Iowa Alumni Magazine | September 2016 | Features

EXTRA: "Farewell to Quad" Letters

By Shelbi Thomas

Quadrangle Residence Hall has been razed to make room for a new College of Pharmacy building, which will begin construction in mid-January 2017 for completion in June 2020.

Though Quad is now gone, Iowa Alumni Magazine received an overwhelming response from readers who wanted to share their memories of the beloved residence hall. Here are more of those letters:

Music Men

My sophomore year, I started the first choir at Quad. Nearly all the residents came down to watch the George Gobel Show on TV, so I asked if anyone wanted to be in a choir. We started out with 12 or 15 fellows and grew to 25 or 30. We practiced in the small music room off the lounge. Most did not have music backgrounds and many were on school probation for taking part in the "panty raids" that were prevalent on college campuses in those days.

We performed in the "University Sing" competition and won the first three years to retire the trophy. I stopped through Iowa City a year or so ago and visited the Quad for old time's sake. To my surprise, the trophy in the case in the lounge was still there.

Fred Hahn Jr., 56BA, 64MD, 66R
Kansas City, Missouri


Quad Choir

I started my college years in fall 1953 moving from Wapello, Iowa, to the Quadrangle. As I recall, the rooms were small, and the showers and toilets were down the hall. The facility was old but clean. Food in the cafeteria was terrible, but the grill featured grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled sweet rolls with ice cream. Yummy! Singing in the Quad chorus was fun, with the highlight being part of the Dolphin fraternity's annual extravaganza singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Larry L. Smith, 58BA
Plano, Texas

PHOTOS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, FROM THE FREDERICK W. KENT COLLECTION, IOWA DIGITAL LIBRARY, THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES, IOWA CITY, IOWA, AND THE "LIVING AT IOWA" STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PUBLICATION, 1956.

Not All Happy Memories

I first came to SUI in the fall of 1950 and lived on the second floor of Quadrangle. To me, the dorm had an eastern university flair that might have looked much at home at West Point on the Hudson.

I recall with chagrin that African-Americans back then could neither live in the dorms, nor get their haircut in the Quad barbershop. Thus there stands an old home across from the Johnson County Administration Building known then as the Tate Arms—Mrs. Tate's place of welcome for African-American students. This is something that seems very out of place considering all the university's firsts in the nation as a leading promoter of equal opportunity for all in academia, athletics, and the arts.

Sam Osborne, 59BSPE, 68MA
West Branch, Iowa


Room Service

Although it has been more than 50 years since I lived in the Quadrangle, I have never forgotten my time there. I lived in Room B98 in the North Tower all four years I was at Iowa (1960-64). So many memories. One that is still vivid in my mind is that we had maids back in those days who made our beds and cleaned our rooms five days a week. Millie was my maid all four years.

Three meals a day in the cafeteria were important to me and on Sunday evening when a meal was not available, the grill was the place to be. I loved walking up the hill in the fall. I still take the walk up the hill and through the courtyard occasionally when we go to Iowa football games. How could one not like the easy access to the old Field House for basketball games—you could quickly run across the street from West Tower in the middle of winter without a coat! And how could you forget your roommates—a new one each year for me.

Dorm manager Miss Englert, listening to Quad radio, studying in the lounge, working in the office, waiting for the mail to be put in my mailbox, and serving on the Quad Council are other memories I cherish to this day.

Bill Holtz, 64BBA
Cedar Rapids


Of Highlanders and High Jinks

I moved into the Quad in the fall of 1962, the same dorm my all Big-Ten pitcher father (Howard Miller, 38BSC) had lived in during the late 1930s. That fall was punctuated in part by hearing neophytes in the Highlanders learn to play bagpipes. My last two years, as a residence advisor, were marked by victimization by innumerable pranks, from bowling balls down the rumpled linoleum halls to hunting arrows shot into a door of a colleague. Returning from a date to find all of one's belongings and furniture out of the room was a highlight. Life in the venerable Quad was lively—often too noisy—but it was a short walk over to watch winning Hawkeye football games.

Bowman Miller, 66BA, 68MA
Alexandria, Virginia


Home Sweet Home

The Quadrangle was important to me in my life experiences. The residence hall served as a bridge between the intense demands of the university and the baseline adjustments required to face each new day. The caring housekeeping staff, the cafeteria personnel, and the building in general provided a pleasant place to call home.

I will fondly remember the Quadrangle: watching the Beatles on television, the legendary Quad flu befalling nearly all residents, the quiet and restful lounge, terrazzo floors in the lobby, professional laundry service, and the barber shop.

Michael Hayward, 66BSME, 70MS
Des Moines


PHOTO COURTESY: Arthur Yellin
A Captive Audience

I was a resident of South Quad circa 1970. The sweet young lady in the photo (above), a very good sport, is Peggy Jean Schultz, 71MA, then a journalism major. VERY SADLY, she died way too young!

Arthur Yellin, 72MS
Olney, Maryland


Roof Rendezvous

My room was in one of the towers and had a window that opened up onto the roof. Being students, naturally we ventured out onto the roof. In the closed half of the building, peering into the rooms, we saw anti-Vietnam war posters, Students for a Democratic Society posters, and other remnants of the student activism era of the late 1960s.

In the winter, my roommates and I would buy half gallons of ice cream and keep them cold on the roof. But I learned that even an Iowa winter couldn't keep the ice cream firm all the time.

Dave Modi, 76BGS
Rockville, Maryland

No Need for Jackets

We lived in the Quadrangle our second and third years (1976-78) at Iowa in the tower room at the main entrance. We camped out overnight to be first in line in reserving that room during our freshman year. It was a huge triple with a walk-in closet and its own little private hallway. As pharmacy students, it was such a convenient dorm and great for being near the Field House. The Hawks were great in basketball then and we'd run across the street in T-shirts in the dead of winter to the games, as there was no place for your coats in the student section.

Quad had a dark and comforting lounge right next to the mailboxes that was a great study and napping spot. We played many touch football games in the middle yard. It was a picturesque walk down the winding brick path to classes across the river. At that time, the wing towards Hillcrest on the Rienow side was not in use, so each summer they let us store all of our furniture in the abandoned rooms until we returned the next fall. Quad had a homey and wonderful cafeteria in the basement. Great times...warm memories.

Dan Pomeroy, 81BSPh
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Jerry Fleshner, 80BSPh
Carroll, Iowa


Quad Shenanigans

One thing that stood out about Quad, compared to the other dorms I've seen, is that the sizes of the rooms were extremely varied. Luckily, in 1991, my roommate and I got one of the very large rooms on the end of the northeast wing. This room was so large that he and I would both ride our bikes in circles around the room at the same time, chasing each other.

Another feature of Quad was its (only) two stories, such that many a football and Frisbee ended up on its roof. I was tasked with climbing the tree closest to the building, then making the jump from branch to roof to retrieve various items. Much trickier was the return trip, but we always seemed to recover what we'd thrown.

Lastly, if anyone remembers walking out of Quad one morning in November '91, seeing an enormous steel street pole jamming open two or three sets of Quad's doors, with all the cold winter blowing into the dorm...I plead the fifth and will claim to have no knowledge of said event.

Kevin Head, 95BA
Olathe, Kansas


Tower of Friendship

I lived in Quad during my sophomore year (2001-02). I lived in the third floor tower and our RA was on the second floor. We decorated the hall bulletin board ourselves and made our own floor activities. The tower's square-shaped hallway made for a great space to hang out and get to know each other.

When I stopped in Iowa City this past November, I walked around the Quad courtyard—such a great outdoor space in the fall.

Sara Quartell Bhat, 04BSN
San Francisco