Campus Creek Complex first opened as dorms@subhead

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The building known as the Campus Creek Complex originally opened in March 1949 as two houses for female students in the home economics program. The university catalog referred to the buildings as “home-management houses” for women enrolled in the household management class. One lodge was named for Ellen H. Richards, the first president of the American Home Economics Association. The other, a duplex, was named for past home economics faculty members Margaret Ahlborn and Ula Dow.

Cottages or homes for female students in the home economics division had existed for 30 years before the construction of those along Campus Creek Road. As early as 1917, professor of domestic science Margaret Haggart had called for “a practice house in which girls may do real housekeeping. Among the valuable lessons that may be learned are those that pertain to standards of living and to standards of food.”

The first home-management house opened in 1918, and also bore the name Ellen H. Richards Lodge. Women lived in the home for six weeks and received three hours of credit. According to an April 4, 1930, article in the Home Economics News, the women were expected to run the home on a yearly income of $3,600.

Several home-management houses were constructed before the two in the Campus Creek Complex in 1949. Another cottage built in 1928 attempted to represent an $1,800 yearly income level. In 1937, a home-management house was founded for black females in the home economics program; it was located on Colorado Street south of campus.

Directors of the home economics program made every effort to educate women on the duties of domestic life, including motherhood. In a Feb. 15, 1922, article in the Kansas Industrialist, the school of home economics announced the arrival of a 20-day-old baby from an Oklahoma City orphanage to its home management cottage. The article stated the purpose of the legal adoption was a “means of giving girl students practical training in home making.” The child was named David II (the first baby was adopted the previous semester) and was “the youngest child ever secured for such use at an American college.”

Today the Campus Creek Complex houses the Galichia Institute for Gerontology and Family Studies, an early childhood laboratory, and a speech and hearing center.

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