Historic Converse University Residential Hall Transformed

Converse University officials proudly unveiled the transformation of historic Cudd Hall on Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Members of the campus and local communities, as well as alumni and friends, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate this treasured residence hall. Nestled in the heart of the Converse campus, this beloved home-away-from-home has undergone a one-year, $4.8 million transformation to become a dynamic learning and living community for students.

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, lead architects on the project, fashioned the renovations to harmonize with the historic character of the three-story building, to include the distinctively Southern porches that were once home to Converse’s annual senior class photo.

“We are so thankful to our alumni and friends who recognized the value and character of our beloved Cudd Hall and chose to support this important revitalization,” shared Converse University President Boone Hopkins, Ph.D. “Their investment in Converse and its students supports our vision of empowering students to become transformative leaders who see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly. By focusing on the student experience, this renovation creates a living-learning environment that supports student success for generations to come.”

Harper General Contractors, who oversaw the construction, led project enhancements including:

  • Renovation to 46 residential rooms and two Community Advisor rooms;
  • Expansion of ADA-accessible rooms and entry access;
  • Addition of an elevator;
  • Redesigned flow to support community, accessibility and safety;
  • Addition of a coffee market on the first floor, open to the campus community;
  • Expansion of community areas including kitchen, laundry, study rooms and open spaces;
  • Replacement of the roof, electrical, mechanical, and sprinkler systems,
  • Rebuilding of the iconic three-level porch; and
  • Renovation to all exterior and interior finishes.

Cudd Hall opened at the start of the fall semester in August and is home to many students of the University’s Nisbet Honors Program. This invitation-only program offers academically gifted students the opportunity to explore new avenues of thinking, conduct independent research, and discuss intellectually challenging topics in a community of like-minded individuals.

Cudd Hall’s revitalization is a key accomplishment in line with Converse University’s 2023 Strategic Vision Plan, which focuses on enriching programs, enhancing places, and empowering people. Through proactive planning, engaging fundraising efforts and thoughtful stewardship of assets, Converse is restoring and expanding campus infrastructure to support tomorrow’s growth in a way that is accessible, adaptable and sustainable, so that the institution may fulfill its promise to open doors of opportunity to students and alumni.

Formerly the Gwyn School, a preparatory school for girls, Converse purchased the building in the early 1900s and transformed it into a residence hall. It was named Cudd Hall in memory of Allene Cudd Cantrell, Class of 1912, who was the daughter of Converse Trustee John Cudd.

Written by Converse University.