Namesakes of campus buildings highlight Loyola’s long history

Photo courtesy of Loyola University Chicago University Archives and Special Collections
This photo of Dumbach Hall was taken in 1910. Dumbach is named after Fr. Henry Dumbach, S.J., the man who first bought the land along the lakeshore for the Jesuits on which to build the university.
Students are in and out of buildings on campus every day for classes, meetings and studying. But there is a history to many of the buildings that some Ramblers may not be familiar with.

Associate Archivist Ashley Howdeshell shared some interesting tidbits about the namesakes of the university’s most visible buildings.


Mundelein College Skyscraper

Built in 1930, this building was originally a women’s college founded by the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Loyola purchased the building in 1984, and urban legend says it is haunted. The building was added to the national register of historic places in 1980, and is designed to look like stairs to represent the ascent of women’s knowledge.


Piper Hall

Formerly called the Wheeler Mansion, the building was a private residence and library for Mundelein College, constructed in 1909. The hall was named after Virginia and Kenneth Piper, supporters of the all-female Mundelein College. The university purchased the building in 1990, but has preserved the historic appearance of the first floor, which holds furniture from the 1920s.


Cuneo Hall, Mansions and Gardens

Named after prominent Chicagoland businessman John Cuneo Jr. and his wife Herta in 2009, Cuneo Hall, a classroom building located on Lake Shore Campus, and the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens were made possible by the couple’s gift, valued at over $50 million. This was Loyola’s largest-ever gift, and made the construction of the LEED-certified Cuneo Hall possible.


Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics

Allan Norville, a basketball player and 1960 alumnus, who is now a university trustee and co-chair of the Athletics Leadership Committee, donated the money for the building, which was completed in 2011.


George Halas Jr. Sports Center

Named for Chicago Bears owner George Halas Jr., who graduated from the university’s now-defunct School of Commerce and whose father was a co-founder of the NFL. The building opened in 1982.


Zach Zimmerman
In March, the Los Lobos de Loyola statue was unveiled. It sits between Dumbach Hall and Cudahy Science Hall.
Dumbach Hall

The oldest building on campus, constructed in 1908.


Madonna Della Strada Chapel 

Meaning “lady of the wayside” in Italian, because of its position near the water. The chapel was built in 1938.


Lewis Towers

Frank Lewis, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist, bought and then gifted the university with Lewis Towers in 1945. The building formerly housed the Illinois Catholic Women’s Club.


Sources: University Digital Archives; Chicago Tribune; Loyola Ramblers Website; undergraduate admissions tour guide Britt Logan, senior, 21, criminal justice and psychology major.

by Caitlin Wilson

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