Examining Coleman Hall’s history

Allison Little, Staff Reporter

Coleman Hall is a classroom building which houses several academic departments including the English, History, Philosophy and World Languages departments.

The building was originally finished in 1965 and dedicated and named for Charles H. Coleman. It was later given an addition, finished in 1968.

It’s formal name, decided by the Teacher College Board in 1965, is the Charles H. Coleman Classroom Building.

Coleman was born in Huntsville, Texas on Feb. 21, 1900. He earned degrees from George Washington University and Columbia University before joining the social sciences Department at The Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (a previous name for EIU) in 1926.

Later, Coleman, who was an expert on Abraham Lincoln and Illinois history, was chair of the Social Sciences Department from 1942 to 1954. He became a professor Emeritus in 1961 after 35 years of service at the school.

Coleman Hall has had its issues throughout the years including problems with the cooling system, problems with the heating system and a failed attempt at getting a snack bar, to name a few.

In an edition of the Daily Eastern News from Feb. 3, 1981 there is an article hinting at the possibility of a snack bar on the first floor of Coleman Hall so that students wouldn’t have to go all the way to the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. That plan was scrapped in December of the same year.

Also in 1981 there were many complaints about the cooling system and on Sept. 3 the DEN reported that there would not be enough money to replace the system.

In September 1989 the heating system malfunctioned, and the east side of Coleman Hall suffered from temperatures surpassing 90 degrees, according to the Daily Eastern News.

An edition of the Daily Eastern News from April,1988 reported that Coleman Hall was cleared by police after a bomb threat was called in to the DEN. Later, on May 4, 1993, the DEN reported a bomb threat in Coleman Hall which had been called in to the police department on the previous Friday.

Despite all of the many problems the building has faced it has also been the home of many academic departments and resources for students.

Some of these resources include the student writing center on the third floor which helps students proofread and write essays, and the women’s resource center which offers a library of texts and videos for students to check out.


Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].