Potential Douglas Hall name replacements: Louis V. Hencken


Photo courtesy of The Keep

Former University President Louis V. Hencken

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s Naming Committee is tasked with reviewing a list of individuals who Douglas Hall could be potentially renamed after.

The individuals being considered are former Illinois Governor Edward Coles, former student athlete and Tuskegee Airman Captain Charles B. Hall, former University President Louis V. Hencken, community members who assisted students with housing Ona and Kenneth Norton, Eastern’s first Black student Zella Powell and former life sciences professor and Director of Afro-American Studies William Ridgeway.

Louis V. Hencken earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern in 1967. He was a member of Beta Sigma Psi, Gamma Delta and Circle K International while an undergraduate student.

Hencken began his career at Eastern as a residence hall counselor at Douglas Hall, moving through the ranks as associate and assistant director of housing, director of housing, associate vice president for student affairs, vice president for student affairs, interim athletic director, eventually leading to him being named university president in 2001.

He served as president until 2007.

Hencken has multiple awards named in his honor, including the Louis V. Hencken Alumni Service Award, the Louis V. Hencken Housing Service Scholarship and the Lou and Mary Kay Hencken Scholarship.

Additionally, Eastern’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary is named after Hencken.

Hencken received support on the Daily Eastern News Facebook post sharing the names the committee is tasked with reviewing.

“Given Lou Hencken’s lifelong dedication to not only the University, but to housing specifically, there is no better choice in my mind to rename the residence Hencken Hall,” Stacy Rowan, a 2017 graduate of the College Student Affairs master’s program, said.

“I’m so excited to (see) Lou Hencken on the list,” Kaylia Eskew, a 2014 graduate, said.

A complete list of individuals being reviewed can be found here.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].