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Cowan Dining HallCowan Dining Hall

Date Built: 1962; demolished 2008

Named For: J. Rice Cowan

Architect: Murphey and Mackey

Cost: $505,000

The construction of Cowan, the Fraternity Quadrangle, the new women's residences, and Sutcliffe Hall closed the first phase of Centre's ten-year sesquicentennial development program. Begun in 1959, the program lasted until the college's 150th anniversary in 1969. Cowan replaced the former, smaller men's dining hall located in McReynolds Hall. An increased dining capacity (Cowan was built to handle 650 students) was needed to accommodate the women students being moved from the old Women's Department campus to the Centre campus. A $700,000 renovation was completed by the fall of 1980. Cowan was demolished in the summer of 2008, and replaced by the Campus Center.

Cowan was named for Dr. J. Rice Cowan of Danville who died August 18, 1953. He had served as a member of Centre's board of trustees for 40 years, including 18 years as board chair.

When Cowan first opened in 1962 the college enforced a &coat and tie& standard of dress for evening meals. This requirement was soon dropped, although lunch and dinner continued to be seated meals, with breakfast served cafeteria-style until 1968, when cafeteria-style dining was adopted for all meals.