The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has approved funding for the renovation of MSU’s historic Campbell Hall. Work will begin May 2024 with an expected reopening in August 2025.
The Campbell Hall renovation reinforces MSU’s commitment to the student experience, both through upgrading the physical campus environment and by becoming the first dedicated residence hall for the MSU Honors College. Currently, honors housing is available on floors in eight residence halls across campus.
“The Honors College at MSU is fast becoming the leading Honors College in the country for undergraduate student research,” said Christopher Long, dean of the MSU Honors College and of the College of Arts and Letters. “The addition of a newly renovated Campbell Hall will further elevate our reputation of research excellence, attract talented students in an increasingly competitive landscape and open new doors to a transformative space for community engagement.”
The MSU Division of Student Life and Engagement, or SLE, recognizes the critical importance of investing in the maintenance and preservation of historic campus buildings such as Campbell Hall. Renovation efforts will improve residence hall safety and accessibility features and correct building deficiencies while preserving the character of north campus. Specific upgrades include roof repairs, window replacement, new flooring and paint, updated furniture in resident rooms and public areas, new fire alarm system, and accessible restrooms and elevators. SLE also will create a centralized package center to serve the West Circle community.
"Each of our university residence halls tells a unique story," said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. "Historic Campbell Hall was built in the late 1930s and is among the oldest in our storied North Neighborhood. As we begin to write the hall's next chapter this summer, I am eager to see the renovations that will take place that will support the overarching success and excellence of each of our students that call Campbell Hall home."
This project focuses not only on renovating the physical structure, but also on ways MSU supports students outside of the classroom through improved student spaces for gathering, community-building and studying.
“This is a great strategic partnership with another academic program on campus,” said Ray Gasser, assistant vice president for Residence Education and Housing Services. “We appreciate our living-learning communities and the value they provide to students and their success. Both of our areas recognize that learning extends beyond the traditional classroom, and bringing faculty and staff into the building for classes and programming greatly enhances the student experience.”
Approximately 4,500 students call the Honors College home and, when it reopens, Campbell Hall will serve as the vibrant center for a diverse community of scholars dedicated to academic excellence, transformative research and meaningful community engagement.
Additionally, renovations will create dedicated space in public areas on the ground and first floors for study lounges, collaboration spaces, larger community venues and a dedicated classroom — some renovated through generous donations from alumni and friends — to support students academically, socially and emotionally.
“The proposed living-learning hall for the Honors College is not just a building, it’s a commitment to nurturing an environment where academic interests and multicultural interactions interweave, fostering a home away from home for students like me,” said fourth-year honors student Tanushree Thapar, who came from India to study at MSU.
Honors housing will still be available in other residence halls across campus after the Campbell Hall renovation is complete.
“Could there be a more inspiring location than a signature building so strategically located next to East Lansing and the student Union? And what an opportunity for all the Honors College alumni to participate in this effort to transform Campbell Hall into this living-learning community,” said early donors to the project Tom Schupbach and Kathy Songer. Schupbach was an Honors College student who graduated from MSU’s College of Agricultural and Natural Resources in 1975.
“Our family has committed to naming three spaces in Campbell Hall. We could not be happier to participate and honor a family member. Legacy possibilities such as this are rare,” Schupbach and Songer said. “The space features outstanding architecture, 1930s interior design elements and an invitation to be a small part of the Honors College plans to transform generations of students.”
This renovation represents the Honors College’s biggest and boldest expansion project yet, and it is also a vital part of SLE’s commitment to making significant investments in campus residential facilities. SLE has already renovated two West Circle halls: Mayo Hall in 2009 and Landon Hall in 2014. Campbell Hall renovation plans were delayed more than two years due to the pandemic and associated financial impacts. Additional halls within West Circle are expected to be renovated in the coming years.
Stantec was the architecture and engineering firm for the project. Construction work will be conducted by Christman, who also helped MSU with renovations to Landon and Akers halls. It is also the same company that built Campbell Hall in 1939. SLE is working closely with the Honors College, MSU’s Infrastructure Planning and Facilities and all vendor partners to complete the renovation on time and on budget.