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In 1959, McKinney hall opened as temporary housing.  Administration soon realized that McKinney was going to become permanent housing as the demand for on-campus living was increasing. McKinney housed 150 upper class women and was built at a cost of $530,000.

McKinney Hall was named for Isabel McKinney who was born in 1879 and graduated with a Masters Arts in English degree from Columbia University. She served Eastern from 1904 to 1945. Miss McKinney taught English, and was the head of the English Department from 1922 to 1945. She was the author of the biography of Livingston Lord, Eastern’s first serving president. She also wrote the words to our institution’s Alma Mater. Her last visit to campus was in October, 1957 to look over the plans for the building to be named in her honor. She commented that it was one of the greatest honors in her life.