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An illustration of Yudof Hall.

An artist's rendering of Yudof Hall.

Riverbend takes on new name

Student housing complex will be named Mark G. Yudof Hall

By Pauline Oo

Published on September 14, 2005

In December 1996, a Texas transplant and expert on constitutional law, freedom of expression, and education law was named the University of Minnesota's 14th president. Mark Yudof held office for five years (1997 to 2002), and in that time became known for his sharp wit, ability to communicate with everyone from legislators to little kids, and his love of pancakes.

During his tenure at the University of Minnesota, Yudof led the U into the new millennium (Cyrus Northrop was the only one other University president who faced a new century--1884-1911) and initiated many programs that continue to benefit the University community. He headed Campaign Minnesota, the U's largest-ever fund-raising effort that raised $1.6 billion; restored many historic buildings on the Morris and Twin Cities campuses; and improved undergraduate education and graduation rates--freshman seminars were established and for the first time in more than two decades, incoming freshmen gathered at Northrop Auditorium for student convocations. In his first year, his most notable achievement involved the Minnesota governor and legislature. Yudof put together a proposal that won unprecedented support for academic priorities, historic preservation, and new construction. A record $207 million in the state bonding bill led to new buildings on each of the University's campuses.

Buildings in honor of past presidents

Folwell Hall, named for William Watts Folwell. Built in 1907.

Cyrus Northrop Auditorium, named for Cyrus Northrop. Built in 1929 and dedicated on 11/15/29.

Vincent Hall, named for George Edgar Vincent. Built in 1938 and dedicated 10/13-14/38.

Burton Hall. Originally built as the Library in 1895, and renamed Burton Hall in 1931 for Marion LeRoy Burton.

Coffman Union, named for Lotus Delta Coffman. Built in 1940 and dedicated on 10/25/40.

Ford Hall, named for Guy Stanton Ford. Built in 1951.

Coffey Hall. Originally built as the Main building on the St. Paul Campus in 1907, and renamed Coffey Hall in 1949 for Walter Castella Coffey.

Morrill Hall. Originally built in 1925 as the Administration Building, and renamed Morrill Hall in 1962 for James Lewis Morrill.

O. Meredith Wilson Library, named for O. Meredith Wilson. Built in 1968.

Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower, named for Malcolm Moos in 1983. Originally built as Health Science Unit A to house Dentistry, the Medical School, and Public Health between 1973 and 1976.

Magrath Library. Originally built as the St. Paul Library in 1953, and renamed Magrath Library for C. Peter Magrath in 1998.

Nils Hasselmo Hall. Dedicated in 1996 as the Basic Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Building and renamed in May 2005 for Nils Hasselmo.

To learn more about each of the past presidents, see Office of the President.

Source: University Archives

Tomorrow (September 15), the U will rename its Riverbend Commons student housing complex the Mark G. Yudof Hall. The East Bank building houses 421 students in five types of furnished suite- and apartment-style units, and it also provides its residents with common study and TV lounges, athletic and recreational equipment, laundry facilities, and a computer lab.

There will be a dedication ceremony and free public reception in building's Club Room at 3 p.m. Speakers will include former Minnesota governor Arne Carlson, Regent Anthony Baraga, University student Melanie Smallwood, and Provost E. Thomas Sullivan.

The University has a tradition of naming buildings for its past presidents. The Board of Regents voted to name Riverbend Commons in honor of Yudof because of his vision to reconnect the University with the Mississippi River and improve student life. Currently, there are 13 on the Twin Cities campus, including Yudof Hall. When a president leaves the U, a committee comprising representatives of the Board of Regents and the Faculty Consultative Committee will forward a recommendation to the Senate All-University Honors Committee. Once the committee approves the nomination, it is sent to the president and regents for approval.

Yudof is now chancellor at the University of Texas, overseeing a 15-campus system with 160,000 students and 85,000 employees. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Yudof spent 25 years as a faculty member and administrator (first as law school dean, then executive vice president and provost) at the University of Texas at Austin.