Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Monday October 20, 2014

Library Hours: 7:30am - 12:00am

Eastern Michigan University Library

Campus Buildings At a Glance

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Building name : McKenny Hall

Construction date : 1930

Dedication date : October 24, 1931

Name after : Charles McKenny, President of Michigan State Normal College, 1912-1933

Building function : Office Space

Cost(USD) : 300,000

Architect : F. Eurich, Jr. of Burrough & Eurich, Detroit, MI; East addition by Jickling & Lyman, Birmingham, MI

Builder : Lovering and Longbotham

Architecture style : Art Deco with Collegiate Gothic embellishments

Square footage : 55,056

Cubical content : 929,190

Prior name : McKenny Union

Date changed : 2007

Old function : Student Union until 2007

Notes : Michigan State Normal College was the first teachers’ college with a social center. In 1924, President Charles McKenny proposed the idea of a Union to student leaders. That year the Alumni Association set out to raise $500,000. For the first time the university funded a building campaign by soliciting money from alumni. Later on, money was pledged by the Student Council and by faculty. By 1928, the school had pledges for $350,000, unfortunately due to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the following Great Depression, the school had only collected $130,000 in cash by 1930. Construction began in 1931, with a reduced, and therefore less expensive, plan. Difficulties in paying bonds on the building lead the state to take control in 1937, drawing the cost of the debts from the student programming fees. Despite these funding difficulties the building was a pleasant structure. This beautiful building was named for Charles M. McKenny, President of EMU 1912-1933 and the man who first proposed the idea of a student union. During the housing crunch of the 1950s, the third floor and basement of McKenny became student housing, dorm rooms were set up for those who worked in the student union. Charles McKenny (September 15, 1860 - September 23, 1933) was president of Central State Normal School (now Central Michigan University), Milwaukee State Normal School and Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University). McKenny was born in Dimondale, Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) and masters from both Olivet College and the University of Wisconsin. McKenny married Minnie E. Alderman (1869-1942) in 1890. She was a native of Vermontville, Michigan. They had three children, Charles Arthur McKenny, Laurence A. McKenny and Marion Louise McKenny. Laurence joined the Army Air Corps during World War I and was killed in action during World War II. McKenny begin his career as a teacher at Charlotte, Michigan. He then went to teach at Vermontville. In 1895-1896 he was a professor at Olivet College. In 1896 he became principal of Central State Normal School where he remained until 1900. In that year he became principal of Milwaukee State Normal School where he remained until 1912. He then took the presidency at the Michigan State Normal College (MSNC). He started his administration at MSNC by instituting rules against female students having "gentleman callers' visit them in their rooms, only allowing them to visit in parlors. He also instituted rules to cut down on automobiling and canoeing by female students, especially with males. The student body of MSNC at the time was overwhelmingly female. McKenny remained president of MSNC until April of 1933 when he became president emeritus. He died the following September.



Type : Renovation

Year : 1963, 1992, 2006

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Notes : In 1963, the state allocated money for an expansion and modernization of the building. The newly updated building was opened in 1966. The renovations included an expansion to the east containing a bookstore in the basement, a grill and space for bowling and billiards. McKenny was renovated again in 1992, when the bookstore moved from the basement. The university also added space for a bank, mail center, and food venues. The barrier free facility contains 13 meeting rooms ranging from a 4,300 square foot ballroom to informal meeting rooms. During its time as a student union approximately 8,000 people visited McKenny every day during the academic year. McKenny Union was renovated in 2006 and converted back into classroom space, office space, career services, and veteran’s services. In 2010, a quick-stop market was opened for students to grab snacks on the run.