Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer
Funny... I don't feel dead! If you've forgotten JMC - You weren't there!

An academy for wandering minstrels
Equipping lifelong learners to pursue personal and professional interests in art, activism, law, education, business, medicine, international affairs, social services, science, management, media, and more.
* Michigan State University's first, most experimental, and most innovative residential college *


How would you compare/contrast the facilities you had in Snyder/Phillips with, say, your colleagues who were students in James Madison College and living in Case/Wilson?


We certainly had the least in the way of physical facilities, but I think that I learned the most from the other students and residents of Snyder-Philips.

- David Brigode (Student: 1969 - 1973)


I never visited James Madison so I can’t say. Lyman Briggs was also a strong consideration for me, but I felt that I had greater flexibility and broader perspectives with JMC to pursue science. Personally, I preferred the old dormitory facilities at Snyder-Phillips. The classrooms and offices in Snyder Hall did restrict some of the college’s needs, but Baker Hall did provide adjacent facilities to supplement our needs.

- Paul M. Buehrle (Student: 1969 - 1973)


I cannot provide a comparison because I was in the first class of Justin Morrill College, and the other two did not appear until I was well into my third year. At that time I was no longer living in Snyder/Phillips and had no reason to go to the residence halls where those colleges were housed.

- Dennis Hall (Student: 1965 - 1969)


While Snyder/Phillips rooms were smaller, darker, and perhaps even less attractively furnished, I think the facilities (okay, maybe 30+ years have put a rosy glow on things) were well-suited. I remember with particular fondness the classroom off the lobby in Phillips and the way the light came in during afternoon classes.

- Mark Harris (Student: 1973 - 1977)


I never had the impression that their life experiences had the same vitality as JMC's.

- Leonard Kaufmann (Student: 1967 - 1969)


I loved Snyder/Phillips. I moved out when I was a sophomore, but moved back in when I was a senior! I liked the "traditional" Oxford/Cambridge architectural style, the relatively small dining rooms, the variability of the student rooms, and the closeness of a smaller dorm. My senior-year room on the third floor, under a sloping ceiling with two dormers seemed almost romantic. The dorms such as Case were more like hotels, motels or factories.

- Carl Koivuniemi (Student: 1965 - 1969)


I thought Snyder Phillips was perfect. It was close to everything and was a beautiful dorm. The fact that we had community bathrooms brought us closer together. My sister lived in a dorm in Case/Wilson complex and it seemed so far from everything. I had friends on all ends of campus and I always found Snyder Phillips to be the better of all the dorms.

- Suzanne Levy (Student: 1965 - 1969)


Old and funky versus modular modern - and, to a degree, somewhat more antiseptic. In retrospect, I guess it always surprised me that the three programs shared very few offerings with one another. I found the facilities and living quarters more than adequate.

- William McGarvey (Student: 1966 - 1971)


Not familiar with James Madison; recall Case being very large "hotel". Really liked being in small dorm. Again, would not have come to MSU to be one of the numbers-- I could have gone to the University of Texas for a lot less money and done that.

- Joe Milkes (Student: 1967 - 1971)


Teaching facilities were primitive at best. Devote some cash to modern, pleasant facilities with up-to-date equipment. We did have a lovely auditorium/theatre, well used and invaluable. Provide faculty with offices within the residential complex, easily reachable by students.

- Pamela Oestreicher (JMC faculty: 1976 - 1978)


I’ve never spent much time in the other residential college areas. I loved the Sny-Phi dorms. I was very happy to be in one of the older dorms rather than those huge, more clinical looking new ones. Being from one of the last classes, I appreciated the sense of history and folklore handed down from the upper clases and faculty.

- Cleo Parker (Student: 1974 - 1978)


I really don’t have a basis for comparison. I would turn your question around to suggest (1) that the residence be fully handicap accessible and (2) that it be properly equipped to support study of the core curriculum.

- Charles K. Roberts (Student: 1966 - 1970)


Fine, so far as I remember.

- Nancy R. Shaffer (Student: 1972 - 1975)


I did not notice any important differences, although Case did have its own radio station.

- John Stick (Student: 1971 - 1975)


I don’t really have an opinion on this. I did not spend much time with anyone in other dorms. As I recall, the ones I did visit did not impress me. I would have been happier with the suite arrangement instead of the common bathroom down the hall however. But I certainly lived through that for two years without any scars…

- Darlene Swartz-Hubsky (Student: 1969 - 1973)


In those days, I did not pay a lot of attention to the physical facilities. In the days before computers, all we needed were seminar rooms.

- Robert Walter (Student: 1969 - 1974)


I stayed in Case / Wilson during freshman orientation, explored James Madison College as a possible option, and visited Case / Wilson during my 4 years at MSU. I preferred the residential environment in Snyder-Phillips. It was smaller, of an older, more picturesque and less 'sterile' character, and was predominantly populated by fellow JMC students. My impression was that Madison students of the same era didn't have as strong a sense of 'community' as we did in JMC. I attribute this partially to the fact that Snyder-Phillips was proportionately far more 'Morrill' than Case / Wilson was 'Madison' (in terms of residence population). I also connect this impression to the fact that being so much larger, Case / Wilson allowed students greater latitude to not see or interact with each other, even in 'commons' areas.

On the other hand, Case / Wilson had in-house classroom / instructional facilities larger and more modern than what we had in Snyder-Phillips. JMC had to use auxiliary faculty / staff offices and classroom space in the basement of Baker Hall next door (not a problem). My recollection was that their average Case / Wilson dorm room was as large or larger than the average in Snyder-Phillips, their bathrooms were more spacious, and their grill was larger and better-appointed.

There was a very modest JMC library in the basement of Phillips Hall. I rarely used it as anything other than a quiet study area, because the available inventory was ill-suited for my library needs (both in terms of scale and topics). I therefore went over to the University Library when I needed library resources. I'm not sure I ever saw the Madison library in Case / Wilson. I visited the Briggs library in Holmes once or twice, and I recall it being noticeably bigger and better-stocked than the JMC library.

In terms of location, the only advantage of one over the other was that the Auditorium, Art Museum, Grand River Avenue shopping, and most of the central classroom buildings were closer to Snyder-Phillips than to Case / Wilson.

I also had friends in Lyman Briggs College (Holmes Hall) during my days at MSU. All the points listed above apply to Holmes / Briggs as well as Case / Wilson / Madison. The one difference is that I always thought the 'science nerds' at Holmes enjoyed a sense of camaraderie or community more like us in Morrill than those over in Madison.

Given a choice of dormitory environment(s) at MSU, I'd definitely choose the older Gothic mid-20th Century dorms (Northeast corner; the cluster just west of the Union) over any of the larger, more modern ones.

- Randy Whitaker (Student: 1969 - 1973)


I don't really know what all they had in James Madison or Case/Wilson or wherever. I know that we had access to the language lab over in Morrill hall about as often as we wanted it, which was good because the language program was very accelerated in JMC. Many of the JMC classes were held right in the dorm, which probably helped attendance on bad weather days. I really don't know what to say except I feel we had pretty good learning facilities for being in first year of an experimental college.

- Larry Wickett (Student: 1965 - 1969; ongoing JMC experience til 1976)

Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer


Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer
Sparty Logo Michigan State University

neither sanctions, sponsors, nor has any affiliation with this Webspace

Editor and Site Steward:
Randy Whitaker (JMC '74)


Presented By: Enola Gaia.

Randy Pic
Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer