Baity Hall - Built in 1889
Known as "Old Main" until 1948 when it was renamed for Reverend George P. Baity, Baity Hall now has the distinction of being listed in the National Registry. Built in 1889, for the next six years it was the only building on campus and housed classrooms, offices, laboratories, literacy society hall, the chapel, museum, and the gymnasium for both men and women.
Baity Hall, a structure of towers, stained glass, and red brick, was also the home for many prospective ministers for the Missouri and Kansas synods of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which founded the school.
An architectural jewel, magnificent Baity Hall has presided over Missouri Valley College since its inception. The first and only building on campus for six years, it served every purpose, providing the space for classrooms, offices, laboratories, dormitories, a museum, kitchen, cafeteria, chapel, library, conference rooms, and two gymnasiums for men and women. Today it houses the divisions of education and business, classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, a counseling center, and the Learning Center.
Staircases greeting the west entrance have been ascended by every student who ever attended Missouri Valley College. Of particular interest is the large room on the top floor of the south wing. Once a basketball court, then a cafeteria, later a chapel, and now a learning center with 22 computer stations, its history is the history of the College. Its cruciform design is best viewed from the east looking west at the original stained glass windows under the vaulted wooden ceiling still in wonderful condition. Decorated by its former supervisor, Virginia Kugel-Zank, this is the most beautiful academic room on the campus, and the busiest, with 21,941 sign-ins during the 2008-2009 academic year. It was photographed and proudly displayed in The Chronicle of Higher Education as a proof of what a small liberal arts college can do for people who come here to learn.
Built by local contractor E. R. Page at a cost of $42,350, not counting paint, heating, and furnishing, Baity Hall hosted classes for the first time on September 23, 1889. Affectionately called “Old Main,” in 1948 it was renamed to honor the Rev. Dr. George P. Baity, the College’s first graduate in classics, who served on the Board of Trustees from 1917 to 1947. In 1986 it was put on the National Register of Historic Places.