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n 1900, Mr. Lord reported to the Board of Trustees his desire for building a women’s dormitory. He expressed his ideas on how “the building is absolutely necessary if the school was to cultivate in its students a spirit that its graduates should take into the communities in which they teach.” The request was then taken to the governor with hopes for a blessing on the project as well as the funding to complete it. In spite of these arguments, the governor did not respond.

Only after seven years and the assistance of Senator Stanton C. Pemberton did funding for the project get approved. This final proposal was for $100,000 and included the construction of not only the residence hall, but a gymnasium which was to be directly connected to the women’s dormitory. “This building would greatly increase the usefulness of one State institution, and future generations of young people and their parents will rise up and call him blessed who is responsible for this building”.

PembertonIn its over 100 year history, Pemberton has seen thousands of women through its corridors, each one leaving their unique mark on the building. The pride which is instilled in every resident is shown through the passion for Pemberton Parliament, which is Pemberton’s governing board. This passion is also present in Phi Epsilon Mu, which was Pemberton’s long-standing service sorority.

The women of Pemberton still have many traditions which are still followed today, such as decorating the building for holidays, door decorations in the staircase, providing finals snacks, respecting visiting hours, and making lifelong friends and connections.

In preparation for celebrating the 100 year celebration of Pemberton Hall, the building went through a yearlong facelift which included new hardwood flooring in the lobby and piano lounge area as well as new paint, woodwork and molding. Former residents, staff and former administrators at EIU were invited for the celebration.

The sense of pride the women of Pemberton can still be found in the words “To Pemberton we will be grateful, to you we will be true. Our Hearts you’ve won, dear Pemberton of good Old EIU.”  

Historical Information about Pemberton Hall

2008 Pemberton Hall 100 Year Reunion Video.  This video was taken at the 100 year reunion celebration in 2008.  The video begins with the past and present Pemberton Hall residents singing the Pemberton Hall song.  Past resident interviews include a past Pemberton Hall residents recounting when First Lady Eleanor Rosevelt visited Pemberton Hall and spoke to the residents.

Memories of Pemberton Hall shared at the 100 year Reunion.  Jill Nilsen, former Vice President of External Relations recounts her memories of Pemberton Hall and the three years that changed and shaped her life.  

The History and Significance of the Mary Hawkins Sculpture.  This video is the story of the donation of the sculpture and the careful care and significance of the wood used to create the frame for the sculpture's display.  

Mary Hawkins Sculpture Unveiling Ceremony.  This video is the unveiling ceremony of the sculpture that Mary Hawkins family from New Zealand donated in honor of Mary's contributions the EIU and the Charleston community.

Pemberton Hall 4th Floor Tour.  Mark Hudson, Director of Housing & Dining gives a tour of the 4th floor of Pemberton Hall.

Scrapbooks of Pemberton Hall

1962-1963 1980-1981
1964-1965  1981-1982
1969-1970  1982-1983
1970-1971  1983-1984
1971-1972  1984-1985
1972-1973  1985-1986
1974-1975 1992-1993
1975-1976 1993-1994