Did You Know: MSU Union

The MSU Union is a classic landmark and can be seen as the living room of campus. Today, it hosts several restaurants, Bigby Coffee shop, a bowling alley, a credit union and more. Here are some facts that look back on the history of the building and how it evolved over time.


  • Though ideas of the MSU Union began to circulate around 1905, the ground-breaking ceremony took place on November 19, 1923. What followed was “excavation week”, a five-day public event where students participated in the work with four-hour shifts.


  • The MSU Union officially opened its doors on June 12, 1925. At the time of its opening it held 11 dining rooms, 10 conference rooms, a barber shop, billiards (for men only), a beauty parlor and a total of 16 guest rooms where people could stay overnight and experience college life with friends.


  • On May 15, 1952, General Douglas B Arthur and his wife were in attendance at the Union as honorary guests for a banquet. For privacy purposes, they took a service elevator, which ended up getting stuck and trapping the general and wife inside for 25 minutes.


  • In 1960, card playing was banned on the first floor of the union. Students had to go to the third of fourth floor to designated rooms if they wanted to play cards. The administration believed the card playing reflected badly on campus (students were supposed to be studying, not playing cards).


  • In the 1930’s, hamburgers in the union cost 30 cents each. In 1968, the price went up to 40 cents.


  • During the 1970’s, the Union had pinball machines in the billiards room.