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Anna Irvin Hall

Anna Irvin Hall

For more than a quarter century, all dining facilities were in the basement of Central Main.  When the student body became too large to be seated there, another dining area was added in 1929 to the opposite side of the kitchen which served both.  It was named for Miss Anna Irvin, dietician for thirty-two years before her retirement in 1952.

With the coming of coeducation and the resulting increase in students, the facilities soon became inadequate.  In 1959-60, plans were implemented to enlarge the facility and to turn it into a cafeteria.  Basic work had been done earlier but the work on the kitchen itself had to be done in a brief five weeks between the end of summer school and the beginning of the fall semester.  The old plumbing, wiring, fixtures, and ceiling were removed and the whole area reconstructed.

The fact that the job was completed in allotted time was due chiefly to Aubrey C. Folsom, Director of Operations and Planning, the engineer who planned and supervised the project.  Jones and Hardy of Montevallo did the construction and installed the new equipment.  The building cost $115,000 and the new equipment $60,000.

In 1977-78, dining facilities were again upgraded.  Anna Irvin Hall was completely renovated and enlarged, a new kitchen was installed and the building separated from the Main Dining Room.  In addition to adequate cafeteria facilities there are two private dining rooms for small groups.

Architects were Renneker, Smith and Kirkwood and the contractor was Champion Construction Company.  The final cost was $1,150,139.

Main basement is presently being used by Student Affairs of the University.

Miss Anna Irvin

Miss Irvin, a native of Indiana, was Supervisor of Food Services at Alabama College from the spring of 1920 until her retirement in 1952.  With degrees in Home Economics from both Oxford College, Oxford, Ohio and the University of Chicago and three years experience in the latter institution, she was highly qualified for the position in Montevallo.  President Palmer expected close cooperation between the Food Services and the Home Economics Department.  She was employed at a salary of $1500, plus room and board, for 12 months a year.

When she retired in the spring of 1952, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution, that it express “to Miss Anna Irvin, Dietician for Alabama College for thirty-two years, its lasting appreciation to her for all that she meant to the institution through her skillful and untiring direction of the food service of the college which had warmed the hearts as well as satisfied the appetites of hundreds upon hundreds of students, teachers, and visitors giving the College an outstanding reputation for good and happy living, and wishes for her and her sister, Miss Edna, (Miss Anna’s assistant) many years of happy reflection, good reading, and of being waited on.”

A third of a century after her retirement, people throughout the state remember the homemade ice cream she served in vegetable bowls and her delicious whole wheat bread.

(This is an excerpt from White Columns & Red Bricks by Lucille Griffith, Ph. D.)

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