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University Archives

Dorm Life at UB


In 1953, it cost $325 per semester for a student to live in the new Schoellkopf, MacDonald, and Cooke Halls. That included both room and board.

In 1999, it cost $425 per month for a student to live in the new Hadley Village apartments. This only covered the rent -- dining privileges and meals were not included.


Life in the Dorms - 1950s

In the 1950s, residence halls had strict rules regarding codes of conduct, dress, and relations with individuals of the opposite sex. Browse through two dorm handbooks from the 1950s to get a glimpse of living at UB in the 1950s...


The men's handbook (pdf file)

The women's handbook (pdf file)


Moving Day

Moving in and out of the dorms has always been a big production...

Operation Big Switch

The new Goodyear Hall for women at the University of Buffalo campus was the scene of operation "big switch" yeserday when 185 men vacated the premises for the entrance of 500 co-ed residents. The men had been temporarilty housed in the dorm after a trades union strike in Schoellkopf, Cooke and Michael halls. The displaced Goodyear men will take over these dorms. About 200 freshmen currently living off campus will now be house in Tower and Michael halls. About 1,400 students are affected by the changes.

-- Courier Express, Nov. 20, 1960

Operation Big Switch


South Campus Dorms

The first dormitories built at UB were MacDonald, Schoellkopf and Cooke (now Pritchard Hall). At the time of their completion in February 1953, the dorms were equipped to house 149 women and 298 men.

Great interest in the residences is being shown by the student body. Not only are out-of-town students reserving rooms, but also local students who desire the convenience of living on campus, the easy comradeship of dormitory life and the many advantages in personal development in living with a group.

-- Alumni Bulletin October 1952



The Residence Hall pamphlet guide, ca. 1953-1954 (pdf file)


North Campus Dorms

The Governors' Complex was designed by noted architect I.M. Pei and completed in November 1972. A copy of dorms built at SUNY Fredonia, it is a complex of four linked residence halls, each of which bears the names of former New York State govenors: Herbert Lehman (1878-1963), DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), Thomas E. Dewey (1902-1971), and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). Govenors' Complex was designed with facilities to house 800 students in suite-style living.

I.M. Pei Dorms at SUNY Fredonia, 1971 from Colleague, October 28, 1971

The Ellicott Complex is a thirty-eight building complex consisting of classrooms, administrative offices, academic departments, dormitories, and dining facilities. Modeled after the British university system, Ellicott was originally intended to house 3,200 students in distinct and self-sufficient living-learning colleges. However, that plan was all but abandoned by the time the complex was completed for the fall semester 1974.

Ellicott is divided into six areas: Fargo, Porter, Red Jacket, Richmond, Spaulding, and Wilkeson.

Ellicott has always had its share of problems as illustrated in this cartoon
by Laura Rankin from the Buffalo Evening News, August 25, 1978

Ellicott Comlex pamphlet, ca mid-1970s (pdf file)