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Watterson Towers Celebrates 50th Birthday

Watterson Towers Celebrates 50th Birthday

Watterson Towers first opened in 1968 as the tallest residence hall in the world (Photo Courtesy/Illinois State University).

NORMAL – The tallest point between Chicago and St. Louis is turning 50 this fall, and with Homecoming Week underway on campus – Illinois State University is taking the opportunity to celebrate it’s oldest residence hall.

When opened in 1968, Watterson Towers was the largest college residence hall in the world – a record that would stand until 2015.

Throughout all the changes seen by ISU’s campus over the last 50 years – Watterson Towers included. The towers’ continued maintenance and renovations, as well as its attached dining center (which is currently undergoing a separate comprehensive remodeling project, scheduled to be ready by 2022), is one of the biggest reasons that the towers have remained the most popular and highest demanded living choice among incoming freshman.

Watterson, holding characteristics of important value to University Housing Services, represents the university’s ability to adapt to changing times and its commitment to making any changes necessary to continue to be the best university it can be.

University Housing Services will be hosting a commemorative event celebrating the opening of Watterson on October 12th from 6-8 p.m. in the Rosa Parks Conference Room, located in the breezeway connecting the towers and the Dining Center. University Housing is welcoming all alumni to attend the event, which will include a presentation by University Vice President Levester Johnson and ISU alumnus Jim Sheldon.

Sheldon, an ISU graduate of 1983, lived in the towers for more than two years as both a resident and a resident assistant. After graduating, Sheldon spent the winter of 1987 creating a 1:87 scale model of the residence hall – which will be on display during the event on Friday. 3D-printed scaled models of the six different room layouts, created by ISU design students, will also be on display as well.

Watterson Towers filled to capacity with residents just a week into the room selection process for the 2018 fall semester, and is expected to fill up quickly again for the upcoming academic year.

John Murray contributed to this story.

John Murray

October 11th, 2018

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