Expand the section navigation mobile menu
Photo of Meadow Brook Hall, a large historic brown brick building.

Buildings & Structures

Many of Oakland University's buildings and facilities are named after significant people or groups. The following is a list of those buildings along with information on how they were named.

Campus MapMacomb County locationsWest Campus

Anibal House
Dedicated in 1962, Anibal House was named for Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin H. Anibal. Mr. Anibal was a retired chief engineer at Pontiac Motors. A $45,000 gift from Harold A. Fitzgerald furnished Anibal and Fitzgerald houses.

Baldwin Memorial Pavilion
The pavilion was completed in 1964 and was named after Howard Baldwin, trustee and vice president of the Kresge Foundation and member of many Detroit financial institutions.

Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall
Dennis Pawley, an Oakland University alumnus and trustee, and his wife, Carlotta, made a $4 million leadership gift to the university in 2004 to name the School of Education and Human Services building Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall. The state-of-the-art 130,000-square-foot building houses Oakland's School of Education and Human Services and contains 31 classrooms, eight conference rooms, 163 offices for faculty and staff and the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education. Pawley Hall was dedicated on Founders' Day in 2004. Pawley also established the Pawley Lean Learning Institute with a $1 million gift in 2002.

Dodge Hall
John F. Dodge was the first husband of OU co-founder Matilda Dodge Wilson. He also was the co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Cars. The engineering building was named to honor him and his brother, Horace E. Dodge, for their contributions to automotive engineering.

Elliott Tower
Located north of Kresge Library, the construction of the 151-foot tower was made possible by a generous gift from longtime Oakland supporters, Hugh and Nancy Elliott. Completed in 2014, the structure became the 14th carillon tower in Michigan, and only the fourth located on a university campus. Its 49 bells were designed and cast by The Verdin Company of Cincinnati and the Royal Bellfoundry Petit & Fritsen of the Netherlands. Learn more about the Elliott Tower.

Elliott Hall of Business and Information Technology

Named after benefactors R. Hugh and Nancy Elliott, the hall was dedicated on Sept. 22, 2000, and houses the School of Business Administration and Information Technology Institute.

Engineering Building
Built in 2014 as the new home for the School of Engineering and Computer Science, this 127,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art classrooms and research space. The building serves as the heart of the Engineering and Computer Science community at Oakland University. 

Fitzgerald House

Harold A. Fitzgerald was the publisher of the Pontiac Press and served as the first head of the Michigan State University - Oakland Foundation. His gift of $45,000 furnished Fitzgerald and Anibal houses.

Foundation Hall
Now known as North Foundation Hall, it was dedicated Oct. 1, 1959, as the first building on the Michigan State University - Oakland campus. Foundation Hall was named to recognize the work of the MSUO Foundation, a group of 50 community leaders whose work was partly responsible for the university's focus on the liberal arts.

George T. Matthews Apartments
George T. Matthews was an OU charter faculty member for the College of Arts and Sciences. He came to OU in 1959 as an associate professor of history. In the years that followed, he served the university as the History Department chair, associate dean for humanities, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, provost and, from 1979 to 1981, he was the interim president of Oakland.

Graham Health and Counseling Center
Built in 1967, the center was named after Mr. and Mrs. Graham J. Graham for their support and contributions to the university. The Grahams were life members of the Chancellors Club, an organization of donors who have contributed large amounts of money to the university. They also served as trustees of the OU Foundation.

Hamlin Hall
Delos Hamlin was the chair of the Oakland County Board of Supervisors and served on the MSUO Foundation Board.

Hannah Hall
John Hannah, who is the former president of Michigan State University, helped establish Michigan State University - Oakland.

Hill House
Hill House was built in 1964.

Human Health Building
Completed in 2012, the 172,000-square foot Human Health Building houses the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences. The $64.4 million facility features state-of-the-art classrooms, seminar rooms, an interactive media center, physical therapy clinics and clinical, computer, simulation and distance learning labs. The building is on the cutting edge of environmentally friendly design and boasts 256 geothermal wells to boost energy efficiency, the largest variable refrigerant heat pump system in the U.S., and solar panels that provide cooling, humidity control and heating water supplies.

Joan Rosen Writing Studio
The Joan Rosen Writing Studio, located in Kresge Library, provides a place for Oakland University students to hone their writing skills with peer writing consultants who provide support and guidance. The OU Writing Center was made possible with a founding grant of $300,000 from Joan Rosen, professor emerita of English, and her husband, Robert, and was dedicated in 2006. As a professor of English at Oakland University in the '60s and '70s, Rosen served as the director of OU's original writing center.

John Dodge House
John and Matilda Dodge purchased this farmhouse and 320 acres in 1908 for $50,000 to use as a country home during weekends. The house, which was expanded to include 14 rooms, was located on the highest point of the estate. The Dodges eventually purchased eight adjoining farms to make up the 1,500-acre Meadow Brook Estate. Matilda lived in the Dodge House until her husband's death in 1920, but returned in 1925 with her second husband, Alfred G. Wilson, while Meadow Brook Hall was being built. In 1957, the Wilsons donated the estate and its grounds to found Oakland University.

Katke-Cousins Golf Course
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Katke and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Cousins, friends and neighbors of OU, contributed $500,000 to develop this golf course. Marvin Katke was the chair of the OU Board of Trustees from 1970-72 and served as president of the OU Foundation. Harold Cousins served as the OU Foundation vice president.

Kettering Magnetics Laboratory
Completed in 1964, the laboratory was named after the late Charles F. Kettering, former head of General Motors Physics Research Laboratory in Milford, Michigan. Gifford B. Scott continued Kettering's research after his death in 1958.

Kresge Library
Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of the Kresge store chain and creator of the Kresge Foundation, donated $1.5 million to build the original library building. One of the wings is named for Howard McGregor, former director of the OU Foundation and longtime OU supporter.

Lepley Sports Center
Hollie L. Lepley guided the first recreation program at Michigan State University - Oakland. He served at OU from 1959-79. The Lepley Sports Center is now part of the OU Recreation and Athletics Center.

Lowry Early Childhood Education Center
The center, formerly housed in converted chicken coops that were originally part of the Meadow Brook estate, is named after Matthew R. Lowry, an OU graduate student who was one of the first to enroll in the Early Childhood masters program. Lowry conceptualized, as part of a school project, an early childhood center on Oakland's campus. His project evolved into the creation of what is now the center's Toddler Program. The converted chicken coops once were used by Meadow Brook Theatre, which vacated them by the early 1970's. The buildings then were used for what was a preschool program for faculty and staff. Lowry and his team later started the pilot program for toddlers in the back room of the preschool. In August 2002, the center moved to the new Education and Human Services Building.

Mathematics and Science Center
Built in 1997 at a cost of roughly $43 million, this academic facility holds a prominent position in the campus skyline with its eight-story tower. The building is home to the departments of Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics.

Meadow Brook Hall
Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband, Alfred G. Wilson, designed Meadow Brook Hall in the late 1920's after visiting many mansions in Europe for architectural ideas. The Tudor-revival-style mansion was built between 1926 and 1929 at a cost of $3.5 million and was named for the little stream that ran across the 1,500-acre estate. The 80,000-square-foot home has 100 rooms and the largest pipe organ in the state. In 1957, the Wilsons donated the estate and its grounds to found Oakland University. Public tours of Meadow Brook Hall began in 1971.

Oakland Center
Completed in 1959, the Oakland Center was designed to be the main student center on campus. A 30,000-square-foot expansion of the building, including a two-story, semi-circular glass front offering spectacular views of the campus mall, was completed in September 2003.

Oak View
The 500-bed student housing complex opened in September 2014. The $30 million facility gives freshmen and sophomores access to a small cafe, space for student meetings, and private and group studying. The building is also the home of OU’s Honors College. More information about this residence hall.

O'Dowd Hall
This building was named after Jan and Donald O'Dowd. When Donald O'Dowd first came to OU, he taught psychology. In July 1961, he was appointed dean of the university and later served as provost. He then served as OU's second chancellor for two months in 1970 before serving as the president of the university from 1970-79.

Pryale Hall
Mr. and Mrs. Harry M. Pryale of Bloomfield Hills made this building possible through a gift from the Pryale Foundation.

R & S Sharf Golf Course
Stephen Sharf, a retired Chrysler executive, and his wife, Rita, donated $2 million to build the second of OU's two 18-hole golf courses. It was the third-largest gift ever made by individuals to the university. The golf course opened in August 2000.

Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion
Named for university benefactor Alice Shotwell-Gustafson, the pavilion, which was attached to three horse barns, was built in 1935 for Alfred and Matilda Wilson to use as a riding ring. The building later was used for storage and indoor baseball practices until becoming affiliated with Meadow Brook Health Enhancement Institute in 1986.

Trumbull Terrace
Built in 1965, the terrace was named after Mr. and Mrs. George T. Trumbull.

Van Wagoner Hall
Murray D. Van Wagoner was a former Michigan governor and resident of Oakland County. Van Wagoner Hall was named in honor of his contributions to higher education during his term as governor.

Vandenberg Hall
Arthur Vandenberg was a United States senator from Michigan who actively participated in the formation of the United Nations.

Varner Hall
D.B. "Woody" Varner served as OU's first chancellor from 1958-1970. Paula is his wife.

Varner House
This house, built around 1938, originally was used as the poultry manager's home on the Meadow Brook Farms Estate. Later it was remodeled and served as the residence of Woody Varner, OU's first chancellor, while Alfred and Matilda Wilson occupied Sunset Terrace and Meadow Brook Hall.

Wilson Hall
Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband, Alfred Wilson, founded Michigan State University - Oakland with a gift of $2 million and their 1,500-acre estate.

Oakland University

201 Meadow Brook Rd.
Rochester, MI 48309-4401
(location map)
(248) 370-2100