Watch the implosion of McCollum Hall from the best seat in the house: the top of the adjoining Oswald and Self Residence Halls:
And our friends at Alumni Association did a recap of the building history and its implosion. Click here for their video.
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
Michael Moses, 1975
I transferred as a junior to University of Kansas and was surprised to be assigned to McCollum because it was an international dorm. My first roommate was Roberto from Mexico, then there was Abby from Costa Rica and finally Fernado from Barcelona. I would help them with their English and, in doing so, wound up learning Spanish. We had too many Latin parties to count. It was surprising we all graduated. I still have friends I met at McCollum over 40 years ago. It was one of the best times of my life.
It was in '77 that I lived in McCollum. Had a lot of fun there. Remember watching ROOTS in the lobby on a big TV. Worked at the reception desk, too, for a while. Made a lot of friends there, some of them still in contact.
Raphaella Ingrid Santana Oliveira, 2013
McCollum was the first place I put my feet when I arrived in Lawrence. I had never travelled to another country. It was my first time that I had a scholarship from a Brazilian program. In the United States, my biggest challenge was the language and the family. I began with just English classes and was able to develop my English skills. McCollum hall was the place where I had my first contact with my new friends.They made me feel comfortable and made it easier to live in USA. Living in McCollum hall made me feel more at home and more comfortable. It was at McCollum hall where I made my best friends and I had my best roommate. The first close relationship I formed in McCollum was my first roommate. She welcomed me to this country, helped me learn about American habits, gave me American decorations for my room, and she was always there to comfort me when I was feeling homesick. Another important relationship was with my best American friend, he studies Portuguese. He would be there to talk to me about everything, help me with the language and show me places like some restaurants and locations. Also, I can't forget to mention my neighbor in McCollum hall. She has became my friend, too. We spent a lot of time together going to parties and meeting people. Finally, my new Brazilian, Japanese and Chinese friends, they made me feel more home in McCollum hall. I miss everybody. Therefore, McCollum was the only place I could make friends. Watching the McCollum implosion while living in Brazil reminded me of all of my moments in McCollum Hall. My moments in US was wonderful, and the best moment I've had in the US was when I was living in McCollum Hall. I wish I could go back to University of Kansas and could see McCollum hall still there.
Michael B, 1989
My one year at "The UN" was spent on the 6th floor, west wing. The hallway was painted like the old Busch beer can mountains. The last room on my wing on the south side was 641. The next door was the fire escape. The next sequential room number was 643. After the room numbers were stenciled on the walls next to the doors in preparation for painting, 641's stencil was mysteriously changed to 642 and the painter obliged the prankster by actually painting the 2 instead of the 1--even though there was a sign on the door clearly labeling the room as 641.
Brent Shaw, 1986
So many great memories from my two years there as a freshman and sophomore. Several of my Naval ROTC cohorts lived there, and I met most of my best friends from college at McCollum. I lived on 5 the first year, 6 on the second. I watched Danny and the Miracles defeat OU in the national championship on the 6th floor common area. I remember sledding down the hill on cafeteria trays and inner tubes when we had big snows, and a bunch of guys playing hockey on the basketball courts.
Spring, 1970. Protests, student unrest all over. The Student Union is firebombed (on my 21st birthday). Curfew. Since nobody could go anywhere, the RAs set up a huge sound system in the lobby and we danced all night to Rare Earth's version of "Get Ready" (long).
I lived in McCollum my freshman year, 2001-2002 as a resident. I returned in 2003 as a Resident Assistant and was on the senior staff as the Desk Manager from 2004-2005. Living here was a fantastic experience and I made friends that will last for the rest of my life. Additionally, I learned a lot about responsibility, time management and the myriad facets of socialization. What a great dorm!
Mindy Levinson Clark, 1979
Many, many wonderful memories. But this time of year, I always think of a very cold early December night in 1980. While driving around looking for a parking place, I looked up at the west wing front windows (4th floor, I think).There, in Christmas lights, the windows spelled out JOHN LIVES! in memory of John Lennon.
Gerry Fey, 1991
Like many who ended up in McCollum Hall, the "UN" was not my first choice to live my freshman year. And like many who called McCollum home, even then you could tell it was outdated. That said, I couldn't imagine my KU experience if I hadn't lived on the 6th floor. The people I met and times we had were the best. My best memory was the very first week, Hawk Week. Somehow we just gelled immediately and had a week to remember. During that week was my 18th birthday, and I couldn't have imagined a better group of newfound friends to celebrate with. Arji, Brian, Dustin, Mark, Marc, Greg (Fax), Craig, Dave, Jason, the Spaniards, Mike, Toby, Kathy, Chellie, (and honorary McCollum residents: Marsha, Chandra, Chris, Karen) -- it was a great group.
Fall 1986, my first morning in McCollum Hall. Up early, showered, got on my 10-speed to go to new student orientation. I quickly learned about the hills on campus; my bike (circa 1975) was no match. KU took my student ID photo that morning...long story short, for the next 30 years my KU ID shows what happens when your long, 80s, hair dries "free-style" on a windy bike ride from McCollum all the way to the Union. I hated that picture, but wasn't about to pay $2 for a replacement ID...I locked my bike to the rack in front of McCullum that day and didn't touch it until it was time to move out in May. The day after orientation I bought a KU bus pass and never looked back...
Ferran, Mike, Noelle & Nora, 1975
Forty years later, four friends from four different countries met in Lawrence to reminisce and celebrate a friendship that started in McCollum. McCollum will live forever in our hearts!
Jose Lara, 1987
McCollum was really known as the zoo in the '80s. I lived there from fall 1981 to spring 1987 when I became a RA on the 10th floor. It was a universal place to live since you got to know people from so many different backgrounds. It had an incredible effect even for people from the United States. I met like 1,000 people there and even some people that could not handle "home sickness" and had to return to their country, city or town. McCollum's legacy was having the capacity of getting people together from all around the world that you could not even get in the United Nations in New York EVER. It had such an international impact that United States students were not realizing that they were experiencing a real UNIVERSITY. The same could be said of foreign students. McCollum was a blessing despite its infrastructure problems that all students that lived there recognized, but it had invaluable worth for it was, I repeat, a UNIVERSAL experience at the UNIVERSITY of Kansas.
Grace Butz, 2014
Although called McNasty or McCompton, I am so lucky to have called this place my first home at KU. I lived on the sixth floor and for some reason there was an unspoken rivalry between the sixth and fifth floor. In the climax of this rivalry, I have done one of my most rebellious things in my college career: a covert operation that included stealing the fifth floor Christmas tree and highlighting its newfound glory on the sixth floor. One of my floor mates was confused when he woke up to a three foot tall, faux, Douglas Fir shining bright by his closet. I will never forget the memories I made in this building. I made lifelong friends. Between climbing up into the crawl space above my closet, to having to spend three hours on laundry because half the machines did not work, McCollum helped me make my freshman year a remarkable one. The Daisy Hill skyline will never be the same.
Norma J. Norman, BS Ed. 1967; Law 1989
My "roomie" for all four years at KU, Barbara McAlpin (now deceased), and I moved into McCollum at its opening and we lived there until graduation. The graduation picture several of us took outside McCollum in our caps and gown has gotten away from us all. However, we had great times there! We felt that we were living in a modern hotel. Everything was big, bright and shiny new! However, occasionally, the men would break through the women's side of the hall and commit a "panty-raid, " or someone would pull the fire alarm at 2:20 a.m. on a snowy morning and the building would be emptied. Many of us are now in our late sixties and early 70s, yet we pledged AKA, found our husbands, or ex-husbands, and have maintained the lifelong friends we first found at McCollum Hall! Sorry to see you go, old friend!
Roland Beck, 1976
I lived in McCollum Hall for one year. It was great. My room was located on the 6th floor overlooking East toward Oliver Hall. When it got cold I used to put items requiring refrigeration outside the window and they would freeze. When I was there, McCollum was full of international students, including my roommate from Lebanon named Nazih Smily. We would congregate in the open areas and students would bring food from their backgrounds and of course there was a lot of beer because students could drink at 18 back then. Many of these international students would ask me on Saturdays when they would see me in my Jayhawk band uniform what I was about to do. I have a been a Miami Floridian now for almost 40 years but I still have fond memories growing up in Kansas and especially of KU and living in McCollum Hall. It is sad to think that next time I go to Lawrence it will no longer be there.
Christina G, 1999
My first year away from home, so of course McCollum was the place to be. Room 716, all the way at the end, and on some nights that was a long walk! If my memory serves me correctly, during my first semester we had more than 30 false fire alarms... A lot of good times and some bad times. Parking was always horrible, but other than that, it was a pretty decent place to call home for one year. At the time I probably wished I had my own bathroom, it was my first "roommate" experience, and the noise was awful; but looking back now, I had a lot of fun (too much fun probably) and met some pretty cool people. I haven't driven past McCollum for more than six years, but if/when I do return, I'll be sad to see it gone.
Travis Reiter, 2002
Met my wife in McCollum, sad to see it go.
Stephen DeLeo, 1988
I attended KU for only one semester during the fall of 1988. During that time, I lived in this hall; made a couple of friends there, but unfortunately, we've lost touch. After that semester, I returned to Oklahoma and attended OSU. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had been able to stay at KU, graduate, and start my career from there. Who knows where I would be today. Would I have made my way to the NYC area that I so much enjoy today? Thanks for the memories KU and McCollum Hall.
Nora Vera-Godwin, 1975
Best year in college because I met wonderful people--some of them are still close friends. In fact, this past June we met in Lawrence 40 years later.
William Ziman, 1976
I lived on 6th and 4th floor across from a Marine ROTC from Commack, long Island. I arrived late on a long flight; several ladies helped me check in. We shared some wine. The Marines were jealous--they should have been. My roommates were Micheal Dunworth, Liberal, and Donald Waller, Leavenworth. I was a bio major. We had a lot of fun. I saw George Carlin live and getting a buzz at the botanical garden. I remember the good and bad of my 21st. There were pranks galore.and beer kegs in the bath tub. The most memorable person was a gay--how he described himself--opera singer, who was quite good at singing. I also worked in the kitchen. The food was terrible except for Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Chipped beef on toast and Reubens were the best items. The desserts, though, were outstanding. Those who lived there should remember the constant fire alarms being pulled by pranksters. I also remember the beautiful girl from Hawaii on 4th floor, who was on crutches due to cancer in her legs. I also remember the punk rock parties and star makeup around eyes.\ Who could ever forget pizza and the hole in the wall (deli pizza joint) which was like cardboard with cheese. I remember the endless games shooting pool. There was one person who was a genius, but never studied. He was going to both med and law school. But my favorite memory was the friendship and camaraderie we all had. That is what I remember most. One person especially from, Troy N.Y, named Diane Sheedy. She was a friend when we needed one (sometimes loneliness set in, being 1,500 miles from home). I met her many years later in Albany, where I work as a network engineer, and she remembered me. Bziman@albany.edu
Mandy Zweifel-Hughes, 2007
I had the wonderful pleasure of being the Complex Director for this building from 2007-2009. I remember getting the call about which building I would be assigned to (I was familiar with all the buildings since I was a graduate student at KU) and I was super intimidated by Big Mac and the reputation that went with it. I have never been so thankful in my life to have the experience I had in McCollum. I have some of the best stories of resident antics, buildings issues, and overall insanity at times from my time there.
I also left McCollum with lifelong friends, the ability to think quickly on my feet and an aversion to fire alarms. I loved seeing the residents and staff appreciate the uniqueness of McCollum and embracing it and sometimes becoming downright protective of it. I am thankful to have met a wonderful individual like Barb Williams who will always have a special place in my heart.
It was also the home of my first born for few months (he was a fire alarm pro at only 4 weeks old). My short two years in McCollum changed me and it will always have my heart!
Ahmet Ozyigit, 1998
I don't even know where to begin! The minute I walked into my empty room after a 15-hour flight from Cyprus, I knew it wasn't the best place on earth. But hey, as I got to know people, spend time at the lobby and make memories, it wasn't too bad! The picture below is from a "staged" kiss that a friend and I shared to have a fun picture from our dorm to show our kids... It's been 17 years since that picture. We haven't kept in touch, but her name was Natasha.
Charles Howard, 1969
McCollum Hall was coed when I moved in. I was on the first "living" floor to the right of the lobby. Spring of '70 was very memorable due to the Student Union burning and the National Guard being present. I remember KUOK radio broadcasting from our lobby with "Foxy Lady" as the DJ. Three guys from my wing plus a young lady from 10th floor participated in a day and a half canoe race between KU and K-State. I remember being in Al Simon's room, which looked out back over the rear parking lot, and as I got up at 1 a.m. to leave I saw two guys carrying the TV out. I sent Al to get the police while I went out the back and ID'd their car and plates. The police got them as they were just going up the ramp to I-70 East.
I'm hoping this next memory has someone with a photo - I didn't have a camera. I had been angry about something one night and in the rain drove out to Lone Star Lake and sped around it on dirt roads, then sped back to McCollum. There is a long downward hill coming back and this must have created the "effect" on my car. Next morning I went out to go somewhere in my car and there was a crowd of students around it taking pictures. I was worried I had possibly hit something, but it turned out my car was totally encased in mud AND it was sculpted in the wind patterns flowing over the car as I raced "home."
One time we bought a 25 pound block of ice. We would sit on it while others pushed us to go speeding down the tile covered floor. At the last instant someone would open the door to the main lobby and we would go spinning out into the masses -- surprising fun. McCollum was vey close to the cemetery accessed by the pedestrian bridge. I always wished to be buried in such a cemetery as it had so much "live" action accrued to it. We would generally play football there. But others studied, made-out, jogged and so on. There are a number of memories that were great but not for the general public -- typical of college life, I guess.
One winter's night several of us took food trays to go traying down the hill onto Potter's lake/pond. This was real fun and very cold. After a while we decided to go to a friends apartment for hot chocolate. As I was getting into my car I became aware that my eyeballs hurt. Someone pointed out to me that my eyelashes had become encased in ice and were resting on my eyes. I wonder how many remember going out to Lone Star Lake to sail across the ice covered lake. You didn't need ice skates, just leather-soled shoes. You would hold open your coat and the wind would shoot you across the lake. The sound of the heaving 14-inch thick ice gave you the creeps, but it did sound a lot like the sounds hump-backed whales make.
We had a great mix of student backgrounds on that wing. I think as dorm life goes you couldn't get much better than McCollum. I played hard, studied hard and partied hard and did very well. Looking back I think this may have been the high point of my life; despite the fact that the dorm food was fair except during finals week when it really went down hill. I remember some form of "steak" was served, and there was a dog in the dining hall. The dog turned his nose up at the steak that was tossed to him. I moved into an off-campus apartment after my school year in McCollum.
Annetta C. Ashley - Class of 1977
I was a junior when I moved there in the fall of '74 to room 1006, and was so happy to live in a spacious dorm room. I didn't have a roommate, however, I met many wonderful friends in that dorm. After my parents left I was sitting outside and the first person I met was Rose Hulum, then later on Audrey B. Lee. I was also introduced to a wonderful sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. by them and became a member Nov. 9, 1974. McCollum was also know back then as the "international" dorm as many countries were represented. We also had the "best cooks!" It's been so long, but I believe we had "monthly theme meals" to represent the countries - that was the best! I loved sitting in the lobby, watching TV with my new-found friends and eating out of the vending machines on Sundays. (Cafe closed early on that day). Wonderful and fond memories of this dorm! My senior year, I moved to Tower D.
Marty Grogan, 1965
Besides a somewhat inebriated student skateboarding, I also recall a fun-filled summer serving as social co-chair for McCollum's 1,100 or so students. Events included a Hootenanny with entertainment provided by Paul Gray, Skip Devol and members of his soon-to-be "Gas Light Gang."
Lauren P, 2005
I'm a second generation McCollum-ite! Both of my parents lived in McCollum in the early 1970s and I spent my freshman year (2005-2006) living in 502 with my BFF since kindergarten -- and despite warnings from just about everyone, we didn't kill each other!
John Davis, 2 West, 2015
It's amazing how so many people will be happy to see the "eye sore" McCollum go this November. Conversely, it is even more amazing to see all the the opposite feelings posted by the thousands of us who have had the truly amazing gift of living here for a year or more of our lives. I strongly feel that the community of McCollum is unrivaled throughout the entirety of campus. I lived in Lewis Hall for a month into school last year until an unfortunate roommate situation prompted me to move. I am sure the people there were really great and I didn't get much of a chance to meet all of them, but I felt so isolated there. I chose to move to McCollum because I had good friends from high school who lived there, so I figured we would have a lot of fun! So, after a month of not meeting many people at KU, I moved into room 233 in McCollum and literally within the first 10 minutes of moving in, all of the guys on my floor came by to introduce themselves and made me feel welcome! We were like on big, happy family (for the most part). We watched every game of the Royal's playoff run together, and had nights of super smash brothers (which sometimes got a little too heated for my liking), we hosted movie night in my room and in our lobby often, and we even had "family time" sitting in the bathroom just because we were weird like that. We did it all! I made some of the best memories there with my old friends and my new friends. I am so proud to say I lived in McCollum. It was the greatest year of my life, bar none. That is why it makes me sad when people say they are happy McCollum is being torn down. When the clock strikes 7 a.m. on November 25, a little piece of my heart will be razed along with the greatest college dorm to ever exist. RIP McCollum 1965-2015.
Rick Werp, 1966
In 1966 the pay phones would give a random amount of credit if you dropped a handful of change on the counter while holding the earpiece next to the fallen change. Prior, a real live operator would hear the different sounds each coin made as you inserted them. The new automated system would just listen to the random sounds of the dropped coins and if they came close to the sound of a nickle, dime or quarter, it would credit you. hehe...
James Harris, 1966
I moved into my brand sparkling new McCollum Hall room 620, never before occupied, in early September 1966. I watched with trepidation as my parents drove away, back home to Moberly, Missouri, in their Buick with a tear in all our eyes and the realization that for the first time in my 19 years, I was alone. I had my first roommate, a wrestler from somewhere back east. McCollum had alternating sex-segregated floors at that time so the girls' elevator would not stop on the boys' floors and vice versa. This presented some creative visitation scenarios. I also soon learned that, since we had neither refrigerators nor any means of cooking in the rooms, those wide outside window ledges were the perfect place to store certain beverages, tied to a rope and slowly lowered, chilling in the cold Lawrence night. One of the memorable events: One of the graduate students of the nerd persuasion went on his first date of the second semester. While he was out, my cohorts and I filled his room completely to the ceiling with newspapers saved during almost two semesters just for such an occasion. Unfortunately, most of them carried the masthead of my home town so he figured it out way too soon. There was a color TV in each floor's lobby and we gathered by the dozens to watch Batman every week night it was on, as well as the Smother's Brother's Comedy Hour, laughing, booing and hissing along with the on screen prompts. To this day, I believe the iced tea served in the cafeteria was the best I have ever had. I had a meal pass for three squares a day for around $125 for the semester and I soon shot past the 130 lb. mark all the way up to 140, where I stayed for a couple of decades afterward. I also was talked into taking all my classes at 7:30 am, even on Saturday by some sinister jerk guidance counselor at registration. I walked that route up and down the hills hundreds of times it seemed like, plus some classes had a three-hour gap between them so I walked back. Eventually I figured out I should ride the bus but it seemingly never ran when I needed it. On Friday I hitched a ride to Rainey Drug store where I cashed my check for $5.00, which I was able to use for the entire next week for movies, Joe's subs, a $1.00 pitcher of Coors and sometimes a steak $.99 special at the Ponderosa Steakhouse. Different times. I have not been back to bid my old Friend, McCollum Hall, a proper reintroduction and another tearful goodbye, and these memories and many more will die with me. I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I lived and loved my one year living there!
Living in McCollum the final year of it being open was possibly one of the greatest blessings of my freshman year of college. So many firsts happened in this building that I don't think I could count them on two hands. I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends, even though they were mostly guys. It just made all the shenanigans that much more fun. I'm proud to say that I got to live in McCollum and I wouldn't trade my time there for anything.
Dr. Kimberly Morrow, 1991
I lived in McCollum Hall when I was a graduate student at KU, majoring in German. The 10th floor, where I resided, was reserved for nontraditional and graduate students, and I made so many great and interesting friends there. We were like one big happy family! I have so many great memories that it's difficult to pick out just two. One memory I have is of the myriad of false fire alarms that serenaded us at least 15 times every semester. My guide dog, Nadine, and I literally high-tailed it down 10 flights of stairs every time those alarms went off, inevitably around 3 a.m. I'd throw on the sweats that I always kept at the ready on the desk chair beside my bed, grab Nadine's harness, and out the door we would go to join the throng of students casually ambling down the stairs. One cold winter's night, while shivering in our assorted PJ's and sweats while awaiting the all-clear to return to our rooms, a group of us taught our Chinese floormates the words to Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer. That winter was the first time many of them had ever seen snow, let alone sled downhill on plastic cafeteria trays, and they were utterly fascinated by all things related to the holiday festivities. The other memory I have is hanging out with my good McCollum buddies Claudia, Rita, Quinn, Janel, Linda, Ellen, and Danni Beth. We were a diverse group of friends, all pursuing a common goal, but in the process, learning more about life, acceptance and multiculturalism from one another than education alone could ever teach us. Thank you, McCollum, for providing so many KU alumni with a place to create precious memories that will endure for a lifetime.
Rosalind Bauchum, 1971
I lived in McCollum Hall during the 1971-72 school year. I lived on 10 West. At the time it was known as the upper-classman and the international student dormitory. My roommate Mavis and I were sophomores and we were elated to live in the hall with such a diversity of students. I remember one fall night, the weather was extremely hot and everyone had windows open. During the early hours of the morning around 2:00 a.m., someone in Ellsworth Hall decided to very loudly sing a song from their dorm window. It was amazing to see the lights pop during this unannounced concert in McCollum and Ellsworth Hall. Within a few minutes I saw a University police car slowly drive through the parking lot. The next day there was a small article in the UDK news with the title, "Disturbance on Daisy Hill." To reside in McCollum was a great experience with great memories!
Michael Bradley, 1971
Moved into McCollum as a freshman and got a BA Speech and Drama and Economics. Was dorm President. During the Vietnam Nam protests the Haiphong Coalition communications office operated out of my dorm room -- as president I got a phone that was the only non-staff phone in the hall -- and I had an office with a mimeograph machine. After the Cambodian invasion our team of transcribers would call campuses throughout the country for updates on a phone in Dean of Students, Bill Balfour's, home and transcribe the reports by hand. Every two hours during daylight a new news sheet would be prepared and mimeographed and posted on every public bulletin board on campus. This was when there was still a plug-in-wire switchboard in the hall (my first KU job) and my roommate was one of those injured in the computer center bombing. The whole east basement level of Summerfield Hall housed the computer which had about a tenth the capacity of the IPad I'm typing this on. Times have changed.
Claude Tidwell, 1965
I was one of the first students to move in when it first opened my freshman year. My sophomore year it became the first public coed dorm west of the Mississippi.
There is no building on campus that can take McCollum's place, ever. 10 floors with 3 wings of glory. Out of those 10 floors, I owe the most thanks to the 6. Not only did the 6th floor become my family, but the whole building did. The community in McCollum was building wide (RAs, residents, and Desk Assistants!). Thank you for making my freshman year memorable and always swinging by the couch.
McCollum became a second home for a lot of students including me. In 2012 when I was a freshman living in McCollum I made so many amazing friends. Till this day I am extremely close to the people I met. I also met the love of my life in McCollum hall. And almost three years later we are happy and getting engaged soon. McCollum had its ups and downs but the people that lived there were amazing, I wouldn't trade my experience there for anything.
Rich Lovett, 1965
I lived in McCollum the year it opened. Several of the friends I had made in Ellsworth Hall were there too, so it was a little like being in a fraternity. I remember so many things from McCollum. There was a grand piano in the lobby lounge that I enjoyed playing (badly), and some guy had brought a full-size electric organ from home that he placed there and played (very well). I worked part-time on the McCollum switchboard, a job I loved. For you younger McCollumites, this was in the days before students had phones in their rooms or those new-fangled cell phones. It was the old-fashioned kind of switchboard with cords that you plugged into jacks to complete a phone connection. Phones were in the hallways and we alerted students to incoming calls via an intercom system. I have no idea when that system went away, but had I been there then, I think I would have been sad. Of all the full- and part-time jobs I ever had, working on that antiquated switchboard was my favorite.
Moving in as a freshman was intimidating for a small town girl. This one building houses three times the people of my entire hometown! Learning to thrive in college started with Big Mac pride. I have lots of fond memories of sitting in my room with the door open doing homework and listening to the things going on down the hall. We all were a family on 500 East. I have some crazy memories that usually ended up by watching the sun rise and waiting for Mrs. E's to open. I also remember running in the pouring rain to get a mocha with my roommate from the Hawkspot in Hash basement because she was convinced she was gonna fail without it during finals week. Now I am slightly sad that my daughter can't go to KU and be a Mccollum-ite (a play on termite--an international friend described McCollum as a giant termite mound) but I'm happy to see KU thriving. Rock chalk everyone!
McCollum was my first home away from home. This place gave me my best friend who is still my roommate. It was where I learned the best ways to avoid studying, the best food to order at 3 a.m., it's where my friends and I aquired the photo blackmail on each other that will never really go away. Some of the best pre-games took place in those rooms. I truly believe that you can't break the bond that's created when you survive McNasty together, and more so McCollumfessions. You always had a friend in that place. And we were so much cooler than Hotelsworth. 6th Floor Sharks 5ever
I may have only lived in McCollum for one year, but it left a lasting impact on me. Moving into room 646, I was terrified, but little did I know that I would become best friends with my roommate and every single one of the 6th floor sharks. So thank you, McCollum, for giving this Minnesotan a whole new Kansas family. I wouldn't have wanted to spend my freshman year at KU anywhere else!
Matt Spooner, 2003
Even though I only attended KU for one school year, my memories of McCollum Hall are still some of my most cherished to this day. The sense of freedom from living on your own. The reminder of your immaturity when you got written up by an RA. The dose of reality when you flunk a test you didn't study for. The friendships that were amazing. Long live the memory of McCollum and Lil' Jon and the 6Eastside Boyz (the nickname for my hallway, 6th Floor, East Wing)!
I have more memories than I can share (mostly inappropriate) especially for only one year of residence. McCollum Hall is where I met two of my favorite, lifelong friends. Every morning I woke to learn about shenanigans from the night before, some of which I took part. It really felt like "Animal House" at times. I will never forget being able to lock the elevators between floors just by jumping up-and-down in them. One of the craziest memories was during the winter of 1996: After a night in KC, I came back to McCollum to find the basement flooded with inches of water from a leaking ice machine. A ton of fun was had and I am truly sad to see this go... now, can I get one of those fire alarms for keepsake purposes? #RockChalk #KUMcCollumHall
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!