SMU Journal of Undergraduate Research


Clements Hall has occupied a central place on Southern Methodist University’s campus, both physically and socially, since the campus’ inception in 1915. Initially a women’s dormitory, it was later used by men after the construction of the Virginia and Snider dormitories. It included a dining space, a kitchen, and apartments for President Hyer and his family. In its time as a residential building, it housed engineering students, the football team, and briefly members of the Navy V-12 program. After complaints in the late 1950s, plans were made to renovate the building for use as classrooms and administrative space, offering services ranging from academic counseling to a print shop. The building has been intertwined with may key moments in Southern Methodist University’s history, witnessing the end of strict limitations on the socials lives of its members, early attempts at desegregation in Texas, and the infamous William P. Clements football scandal. Despite its historical significance, Clements Hall has faded from its role as a social center on campus. The data for this paper was gathered from the DeGolyer Library Archives, the primary depository for documents on the history of Southern Methodist University, comprising blueprints, personal accounts of students and professors living in Clements Hall, newspaper articles on the events in the building, and photographs of the hall. I will compile these sources into a holistic view of life in the building through its history. The focus of this project was to look at the evolution of life at SMU through the lens of the various uses of Clements Hall throughout its growth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License