Department of History & Political Science

Willingham Hall

willingham hall

Occupying the site where Locust Dell Academy formerly stood, the "Dormitory for Men" was constructed beginning in 1939 with funds and labor provided by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Work Projects Administration. During World War II, the College rented rooms to Tennessee Valley Authority employees and to other workers. Male students finally occupied the building but only briefly, from 1945 until 1947, when Keller Hall was completed. Female students then moved into what was known as the Old Boys' Dorm or "OB."

A three-storied, fireproof building, "modern in every way," the structure became officially known as Willingham Hall on November 5, 1949, in honor of Henry J. Willingham, longtime president of the State Normal College at Florence (1913-1938), who died the previous year. From 1948 until 1968, Willingham Hall served exclusively as a dormitory for women, housing as many as 90 students every term. In the 1950s, the building earned a designation by the U.S. Department of Defense as an official Fallout Shelter, with a capacity of 392 persons.

In 1969, the Office of Career Development and Placement, a commuter lounge, and social science department faculty were located here. Today, English and History & Political Science faculty and staff have offices in the building.