Buildings Photographs Students

Greene Hall – 60 years and counting

So it turns out, I missed an anniversary last year.

Greene Hall, the oldest residence hall on the campus, turned 60 in the fall of 2010.  For some reason, I convinced myself that the venerable old dorm opened in 1951, but a check of the Walter Kirkland Greene Residence Hall file proved me wrong.

Greene Hall was built to accommodate some of the post-World War II surge in enrollment.  It was one of the few structures called for in the “Wofford of To-Morrow” development campaign that was actually built.  Its construction was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 1949.  One of the larger residences constructed up until that time, it housed 154 students, had a suite for a house mother, and had two small reception rooms.  Its signature space, then and today, was a large lobby with wood floors and a nice fireplace.  When it opened in the fall of 1950, the college had the largest boarding student body in its history.  The trustees named the residence for the sitting president, Dr. Walter K. Greene, class of 1903, in tribute to his leadership of the development campaign.

Its total construction cost was $350,000.  The college didn’t pay off the debt on the building until 1957.

With the construction of Wightman Hall in 1957-58, the area that had been the canteen (the west wing of the basement of Greene) was converted into classrooms and faculty offices.  The building housed offices until the opening of the Daniel Building in 1972.  Some faculty offices remained in the Greene basement for two or three more years.  (Thanks to Dr. Vivian Fisher for the correction!)

Several articles in the Old Gold and Black note the continuing problem with vandalism in Greene during the 1970s.

Constant fire alarms, turning the fire hose on in the lobby, broken windows, ripping doors off of their hinges were making the dorm unlivable.  The college moved to add partitions in the hallways, making them shorter, and also considered making it an all-freshman dorm.  (Remember all of the resident students were men in the early 1970s.)  And, in the fall of 1976, the college let Greene residents loose with gallons of paint, allowing them to make whatever non-structural changes they wished.  The college wanted to make Greene a “different kind of dorm.”  Dorm supervisor Jim Hackney said the results were “better than I expected.”

Greene has had a few other renovations over the years – including adding air conditioning in the late 1980s, and renovating the ground floor “dungeon” into better housing.  But it has always been the most “home-y” of all of the residence halls on campus.

Photos, from top to bottom: Groundbreaking in October 1949, Greene under construction on January 1, 1950, and nearing completion on September 1, 1950.  All photos from the archives. 


By Phillip Stone

I've been the archivist of Wofford College and the South Carolina United Methodist since 1999. I'll be sharing college, Methodist, and local history, documents, photographs, and other interesting stories on this blog, which I've been keeping since December 2007.