Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

What’s in a name: Pulliam Hall


Its clock tower stretches high over trees scattered across Southern Illinois University’s campus. The building sits atop a small hill and a statue of three sprinting Salukis welcomes you at the bottom.

Pulliam Hall was originally built in 1951 and had additional construction, which finished in 1954. The structure was named after the University’s sixth president, Roscoe Pulliam.

Pulliam was the first alumni to be elected as the school’s president and it is said that both faculty and students thrived under his new management of the university. After Pulliam took over, Southern Illinois finally earned its name and the credit of being called a university (as opposed to simply a college).


For years, Pulliam Hall was the University School. Then it was used as a physical education area for many years. The building featured two full-sized swimming pools along with a gymnasium.

Now, Pulliam Hall serves as the home of the College of Education and Human Services. Renovations took place in 2014, as workers filled in the swimming pools and built a new level over the gymnasium.

SIU historian and lifetime alumni board member De De Itner remembers her time at the university fondly. She spent a lot of time in Pulliam Hall and took many courses there.

“All of the teachers who were going to be, for example, K-3, would take a hitch at University School, and those students would come to observe the class,” Itner said, “Then generally, in their junior-senior year, they would come back and they would practice teaching.”

It’s clear the building’s real calling card is its high-reaching clock tower. During a Facebook series called “Saluki Sleuths,” SIU architect Brian Gorecki explained how it works.

“The clock faces are all controlled by a central mechanism. There’s a long gear shaft connected to gears, connecting the back of each clock face to the central control unit and it’s automated,” Gorecki said.

He noted something interesting while inside the clocktower. Dates were splattered all along the beams connecting the tower’s stabilization.


“Some of the graffiti that we can see on the wood structures actually dates when various painters have painted the outside of the clocktower,” Gorecki said.

Pulliam Hall also features an “Industrial Wing,” which includes workshops for students to participate in ceramics, glass-making and blacksmithing programs. It is home for many students participating in the School of Art and Design.

Education students like Tori Bruick, a junior at SIU, said she loves the atmosphere inside Pulliam. The professors have always been helpful and she’s met a lot of her friends through the program, she said.

“I’ve made friends with a lot of people in my classes because we’re able to work together and keep moving forward,” Bruick said.

For Bruick, Pulliam Hall also happens to be on a very convenient side of campus.

When exiting the building from the front, you are within a three-minute walk to SIU’s Kumakura Garden; a Japanese-style haven which features a bridge stretching over a koi pond, along with a cherry blossom tree and a bench to sit on and relax.

“I love visiting the Japanese garden, I’ve done a lot of studying in there,” Bruick said.

A five-minute walk in that same direction will take you to Morris Library. A hub for any student looking for a relaxing moment to study and meet with friends.

If you leave out Pulliam’s eastside doors, you are within a five-minute walk to Carbondale’s illustrious strip. There are all sorts of things to do on the strip that include grabbing a quick bite to eat after class.

If you leave out the backside entrance, you face many of the fraternity houses that sit on the opposite side of the road. Dean Dearing, a senior member of the Farmhouse fraternity, said this is an ideal situation for any members that have classes across the street.

“I know a lot of my friends have had classes at Pulliam and it’s been really convenient for them,” he said.

Dearing has also had a multitude of classes in Pulliam Hall and said it is nice to have classes just within a two-minute walk.

Also, the courtyard of Pulliam Hall is home to many University events. There’s a chance something is being held there once or twice a semester; and it’s close to the school’s original quad (to the right of the east campus bridge) which also holds events during the school year.

These events are a great opportunity to expand students’ horizons as Greek life and multiple RSOs usually have tents set up to entice potential new members.

“There’s usually, like, a block party that is always held outside of it. Ourselves and a couple other Greek houses [Delta Zeta and Omega Delta] participate in it,” Dearing said.

Dearing said he can see why Pulliam Hall has become such an iconic building over the years for Carbondale natives and SIU students.

“It certainly has some significance, you know, In terms of where it’s at on campus and everybody seeing the clock tower; […] it has a lot of history here,” he said.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Daily Egyptian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *