Backstory and Context
Schroeder Hall, Marquette’s primary sophomore residence hall, has served the
University since it opened in 1958. Schroeder Hall was the product of a
building boom financed by a surge of cash from a combination of government
funding and persistent private appeals. This development period—afforded by new
sources of capital—also included construction of O’Donnell Hall, which still
operates as a dorm for men and women.
Schroeder, the Hall’s namesake, was a dedicated philanthropist and owned a
large string of hotels in the state including the Astor Hotel in Milwaukee. As
a member of the Board of Trustees, he brought with him valuable experience in
the field of building and property management. He also assisted with soliciting
additional private donations for the University. Furthermore, he supported
several other Milwaukee institutions such as the YMCA and the Milwaukee School
the role of the University president had been that of overseeing internal
challenges. However, Fr. Edward O’Donell spent his tenure redefining the role
of university president and set out to raise
capital and support across the country. Marquette, which typically relied on
student tuition for their budget, began to be able to afford new luxuries
thanks to an increase in private donations of the kind Schroeder provided.
Armed with more resources, the University began expanding. Needing to
accommodate more students, especially after the war, mass building was
undertaken. In early 1954, the University acquired real estate on Thirteenth
and Wells and broke ground on the new facility in April of 1956. Originally,
this plot of land contained to two businesses and two homes—which were
demolished to make room for the new residence Hall. Now, the transition from
residential community to University grounds was becoming more complete—a
distinct campus was becoming visible.
Hall first served as an all-male dorm and could accommodate 606 residents in
its eight stories. It is worth noting, that the hall was at the time the
largest building on campus. Each floor was—and still is—split between a North
and South wing with twenty double occupation rooms on each side. Each floor
possessed elevators and a communal bathroom as well as a lounge area that could
be used for recreation. The first floor of the building contains a small chapel
and a cafeteria. The basement was designed for recreation and entertainment as
well as storage. The dorm was expanded
in 1964 to accommodate an extra 160 students and to fit city zoning regulation.
In 1972, to ease the shortage of women dorm accommodations, Schroeder Hall became coed. The fifth, seventh, and ninth floors were converted to women's rooms. In the early 1990s, the dorm needed renovations and updates to modernize the building. These renovations cut down the number of students of the dorm to build more space for communal study/recreation area, implemented more electrical outlets, and refurbished the whole building. Furthermore, the lobby was redone, and study lounges were built into the floors.
Jablonsky, Thomas J. Milwaukee's Jesuit University: Marquette, 1881-1981. Marquette
University Press, 2007.
Milwaukee Sentinel. February 22,
Joseph. Marquette Trib. September 21,
Georgia. Milwaukee Journal. February
“Residence Hall for College Men,” Catholic School Journal, June 1958.