History of Graveley Hall – Devyn Lynn

Graveley Hall is one of the most ornate-looking buildings on the Idaho State University campus. The building was dedicated to Lottie M. Graveley, who was the President of the State Board of Education during the early years of the College of Technology. It was originally constructed in 1939 as a women’s housing building. There were apartments, a kitchen, and a cafeteria area. The Hall served this purpose until 1966, when it was made into men’s housing and the dining area was then put out of commission. Around the same time that the women’s dormitories were completed, World War II was in full swing and women were being recruited to Navy Officer Training. 1 Graveley Hall is one of the campus’ oldest buildings.

During World War II, Graveley Hall was used as a living space for Naval Cadets of Navy V12. When the building was used as women’s dorms, the women had a curfew of 10pm on weeknights, and 1am on weekends. The dorms were segregated, so men were not allowed in the dorms, but men were allowed in the lounge area in the Graveley building. In 1972, after Graveley Hall had been utilized as men’s dorms for a few years, it was renovated to have one-person rooms, rather than the two-person rooms that had existed since Graveley’s construction. In the years since, Graveley Hall has undergone a few changes, including being used as a co-ed dorm building, dorms for disabled students, and its current use as a faculty office building. 2 At one point in the 1950s, a “panty raid” occurred at Graveley Hall by a group of male students. According to Boyle’s essay, this event was only one of many frankly invasive and inappropriate acts done by male students directed at female students.2 Another lewd act done by men at Graveley was climbing up to Red Hill, which was directly above the Hall, and looking down at women tanning on the roof of Graveley Hall, who were nude.

Graveley Hall is among Idaho State University’s oldest buildings along with Colonial Hall and the Pond Student Union. Colonial Hall is also an office building. Graveley is also somewhat of a “survivor” of sorts among the various buildings on campus, as both the Swanson Hall and Turner Hall were torn down, but now have new buildings standing in their place. The Dean at the time of Graveley’s construction was J.R. Nichols. He was the one who initially proposed the construction of it, and wrote many letters to various construction companies. Dean Nichols and the construction companies negotiated bids on which company would build Graveley for the most reasonable price. Following this, on January 1 of 1939, construction began on Graveley Hall, and it was completed in November of 1939. Upon completion of Graveley, Nichols and the building committee could not decide on a name, until they heard of the death of their colleague, Lottie M. Graveley, who was the first woman to serve on the State Board of Education. The Dean believed it was appropriate to name the women’s dorms after her. Mrs. Graveley served 15 years on the board before retiring, leaving Idaho, and dying on the 23rd of February, 1939.2 Graveley Hall is considered a “landmark” on the campus by many, especially University alumni.2 Some alumni enjoy returning to the campus and remembering what it was like to live there, as well as relationships made during their college years.
Graveley Hall is an ornate and very old building on the Idaho State University campus. It has gone through quite a few changes over the decades it has existed. Today, Graveley Hall has the university’s counseling center, where students can seek aid, and also provides PhDs in counselor education. It is also home to the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences, which is the college that is centered around health sciences, as you might imagine. The Division of Health Sciences is where students can get their degrees in specific studies relating to the human body, such as dental hygiene, dietetics, audiology, speech pathology, and many others. As mentioned previously, Graveley Hall functions as an office building as well. Graveley being among the oldest campus buildings is very significant to the university’s history and impact on students.

– Devyn Lynn


Works Cited

1. Statement of Values Scrapbook, pp. 15, 1960-70s
2. Boyle, Becky. Fast Times at Graveley Hall. Report. English, Idaho State University.