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.
After 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
I 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
Putting 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
After 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
I 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
I 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.