Whether you are an incoming student or a seasoned Monmouth alumni, there is always more to
discover on our beautiful campus. A lot of history goes along with most of the
buildings as you walk through campus, each worth visiting and exploring.
From the Great Hall to the Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library, there is so much to see and do. The Great Hall, formerly named Wilson Hall, is a staple of Monmouth University. Built in 1929, The Great Hall is a National Historic Landmark. Its original features are maintained due to guidelines established by the Department of the Interior. This is why some of the rooms might look a little different from a classroom setting. As part of Monmouth’s 50-year anniversary, the mansion underwent restorations in the 1980s.
More recently, there are updated study spaces and a new cafe for students to indulge in, especially with the upcoming fall weather. Jennifer Cabral, who helps run the Parson Cafe, said, “The cafe came last semester. We sell Booskerdoo pastries and coffee, all fresh.” She also mentioned new drinks they are promoting such as the pumpkin latte and the apple caramel latte.
The Great Hall is also well known for having been the location for scenes in the 1980 version of the musical film, Annie. It may look familiar as Daddy Warbucks’ Park Avenue mansion.
The Rebecca Stafford Student Center is a great hub for anything and everything. It harbors great food options for students, many spaces for clubs and activities, and the commuter lounge on the second floor. There are also spaces to access offices such as Transfer Services, Career Development, Global Education, and Student Activities.
In particular, Student Activities is a great resource to learn about events happening on campus and more. Clay Vaughn, the Director of Student Engagement, said, “Student Engagement is a reimagination of a couple different offices on campus. The VPs reorganized it to make it more effective to include clubs and organizations, fraternity and sorority life, and leadership. Brining all the groups together will be more effective to get more students involved.”
The Student Center opened in 1973 and is named after Rebecca Stafford, the first woman to hold the position of President at what was then known as Monmouth College. Stafford held her role as president for ten years and led the change from a college to a university.
While the University’s Center for the Arts isn’t quite a physical place on campus, they host many performing arts series, education initiatives, gallery exhibitions, and even clubs like a record and book club. The Center for the Arts offers over 150 events at campus and community venues, making it a must during your time at Monmouth.
Thomas Jaworski, a graphic design student and intern at The Center for the Arts, said, “I recommend it to anybody. It’s right on campus and they have a great team.”
While you may or may not recognize the name, you have definitely seen Erlanger Gardens at the center of
campus. Located right between The Great Hall and Edison Hall, Erlanger Gardens is a beautiful place to have lunch, cram in a quick study session, or even take some Instagram pictures to share your Monmouth pride.
Erlanger Gardens also features defining Monmouth architecture. For instance, you might notice the iconic arches and fountains as well as the beautiful greenery. Another must-place visit, and somewhere you might find yourself a lot towards the start of finals week, is the Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library. Prior to becoming a library, it was known as the Guggenheim Mansion.
In brief, this building was the summer home of Murry Guggenheim who was the son of Swiss-born Jewish immigrant, Meyer Guggenheim. He went to study embroidery and lace manufacture and later joined the family business where he sold metals for M. Guggenheim’s Sons. In 1887, he married Leonie Bernheim and had two sons and a daughter. After he passed in 1939 and Leonie passed in 1959, there was much debate about what should be done with the estate.
Local residents stated that it should be passed along to Monmouth College. So, the Guggenheim Foundation officially forwarded the estate to Monmouth College on Sept. 9, 1960 and it was later dedicated to Murry and Leonie on Sept. 24, 1961. With such a great history and many great areas to study or find a quite spot, there is no place like the Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library. Monmouth is a campus like no other. With so many great sites and areas to study, relax, and enjoy the many activities and events Monmouth has to offer, there is no reason not to get out there and explore. Make sure you make the most of the fall semester now by finding the best spots to hang out and keeping our campus a lively place for all students, faculty, and staff to enjoy. You can learn more about Monmouth’s history and find campus maps online at Monmouth.edu.