The central portion of Alumni Hall was built as a lecture hall for debating activities popular in the late 19th century. The east and west wings housed two literary and debating societies, Gnothautii and Adelphi, which initiated some of the College’s earliest student publications. Although only partially used since 1978, Alumni Hall housed during its 115-year history various campus functions and facilities, including the College library, the Knox Theater, art studios, an ROTC rifle range, the computer center, the Knox Bookstore, the Gizmo coffee house, a chapel, the registrar, faculty and staff offices, and classrooms.
Elijah E. Myers (1832-1909), the architect of Alumni Hall, first came to prominence when he won the 1867 competition for the design of a new Macoupin County courthouse in Carlinville, Illinois. Meyers subsequently designed the state capitol buildings for Michigan, Colorado, and Texas.