New Deal in Mississippi: Weir Memorial Hall

Weir Memorial Hall, University of Mississippi

Weir Memorial Hall, University of Mississippi

Built as the new Student Union Building in 1939, Weir Memorial Hall was designed by R. W. Naef in Greek Revival style (Mississippi Department of Archives & History/Historic Resources Inventory database).   Walter L. Perry Construction Company of Philadelphia, Mississippi built the two-story building that is located behind the Lyceum on one of the two side streets that flank either side of the Lyceum.  This area is part of what will become the core pedestrian walkway in the center of the campus, and is closed to traffic.  The building housed the student union and university post office until the new union building was constructed in 1973.  A new wing was added in 1954, and the Grill added in 1965 (University of Mississippi Computer Science department).  It was renovated in 2002 for use by the Computer Science Department and as a student computer lab.

Weir front facade

“The most popular and frequently used building added to the campus in the late 1930s was the student union, named Weir Hall in honor of Rush C. Weir of Vaiden, whose large donation made its completion possible.  Housing the bookstore and post office, a grill, game room, barbershop, clothing store, and several meeting rooms, Weir Hall became ‘the real center of campus life” (David G. Sansing, 1999, The University of Mississippi: A Sesquicentennial History, Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, p. 254).

Student Union Building placque

The New Deal administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was involved in building Weir Hall, along with Lewis Hall, Leavell Hall, Somerville Hall, Barnard Hall, Garland Hall, Mayes, Hall, Hedleston Hall, Kennon Observatory, 22 faculty houses, a faculty apartment house, and a Greek fraternity house.   New Deal funds were also used to upgrade sports facilities (Sansing, 1999) and built the original terminal building at the Oxford/University of Mississippi airport (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database).

Categories: Historic Preservation, New Deal, Oxford

3 replies

  1. The mold on the ceiling might be caused by the can lighting. Usually these lights create mold in the attic space but I would not be surprised if a surface with as many joints in it as bead board has the mold could have worked its way outside. The EPA recommends that if can lighting has to be used that the fixtures be air tight and insulated. They should also be caulked to the ceiling or have some other type of air tight gasket.


  2. THE OLE MISS GRILL in this building back in the day was GREAT! After it moved to the “new” student union building it went downhill FAST. Never was as good as it was when it was in the Weir building.


  3. Rush C. Weir’s house in Vaiden, MS is next to mine. It was used as the home for the Vaiden High School Principals, coaches and teachers when I was growing up and is still standing. For more on Rush C. Weir, visit


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