Warhawk Almanac: Frank S. Hyer

Most students on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus often associate “Hyer” with the academic building across from the library. Today Hyer Hall is home to classrooms, Financial Aid, the Cashiers Office, and offices for faculty and staff.  What many students do not know is that Hyer Hall is named after a former President of the University, Frank S. Hyer. President Hyer served the campus as the sixth president from 1919 until his departure in November of 1930.

President Hyer
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

Frank S. Hyer grew up in Wisconsin and attended Milwaukee State Teachers College (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Ripon college. Following graduation, Hyer spent twenty-five years in a variety of positions teaching schools in before coming to Whitewater. Hyer left his position as principal of the training school at UW-Stevens Point when he was appointed president of the college in 1919 and was chosen for his initiatives to further Whitewater’s prosperity.[1]

During his eleven-year tenure, Frank S. Hyer oversaw many accomplishments and improvements to the campus. Enrollment reached one thousand between the years 1923 and 1925. These had been the highest enrollment numbers since the college opened in 1868. To accommodate the growing student population, President Hyer broke ground for the East Wing of Old Main in 1924. In 1927, Whitewater Normal School’s name was changed to Whitewater Teachers College after the college began to offer four-year degrees because of high enrollment under Hyer’s administration. Through these accomplishments, President Hyer was able to grow Whitewater Teachers College from the smallest normal school in the state to the second largest normal school.[2]

President Hyer
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

Frank S. Hyer announced his departure from campus in August 1930 and officially left on November 1, 1930.[3] After leaving Whitewater, he returned to Stevens Point where he retired from UW-Stevens Point in 1937. When Old Main caught fire in February 1970, the East Wing suffered the least amount of damage. The surviving portion was renovated and renamed Hyer Hall, in honor of Frank S. Hyer.[4] A residence hall at UW-Stevens Point is also named Frank S. Hyer Hall, making him the only president to have two buildings named after him in the state of Wisconsin.


[1] M. Janette Bohi, A History of Wisconsin State University Whitewater 1868-1968 (Whitewater, WI: Wisconsin State University Foundation, 1067, 146.

[2] M. Janette Bohi, A History of Wisconsin State University Whitewater 1868-1968 (Whitewater, WI: Wisconsin State University Foundation, 1067, 150.

[3] “Mr. Hyer Resigns To Head Stevens Point College,” The Royal Purple, (Whitewater, WI) Sept. 15, 1930.

[4] “Rename ‘Old Main’ East Wing Hyer Hall As Honor To 6th President,” The Whitewater Register, (Whitewater, WI) July, 30, 1970.

This entry was posted in Archives & ARC. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.