Bossard Hall Memories from Carroll J. Olm '46

Remembering Bossard Hall

Bossard Hall was constructed 130 years ago. Hence, Bossard Hall was built 17 years after Mission House/Lakeland was established. Today, there is a grassed area where Bossard Hall, the Girls' Dormitory in our era, stood. It was located about halfway between Jubilee Dorm (now the WAK building) and the Administration/Library building (now the John Esch Library.) It was a white-framed, two-story building. Coeds lived on the first and second floors. College staff women lived in the lower level and often enjoyed watching through curtained windows what was transpiring in the lower level lounge when the male students visited their girlfriends. No coeds were ever housed in Jubilee Dorm. In the 1940's, and probably the 1950's, all students ate in Jubilee.

If my memory serves me right, there was a staircase leading to the second floor just as one entered Bossard Hall. That is where, in our day, the coeds entertained boyfriends. Sometimes as many as three or four couples sat on the steps, each going a little bit higher. The newest couple got the top steps. There was some conversation, but kissing was more prevalent.

In the 1940's, Bossard Hall housed more than coeds on the first and second floors and the kitchen girls in the lower level. It also housed some vermin. My wife (Marilyn “Blondie" Olm '47) reports that all the odd-looking creatures seemed to gravitate to her room in one fashion or another. Once she found a starfish in her bed, perhaps thanks to Chester Ploeger '46? On another occasion, a mouse got in Blondie's room and scared her to “death." Scurrying out of her second floor room in her nightie, she ran downstairs to the first floor corner room, which was occupied by Helen Hansen. After Blondie told Helen that the mouse had evicted her, Helen laughed and said, “Just sit down a little while and be very quiet." Soon, a friendly mouse began running up and down Helen's wastebasket and Helen laughed and laughed. Poor Blondie still shrieks when she sees a mouse.

The following was submitted in response to the above story:

Greetings! Bossard Hall disappeared like a thief in the night as the old saying goes. During my last year at the college, as head of the education and psychology departments, my office was upstairs in the southwest corner. I never had to propel my chair when I wanted return to my desk from the files, I just lifted my feet. The floor sloped to the south, bringing me right back. When we came to the college in 1964, Rosemary's nursing office was on the northeast corner of the first floor. We had a very tall English prof who bumped his head on the door every morning and unleashed a string of profanities--the likes of which were not part of your seminary curricula! Though the building disappeared and a memorial marker was put on the site, nothing can erase the memories of those who experienced being quartered there.

Loren Tiede



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