Living in a Palatial Dorm

When I think back to my dorm days at the University of Missouri, what I remember most vividly is getting scalded in the shower. I lived in Johnston Hall, which was named after a woman Latin professor when it was built right after World War II. The girls’ dorm was known for being centrally located and for its decrepit plumbing.

When one of my college dorm mates needed to flush the toilet she had to pause and then scream, “Flushing!” Any girl in the shower had to immediately jump out of the water. Girls who didn’t move fast enough got blasted with horribly hot water.

I mention this because I ran across a feature in the University Business Magazine that focused on “dorms of distinction.” Colleges and universities submitted nominations for the honor and the magazine published the dorm winners.

Some of these university dorms of distinction look more like resorts. At Southwestern University (TX), for instance, kids can live in garden-style apartments and study in front of fireplaces. At Rollins College, kids enjoy a panoramic lake view from their second-floor patio decks. Suffolk University boasts of European-style cabinetry (whatever that is) and granite counter tops in the kitchens.

Having lived in a dorm with bad plumbing and loud radiators, I’m obviously jealous. But I’m also wondering how long institutions can keep plowing money into palatial residence halls and suites in this economic environment.

Here are the college dorm winners.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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  1. Wow- and I thought I was lucky with air conditioning, a mini-fridge and a private bathroom for me and my three roommates. If they get to live in places like this, it’s no wonder so many students don’t want to move off-campus.