First Residence Hall Completed: 1924, demolished 1968
Second Completed: 1966
Robert Bruce White was born in August 1872 and died in 1944. He was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly of 1903, which helped to establish Appalachian Training School for Teachers. A native of Raleigh, White graduated from Wake Forest College in 1891. After graduating, White attended Law School at Wake Forest and later served as the superintendent of schools in Franklin, North Carolina. He then established law offices in Louisburg, NC, where he worked with the Governor T. W. Bickett. Following that, White became a professor of law at Wake Forest, where he taught until his death. He was one of the three senators that signed a minority report which carried the bill to establish the Appalachian Training School for teachers in 1903. It passed with only one vote in its favor, due to speeches made on the last day of voting by White and two other senators.
White Hall, a three-story structure made of brick, was built in 1924, and it served as a woman’s residence hall for 43 years. The plan was to replace the old White Hall with a grass mall with flowers and shrubs, as a part of the campus beautification project. White Hall was scheduled to be torn down earlier, but the Administration Building burned down in December 1966, and the project was delayed.
A second White Residence Hall was built in 1966 in preparation for the demolition of the first White Hall. White Hall’s demolition was started on May 27, 1968. The demolition was part of a 10-year plan, which was laid out to the public in an interview with Ned Trivette, the Director of Business Affairs at Appalachian State University. The project also called for demolishing 11 buildings and building 23 in replacement. In addition to the changes made to White Hall, this plan included tearing down Watauga Hall and the elementary school, and in their place, a new bookstore, a library, new classrooms, a varsity gym, and a student center, as well as many new sidewalks, were built.
“ASU Dedication of Bowie, Lovill, Hoey and White Hall,” Oct. 22, 1967. Vertical File: White Hall 1924-1968 (demolished) Special Collections at Belk Library Appalachian State University.
“Appalachian Landmark to Yield to Mall,” May 16, 1968. Vertical File: White Hall 1924-1968 (demolished) Special Collections at Belk Library Appalachian State University.
“The Old Order Changes - White Hall to be Removed,” May 24, 1968. Vertical File: White Hall 1924-1968 (demolished) Special Collections at Belk Library Appalachian State University.