Memory Lane: A look back at Illinois residence halls

Busey Hall (Photo courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives)

At the end of the school year each May, thousands of students move out of their dorms, as they have done for the past century. The University opened its first residence hall, Busey, in 1916. Busey Hall was available only to women, as was every residence hall the University built over the next quarter-century. From the early 1880s, when the first dormitory was destroyed, until 1941, when the campus built its first men’s residence hall, male students lived in fraternities and local rooming houses. Following WWII, the great dorm building boom began; it continues today. Wassaja Hall, named for the University’s first Native American graduate, opens this fall.