the legacy created by the buildings.

In order to keep the rich traditions and history of MUW alive and thriving, listed below are several important buildings on campus that all students frequent and information about each.

Welty Hall
Any incoming student, regardless of classification, is familiar with Welty Hall, as it is home to the admissions office. Also, all students must come to Welty to finalize schedules, pay tuition and speak with financial aid advisors. Most importantly, it houses the office of the president. Formerly Fant Library, in 1991 the building was renamed Welty Hall after the late Eudora Welty, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist who attended the university during the 1920s. Students who enter the building may also notice a large display case in the foyer that shows a scaled model of the Master Plan for the campus. This model serves as a plan for improvement for MUW through the next years.

McDevitt Hall
Any student needing to use a free computer or print something off has been inside McDevitt Hall. Home of the Information Technology Services, students can come here to sign up for a free email account. While most students know that the building houses 60 free computers and serves as the wireless network’s headquarters, many do not know that the building was originally an infirmary where students could stay overnight if they were feeling poorly.

Stark Recreational Center and Pohl Gym
Any student wishing to work out, shoot some pool or take a swim has been inside the rec center on campus. Approximately 87,000 square feet, the facility was built after the Pohl Gym was destroyed in 2002 by a tornado. Built for $13.5 million, it provides recreational and wellness services equivalent to universities five times the size of MUW. Interestingly, it also houses old memorabilia from the sport-playing days of MUW. The building was named after Emma Ody Pohl and Maria Charlotte Stark, two women who were fundamental in implementing and developing physical education at the university.

Hogarth Cafeteria and Student Center
Whether grabbing a quick bite to eat, purchasing books at the Barnes and Noble or checking a mailbox, students go in and out of Hogarth on a daily basis. Subway is now located where “The Goose” was once located, which got its name from faculty members who once sold homemade cookies to the girls when the cafeteria was closed. The building is named after a former university president and his wife, Nancy.

Fant Memorial Library
Students wishing to do some research, have a quiet place to do homework, or check out a book need only visit the library on campus. With more than 250,000 volumes and seating for 763 people, it’s the perfect place to come. Built in 1969, the building is dedicated to President John Clayton Fant, who implemented the building of the first repository of books for the college. As anyone may notice, the building is currently being renovated. Upon the completion, the library will host a cybercafé.

Bryan Green Gazebo
The gazebo on campus is home to many lemonade stands, bake sales and afternoons of relaxation for students. Though most students frequent the Gazebo and pass it every day, little know that the Gazebo was built by the Green family. It also was once home to the “All Sing” competition hosted by the Beta Kappa Tau Fraternity each year for Christmas.