1966: The year “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees topped the Billboard chart, Vietnam protests were in full swing and the U.S. was racing the USSR to the moon. At Keene State, however, minimum wage for student labor increased from 85 cents to $1 an hour and Randall Hall was considered the newest dormitory.
In the April 29, 1966 issue of The Monadnock, the former name for The Equinox, the Board of Trustees had just approved the renaming of four new on-campus facilities.
Originally built to house 250 young women, Randall Hall was a newly finished $1.4 million building named for former Dean of Student Personnel Dorothy A. Randall, who was retiring at the time. Compared with KSC’s newest building as of 2016, the Living and Learning Commons cost about $30 million to build, according to a Sept. 7, 2016 article in The Equinox.
At the time, the “new” dining hall was named the Keene State College Commons, which was located in the current Media Arts Center building. Additionally, the “new maintenance building,” the J. E. Whitcomb Maintenance Shop, had just been completed and renamed for James Whitcomb, a veteran carpentry crew employee of the college.
Lastly, Parker Hall had just been renovated and designed to include the Sprague W. Drenan Auditorium, commemorating former KSC chair of the English Department and drama coach.
Name suggestions for the buildings came from a committee comprised of faculty, alumni and student representatives.
The year 1966 brought about rapid change for residential life at KSC and not much has changed. Come fall of 2018, Monadnock Hall will serve as a venue for the Greek community and students, faculty and staff welcomed a five-story residence hall to campus just last year.
The KSC campus is everchanging; who knows what changes are next to come.
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org