Nearly 40,000 students have called it home since 1967. And one more entering class will unpack in this Marquette icon. The stairs and burdened elevators have been blessed with thousands of benedictions, muttered by parents traipsing up and down bent beneath boxes carried in both directions. The university announced its replacement: a $96 million, 750-bed project scheduled to break ground this year and include two connected residence halls between 17th and 18th and Wells streets. We can raze the roof but not the memories. Here are a few.

marquette-spot-1_v1After living in O’Donnell for two months I moved into McCormick on a Friday evening. There Mark Simak told me that Fridays on 5SE are “No Pants Fridays” and proceeded to take off his pants and walk around in his boxers. The tradition of “No Pants Fridays” was born.
Michael Barry, Bus Ad ’11

Going for late-night cereal in the dining hall with friends.
Dan Reiner, Comm ’16

My favorite McCormick memory is the epic water battle of January 1988. The Cobeen 7th floor women did a squirt gun raid and were met by garbage cans of water tossed into the elevators when they opened. The elevators were turned off for days as a punishment, and it took weeks for the carpet to dry.
Rob Fiero, Bus Ad ’91

On move-in day the shape of McCormick confused my dad, and he couldn’t find the car. He reported it stolen. After an hour, we found it one block over. McCormick was the perfect introduction to Marquette — close quarters, wonderful people, vibrant spirit. Thanks for the memories!
Jim Love, Comm ’13

marquette-spot-2_v1I met my wife, best man and two of my groomsmen at McCormick freshman year 1999. Thank you, McCormick!
Justin Jurasz, Arts ’03

Met my freshman roommate for the first time on move-in day. First night I woke up screaming in my sleep from a bad dream. She thought I was a crazy person. We ended up living together all four years of college. We have stood up in each others’ weddings, remained best friends and just bought houses six miles apart.
Claire (Gindt) Benishek, H Sci ’11

I began as hall minister in McCormick. I began first year as a coed hall. I lived there for 18 years. I stayed that long because of the great opportunity and privilege to interact with each freshman class and work with outstanding student leaders serving as RAs. Eleven of those years I was the vice president for Student Affairs. Thanks for the opportunity to submit a memory.
Rev. Andy Thon, S.J., Grad ’68

I was a transfer student from a school where I’d had a hard first semester. I was so scared that first night but instantly felt at home once I met my roommate and the girls on my floor. They’re still my best friends.
Libby Pinkham, Arts ’12

marquette-spot-3_v1Putting a TV in the bathroom of our 9th floor triple so we could pick up Cubs games on WGN.
Paul Manghera, Bus Ad ’82

McCormick was my home for three years. It’s where I met my best friends and where I helped create a community for freshmen as an RA. The path I have taken may have been very different had it not been for the opportunity I had to live under a roof with over 800 other students.
Hannah Yaritz, Comm ’08

I met my best friends and future bridesmaids in 8East. The love of my life lived on 9 (he just doesn’t know that he’s the love of my life — yet). McCormick is where I found myself and fell in love with life.
Student Elizabeth Short

My favorite McCormick memory was a weekly tradition with Molly Dill Newman and Katie Smith Vertovec. We would get a $5 pizza from Papa Johns and watch Gilmore Girls every Tuesday night.
Lauren Woelfel, Comm ’10

marquette-spot-6_v1After we won the 1977 NCAA Championship, phone books were thrown out the windows. It looked like papier-mâché all over the grass.
George Polk, Bus Ad ’80

One floor below me, my future husband was moving in. We grew up in the same neighborhood and shared a circle of friends but didn’t know each other. Our paths crossed freshman year, and 16 years, two boys, a house and a dog later, we celebrate McCormick Hall for the opportunity to fall in love.
Tatiana Joseph, Arts ’05

I dropped my daughter off her freshman year in 1995. The elevators were overworked. We piled her belongings on the McCormick grass with other freshmen and then uncomfortably carried them up five flights of stairs.
Jim Hooyman, Eng ’66

Standing on the roof and watching the spontaneous parade of cars head downtown when the Brewers won their first American League Championship in 1982.
Jim Schufreider, Arts ’83

marquette-spot-5_v1I lived in McCormick Hall for two years in 1975 and 1976. Both years I lived on the top floor — 12. My first year we debated endlessly on the name and design of our floor shirts. When the smoke cleared and the votes were counted, the winner was “Top of the Garbage Can.”
John Van Lieshout, Arts ’78, Law ’81

My favorite memory was the daily camaraderie with not just my roommate or immediate neighbors but everyone on the floor. We would hang out before heading out for the evening or after a trip to Angelo’s Pizza or the ’Lanche. We entered McCormick as strangers and left as a large family.
Jeff Emge, Bus Ad ’97

I was touring Marquette in 2010 with my oldest son and part of the tour was the dorms. Coincidentally, they took us to McCormick, even more coincidentally, to the second floor. I got to see my old room for the first time in 30+ years.
Albert Correa, Arts ’81

I met five beautiful, intelligent and driven women freshman year who became lifelong friends, including my roommate who I had never met before move-in day. Thank you, McCormick, for bringing us together!
Kathleen Fugler, Comm ’11

The club football homecoming parade down Wisconsin Avenue when we took the screen off our window and walked out onto the mezzanine for a better view. Then one of the guys filled a wastepaper basket with water balloons and we threw water balloons at unsuspecting students as they walked up the sidewalk to the building. We had several direct hits. … It was about a week later that all the screens were locked on the building.
Bill Bezdichek, Arts ’72

marquette-spot-4_v1I remember baking cupcakes in the basement kitchen with my roommate (while we switched off keeping our heads in the freezer to stay cool). We used the cupcakes as a way to break the ice with others.
Catherine Nelson, Ed ’14

I moved into McCormick in 1968, the first year the entire dorm was used. I remember attending midnight Mass in the basement chapel and using the only sauna on campus, also in the basement.
William Czarnecki, Arts ’72

Our 1993 McCormick T-shirt motto, “16th Street Tour,” that had times indicating when the fire alarms were pulled. We learned to always have jackets and shoes handy.
Michael McCleish, Arts ’96

My friends James Porter, Erica Harmon and Sheena Driver were all in the basement playing Ping-Pong. Erica and Sheena started playing and Sheena hit a return that bounced high. Erica jumped in the air for an easy smash and did a complete belly flop on the table. We couldn’t stop laughing. Did I mention she completely missed the ball?
Ernest Chomicki, Arts ’04

Every weekend, without fail, they’d shut down two of the three elevators. Then the one they left in operation would break down. Those of us on the 11th floor used to love walking up on Saturday nights. By the 6th floor, the stairwell looked like the field at Shiloh.
Charles Pierce, Jour ’75

McCormick Hall will remain open for the 2017 freshman class. The new coed residence hall will be located on the northwest part of campus. Once the new facilities are fully operational, the university plans to raze McCormick Hall.


  1. We called our intramural basketball team the Crypt Corp because our rooms overlooked the cadavers being worked on late at night……………..

      1. Hey Al! If I remember correctly, you were one of my lab partners in that PT gross anatomy class. Dr. Gardner was our instructor.

        The one thing I remember most from my freshman year at McCormick was everyone being told by the RAs to put a radio in the window at a certain time one evening, tune in to one of the local stations, and turn the volume up to its max. They had made arrangements for the radio station to play a song for the “McCormick guys” at MU at the specified time. They turned the building into a giant speaker. You could hear that song downtown!

  2. McCormick was the perfect shape for a roll of toilet paper on a pencil. When released out the 11th floor east window, the “streamer” would float over downtown. Great memories of littering! Engineering, ’72

  3. I was an RA in McCormick for the 1991-’92 and ’92-’93 years. Fr. Andy Thon was our campus minister and he later officiated my wedding in 1996.

    In 1992, the 8th floor won the elevator lobby decorating contest for Halloween. Stepping out of the elevators into a lobby completely enclosed with black plastic, black lights and tons of Halloween decorations was awesome!

    In 1993, besides the 16th Street Tour shirts, the RA staff were dubbed the “Fire Alarm Crew” and had shirts made with the dates and times of all 13 fire alarms that year. Many a weekend night was spent doing crowd control on 16th Street. Lots of memories of a great time and friendships for a lifetime! Thanks, McCormick!!

  4. I lived in Schroeder70-72. We had Fr. Naus, but always envied the McCormick guys because the BB team lived there. Streaking was really big then and we would call O’Donnell and let them know we were coming…
    McCormick is as much a landmark for the school as Joan of Arc, just not as holy.

  5. After two crazy years in Schroeder (64-66) (and a side year at the University of Arizona) I was introduced to the joys of military service. When transferred from the forests of Germany to the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta I made a side trip in 1968 to MU to visit some old friends. I wanted to visit the gracious ladies who used to run the front desk at Schroeder and found them at the brand new dorm, McCormick. Nice ladies; nice dorm. Its a shame that it’s coming down but I won’t miss it as much as Red Arrow Park.

  6. The “Big Beer Can in the Sky” will be gone but not forgotten. Some day our two sons (’15 and ’17) will confess the truth about what really went on during their stays there.

  7. Our RA told us he was sneaking a girl into his room on a Friday night. The entire floor spent Friday afternoon filling his room with crumpled up newspaper until you couldn’t even see the windows. Needless to say, his evening didn’t quite go as planned!

  8. I can remember my two years in McCormick.(68-69) 4th Floor an experiment of Engineers & others from the East Coast & Chicago!! I believe we won most of the intermural sports for those years!! We were rowdy even with the Dean of Men living on the floor. We had a great group of guys!! Anyone remember Miguel from Chile bringing in cases of beer form the Ardmoor?

  9. When I was a junior I worked as a desk receptionist at McCormick. The late Chris Farley was a freshman and tried to sneak in a quarter barrel of PBR one late Saturday night in a big cardboard box. Lots of fun and games during that shift!

  10. I just remember when it was an all guys dorm. By then I was living in the Ardmore apartments and was so close and personal with the yelling , shouting, screaming and any verbiage coming out of the place. I will never forget and will miss its presence on campus. Gone is a legacy.
    Susan Meyer Nelson, Nursing 79

  11. I lived in the Big Beer Can during Freshman Frontier Summer 1972, we were on the 4th floor. One of our RA’s worked at the bar across from us at the MEET Market. What a summer for a young innocent kid from Massachusetts!

  12. While moving out from the 11th floor Freshman year, a poorly conceived plan to avoid the elevator rush was spawned during our post-finals celebrations. Upon my first trip to the car, my roommate proceeded to launch parts of our loft onto the lawn below. Thwack!

  13. WOW, what fun we had in McCormick in the mid 70’s! I lived on the 12th floor for two years! We had it timed so we could dump water out the tv lounge and hit our friends as they were exiting! Seems every weekend there was a big party and MU was ok with that! My how things have changed. BTW I know who pulled the fire alarm several times on the 12th floor, put leaners in the elevators and regularly ordered pizzas to be delivered to the resident advisors! I will take these names to my grave. The biggest night of all was watching the Warriors win the NCAA tournament in 1977. Every 12th floor resident was in the TV lounge. A special evening in a special building.

  14. I lived there in ’92 and ’93 class years, fell in love with the McCormick Hall Desk Receptionist, married her in ’97. Here’s to knowing you for 23 years Sherry Nikolai O’Connor (Class of ’93)!

  15. Snakes on a plane, nay I say! Snakes on Mc Cormick’s 3rd floor, yeah I say! Thanks Archie, Bill, Frank, Bob, etc., etc. for some great times and even better memories the older I get.

  16. My roommate and I didn’t have a lot of clutter, so our room looked bigger than the usual McCormick double. Our RA asked if we wanted to be a “show room” for prospective students in exchange for some free extra-long sheets and some other swag to spruce up our place so we said yes.

    One Friday night, I came home, vomited for about an hour, stripped off all my clothes, and crawled into my top bunk. The tours came through on Saturday mornings. The tour guides were supposed to call up to the room to see if we were home, but…well, you see where this is headed. My roommate had been in and out of the room all morning, so when I heard the door unlock and open, I wasn’t too concerned. It wasn’t until I heard voices and the nervous chuckles of the parents that I realized my room was full of strangers.

  17. McCormick Hall, my home from 1971-1973. Many, many memories but none beats the night the “swirly” got out of hand. I thought I had deflected the birthday tradition of the toilet dunking but the guys got me when I Ieast expected it. After the dunk they stole my clothes, threw me in the showers and then bound my hands and ankles. They proceeded to fill my lap with shaving cream and stuck me on the elevator with all buttons pushed. That’s not enough, they posted sentries at each floor so I could not get off. At last I managed to escape on 10. Thanks Steve Morgan for answering my pleas for help. Oh,did I mention IT WAS A FRIDAY NIGHT!

  18. I lived on the 7th and 12th floor from 74 -76, yes I moved to the 12th floor sophomore year. I remember watching The Six Million Dollar Man, it was tough viewing that 10″ TV Screen with 10 guys, especially if your seat was in the hallway! Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive, gentlemen we can rebuild him …

  19. “The Men From Ten” were a great group of mainly freshmen for the 1977 – 1978 year on the 10th Floor. A number of us are still good friends today – tons of great memories (Block party, intramural football games, camping out for MU tickets, The Midget Bar, etc…) that first year at Marquette that will be 40 years ago next August/September 2017 — our RA that year was Jim McCormick, he claimed the dorm was named after his family. Here is to just a few of those guys — Slim, Rock, Dunc, Tex (actually an adopted 9th floor resident), Sumno, Doctor No!, and me Tome/Sabs!

  20. In 1974 my roommate was Eddie “Skins” Finnocharo. We are life long best buds and both have Father Landemeir to thank for turning us into Men of McCormick. What great memories we have from the 11th floor

  21. It was 1970, Sophomore year, and Fred and I shared a slice of the pie on the 5th floor overlooking the Ardmore bar. Occasionally if we got bored, we would take our two large speakers and put them in our window. Then we’d play a Richie Havens tape just to annoy the drunks piling out of the bar at 2 am.

  22. During my freshman year in 1970, McCormick was reported to lead the country in “bomb scares”. It was pretty automatic that at least once a week, usually on weekends, we’d hear the alarm and have to evacuate. It was always amusing to see how many guys were sneaking girls out of their rooms!

  23. I was a freshman in McCormick Hall in 1980 – living on the 7th floor looking out towards city. It had a beautiful view from our slice of the pie room. McCormick was all male at the time. Hallway racing, speakers turned out the windows and Sunday afternoons in the lounge on Packer Bear games weeks were great! Many memories made living in McCormick!

  24. I entered as a Freshman in 1975. I met my best friends. I have four younger sisters and was happy to immediately have 700+ ‘brothers’. We had so much fun ( not to mention learned some stuff) six of us came back for our Sophmore year. Everybody wanted to move to the coed dorms- I was still too happy to be away from the sisters and enjoyed meeting another 700 brothers. I had the good fortune to become an RA my Junior year – and you might guess- I was assigned to McCormick Hall and why not for my Senior too? I wonder how many people survived four years in McCormick? I know myself and Stephen McDonnell, DDS are two. What a great place to ‘grow up’ or not.

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