Dust settles, Kent Hall reopens for undergrads

Heather Beyer

Psych department moves back home

Kent Hall reopened on June 3. The building went through a series of renovations dating back to the 1980s.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Years of renovations culminated in the re-opening of Kent Hall on June 3. The festivities included a re-opening ceremony, campus and building tours, the dedication of the Lily Seminar Room and historical perspectives on Kent Hall.

According to the department’s Web site, Kent Hall began internal renovations in the 1980s while classes and offices moved to other buildings. In 1987, the Applied Psychology Center was created and located on the first floor.

In 2003, another phase of renovation and new construction took place at Kent Hall with an addition to the back of the building. The first floor of the addition is classrooms while the second and third floors are faculty offices. 

The original structure was also renovated. The first floor houses the department’s main office and the Psychological Clinic. The second and third floors were reconfigured and are now used for faculty research and applied psychology. There are also three elevators: two with handicapped access and one service elevator.

“Everyone is elated,” said Diane Poston, administrative assistant for the psychology department.

Until now only graduate students, faculty and staff have had access to the building. This summer, undergraduates will be able to use the newly renovated facilities.

Kent Hall is one of four original buildings on campus, according to the psychology department’s Web site. It was first used for classes during the fall term of 1915.

Kent Hall was named after William S. Kent, known for donating 53 acres of his family’s farm to the university. The building was originally known as the Science Hall and housed programs such as sociology, philosophy, home economics, foreign languages, and speech. It officially became the psychology building after World War II, due in part to the war’s emphasis on psychological testing. During the late ‘40s and ’50s the department continued to grow and produced large numbers of master’s degree graduates, many of whom became noted members of the profession.

Contact general assignment reporter Heather Beyer at [email protected].