Warhawk Almanac: The Opening of Moraine Dinning Hall

The mid to late 1960s was a big time period in terms of the dinning options at UW-Whitewater. Many students were accustomed to eating at the Union Cafeteria, but that all changed January of 1964. Using funds provided by the Housing and Home Financing Agency, UW-Whitewater was able to begin construction on a new dining hall. [1] Named after the “Kettle Moraine in the Whitewater area.” Moraine Dining Hall would be constructed “at the end of Graham Street next to Goodhue Hall” and would “serve 500 students every half hour.” [2]

Moraine Dining Hall Completed Announcement

The Moraine Dining Center opened January 26, 1964. The Royal Purple reported that the plan was to have McCutchan Hall and White Hall residents, and all non-dorm students eat at the Union; while Sayles Hall, Goodhue Hall, Baker Hall, Salisbury Hall, and Fischer Hall residents would eat at Moraine during its first semester of operation. The next school year all of the residents living in a dorm under construction and all students living off campus would eat at the Union; while students living everywhere else on campus would eat at Moraine. [3]

Two other dining halls were built soon after Moraine: Drumlin Dining Hall in September 1965 and Esker in February 1969. Because of declining enrollment on campus, Moraine closed in January of 1971 and “was never able to be effectively reopened.” [4] However, the University Center Director, Dan O’Sullivan, and other school officials were already talking of moving the University Book Store into Moraine Dining Hall during the 1971 winter break. The idea was that $100,000 of inventory would “be better displayed and closer to parking at Moraine.” [5] While this move did not happen at the time, Robert Meracle, the manager of the bookstore, cited similar reasons why the University should choose Moraine as the new location in 1972. Meracle said that incoming shipments would have to be transferred “only once instead of the present three times since Moraine has its own loading dock. The site also offers better parking facilities, more windows for displays, and a location closer to the dorms.” Another selling point from Meracle was that with increased space the bookstore could include new products like “coke and cigarette machines.” [6] Despite all of its attributes the bookstore did not move into Moraine until 1975, where it is still housed today. [7]

Moraine Bookstore
Gregg Theune, Moraine Hall, ca. 1990, University of Wisconsin—Whitewater Archives and Area Research Center, Whitewater, WI, https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AHT6Y4OMEFQQJP9C

[1] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Moraine Dining Hall Progressing; to be completed by January 1964,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), October 8, 1963.
[2] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Moraine Dining Hall Progressing; to be completed by January 1964,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), October 8, 1963.
[3] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Moraine Dining Center to Open,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), January 14, 1964.
[4] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Going back to the little red schoolhouse,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), February 14, 1973.
[5] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “New legislation passed,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), December 14, 1971.
[6] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Union bookstore relocates for more efficient service,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), February 22, 1972.
[7] University of Wisconsin Whitewater, “Letters to The Editor,” The Royal Purple (Whitewater), March 26, 1975.

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