Have you ever had to say goodbye to an old friend? It can be emotional. The
experience can bring back a flood of memories and occupy a special place in your
Those sentiments came rolling in as readers began recalling their days with an old
friend they knew as Arnold Hall — their “home away from home” during college days.
Situated on the Downtown Campus, Arnold Hall has housed over 35,000 students since
opening its doors in 1957 (apartments were added three years later).
The seven-story brown brick residence hall on upper Price Street was originally an
all-women’s dorm, named for former Dean of Women Edna Arnold. It became coed in
The stately 60-year-old structure closed its doors for a final time this spring due
to its aging condition and to address student demand for more modern amenities.
In the meantime, Arnold Hall will live on in the hearts and minds of many as you
can tell from these interesting and memorable quips and stories readers sent us.
'A first taste of the world'
Roommates Mandy Wong, of Hong Kong, and Barbara dos Santos, of Brazil, paint
a mural together at Arnold Hall.
Barbara dos Santos, MA ’15, Political Science, was a 21-year-old from Brazil
when she first came to WVU. It was also her first time abroad.
On the top floor of Arnold Hall, she was paired up with a roommate from Hong Kong,
“I introduced myself and gave her the Brazilian chocolate box I had brought for her,”
she wrote. “She also had gifts for me — a bunch of Chinese knickknacks, red and
pretty. We immediately clicked. I didn’t know then, but I was meeting someone who
would become my best friend in the entire world!
“In that room we became family. As exchange students, all we had was each other.
In that room we danced, we celebrated birthdays, we had our hearts broken, we met
new boys, we studied, we watched soccer on the computer screen and we became citizens
of the world.”
She is now a doctoral student in the Department of Government at American University.
It’s safe to say that her experience at WVU and Arnold Hall shaped her into who
she is today.
“The first time I entered Arnold Hall I was a little girl having a first taste of
the world. The last time I left the building I was a strong woman, ready to conquer
Like mother, like daughter
Roommates Cindy Hunter Webster and Susan Matthews Basile in 1965.
Roommates Beth Paglia Greene and Amanda Webster in 2001.
Cindy Hunter Webster, MA ’91, Special Education, and her daughter Amanda Webster,
MA ’11, Educational Psychology, both lived in Arnold Hall during different eras.
Cindy, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., began her Mountaineer experience in 1965
when she embarked on her first degree from WVU, a bachelor’s in physical education
and biological sciences. Her daughter Amanda, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., entered
in 2001 in the communication studies program. Despite the different eras, both
were paired up with roommates who became their lifelong friends.
Two generations of Arnold Hall roommates reunited in April 2017: Susan Basile,
Cindy Webster, Amanda Webster and Beth Greene.
“Mothers and daughters share so many memories throughout life,” Cindy wrote. “We
both chose to have roommates that we didn’t know and the WVU matchup was perfect.
“Arnold Hall created these friendships that have lasted a lifetime!”
The foundation of love
Though Jeffrey L. Shafer, BS ’75, Landscape Architecture, never lived in Arnold
Hall, the building served as the setting where love and partnership would blossom.
Shafer, now living in Peachtree City, Ga., was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, which
had its fraternity house located near Arnold Hall.
“Along with several other fraternity brothers, I was a waiter in the Arnold Hall
cafeteria for two years,” he said. “What a great place to meet new friends and
But it was one particular woman, Janis Meek, BS ’76, Secondary Education, who made
Arnold Hall most sacred to him.
“We spent many evenings on the couches in the Arnold commons area talking, doing
homework and planning our future together,” Shafer said. “I graduated in 1975,
went into the Army and during her senior year in 1976 we were married.
“We shared 28 years together serving the country, raising our family and traveling
around the world. Sadly, Janis passed away in 2004 after a short fight with cancer.
Arnold Hall will always hold fond memories of my time at WVU.”
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia & Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
The following memories were also shared with us from alumni, in their own words in
this online-only special:
Lionel Farr, BS ’74, MS ’76, Mechanical Engineering
My grandmother, Emma McCutcheon, was the housemother for Arnold Hall from the mid-50s
to mid-60s. The housemother was the surrogate mother for all the girls in the dorm.
She had raised four daughters with her husband, Wilford McCutcheon, in Ronceverte,
W.Va. Wilford was a high school principal but passed away in 1955. It was then
that my grandmother moved to Morgantown to become a housemother.
On occasion, my brothers and I would spend the afternoon with grandma at Arnold Hall
and go to Sunday dinner with her in the dining hall. My grandmother had a three-room
apartment on the main level just down the hall to the right. At the end of the
hall was a huge living room with all sorts of sofas and chairs arranged in sitting
areas – and a really nice grand piano. It was a great place for a 5- or 6-year-old
to play, hide or listen to someone playing the piano.
At dinner, we sat at grandma’s table while waiters served platters of meat and
bowls of vegetables. We always had to be on our best behavior or we would get a
slight glare from grandma, but never a harsh word.
My grandmother retired in 1965 and returned home to Ronceverte. She passed away
in 1990 at the age of 90, but I know she had fond memories of Arnold Hall ... as
well as we do.
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia & regional History Center, WVU Libraries
Kathy Carr Kuntz, BS
’76 Industrial Engineering
Back before she was Lady Gaga’s mom, Cindy Bissett (BS ’76, Business) was my roommate
at Arnold Hall. I’m not sure how we ended up together. We were Chi Omega pledge
sisters and liked each other, but I can’t recall how I got so lucky.
Cindy was sophisticated; I was not. Everything she did seemed exotic to me. She was
beautiful, a cheerleader and danced like a gazelle. But most of all we laughed
all the time.
When I learned Gaga was her daughter, I freaked out! My classy roommate was now the
mother of the greatest singer on the planet! I saw her recently and she hasn’t
changed a bit.
The planets aligned for me. Now I am known as Lady Gaga’s mother’s college roommate.
And all I did was show up at Arnold.
Greg Ruff, BA ’73, Communications; BS ’79, Business
Wow. Long ago, about 1968 I think, I worked at Arnold Hall as a waiter, played
Santa Claus one Christmas and actually rode into the dining hall sitting on the
back of a sports car!
While it was thoroughly measured to see if the car would go through, I remember
as we approached it driving I was thinking we weren’t going to fit! Obviously we
A student studies in her room at Arnold Hall in September 2016. Photo by Jennifer
Jenna Cramer, BS ’15, current graduate student
I will not forget the programs spent at Arnold Hall doing graffiti art, hosting bonfires,
traveling to Coopers Rock and trying exotic foods from other countries.
Yes, I often made it over to the old Dairy Mart for a study snack, or to the Lair
for Up All Night. And when I came back it always felt like home, because it was!
For three years, I truly feel like my soul nestled in the comfort of that building.
Not to say that Arnold didn't have its challenges, but building character and overcoming
adversity have always been the mottos of Arnold Hall.
Every week, I had a new story to tell about what happened in Arnold Hall. Some, I
cannot share. Others, I will tell over and over again. It has certainly been through
a lot, and I will be very sad to see it go while taking a bit of me with it.
Barbara Woleslagle Bollin, BSN ’73
Arnold Hall was not air conditioned and it was so very hot in the summer; we ran
fans in the windows all of the time.
I was in love with a young man who had graduated from WVU the previous December (1969)
and he was in officer training school at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. That summer
and the entire next year we wrote to each other every day. Every day! So my memories
of Arnold Hall include frequent and happy trips to the mailbox.
I have two other memories of looking out the window onto the main street on which
Arnold was located. One, in the winter, I watched many a car slide down that icy
hill. Two, it seemed that every weekend a guy I had dated in my freshman year came
to pick up a coed from Arnold Hall and they were gone for the weekend! Ha!
I was an unintentional spy.
Photo by Jennifer Shephard
Stacey Zavala, BS ’94, English Education; BA ’96, Special Education
I was both a freshman at Arnold Hall and a resident assistant. In looking at
the aerial photo of the building, I recall playing cards on the roof with Karl
Dotson and other students from the Honors floor, as well as crossing over to the
restricted part of the roof to practice reciting Geoffrey Chaucer’s “General Prologue
to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English” at the top of my lungs for Professor
Eaton's English class.
I remember watching storms roll in on that roof, and even the night the wind slammed
and locked the door with us stuck on top as the storm hit Morgantown. Luckily,
our RD finally heard us banging and rescued us!
I made great friends in Arnold Hall, friends that I still have today. I recall the
Delta Gamma song that was sung over and over during pledge week that there was
no way to avoid. I remember with fondness Mrs. G at the front desk and my RA staff!
I remember learning a Bach piano piece in the common room with Jennie Ferret teaching
me to play, cooking sushi with my residents in the kitchen, having fun with my
residents by dancing to de-stress during finals week, and making popcorn with M&Ms
and watching “Twin Peaks” with my freshmen friends. Arnold Hall was home, friends
Debbie Wilson, BS ’86, Physical Therapy; MS ’97, Anatomy
Memories of silly pranks, study cram sessions, watching “General Hospital (days of
Luke and Laura!),” Sunday afternoon pizza parties and sledding with cafeteria
trays will always bring a smile to my face.
Back in the “old days” each floor had a room for folks to use to iron clothing
... named appropriately the “pressing room.” Myself and my cohorts took it upon
ourselves to make that room our own personal museum to hunky men, coining this
room the anti-“depressing” room.
Carole Fields Robison, MA ’05, Counseling
I am now 58 years old and the first time I was at Arnold Hall was 1968. My mother,
Mildred Hall Fields, worked as a baker with my aunt, Georgia Ingram, who was the
head baker in the Arnold Hall kitchen.
My mother loved working there, making baked goods for all the college girls. I
had the privilege of waiting in the employee lounge for my mom to get off work.
Every once in a while I would get a tour of the kitchen and get a glimpse of the
college girls going through the line to get their meal.
I dreamed of being one of those WVU college girls! Well, at age 45, I received
my Master’s of Arts in Counseling from WVU (in 2005)!
My mother passed away in 1983. She left a legacy of recipes she had written on
napkins of the baked goods they prepared at Arnold Hall. For all those college
girls many years ago, I still have those recipes today!
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia & regional History Center, WVU Libraries
Richard Hopkins, BSJ ’61; MSJ ’63
Just to put the building of Arnold Hall Apartments in perspective, I recall (I
was in grad school then) that an Edsel car dealership was demolished, among other
buildings along that corner, to make way for what came to be known as Arnold Hall
My wife, Lynda, and I lived up the hill behind the Thorofare grocery store in the
curve behind Arnold Hall, and thus we drove by Arnold and the apartments daily
while I was in grad school. Lynda had finished her biology degree and was working
in the Department of Biology at the Med Center during that time. Lynda also resided
in Arnold Hall as an undergrad and I recall that all the gals on the whole floor
had to share a single telephone and that was their only access to the outside world
after curfew. My, how times have changed!
Bonnie Angotti Maphis
My sophomore year, 1959-60, I was among the first residents of Arnold Hall.
I will never forget the red community bathroom walls with the bright fluorescent
lights! I couldn't hold my eyes all the way open first thing in the morning!
We only had food deliveries of cold subs and TVs in one common room. We all shared
The dinner meals were still served on white linens and we had waiter service. I had
my first boysenberry pie there and deep-fried puffy French toast. The rules
were still strict. Break the rules and you were sent to see Dean Boyd. No
men were allowed past the lobby, except on moving day – not even our dads. You
had to yell “Man on the floor!”
We had good times without all the freedoms now allowed. I'm still friends,
at 76, with my WVU friends and roommates.
A male student eats at the diner in Arnold Hall in September 2016. Photo by Jennifer
Sheryl Hyden Sergent, BSN ’84
The girls decided to play a prank on me one night. They thought that I was out for
the evening. They didn’t know that I had returned about 30 minutes before their
prank and I was in my room with the lights off. They tried to blow baby powder
under my door with a blow dryer and they placed pennies in between the door frame
and the door to try to jam the door (called “pennying in”). I quietly laid a bath
towel at the bottom of my door to catch the baby powder.
The next day, I laughed and told them the names of everybody that participated in
I remember the long walk from the Beechurst PRT station at the end of the day and
the “climb” to Arnold Hall. I was a nursing major so I had to ride the PRT to the
medical center every day. Some days, that climb seemed like an Olympian feat. But,
the word on campus was that WVU girls had the best looking legs in the Big East.
All that exercise!
Occasionally, I would ride the PRT all the way to the downtown station so that
I could shop at Rite Aid and G. C. Murphy’s on my way back to my room. The walk
from downtown seemed more sloped and gradual instead of climbing all those stairs
from Beechhurst. Plus, a girl has to shop every once in a while!
I remember the girls on that floor adopted a stray cat from outside and took turns
hiding her in their rooms. Of course the cat was pregnant and had her kittens in
the little lounge room on the floor. The girls had to confess and then find homes
for the cat and her kittens.
Elizabeth M. Richter, BS ’11, Marketing
One specific memory took place on April Fool’s Day. We played a prank on one of
our friends by disassembling his bed and desk and recreating his room in the hallway.
Our RA was always amazed to see the creativity, but was tormented by our disobedience.
We shared many meals in the cafeteria, sharing stories for hours. I also learned
to play some guitar in this dorm along with many other skills; one being to utilize
every centimeter of space in a closet and room.
A commemorative parfait glass served at a Christmas dinner at ArNold Hall in
Beth (Philabaum) Teaford, BS ’82, Family Resources
My fond memories of Arnold Hall come from 1977, my freshman year. I was on the bottom
floor on the side that was next to the annex where all the boys were housed. On
warm days when the windows were open, one of the boys would put his stereo
speakers in the window and blast “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Jungle Love” for, I guess,
the girls’ enjoyment in the main hall. To this day, when I hear those songs, it
makes me smile and remember my freshman year in Arnold Hall.
Another memory I have is of the wonderful Christmas dinner that was served in Arnold
Hall in 1977. It included candlelight, my first experience with a Cornish hen,
and a lovely fruit salad in a commemorative parfait glass which I still have. The
picture (above) is of the glass which is sitting on the quilt wall hanging that
was made for Mountaineer Week logo in 1981.