Centennial Walk

The intersection of the Howard Way and Russell Boulevard, just north of the current Memorial Union complex, has acted as the gateway to the campus since the 1920’s. Howard Way is the starting point of an axis that accentuates the center of the core campus continuing through the campus quad and terminating at the historic campus Library. A student built trellis structure that flanked either side of Howard Way was the physical gateway to the campus and the original memorial to fallen student soldiers of World War I. When the Memorial Union was built in the 1955, the memorial became a part of the building and was expanded to include student soldiers of the Second World War. The Memorial Union became the true front door to the campus in a symbolic and physical sense. 

The Centennial Walk is a 450-foot long concrete walkway separating East and West Quad. The path dates back to around 1915, as a mere dirt path connecting the West Hall dormitory (where the Memorial Union is today) and a classroom building (site of Shields Library). In the 1930s, the path had been converted to concrete and the adjacent fields had been equipped with pipes and sprinklers for irrigation. Turf and trees followed, turning the 5.5-acre site into the Quad. Construction began in summer 2008 to revamp the path, including doubling the width to twelve feet and adding a circle feature to the Quad’s center. The walk was unveiled on October 15, 2008 during the university’s Centennial Fall Festival, commemorating the 1908-09 term when students first lived on campus.