School marks 56 years in Summerfield Hall

April 11, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016, marked 56 years since Summerfield Hall’s formal dedication. It’s been home to the University of Kansas School of Business ever since, but at the end of this academic year, we’ll say goodbye and move to the newly constructed Capitol Federal Hall.

“I’ve spent most of my adult professional life within the walls of Summerfield Hall,” said Bill Beedles, finance professor and director of undergraduate programs. “You can’t help develop affection for a place where you’ve been for so long.”

When it opened, Summerfield Hall had the largest number of classrooms housed by any KU building. The $1.3 million structure was named in honor of KU benefactor Solon E. Summerfield, a Lawrence native whose father was a KU law professor. Summerfield earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at KU and later founded the Gotham Silk Hosiery Co. in New York.

“As I’m getting closer to retirement, I have often thought about walking out of Summerfield Hall for the last time and not being associated with the University of Kansas, and it’s a pretty powerful feeling,” said Allen Ford, who has taught in Summerfield Hall since 1976. “I’ve certainly enjoyed my years in Summerfield Hall.”

For longtime professors Prakash and Catherine Shenoy, Summerfield Hall has a special connection.

“I’ve had a good 38 years in Summerfield Hall,” Prakash Shenoy said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it in spite of its quirks. It has been our home.”

“It’s been a formative part of my life,” Catherine Shenoy said. “I met my husband in Summerfield Hall, and we’ve been married 35 years. I was in the first class he ever taught there. I’m really going to miss Summerfield. I’m glad Prakash and I are both moving to the new business school building together.”

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