- Sincerely, Southern
Through the Years: Sanford Hall
In the March 2, 1936 edition of The George-Anne, it was announced that the Public Works Administration had provided a grant to the University System of Georgia that included $85,000 for the South Georgia Teachers College to build a new men’s dormitory.
The Artley Company from Savannah, Georgia was awarded the contract to build the dormitory which would house 156 students in 78 rooms(This may be a factual error as The George-Annechanged the number in a few different issues.), three faculty members and one large reception room.
The building was named after the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia at the time Dr. Steadman Vincent Sanford as he had a large impact on the college’s standing within the system.
Sanford Hall was built in 1936 as a dormitory for men at Georgia Teachers College. Pictured is Dr. Steadman Vincent Sanford, the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia in 1936 and the building’s namesake.
Construction of the building began in the first week of July in 1936 and was expected to be finished by the fall term of 1936.
In the October 12, 1936 edition of The George-Anne, a writer observed that “The men on the campus keep an eagle eye on the progress being made at Sanford Hall. The young ladies on the campus watch the progress also with a touch of envy.”
If the building was not constructed in time for the male students to move in before the fall term began, the female students were going to be expected to double-up in existing dormitories to make room for the future residents of Sanford.
Sanford Hall was formally dedicated on December 10, 1936 and was ready to be moved into at the beginning of 1937. The building stayed the same for the most part until 1977 when it was renovated into suite-style dorms which would be home to male and female student up until November 2012 when renovations would begin to turn Sanford Hall into the permanent home of the Communication Arts Department.
The department moved into the now state of the art 83-year-old building in the fall of 2014. While current students are busy making memories in the new Sanford Hall, we’ve gathered some stories from alumni, both from the Communication Arts Department and not, who called the building home throughout the years.
Stories of Sanford
Scott Mulkey traveled all the way from California in 1993 to start his college career at
Georgia Southern University.
During his freshman year he lived in Stratford Hall and then moved to Veazey Hall after two quarters, where he became a resident assistant.
Because his family was across the country, he didn’t travel home very often, so being a resident assistant was a good way to have a place to live during holidays and other school breaks when he wasn’t able to fly home.
He moved to Sanford Hall his junior year, where he continued his job as a resident assistant. Sanford was an upperclassmen apartment building at the time and one of the most desired places to live amongst students.
It was the second of the only two apartment buildings to live in at Georgia Southern, the other being In the Pines. Mulkey described living in Sanford Hall as calm and not as crazy as the freshman dorms.
Since it was mainly upperclassmen, he said that you rarely saw your neighbors because everyone was so busy. He also said that there was no common area to socialize, so your community was within your pod with your roommates The pods consisted of a common living space for four roommates total. There were two roommates on each side, a common area and a kitchen.
“Since there was no community space, your social gatherings and time with friends wasvery intimate,” Mulkey said. His friends quickly became his family. They celebrated every holiday together, which he described as some of this favorite memories during his time at Georgia Southern.
Mulkey said that him and his friends would cook full meals in Sanford. He made his first ham for Easter and remember how difficult it was learning how to make such an elaborate meal. He remembers cutting it wrong so it “bloomed like a flower.”
Aside from spending his time cooking with his roommates, Mulkey studied printing management. He found a love for yearbooks and newspaper in high school and decided that printing was the path for him.
Mulkey was also a part of student media for the five years that he was at Georgia Southern. He created the first website for the George-Anne and him and his roommate created their own website called Sanford 208.
Their intent was to try to reach upcoming freshman and teach them about college life and living in Sanford was at the time.
“People didn’t make websites back then so it was pretty cutting edge,”Mulkey said.
Mulkey graduated from the university in 1998 and now works as a customer communications consultant for Quantre Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia.
Lisa Bell, a 1986 graduate of sociology at Georgia Southern University, lived in Sanford Hall from 1984 until 1985. Bell’s first apartment was on the second floor with three other girls,where they collectively shared two bedrooms and two bathrooms in their pod. In the fall of 1985, she moved to the third floor where six girls shared three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Bell was excited to live in Sanford because it was so close to everything on campus and she could drive right up to the building and park so she didn’t have to walk too far.
“It beat living in a dorm where you have to share a bathroom with 50 people,” Bell said.
Even though she didn’t have to share a bathroom with 50 other students, Bell said that the space that was shared among her and her roommates was extremely small.
The bathroom that she shared on the third floor was just big enough for one person to be in it at a time.
“Kid you not, to shave your legs in the shower, which was about two feet by two feet,you had to stick your leg out of the shower, shave and then pull your leg back into the shower,”Bell said.
When Bell lived on the third floor the building was divided into men on the bottom two floors and women on the top. Bell and her roommates were friends with the group of men who lived in the apartment beneath them.
They would get together on Sunday nights and cook what Bell referred to as a “family dinner.” One memory that Bell looks back on with fondness and humor is the night that one of her roommates, Jenny Oliver, was making baked potatoes in the small oven provided in their kitchen.
Oliver had placed a knife into a potato while still in the oven and then placed it onto a chair. Shortly after, their other roommate Keren Ellison Jackson sat down on the knife resulting in a knife shaped brand on her thigh.
“Keren came in and sat down on the knife which was 400 degrees,” Bell said. “She literally got branded. It wasn’t funny then, but it’s really funny now looking back.”
Bell still keeps in touch with her roommates on social media and says that without Sanford Hall, she and her roommates wouldn’t have those bonds,brands or memories