Purnell Hall with The Colonnade, September 2006Built in the early to mid '70s. If you lived in Dickinson or Rodney up through the mid '90s, Purnell, Smith, Ewing and Kirbride were the first academic buildings you’d hit on your way to main campus, until they put up…
Lerner Hall. Which I’ll count as part of the Quad, because it connects to Purnell. Though, it being a fifth building violates the “Quad” name, right? But for this ridiculous website, who cares? Lerner Hall opened in 1997, on the former site of a parking lot. But wait, the original name when it opened was MBNA Hall and then was changed to Bank of America Hall, when the latter company bought out the former. THEN, in 2002, it was named for Alfred Lerner, who had been MBNA’s chairman. By the way, I think I’m the only guy who went to Delaware who never worked for MBNA. Didn’t it seem like everybody worked there, at some point? I used to say that all you needed to work at MBNA was that you were alive, and in Delaware. And I’m not even sure you needed to be alive, I think they’d hire dead guys.
Anyway, being a Business major, I’m sure I would’ve had a ton of classes in Lerner Hall, had it existed when I was there. Many of my classes were, yes, you know it, in Purnell. And I also spent a lot of time in Purnell’s basement computing site. Ahhhhh, the beginnings of my Excel expertise (well, fine, I’ll say I’m advanced intermediate).
In 2015, a significant expansion of Purnell was completed.
Smith Hall. Notable for housing the biggest lecture halls on campus. Even more notable for the ease of, ahem, communicating during an exam. More on that, later.
The Gatorade. I mean, The Colonnade. Sorry, I'm parched as I type this. The Colonnade is that curved overhead thing with the columns, that connects Purnell and Smith; it’s what you walk under when you enter the Quad plaza. They put this up in 1999. Well, it’s a replacement actually, because there was something there previously. It was a straight overhead thing, not at all Georgian looking. I remember it during my day looking dark and kinda dirty.
The Fountain. Dead center of the Quad, it was installed soon after The Colonnade was completed. Let me lay a basic mathematical equation on you: running water plus college students equals hijinks. Yep, kids were dumping detergent in there, bringing on the bubbles, foaming the plaza. Of course, this was done covertly and under the cover of night, as all good outdoor pranks are. Anyway, previous to the fountain, there had been a somewhat hideous piece of abstract art named “Sky High,” that was placed in the Quad plaza in Spring '94. Before that, just a really big nice tree!
“Yeah, I remember the foam...it was ALL OVER! I don't know who did it, but the entire area was covered. It was hysterical. It looked like a giant bubble bath!”
- Samantha A, UD '05
“Fall '04, I had a class in Kirkbride. I don't remember if it was a hurricane or what it was, but it was raining like crazy. We had an exam that day and we were all getting ready, all the scantrons were passed out, and then the water started to flow like a waterfall down the steps in the room! My prof didn’t seem to care, but then people started complaining so she had this brilliant idea of moving us to another room on the same level...we get all settled in there, and then the same thing happens...duh. Then the fire alarm went off too, so I bailed. Needless to say the exam was cancelled that day, and I got to walk back to the Towers through about calf-deep puddles of water...nice!”
- NY, UD '07
“I don't have great memories of the Quad. That’s where all my stupid freshmen classes were, and where Crazy Preacher Guy called me a whore.”
- Beth, UD '02
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