The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is once again honoring the legacy of Louise Pound.
After imploding the high-rise residence hall named after the Nebraska U alumna and literary scholar in December, university leaders have reassigned the Pound name to what was the College of Business Administration building at 12th and R streets. The University of Nebraska Regents approved the name change during a June 28 meeting.
Pound (1872-1958) was a distinguished literary scholar, athlete, musician and advocate for women’s sports. She devoted her career to preserving Nebraska’s native folklore and pioneered studies in phiology, a combination of literary criticism, history and linguistics used to study language in written and historical contexts.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in 1892 and a master’s in 1895. When American universities would not admit her for graduate study, Pound went on to earn a doctorate in Heidelberg, Germany. She returned to NU and taught in the English department for 48 years.
As a scholar, Pound crusaded for the serious study of American English and founded the field’s leading journal. She also fought to open athletic and professional opportunities for women.
Pound established the Black Masque, a senior women’s honor society, later known as Mortar Board. She also helped NU become the first university in the nation to allow women cheerleaders.
“Pound embodied so many leadership ideals. She advocated for herself and for others and made a significant impact on our history as a university.”
— Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer
Pound was a star tennis player, winning the Lincoln city tennis championship in 1890 and the university’s men’s singles and doubles titles in 1891 and 1892. She also served as captain and played center on NU’s first women’s basketball game.
Pound is the only woman in NU history to receive a men’s varsity letter.
In 1897, Pound won the Women’s Western Championship and was rated the top tennis player in the country. She was a cyclist, figure skater, skier and golfer.
Pound was a member of a distinguished Nebraska family that included her brother, Roscoe, a prominent legal scholar.
Pound Hall was originally known as Social Sciences Hall when it opened for academic use in 1919. While still under construction in 1918, space within the building supported World War I activities of the Student Army Training Corps.
The building was renamed in the 1960s when it started being used primarily for instruction through Nebraska’s College of Business Administration. The college outgrew the space and moved into its new home, Howard H. Hawks Hall, during summer 2017.
In the last year, the university has completed and will continue fire, life and safety upgrades. These include a fire alarm system, making entrances ADA accessible, lactation spaces, a restroom block, and other general improvements and repairs.
Pound Hall is a multi-use building for general classrooms and office needs, and will not be designated to any one college. It will open during the first week of the fall semester.
Working with Campus Planning and Facilities, the Executive Vice Chancellor’s office planned the third floor office space in Pound Hall. The redesigned space will include units from the College of Arts and Sciences, specifically communication studies, classics and religious studies, philosophy, global studies, ethnic studies, Judaic studies, and women’s and gender studies.
“Pound embodied so many leadership ideals. She advocated for herself and for others and made a significant impact on our history as a university,” said Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. “I am pleased that these diverse studies will be working alongside one another in a space named after such a distinguished alumnus.”
Pound Hall will also serve as temporary home to units from the College of Education and Human Sciences displaced by the replacement of Mabel Lee Hall which is scheduled to begin in fall 2019 and to be completed in spring 2021.
Plans for additional office assignments and renovations in Pound Hall are pending.
Users should note that room numbers in the basement and first floor have changed from previous years. The building code for Pound Hall is LPH.