Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Iris Graham Education Building

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Institution Name: McMurry University
Original/Historic Place Name: Iris Graham Memorial Dining Hall
Location on Campus: 2349 Sentinel Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1947original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick veneer
Roof: built-up tar and aggregate
1947-1989dining hall
1989-present (2006)academic department building (education)

For several generations of McMurry students, Iris Graham was the site of their meals and the location of social and political conversations. After the completion of the Mabee Dining Hall in and the renovation of Iris Graham 1989, it became the home of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, housing faculty offices, classrooms, and educational laboratory facilities.

The building campaign for a new dining facility began before the close of World War II. The fundraising program was headed by Miss Iris Graham, a McMurry alumna and then Registrar of the school. Just as that part of the campaign reached a successful conclusion in December 1945, Miss Graham was killed in an automobile accident, and the Alumni Association successfully petitioned the Board of Trustees to name the building in her memory. In the spring of 1968, Iris Graham was the scene of a very mild but very determined student protest meeting demanding that the campus flag be lowered to half-staff in recognition of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. College authorities immediately acquiesced to the student demands.


Pride of Our Western Prairie, McMurray College, 1923-1982. Abilene, TX: McMurry University, 1989.


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Last update: November 2006