Willard Open House: A Celebration of the Past and Future

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and other members of the Northwestern community joined together to celebrate the renovation and re-opening of Willard Hall on January 24. At the open house, speakers acknowledged the work of the architects and contractors responsible for carrying out the renovations, celebrated Willard’s 80-year history, and placed the re-opening in the context of Northwestern’s ten-year Housing Master Plan.

President Schapiro specifically praised the work of the architectural firm behind the project, Weese Langley Weese, for preserving the 1938 building’s historic character while updating its amenities to contemporary standards. Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin highlighted the community-building potential of Willard’s new common areas, with classrooms and lounges providing the opportunity for the south campus community to learn, relax, and spend time together.


Willard’s updated features include a full-service Fran’s Café, a late-night dining option which returns to Willard from its temporary location at 1835 Hinman. A fitness studio, brand-new furniture, and remodeled bathrooms and laundry facilities also provide an improved residential experience for students.

While Willard’s stately architecture and star-studded former residents (including Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers) provide a link to Northwestern’s past, its state-of-the-art new features will set a course for a more connected, collaborative future for campus residential life.