“It wasn’t glitz and glam by any means” Oliver Alums share memories of the doomed dorm

Oliver Hall’s last semester open to students was in the Spring of 2019 | Photo by Wesley Cudney

With the demolition of Oliver Hall approved by the Kansas Board of Regents, Oliver alumni reached out to share their experiences with the University of Kansas’ once cheapest and closest community.

Cotterman Brant spent all four years of his time at KU in Oliver living with his brother. “With my brother being older, I was able to attend many football games and parties at the residence and grew to enjoy the campus life through much of my high school years,” Brant said in an email to the Open Kansan. “As a result, I decided to spend my first year at Oliver as well.”

Brant described his experience in Oliver as being different from his brother’s. “As it turns out, I was assigned the floor with KU’s swim, diving and track team,” Brant said. Since Brant was an athlete himself in high school, he said he felt at home with the athletic spirit of the floor and made many close friends.

The parties in the dorm eventually got out of control, Brant said. “Our parties began to resemble ‘Animal House’ and campus police frequently broke them up late in the morning,” Brant said. Eventually, the university had enough of Olive’s shenanigans. “By my second year, Oliver hall banned all athletes and parties leading to the most boring semester in the hall the following year,” Brant said.

John Hagan was a freshman in Oliver during the 1969 academic year and returned to be a residence assistant (RA) in 1972. “.  I met some great kids and wonderful RAs,” Hagan said in an email to the Open Kansan.

Hagan said he and the other RAs agreed that an all freshmen dorm was not a good idea after a rambunctious year that included water balloon and rubber band fights with the private dorm, Naismith Hall, across the street. “But it was neat seeing so many young men and women at age 18/19 with enthusiasm, energy, and angst,” Hagan said.

“It was a fun year for the staff and perhaps too much fun for the residents,” Hagan said. “I am sorry to see Oliver go, but not too surprised.”

Read the full story at the Open Kansan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close