In the News


1921 graduates in front of Administration Building

Manchester sets remembrance ceremony for Administration Building

Noon Friday, Jan. 21 in Petersime Chapel

Manchester University is honoring the legacy of its former Administration Building with a remembrance ceremony at noon Friday, Jan. 21 in Petersime Chapel on the North Manchester campus.

Those who attend the service will have the opportunity afterward to walk over to the building together. The service will be livestreamed on Manchester’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ManchesterUniv.

“The decision to take down the building was emotionally difficult and made with deep sadness,” said President Dave McFadden. “In fact, the Board of Trustees wrestled with this decision – in some form or fashion – over the course of three decades.”

Bumgerdner Hall and Bible SchoolThe building on College Avenue served generations of Manchester students. The central portion was built in 1920, connecting the 1889 Bumgerdner Hall at the east end with the 1895 Bible School building at the west end. Classes there ended in 2012 when modern spaces became available.

Remaining offices in the building closed in 2019 after bricks fell from a section of the façade and a major leak was discovered in the roof. The Manchester Chime bells were removed in August. The Board of Trustees voted in November to raze the building.

Razing the building was first seriously considered in the early 1990s, when Oakwood and Helman halls were built to replace two outdated residence halls. In 2009, the trustees voted to replace the Administration Building with a smaller, more functional building as part of the Students First! campaign. Given evolving needs, however, it was decided that using a $5.4 million gift from the late Herb Chinworth to build the Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center would better serve students.

Security fencing now surrounds the empty Administration Building, and interior demolition work is already underway. After the building is gone, the area will be maintained as a green space featuring Manchester’s beloved fountain as its focal point, surrounded by benches and mature oak trees. 

The Jan. 21 service is among several ways Manchester is commemorating the building.

  • It is collecting remembrances and photos of the building. Anyone who wishes to share a story or photo is invited to send them to alumnioffice@manchester.edu with the subject line: Administration Building Memories. The University set up pages to share stories and photos.
  • Bricks will be set aside for those who want a memento. If you want to pick one up, email alumnioffice@manchester.edu to make sure we save enough. If you don’t live nearby, we can ship one to you at cost. Here is the form.
  • Manchester will construct a new chime tower on the Manchester University Mall with elements honoring the historic significance of the Administration Building. There will be a formal dedication of the Manchester Chime to mark its 100th year at Homecoming 2022.

    For the media
    If you want to speak with a University official, email Anne Gregory in communications and media relations. She will connect you. aggregory@manchester.edu
  • Cutline information: Top photo shows the Class of 1921 in front of the newly built section that connected Bumgerdner Hall and Bible School Buildings. Inset shows those two buildings before they were connected. Credit Manchester University Archives.

    January 2022