History

  • 1901 — Straight graduates from Cornell’s College of Architecture
  • 1918 — Willard Straight dies of pneumonia during WWI in France. His widow, Dorothy Whitney Straight, decides to build a student union in his name.
  • 1925 — Willard Straight Hall opens and is one of the first student unions in the country.
  • 1934 — Beer and ale first served.
  • 1935 — Ivy Room allows women to dine there. Woman originally entered through a separate entrance and could only mingle with men in the Art Gallery.
  • 1943 — Memorial Room and east and west lounges opened to both men and women.
  • 1943 — The Terrace is enclosed to create an Army Mess Hall. This becomes Okenshield’s.
  • 1954 — First television installed in what became Okenshield’s.
  • 1958 — William C. Whitney Foundation awards grant for Willard Straight Hall to purchase art.
  • 1959 — WVBR goes on the air from Willard Straight Hall.
  • 1969 — Takeover by black students.
  • 1970 — Women work at front desk for the first time since WWII.
  • 1989 — Theater refurbished to become permanent home of Cornell Cinema.
  • 2003 — Ceramics Studio renovated into state-of-the-art facility.
  • 2005 — Fifth floor Game Room renovated to become the 5th Floor Lounge with meeting space, reception space, and room for performance rehearsals.
  • 2007 — CIT Public Computer Lab installed on the first floor near the Cinema.
  • 2007 — Second floor renovated to house the Office of Student Support and Diversity Education.