Dorm Memories

Late nights solving world problems over pizza; courting on the steps of McCormick; bowling in the hallways. Thank you to alumni who shared their most vivid memories of living on campus.


“I lived on the top floor of McCormick from 1972 to 1974. On my 21st birthday, my ‘friends’ were somehow able to fill my room with shredded newspaper while I was sleeping. When I awoke, all I could see was newspaper. I also recall a great snowball fight about a week before winter break in 1972. The heating system in Mac Hall assured us tropical conditions even when it was 25 degrees outside. Because most everyone kept their windows open, snowball-marauders were able to climb out on the roof and attack unsuspecting residents from the windows. I also remember sliding down the hill between the UC and Clark on cafeteria trays, and the Hawaiian students crossing campus in the snow wearing short pants and flip-flops. – Tony Cox ’74

“I'm sure what most women of my generation think of first is the rules, so I'll go on to what I remember next best: companionship and entertainment, not necessarily in that order. I liked always being able to find somebody to talk to, providing someone else didn't find me first. My roommate and I were visited frequently by classmates wanting help with assignments, with a musical event, or just life in general. Sometimes we'd find ourselves involuntarily eavesdropping on a loud ‘discussion’ about who messed up whose side of the room, or who was making eyes at whose boyfriend. Our room was next to the bathroom, where sometimes there were water fights.” – Frances O'Brien ’65

“My most poignant memory of dorm life was the day John F. Kennedy was shot.  I'd just returned from class, turned on the radio and heard that he'd been taken to the hospital in Dallas.  I went out into the hall and told others who were around and we gathered to listen to the news.” – Ray Woods ’66

 “One of my favorite memories was letting my friend in via the dorm window. I lived on the first floor of Mac Hall. I was talking with a friend out my window and invited him in. Instead of walking all the way around the building, I took out the screen, and he hopped in. That was the year it also snowed and I took the snow off my car and the ground around our dorm window and built a snowman. Then there was the co-ed bathroom. The bathroom on the first floor was designated for women, so the handful of men who lived on our floor (not in the suites) had to go all the way up to the third floor to use the restroom or shower. Instead of traipsing around in their skivvies or bathrobes, they asked (and we consented) to share the bathroom on the first floor. It actually worked out really well. We had very kind and considerate neighbors.” – Amy Abel ’96

“My freshman year I lived in the bottom floor of Clark Hall. My roommate and I were good friends with the ‘fab four’ on the basketball team. We would call them on the phone (at all hours, of course) and play ‘My Destiny’ by Lionel Ritchie. The guys would come bounding down the hall to sing it to us. They even made up a dance to go with the lip sync. I would definitely say the start of karaoke was in Clark Hall! It always brought a smile to our faces and was a great excuse to put down the studies for a while. Also, during the first snow storm of the season in the soccer field behind Clark Hall a few of the students who had never seen snow before started a small snowball fight. This quickly turned into a huge snowball fight (there had to have been at least 50 students out there). We had a ball for at least an hour. We all came back soaking wet and a little cold, but with the biggest grins on our faces.” – Erica Davis Butler ’96

“Ah, the days when life was simpler and bills were taken care of by school loans. It was Reunion Weekend, fall 1986 – somehow my freshman year the Walter Hall resident director decided I would be good at coming up with games the dorms could host for the alumni and students to play together. We formed a committee – me and a few folks who did not know me well enough to know I was a bit on the crazy side. Our game for the lawn was ‘life sized greased partner Twister,’ which meant Crisco eventually ended up on the hands and feet and it took a lot of effort to not lose the hand of your partner or slip right off the oversized hand made board. Also, President Duvall was set to spin the wheel for this event. His secretary agreed to it for him in his absence. What she did not know was that he had a group of men he was ‘courting for the endowment fund’ and they were scheduled to visit at the same time. Picture college students and a few brave alumni and grad students and staff playing life sized Twister being observed by men in suits and a concerned-looking college president. But apparently it was a good community moment as I was told later we received some gifts for the fund.” – Kelley Skiles ’90

“Ah, the glory days.  I don't remember getting much done in the way of academics, but Walter Hall rocked from day one to the end of the school year in 1993. Walter Hall had the first rage Sunday night before the first day of class. We had weekly Poker games, and my door was covered from top to bottom with pictures of all our hall residents enjoying themselves immensely at parties.” – Victor Gonzalez ’96

“During my freshman year, I lived in Walter Hall. Early in the second semester, Karl Malden came to Pacific for six weeks as an ‘artist in residence.’ Ted Sizer, who was essentially the entire theater department at the time, had arranged for him to stay in the basement apartment there. One evening we all had to vacate the dorm because of a fire drill. Malden was among us. As we stood in the cold evening waiting for the ‘all clear,’ Malden overheard several of us talking about a panty raid that had happened earlier in the school year. He approached us and asked us to explain what a panty raid was. We complied, in great detail, I might add. What a wonderful man he is – a terrific teacher as well. How lucky we were to have spent that time with him on campus.” – Mary Wissman Weeks ’69

“I remember having water balloon fights in and around McCormick Hall. One day I hit a fellow student squarely in the back of the neck with a water balloon. There was usually lots of water in the hallways to clean up after our fights. We visited the girls in their dorm lobby. There were rules about how close you could sit beside a girl on the couches. Those rules were enforced by the dorm mother, who had blue hair. Sometimes she carried a ruler so she could measure the distance between boys and girls.” – Mark Gustafson ’64

“I remember moving in on the fourth floor Mac Hall my freshman year, my parents anxiously hovering, not quite ready to let their eldest child live in a co-ed dorm. Across the hall from our room was a sign on a door that read: ‘Randy's House of Wine, Wicker, and Women.’ My dad's eyes got really big when he read that.” – Shani Moser ’94

“My first ‘dorm memory’ was my first sight of Herrick Hall when I drove into Forest Grove with a sophomore friend. My first reaction was ‘I've made a BIG mistake’ in deciding to come to Pacific, all the way from Las Vegas, Nev. My friend had been instrumental in my decision to accept a scholarship and come to Pacific. He told wonderful stories about the campus, the football team, and most significantly, the wonderful room he had in McCormick Hall. Upon our arrival at campus, we checked in at McCormick Hall for room assignments. Instead of a beautiful remodeled semi-private room with all the accoutrements, I was assigned, with five other freshman, to the only six person dorm room on the entire campus. The six of us were from the U.S., Canada, and Hawai’i, so there was plenty of diversity – but none of us were happy with our accommodations. The room was in the basement of Mac Hall. We had two rooms, one of which had three sets of bunk beds and the other six ‘study carrels.’ Needless to say I was very disappointed in my accommodations.  To add to my displeasure, I discovered the sheets my mother sent along didn't even fit the beds since they were oversize! I didn't do much studying that first semester.” – Chuck Young ’70