Remember When: Calling home from college

McCluer Hall at Lindenwood College for Women, Missouri, in 1967.

Some Millersville University alumni may remember when there was a line to make a phone call on the one telephone on the dormitory floor. Over the decades, students clamored for more telephones in dormitories, in common areas, and then a phone in every dorm room. So you might be surprised to learn that MU has fewer phone lines today than it did thirty years ago.

Personally, I used a “phone card” to make those long-distance calls home when I attended Millersville in the late 90s.

Old Main in Millersville, PA, in 1875.

With ‘Ville’s homecoming this weekend, here’s a Remember When concerning campus phone lines documented through the University student newspaper, The Snapper.

Attention, Dorm Students!
September 30, 1938

Dormitory students are requested to notify friends and relatives that they are to be called on the dormitory telephones and not through those in the offices of administration…Should students be called at the office, the only notice of the call will be given on the bulletin board. No one from the office will go hunting for you, so use the dormitory telephone for quick, sure connections with the outside world.

More Phones Installed In Three Women’s Dorms
September 9, 1964

The chances of a man getting a date at Millersville are better than last year. Five additional telephones have been installed in the women’s dormitories… Those dorms were Old Main North, Lyle Hall, and Landes Hall.

Free Intra-Campus Phones To Be Installed in Dorms
August 9, 1967

Intra-campus telephones, which may be used free of charge by students, are scheduled to be installed in each dormitory for the fall semester… [Two residences, Bard and Lyle halls] will have one free telephone and one pay telephone for each floor. The free telephones will be connected to the college switchboard and may be used to make calls to any other extension telephone on campus. Calls to any place outside the campus and calls coming in from off-campus must go through the pay telephones.

Men Dorm Residents Vote; Most Want Private Phones
April 8, 1970

Men dormitory residents have indicated a desire for private telephones in their rooms by a vote of two to one. According to a survey completed last week by the Resident Men’s Association, an overwhelming majority of men would like their private phone to have access to campus, local, and long-distance calls. The same survey was taken by the Women’s Community Association and showed a less marked preference for private phones.

Things came full circle in 2011 when MU removed all the landlines from the residence halls and dorm rooms, as it became apparent that students preferred to use their cell phones instead. Campus telephones are still located in common areas of all residence halls for local calls and to summon emergency assistance.

đź“· Millersville University, Helen A. Ganser Library, Archives and Special Collections

Adventure Awaits!

Never miss a new article by signing up for email updates below. Be sure to follow Uncharted Lancaster on Facebook or Instagram for exclusive content.

Leave a Reply