Address: 1800 Engel Road, Lawrence Kansas
First floor hosts a ping pong table
First-floor lobby is also a homework spot
10th floor has private rooms reserved for returning residents
A 10th floor private room
Studying for finals
More study space
A Resident Assistant on the 10th floor
David Barnes, 1996
I went to McCollum as an international exchange student from Australia. In a way it felt like being on camp. It was I remember walking out of the elevator on the ninth floor wearing my backpack and there was a floor meeting outside the elevator, the group leader said hi to me and I said hi back… it started from there. I'm thankful for the friends and camaraderie I experienced when living at McCollum. It was nice to be there all together with all our hopes, fears, ideals, loneliness, work, longings, friendships – and more. Living in the big, concrete hull of a uniform soviet block ship – with its seemingly identical, long hallways and their portholes looking out onto carparks and fields and sunsets – we rolled along together, personalising our doors with anything that blue-tac or sticky tape held up so we could communicate our vision of the world. Venturing to Mrs. E's together was a delight. There is something about joining together with hundreds of others on a daily basis for a meal. Did we ever really appreciate what we had? I would do it again… I had a marvellous time – but I’d try to do it even better! Thank you McCollum… you know who you are.
Ben Mercer, 1997
McCollum was the place I was living when God really turned me around. I remember InterVarsity Bible studies on 10th floor, friends spending the night in my absent roommate's bed above mine, dinners as a community at Mrs. E's. It was a good place to start my life in Lawrence.
Loren Bornstein, 2005
I lived and worked in McCollum while I attended KU (2005-2010), only leaving it the final few months before graduation. I started on the ninth floor in a room next to my RA (with whom I'm still acquainted via the glorious Facebook). That was the year of the microburst. For anyone living in the residence halls, they will definitely remember how many windows blew out, and the warped bleachers next to the soccer stadium. I also remember that was the year with the most fire alarms--I think it was nearly 40 that year. (Forty excuses to get IHOP is how I like to think of it). I joined the Student Housing in August 2006 as a desk assistant in Ellsworth Hall, but continued to live in McCollum on the eighth floor (Honors Floor). I realized how much I cared about life in the residence halls and pursued becoming an RA. I remember the phone call from an Assistant Complex Directors offering me the position. I screamed for joy outside of the Student Union, possibly scaring everyone around. I'm someone who passionately cares about an environment in which we all feel safe, welcome, and supported, and Student Housing absolutely embodies that. It remains my favorite place where I learned about who I was and who I wanted to be. The people I met--the ones I got along with and didn't--changed me for the better. I am proud to call many of those people friends still. And a shout out to the AMAZING custodial staff: Tina, Linda, Barb, Pete...and so many others. They did amazing work and shared some hilarious (and horrifying) stories. McCollum may not have been in the best shape in its later years, but it will always be home to my Jayhawk heart. I would not change a thing. Here's to you McCollum. And to my 10-East ladies from '08-'09: we have moved on, moved away, and even "changed face" so to speak ;), but you made my final year as an RA amazing. Thank you for everything. Always. Big Mac Pride for life! Sociology BA 2010 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies BA 2010 Graduation Spring 2010
I couldn't imagine having a better home for my freshman year than McCollum, and I'm incredibly fortunate to have met my college family on the sixth floor. I included my best memories and the bittersweet emotions in my article for The Odyssey about being a part of the last year of students!
Leslie Bauck-Schwarz, 1986
My first semester, I had a roommate who was not a good match, but I moved in with Janice second semester and made some great memories with our other two partners in crime, Beth and Chris. I made a great group of friends whom I still keep in touch with almost 30 years later.
Janet Byer Groff, 1967
I lived in McCollum and worked in the mail sorting area during summer school in 1967 when it was co-ed. During that summer there was a plywood partition between the wings to separate the male and female living areas on the upper floors. One took certain elevators to the men's side and another to the women's side. On the first day, we were invited to enjoy tomato juice and crackers as an appetizer in the lobby/shared area on the main floor before the evening meal. A young man, who worked the switchboard, sat adjacent to me and introduced himself. To make a long story short, we both graduated June 1, 1970, he received his commission into the Army through ROTC on June 2, and we were married on June 6. I majored in nursing and he in microbiology. Bruce lived there during some school years, too, but that is the place we met that summer, so has very nostalgic memories to me.
Abbey Shea, 2008
I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2011 with a Sports Management degree. My best friend since kindergarten and I moved into 423 McCollum in August of 2008. We became fast friends with two women down the hall and met our best friend on the sixth floor. We went through recruitment and realized that almost all of our new sorority friends lived on the other side of campus in GSP and Corbin -- living on the Hill eventually became a badge of honor we wore proudly, plus it helped that everyone was so jealous of Mrs.E's. We were introduced to shower shoes and learned the bus system together (with only one accidental adventure to East Lawrence). We discovered that with the right blackout curtains, we could go an entire day without getting out of bed. We got through our first college finals and 6 a.m. basketball camping roll call. Mac wasn't the newest or the fanciest, but it was ours. Despite the astonishing amount of fire alarms, freezing cold cinderblock walls, and constant lack of parking, I could not imagine my first year at KU living in any other place. I had so much fun; I got to have a sleepover every night with my best friends, I could eat exclusively Twizzlers and chips and salsa if that's what I felt like, and it was just a quick walk down the hill to Allen Fieldhouse -- the greatest place on Earth. McCollum was my first home in Lawrence, my first nook in my favorite place in the world. McCollum was where I first became a Jayhawk and the place where I fell in love with this great University. Rest in Peace, McCollum. Thank you for the memories. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
I lived at McCollum for three years, and worked there for two as a Resident Assistant. I met the love of my life, whom I later married in an on-campus wedding. This engagement photo reflects only one moment of the thousands of memories I could have chosen. Once, my wife (then girlfriend) and I had some visitors walk into the lobby. They were husband and wife and had met in McCollum more than 30 years before. Melissa and I showed them around the hall so they could reflect on their time there. I knew that someday we, too, would be an old married couple and come home to where we first met and began the rest of our lives together.
Danielle Golon, 2007
I love McCollum Hall. I was an RA there during 2007-08, a summer conference assistant for several summers, and a desk assistant 2009 - 11. Some of my closet friends and the greatest people I know were fellow RAs at McCollum Hall. We bonded over 2 a.m. security rounds (and fire alarms), late night games of Mafia, mail and desk shifts, and cooking elaborate meals in the kitchen. One of my favorite events at McCollum was the annual Battle of the Bands on the front lawn. I also loved creating programs (shoutout to the Big Mac Poetry Slam Winner) and being a support system for my 6th floor ladies and the ladies of "The Beef" (the 5th, 6th, and 7th floors) of Big Mac. McCollum Hall had one of the greatest views of Lawrence, if you were lucky enough to have a room that faced toward Clinton Lake. I learned a lot about myself during my time working at McCollum. I truly believe McCollum Hall was an essential part of what made my time at KU so great. I'm sad future Jayhawks will not be able to experience the heart, soul, and community of McCollum Hall. Thanks for the memories, much love to the Big Mac 07-08 staff.
Danielle Golon, Environmental Studies, BA and Geography, BA - 2010 Geography, MA 2012.
Matt Galbraith, 2007
I was an RA in McCollum for a year. The following year, many of my friends returned to RA for a second year. Since I knew the schedule of an RA, I knew it sometimes meant being on call or not being able to leave. So I would typically visit multiple times a week to watch movies and catch up. Just like the previous year, I grew close with my RA friend's residents and remain friends with them today. Even though I was friends with many of the residents, I was a little surprised, but excited, when one of them asked me to her sorority semi-formal as a friend. (She punctuated her invitation by saying I was not her first choice.) No matter. My charm must have rubbed off on her because four and a half years later, after the KU Kentucky National Championship, I proposed in front of the Campanile. And Melissa and I just celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary.
Ben Cohen, 2005
Strongest memory: the pool table in the lobby. I was part of a small group of people who regularly congregated around it most evenings. (Two of the regulars are getting married soon!) It is honestly the first place I made friends at KU.
I have so many memories in Big Mac, I can't just choose one to talk about -- the people I met, the late night lobby talks about life, the shared struggle of being one of the "poor kids." I loved it so much I came back a second year as the programmer for AURH. The memories live in my mind as if it were yesterday. I will truly miss seeing Big Mac in the Daisy Hill skyline. Thanks for everything.
Taylor Hanna, 2011
I began my time at KU in McCollum and it was the best introduction to KU Student Housing and to the campus I could have asked for. I moved in in August 2011 and I remained in Student Housing until I graduated in May of 2015. I became involved in Hall Government because the president of Association of University Residence Halls lived down the hall from me. I became best friends with my potluck roommate. The AURH and NRHH office on the main floor of the building became a second home for me and my friends, and many wonderful, innovative and progressive ideas came from meetings and events in that office. MACURH 2014 meetings, parties, and work days were held in this office, and that's where a bunch of friends became a family. I graduated in May of 2015 with a degree in Applied Behaviorial Sciences, and I am returning to KU to receive an MSE in Higher Education Administration. Neither of these accomplishments would be possible without my time with the residents, leaders and staff of McCollum.
Stephanie Filardo, 2009
As an RA in McCollum, celebrating Thanksgiving with students who could not make it home for the holidays was something very important to me. Sharing a Thanksgiving meal and memories with others--we refer to it fondly as "Misfit Thanksgiving"--is a tradition I have carried on each year since leaving the hall. Also, I didn't realize how good of shape I was in until 2 a.m. fire drills and running up 10 flights of stairs to clear rooms. I wonder if I still have what it takes... Don't take your youth for granted kids!
2008 BS Math Education, 2014 MS Special Education
2002-2003, 2007-2008 8th floor resident
2008-2009 10th floor RA (Top Bun)
Bulletin Board Addict
I lived in McCollum my very first year and worked my way up the RA ranks for the next three years. In year four, I met the man I later married. We have been married for 13 years and have three kids. All three kids know the KU alma mater and call it "the golden valley song." My future husband and I were on staff together there. In fact, the very first time we met he was moving in at 7 a.m. and I had just been woken up by a fire alarm. Our boss tried to introduce us, but I was too focused on checking that the building was emptied. My husband says he remembers thinking, "That's a girl I could date!" We are still a two-person student affairs family. Rock Chalk!
Robert Shapiro, 1985
I lived for two years on the 10th floor. In 1985-1987 the 10th was dedicated to graduate students. It is where I met my first wife and in hot pursuit ran up the 10 flights of stairs to impress her. The cafeteria at that time was in the basement (a dark and dreary place to match what was on the food line). I loved my time at McCollum, even on the cold days, walking out the door and starting the trek down the hill to classes. I visited McCollum just a couple of years ago and took my last look from the 10th floor. I'm sorry to see it go.
Stephanie (Smith) Porto, 1972
I lived in McCollum from 1972 to 1975 and worked as an RA from 1973 to 1975. During that time, I met some of the grandest people ever, including my husband, Dave (also an RA). In 1972, as a transfer from Wichita State, I was assigned to 9E. The floor was made up of primarily transfers and grad students. Pretty soon it went by the name of the 9E Zoo, likely due to the illegal pets on the floor - canary, fish, two dogs and one cat. There was a sign that we posted over the threshold to the floor, "9E Zoo, Turn back before it is too late." An architecture student, Amelia, made sketches of zoo animals that represented each resident. I was the zoo keeper. It was a great crew. We would sit for hours in the hallways talking, sometimes sipping bad wine (Boones Farm - Strawberry), and having "appetizers" (nachos with jalapeno peppers and cheese) before watching the sunsets over Lawrence. That year was filled with tough times and great times. Donna Benz had a poster board that she kept on her door. Daily someone from the hall would post something either good or bad -- good grades, boyfriend news, stories from home, life. We lived an intense year together.
One of the attached pictures includes a shot of the Hall crew from the party at the end of Spring 1975. Included are the following staff members: Frank Bell, Abdul Fatah, Juanita Wherle-Einhorn, Dave Porto, Deb Bowman, Jan Stokes, Karen Daviou, Saeed Parnezar, Henry Green, Robert Wherle-Einhorn, and me, Stephanie (Smith) Porto.
Steve Houle, 1975
I lived in McCollum Hall for three years and worked in the cafeteria. During my stay there, I was exposed to the many facets of university life as well as many different types of students. Having these experiences enriched my life in many ways. Not only did I attain a degree, but I was able to adapt to different people and lifestyles as I grew older, because of my experiences at McCollum. To this day, I still remain in contact with people I met at McCollum.
Larry Rapagnani, 1965
Moved in the first year it was opened and I was a senior in the engineering school. I was an RA during the year. The first memory I had was that McCollum was built such that the front of the dorm faced a female dorm. I remember too many occasions where I had to counsel "younger" men on using binoculars at night looking at the adjacent dorm.
Chris Saricks, 1966
On June 8, 1966 (the day of the Topeka tornado), I moved into McCollum to become part of the Summer Honors Program that was housed in that facility (then a gender-segregated dorm) for classes in advance of freshman year. It became quite a summer -- crazy, troubling, exhilarating. The Charles Whitman and Richard Speck mass murders took place while we were there, and John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonfuls "Hot Town Summer in the City" was #1 on top-40 radio. The gang on my sixth-floor wing included many folks from both Kansas and out-of-state communities, among whom was the late Ralph Chatham from Chagrin Falls, OH, who later became a distinguished submarine commander in the U.S. Navy and the dedicatee of Tom Clancy's first best-seller, "The Hunt for Red October." We organized a pretty bad softball team for KU intramurals, Harry's Horrors, for which I prepared the uniforms. The high-level view of squall-line storms approaching from the southwest was nonpareil. A different time, with different drivers -- the Cold War was still front and center. I will never forget McCollum as central to my introduction to campus life.
You remember certain moments and places in your life. McCollum Hall was definitely one of those places. Although I only lived there one year, it was a year I'll never forget. My roommate wound up being one of the best friends I ever had. Some of the guys that lived on our wing were I am still great friends with. (The people and parties were great.)
Carmen C., 1991
Traci was my RA. We had t-shirts made for our floor created by John Knepper (he may be known as Thor now). I remember all of us watching bracket basketball in the common area. I had the time of my life. Kristine Schnebly where are you?
Sara Gillispie Miller, 2000
I remember hanging out with everyone on the second floor. We had dance parties, ordered pizzas late, and just hung out together. A bunch of us even drove to Dallas for Spring Break in 2001.
"Big B" Byron Myrick, 1987
I lived in room 747. We called it "The Jet House Suite " and sweet it was. If such an award existed it would have won dorm room of the year--every year. I loved living there and working in the kitchen downstairs.
Kirklin & Amber Bateman, 1986
I moved in to McCollum as a freshman in August 1986, and met a cute ARMY ROTC cadet, and dorm security guard, who happened to live on the 6th floor, as did I. I got my 'MRS' from KU in May 1988, when I married the above mentioned cadet, who graduated the next day with a BA in History. Just after our 25th wedding anniversary and that cadet's retirement after a quarter of a century of military service, our youngest (of two children), moved in to Ellsworth his freshman year, and thought it was somewhat surreal that his parents met at the hall "next door." Now, Kieran has just completed his sophomore year at KU, and is in Navy ROTC (Marine option), and loves being a Jayhawk. Rock Chalk!
Traci Moore, 1988
Third floor was my home my first year, and I met so many amazing people who are still my friends. I worked as a Desk Assistant, Security and, my favorite, an RA for two years! I called 6th floor home at that point, and then third floor finally. So many important moments, important people and inspirational relationships were brought through my life at McCollum. I can never name everyone, but my residence hall director, Leanna Lamb, was very special in my work tenure.
Amy Kay (Harris), 2005
My freshman year was one of the best years of my life. I made amazing memories with such fun people. McCollum will always be a part my of heart!