Johnson Hall, our most iconic building, welcomes students, visitors, and alumnae to the College each day. Gifts from two generous donors allowed the College to make needed renovations in 2015-16. The enhancements to Johnson Hall created a better experience for prospective and current students and their families – giving them a clear direction of where to find Admisssions, Financial Assistance, the Registrar, and the Business Office.
Current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and visitors come through the doors of Johnson Hall to find many administrative services while alumnae may come to reminisce about their days at Meredith College. Although the building as changed through the years to meet the needs of the College, it is always welcoming to all who enter.
Construction of a new campus begins on Hillsborough Street.
In January, students return from winter break to the new campus, which features six Georgian-style buildings that form a quadrangle: an administration building, a cafeteria, and four residence halls.
Johnson Hall is named in memory of Livingston Johnson, trustee of the College and member of the executive committee from 1901 till his death on February 8, 1931.
Dome is covered with copper to eliminate the recurring problem of falling plaster in the library.
Extensive renovations start, beginning with the entrance. The stone steps leading to the second floor library are removed because many people were looking for administrative offices or the parlors located on the first floor. The steps are replaced by a terrace bordered with low-growing cedar and triple-door-way entrance, with the College seal embedded in the center of the floor just inside the middle door.
Entrance of Johnson Hall leads into a spacious lobby, giving a more welcoming environment to visitors than the doors on either side of the stone steps. The lobby is made by raising the floor and removing the walls from a sunken room in the center of the rotunda and including the corridors which had encircled “the goldfish bowl.” The post office is moved from the east end of Johnson. Space is made for the News Bureau and for the offices of the director of public relations. The office of the dean of students is transferred from Vann Hall to the west of the lobby, in space made from the north corridors, the northwest “courting nook,” and part of the Rose Parlor. Johnson Hall now houses all the administrative offices.
The library moves from Johnson Hall to the new Carlyle Campbell Library.
Many changes are made to Johnson Hall including opening the rotunda from the first floor to the dome. The four Scripture texts around the wall under the dome can now be seen by everyone who comes into Johnson Hall. The inscriptions are more beautiful and easily read as the letters are overlaid in gold.
The stairway is placed opposite of the main entrance and divided halfway up into steps that lead to the left and right.
In the east wing the president’s suite is located with an impressive board room for meetings of the trustees and for other special meetings. The walls of the suite are finished with walnut paneling.
In the west wing are of the offices of the director of development and the director of admissions and their staffs. The removal of these offices from the first floor gave much needed space for the academic dean, the registrar, the business manager, and the dean of students.
The office for the director of the Raleigh Cooperating Colleges is in the east wing, and the College duplicating office and storage room are in the west wing.
An elevator, a gift from the Westinghouse Company, is installed in the west wing.
Plans for the use of the third floor are not fully completed at the end of the 1970-71 session.
In the east wing on the second floor, the President-Trustee suite is named the Cameron Suite in honor of Mr. C.C. Cameron.
In the west wing on the second floor the Office of Development is named the Harris Suite in honor of Mr. Shearon Harris.
The rotunda is named for Raymond Bryan, a former trustee from Goldsboro, NC.
Renovations are made to create faculty offices on the third floor of Johnson Hall.
Sandra Carol Thomas is named vice president and administrators are eager to provide suitable office space for the first woman vice president. They take one end of the blue parlor, which stretches along one side of the west wing, in Johnson Hall to make her office. A minor controversy arises over the dismantling of that hallowed hall. The rose parlor on the opposite side is also in need of repair.
Renovation of space in the east wing of the third floor of Johnson Hall takes place for data processing.
Additional renovations are done on the third floor of Johnson Hall to provide space for the development office.
The third floor of Johnson Hall is renovated to provide space for the Office of Publications and the Office of Public Relations.
All of the Offices of Admissions and Financial Assistance are relocated to the second floor of Johnson Hall.
New Financial Aid office suite is located on the third floor.
Expanded Admissions office suite is located on the second floor.
Renovations to marketing suite on third floor take place.
Renovations begin in Johnson Hall thanks to gifts by the Judd Ammons Family and Bobbitt Williams.
Information compiled from:
“The Vision Revisited” by Carolyn C. Robinson
“History of Meredith College” by Mary Lynch Johnson
Meredith College Board of Trustee minutes from the Carlyle Campbell Library
The Class of 1963 fiftieth reunion gift was an addition of nooks on the east side of the Johnson Hall rotunda. These nooks allow visitors and students to sit and wait on appointments or simply enjoy quiet time. Also, the first floor restrooms were renovated by the Class of ’63 and ’62.