Thomas Hall was opened in 1964 as an all male residence hall with had a capacity of 488 beds. The building was comprised of two residential wings, each with four floors for residential communities, a main level which holds offices, front desk operations, a community lounge as well as dining facilities. The total cost for the construction of Thomas Hall was $2.4 million. The campus was continuing to grow, and residential living was becoming a huge trend both nationally and on EIU’s campus. This lead to the introduction of funding of residence hall construction through the sale of revenue bonds. Thomas Hall was the first of four of the south quad to be built with such funding.
A short while after opening, Thomas Hall was the center of controversy based on student complaints about the physical structure. Students complained of bulletin boards coming unglued from the walls in the rooms, frequent false fire alarms from water leaking into the fire alarm system, as well as the portico on the front entrance having to be replaced. The small issues within the building were fixed and quickly forgotten about, and was ready for opening for the next academic year. Thomas did withstand the humors rumor that the building would be completely destroyed by its near 500 male occupants in a short amount of time.
Thomas residents enjoyed amenities which included a large color TV, very spacious lounges, and a readily available dining hall in close proximity. At the time, Thomas Hall housed the most residents out of all residence halls on campus.The unique bond between the male residents of Thomas Hall and female residents of Andrews
hall as been long standing. From the beginings of sweetheart dances to the modern day “stoplight” dance, and combining strength and creativity to build homecoming floats together, the residents of the two buildings have always found a way to bond, far beyond just sharing a common dining center.