Campus Facilities

Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art (1993), on the first floor of Classic Hall, is named in honor of the late Dr. Lawrence D. [’42] and Loretta Ashby of Pekin, Illinois, and Dr. Robert H. [’42] and Anna Mae [’44] Hodge of Kansas City, Missouri. The gallery’s permanent collection—more than 650 works of art—includes works by such artists as Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Banks Wilson, Roger Medearis, Fred Shane, Aaron Bohrod, Frederick James, Birger Sandzén, Randall Davey, Walter A. Bailey, Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Robert MacDonald Graham, Jr., and Fred Irvin. Rotating exhibits are featured throughout the year.  

Athletic Facilities. CMU offers numerous athletic facilities:

  • Alumni Soccer Field;
  • Arthur Davis Football Field and Hairston Track (a gift from Murray H. Davis);
  • Cox Softball Complex (a gift from Glenn [’51] and Veronica Cox; Glenn is Chair of the Board of Trustees);
  • Mabee Athletic Facility;
  • Philips Recreation Center (1980-81), which houses the Edwin Ewin Rich [‘15] swimming pool, racquetball courts, locker rooms, and offices;
  • Puckett Field House (1948-49), named in honor of Erastus Paul Puckett, who joined the college faculty in 1908, served as Dean of the College (1913-47), and served three times as acting president. It houses two full-sized basketball courts and four crosscourt basketball courts for intramural activities, and it accommodates 1,700 people; and
  • Wellborn Estes Baseball Field (named in honor of Wellborn Estes, a former member of the Board of Trustees and donor of the Estes Prize). Estes Field is the site of the William Hairston Baseball Stadium, which seats 300.

Brannock Hall (1855), the primary administrative building, served for some time as the only building of the College. In 1911, it was transformed into a residence for men and, because of a generous gift from E. Y. Brannock, was named Brannock Hall in 1914, in memory of his brother John, a student in 1859. In 1928, it was remodeled to house administrative offices and classrooms, which were removed in 1965-66.

Burford Hall (1960) is a men’s residence hall named in honor of Dr. Cyrus E. Burford [Class of 1899], chair of Central’s Board of Trustees for many years.

Classic Hall (1911) once served as an academic building; after extensive restoration and renovation, it houses Music facilities and the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art.

Clingenpeel Physical Education Building (1906) was Central’s first gymnasium, named after Clarence A. Clingenpeel (‘15) whose championship football and basketball teams earned him a place in the Hall of Fame for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Badly damaged by fire in 1960, the gymnasium was remodeled in 1988 to house classrooms and offices.

Coleman Hall (1874), one block from campus, was built by Nathan and Sarah Coleman of St. Louis, wealthy patrons whose son was a Central student. Upon his graduation, the family donated the Italianate mansion for use as the president’s residence, which it was until 1970. The Board of Curators in 1981 sold it to Dr. Douglas and Jody Miller of Fayette, who restored the mansion and secured its placement on the National Register of Historic Places. It was purchased by Sunny and Earl [Class of 1961]; former member of the Board of Trustees) Bates, who graciously make it available to CMU for formal functions.

Cupples Hall (1899) served as a residence hall and for decades housed Central’s library. It was named after Samuel Cupples, who gave money for its construction. Renovations in 1969 made it part of the George M. Smiley Memorial Library (directly behind it). It houses classrooms, the Center for Learning and Teaching, United Methodist Archives, Humanities faculty offices, and Information Technology offices.

Givens Hall (1848-1850), a two-story white brick structure, serves as a guesthouse. Originally built as the residence of Fayette banker Adam Hendrix, it was later named for Mary Ann Kring Givens, an 1851 graduate of Howard-Payne College. It has served as the home of the president of Howard-Payne College, a faculty and student residence, and a faculty office building.

Holt Hall (1957) is a women’s residence hall made possible by gifts from Missouri Methodists and named in honor of Ivan Lee Holt, Bishop from 1944-56. It once housed Central’s dining facilities and still contains the Missouri Room, a meeting facility. CMU’s Office of Admission is located on the south end of the lower level.

Howard-Payne Hall (1858), originally known as Howard Payne College for Women, now serves as a coed residence hall.

Little Theatre (1969) is a gift from Dr. John A. and Elizabeth (King) Epple and is located on the lower level of the Smiley Library. Its stage and 190-seat auditorium provide performance space for CMU theatre productions.

McMurry Hall (1927) is a residence building named in honor of Bishop W.F. McMurry, President of Central College (1924-1930). Following total redesign into suites, it reopened in Fall 2002.

Morrison Observatory, one-half mile northwest of campus, was originally located in Glasgow as part of Pritchett College (1866-1922). Berenice Morrison provided funding for the original construction, equipment, and endowment in Glasgow, which began in 1875. In 1927 the observatory became the property of Central College. With assistance from the Carnegie Corporation, from Dr. S.P. and Martha (Payne) Cresap, and from others, the observatory in 1935 was moved to Fayette. It is equipped with a 12-inch Clark refractor telescope, a 12-inch Newtonian reflector telescope, a 6-inch meridian circle, and accessories requisite for accurate observations. It serves as a teaching facility for astronomy and is periodically open to the public.  

Mulberry Street Apartments serve as married student housing.

Paul Hinkle Linn Memorial United Methodist Church (1931), built of Bedford stone, was dedicated to worship in 1946. It is named in memory of a member of the class of 1894 and Central’s president (1913-24). Arcades connect it to the Swinney Conservatory on the north and to the Rice H. Cooper Parish House (1927) on the south. Its three-manual Wicks organ was rebuilt in 1996-98. The Assembly Hall is located below the church sanctuary. Cross Memorial Tower, at the east of the church nave and behind the choir, was a gift of James Thomas Cross as a memorial to his parents, wife, and children. The tower houses the Carillonic Bells (1949), a gift of Lotta (Patton) Harris and her daughter, Ruth P. (Harris) Guyton [Class of 1930].

Smiley Library (1969) is located immediately behind Cupples Hall. Its formal name is the George M. Smiley Memorial Library. In addition to the library’s books and music and DVD collections, the library serves as the official depository for the Missouri United Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History and for the Boonslick Historical Society.

Stedman Hall of Science (1963) houses classrooms, laboratories, Science and Nursing faculty offices, and a 200-seat lecture hall. It is named in honor of Samuel Lee Stedman, a former student.

Student and Community Center (2005) houses meeting and banquet facilities, the Bergsten Dining Hall (C. Fred [Class of 1961] and Virginia Wood [Class of 1959] Bergsten), the Eyrie Snack Bar, the CMU Bookstore, the Office of Student Develop­ment, the James C. Denneny, Jr., Career Development Center, postal facilities, exercise facilities, and offices for counselors, a nurse practitioner, the campus minister, and student govern­ment.

Swinney Conservatory (1927) was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ed and Ida Lee Swinney of Kansas City. It contains a recital hall, studios, practice rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices. The recital hall, remodeled (1998) and renamed the Willie Mae Kountz Recital Hall, contains two Steinway grand pianos.

T. Berry Smith Hall (1895) was known as Science Hall until Stedman Hall of Science opened (1963). It houses classrooms and faculty offices for Education, Social Sciences, and Accounting, Business, and Economics. The building is named in honor of the long and distinguished service of a former professor and acting president of Central. The Stephens Museum of Natural History contains a zoological collection and artifacts of early area history.

Wayside Chapel (1964; rededicated 2008) is a small, intimate chapel for worship and meditation located beneath the north end of the Cupples Hall porch. It was a gift from Dr. John A. and Elizabeth (King) Epple.

Woodward Hall (1964) is a men’s residence hall named in honor of Dr. Ralph Lee Woodward, Class of 1931 and President of Central (1950-1957).