Past Times ... Eastman Hall

Thursday, March 29, 2007

1930 Homecoming dance

Eastman Hall’s dedication was the kick-off event for 1930 homecoming festivities at St. Cloud State Teachers College. After speeches, the crowd marched to J.C. Brown Athletic Field for the annual bonfire. More than 300 couples inaugurated the new Eastman gym with a lively homecoming dance.

The campus had long recognized that while expanding the mind is important to academic success, so is exercising the body. Twice state lawmakers had turned down requests for a physical education building, but in 1928 the Legislature came through with $225,000. The new hall ushered in an era of enhanced physical activity and a new intramural sports program. 

The hall was named for Alvah Eastman, twice-appointed resident director on the State Normal School Board. He had been editor and owner of the St. Cloud Journal Press; when that paper was merged with the St. Cloud Daily Times, he continued as editor, delivering what he dubbed “Weekly Sermons” in print. The 1929 Talahi yearbook was dedicated to Eastman: “In Alvah Eastman, the St. Cloud State Teachers College has a Resident Director who is tolerant of its shortcomings and optimistic about its future; who is genuinely devoted to all its students and faculty members; who is loyal to its best interests and eager to do its service. ...”

Eastman established student scholarship funds named for daughter Katherine and wife Alice, donated some of the land for Selke Field and willed his home to SCSU. It was used as a student center, dormitory and nursery school during the 1940s and 1950s.

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