Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why do we call it Stotler Lounge?

Just inside the north wing of Memorial Union is an elegant event space named Stotler Lounge. A plaque inside the space indicates that the room is named in honor of A.C. Stotler and his wife, Mary Stotler. But who were these two people? A new exhibit in the display case inside Stotler Lounge chronicles the contributions of this couple to the University.

A.C. Stotler and Mary Maxwell Stotler, 1945 (photogrpahs courtesy of Sue Dalton)
After completing his tour in the Navy during World War II, A.C. Stotler graduated from the University in 1944 with a BS in Business Administration. 
During WWII, A.C. Stotler served aboard the USS Yakutat in the US Navy. The Yakutat saw action in a number of battles of the Pacific, including Okinawa, and received four battle stars for her WWII service. (1944)
After completing his degree, the University appointed Stotler supervisor of allocation of emergency housing, its maintenance and regulation.
This photograph shows a bird's-eye view of "Blue Campus," emergency housing units that were established to accommodate increasing enrollment figures resulting from the GI Bill following WWII. (1947 Savitar)
The emergency housing units erected for student veterans and their families following WWII consisted of trailer homes and hurriedly built structures. Larger barracks-style housing was also constructed for single veterans. (1947 Savitar)
Stotler would remain with the University throughout his entire career. In 1947 he was appointed as assistant to the executive secretary of the Committee on Inter-Collegiate Athletics, and in 1952 he was promoted to the position for which he is most remembered, the Director of Memorial Union.
The process of building the Union, which would serve as a memorial to those soldiers killed in WWI, began with the laying of the cornerstone in 1922. The Union was completed in three phases. The central tower was completed in 1926, the north wing in 1952, and the south wing in 1963. (October 1963 Missouri Alumnus)

A.C. Stotler in the newly opened Memorial Union with Miss Alta L. Hummel, the Director of Food Service. (October 1952 Missouri Alumnus)

As Director of the Union, Stotler (center) served as a non-voting member of the Student Union Programming Board (SUAB). Founded in 1953 in response to the completion of the north wing of Memorial Union, the SUAB served the student body by promoting social, intellectual, educational, recreational, and cultural activities and programs on campus. (2013.051 ca. 1953-1954) 

Stotler's responsibilities as the Director of the Student Unions increased with the completion of the South Wing of Memorial Union and the Student Commons in 1963. The Student Commons was later renamed Brady Commons and was located where the new Student Center sits today. (October 1963 Missouri Alumnus)
Stotler served as the Director of the Student Unions for eighteen years before leaving that position to become the first Director of the Hearnes Center, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
The Hearnes Center was originally called the Multipurpose Complex. When Stotler left his position at the Unions to become the Director of the Hearnes Center, Robert Neal Brock became the new Director of the Student Unions. (November 1972 Missouri Alumnus)
In 1989, following his death, Stotler and his wife demonstrated their eternal dedication to the University through a bequest of $100,000, which made possible the Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame now located in the Mizzou Arena.

Authored by Sarah Horne, PhD Student in Art History and Archaeology