War is nothing new to Memorial Hall, which is today, for the third time, a center of service activity here. The mammoth halls of Mem are being used today by men of the Army Chaplain's School, the Naval Training Schools, and the Naval R.O.T.C.
The Great Hall in Mem has been used in winter-time for the 6 o'clock in the morning calisthenics of the Chaplain's School, and by the NTS and NROTC for drill work, Sanders-Theatre today is the scene of lectures and instructional movies for the benefit of all three groups.
Plans for Memorial Hall were adopted by an alumni committee in 1870. The hall was planned to provide a meeting place for alumni, a dining hall for students, and a commemorative monument to students and graduates of the University killed in the Civil War.
The west end of Memorial, including the Great Hall and the Cloisters, were finished early in 1874, Sanders Theatre for commencement in 1876, and the tower stands some 190 feet high as one of the outstanding University land-marks.
The Great Hall was originally the home of a students' dining co-operative, and at its peak in 1898, fed 1,320 men three meals a day. As the center of University life moved south towards the Charles, however, the co-op became less popular and closed in 1925. From that date until the outbreak of the war the hall was seldom used.
Sanders Seats 1200
The Sanders Theatre auditorium for many years was the center of University. Most large University meetings were held in the Theatre, which seats 1200 and is the largest auditorium in the University.
The Transept, which separates the Great Hall and the Sanders Theatre, holds the marble memorial plaques and two large windows, stained to commemorate various events in our history. In the basement is the Stevens Laboratory, which is doing secret work in acoustics.