Murray Hall, ca 2007 and 2022 (click thumbnail for larger image)
The first gym facility on campus was in the basement of St. Teresa Hall. But as the college grew and there were more opportunities for girls in sports, a new gym was needed, since the first did not meet collegiate size regulations (not to mention the problem of its pillars, around which the students had to play their games).
In 1961 the new gym/physical education building was completed, designed by Hammel and Green and constructed by Standard Construction of Minneapolis. It featured some classroom and office space upstairs, storage space downstairs, and a gymnasium floor built below grade. Although the size of the new gymnasium was to college standards, there was no room for spectators except those who could form a single line around the perimeter, nor was it handicapped-accessible. The new gym was used for basketball, volleyball and other games for both the CSB students and, until it closed in 1973, the students of St. Benedict’s High School. (1973 was also the year when the pool building was built adjacent to the gym.)
This building remained the college gym until 1985, when Claire Lynch Hall was completed. The old gym was then remodeled into classrooms and offices for Athletics, the Physical Education Department, and Campus Security. In 1995 it underwent a major remodeling, this time to create office and gathering spaces for Student Activities, Campus Ministry, and the St. Ben’s Senate, in addition to two racquetball courts and storage in the basement. An elevator was also installed. By 1996, it was connected to the Haehn Campus Center with a hallway.
After many years without a name, in 1995 this building became Murray Hall, to honor Sister Mary Patrick Murray, OSB. Sr. Mary Pat served the college in many capacities, among them instructor in business, education and Latin courses, Board of Trustees member, and, from 1953-1960, Dean of Students. Sr. Mary Patrick Murray passed away in 1995.
Between 2018-2019, Murray Hall's racquetball courts were removed and the spaces housing Student Development, Residential Life, IISS, and Campus Ministries were remodeled.
In 2021, the north end of the upper floor of Murray Hall was entirely renovated into a new Multicultural Center, a space for underrepresented students to have meetings, programming, or simply hang out. It includes offices, a conference room and a land acknowledgment of the homeland of the Dakota and Anishinaabe people.
"Ground broken for CSB gym," The Benet, April 1960, p.4.
"Dedicates Gym on January 22," The Benet, March 1961. p.4.
What's in a Name?: Buildings at the College of Saint Benedict Named after Sisters
Killeen, Mike, "Multicultural Center set to have grand opening Friday, Sept. 24," CSB/SJU Newsroom, June 10, 2021.
Special thanks to Sara Trent '08 for drafting this text.