Gilt by Association

Editor’s Page

The quality of life at IUP took a giant step forward last semester when the Student Cooperative Association threw open the doors of the newer structure in the Hadley Union Building complex.  By fall, the previous structure will have been entirely renovated and will be fully open for business.

As modern as the current complex seems, the story of the HUB and its place in the life of the campus goes back to 1927.  In that year, students and faculty members at the newly named Indiana State Teachers College formed an association to own and operate the College Lodge, now part of the Co-op Recreational Park.  Six years later, the Student Cooperative Association was organized to control the collection and budgeting of student activity fees and to supervise the Cooperative Bookstore.

By the late fifties, the Co-op’s needs had long outgrown facilities available first in Sutton and later in Whitmyre.  The charter of the lodge association was revised and the two separate organizations and their activities combined into one new corporation, the Student Cooperative Association, Inc.  A separate entity, the College Student Union Association, Inc., was formed in 1960 to provide a local building authority for construction of a separate, dedicated structure.

On a snowy afternoon in 1961, the original Student Union building was dedicated—the first of its kind in what is now Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.  It stood just across the Pennsylvania Rail Road tracks from Whitmyre Hall—close to historic Shaver Spring and adjacent to the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity house.  Additions to the original building were made in 1962 and 1966; more property was acquired for a separate bookstore structure; and another major remodeling was completed in 1972.

By that time, the railroad and the fraternity house were gone, although the Sig Tau steps on the slope up to Pratt Drive remained until the Co-op’s last major expansion in the mid-eighties.  In 1985, the edifice with the distinctive atrium roofline was dedicated and christened the S. Trevor Hadley Union Building.  The man for whom it was named had been a freshman at Indiana when the Student Cooperative Association was first organized and had spent most of his life working on behalf of IUP students and alumni.

Today, the association’s annual student activities budget is just under $5 million.  Annual sales in the Co-op Store are more than $6 million.  With revitalized facilities and services, the Student Cooperative Association, will, like IUP itself, continue to change—reflecting the world in which it finds itself and the students that it serves.