History you walk(ed) by every day.

Hey, current students and/or Western grads: ever wondered why that residence hall you call home—or that building you went to most often for the classes in your major— is called “Olson” or “Brophy” or “Simpkins”?

Where do campus buildings get their names?

Olson Hall

Olson Hall... and Olson who?

Or, to put it another way:

  • What do buildings on Western’s Macomb campus have to do with the War of 1812?
  • Is it true, or just a legend, that the windows in Malpass Library really spell out the name of a state—and not the state we’re living in?
  • Which Western building was once the site of a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt?

Western student Matt Fischer recently dug up the answers to these questions and more campus history in his recent feature story, “The names behind the masonry,” for the Western Courier, the student-run newspaper.

For his research, Fischer spoke with University Archives experts who filled him in on some of Western’s most interesting architectural tidbits.

Read the full story from the Western Courier. And add your memories about living and learning in campus buildings in the comments below!

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