FOR ALUMNI, at least those who graduated before 1980, old Carney Hall played an important role in their campus memories. That’s especially true of the building’s 3,000-seat auditorium where students attended everything from commencement to performances by nationally known performers and lectures by notable figures of the day.
Built in 1919, Carney Hall was for decades the cultural and social hub of the university. Deterioration and severe settling forced the university to vacate the building in 1978. It was razed in 1980 to make way of Heckert-Wells Hall, which opened in 1984.
With the loss of Carney Hall, the university also lost its only large venue for plays, performances and lectures. Since that time, those events have been staged at Memorial Auditorium in downtown Pittsburg. The university is currently working to secure the funding needed to construct a new, on-campus fine and performing arts building with the hope of bringing these memory-making events back on campus. (To learn how you can help, contact the Office of Development at 620-235-4768.)