Beaumont Tower has not been a part of campus since MSU’s conception. Rather, it serves as a monument to commemorate the former location of one of the most significant buildings for the university.
Shortly after the university was established in 1855, College Hall, the nation’s first building for the study of scientific agriculture, was built to serve as the academic hub of the campus.
Lynne Goldstein, MSU professor of anthropology, said the foundation of College Hall was so terribly built that the building was constantly undergoing renovation. In 1918, College Hall finally collapsed.
It was during this time Americans were in the thick of World War I, and the university had many military ties. The remains of MSU’s first academic building were replaced by an artillery shed.
“One of (MSU’s alumni) came back to visit and was appalled,” Goldstein said. “He was appalled that College Hall was gone, (but) he was more appalled by the fact that the artillery shed was there instead.”
That student was John Beaumont, from the class of 1882. Beaumont and his wife, Alice, provided the funds to build something to commemorate the very beginning of the university.
Construction for the tower began in 1927, and took almost a year to complete.
The brick and limestone tower was finished in 1928 and was dedicated on June 22, 1929, according to the MSU Archives.
For the full article, see Anya Rath, “A towering legacy; Storied history, legacy surround one of MSU’s most iconic structures”, State News, October 17, 2013.