Welles Hall was built in 1940 as a student union and a dining hall, replacing the dining facilities in Trowbridge Hall. It was named after F.R. Welles who funded the building project. According to the March 1941 Kalamazoo College Bulletin, "The main dining room contains tables for three hundred guests, a large fireplace, and a spacious platform for speakers, orchestra or other forms of entertainment. The high vaulted ceiling and the arched windows add to its attractiveness and comfort. It makes possible the holding of large formal banquets and dances on the campus." The mural "The Bridge of Life" was painted at one end of the dining hall from 1940 to 1942 by Philip Evergood. In 1959 two wings were added to Welles Hall which included a snack bar, bookstore, radio station, and rooms for student organizations. When Hicks Center opened in 1970 Welles Hall was no longer used as the main dining facility. Instead it was used for dances and other events such as Monte Carlo. Renovations in 2008 restored Welles Hall as the main dining hall on campus.

Recent Submissions

  • Letter Regarding the Evergood Mural 

    Waskowsky, Michael J., 1917-1969 (Kalamazoo College, 1966-12-28)
    Michael Waskowsky was a faculty member in the college's Art Department from 1949 to 1969. He wrote this letter about the Evergood mural in Welles Hall in response to two different newspaper articles. The first article ...
  • Letter from Philip Evergood 

    Evergood, Philip Howard Francis Dixon, 1901-1973 (1966-08-27)
    A letter written in 1966 by artist Philip Evergood to Rob Warden of the Chicago Daily News. In it the artist explains the history behind "The Bridge of Life" mural located in Welles Hall.
  • Dedication: The Welles Hall Mural 

    Hemmes, Luike Johann, 1888-1976 (Kalamazoo College, 1942-05-31)
    Dedication program for the Welles Hall mural painted by Philip Evergood. The program includes a history, biography of the artist, and an interpretation by Professor Luike J. Hemmes.
  • Summary of the Customary Practices Used in Welles Dining Hall 

    Bailey, Maxine; Akerman, Joan; Clements, Jack; Cass, Bob; Kurtz, Gordon (c. 1948)
    A list of twelve rules for dining in Welles Hall as formulated by the student committee.
  • Bridge of Life; Oil on Canvas (mural) 

    Evergood, Philip Howard Francis Dixon, 1901-1973 (Kalamazoo College, 1942)
    Work done while Evergood was resident artist at Kalamazoo, 1940-1942. Unveiled on May 31, 1942. Restored in the late 1990s. Left side of the mural represents the working day, specifically representing the paper mills, a ...
  • Kalamazoo College Welles Hall Kitchen 

    Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo College, 2009-08-28)
    A kitchen in Welles Hall, in the 1940s. Kalamazoo College's dining services and student union have been located on the south side of the campus quadrangle since the construction of Welles Dining Hall in 1939-1940. Welles, ...
  • Kalamazoo College Welles Hall 

    Unknown (Kalamazoo College, 1942)
    The large dining room in Welles Hall, in about 1942. Kalamazoo College's dining services and student union have been located on the south side of the campus quadrangle since the construction of Welles Dining Hall in ...
  • Kalamazoo College Welles Hall 

    Morgan, Ward C. (Kalamazoo College, 1954)
    An exterior view of Welles Hall in 1954. Kalamazoo College's dining services and student union have been located on the south side of the campus quadrangle since the construction of Welles Dining Hall in 1939-1940. Welles, ...
  • Hicks Center 2008 

    Mumma, Keith (Kalamazoo College, 2008)
    Hicks Center: Old Welles Cafeteria, students eating and laughing, Bobby Dekker, Dragana Urdarevik, Jon Craig, Verelle Kirkwood and others
  • Mural Painting 3 

    Kalamazoo College (c. 1998)
  • Mural Painting 2 

    Kalamazoo College (c. 1998)
  • Mural Painting 

    Kalamazoo College (c. 1998)