Opening Day 1923 Invocation by presiding elder Lane

Administration Building Auditorium

(Now known as Matthews Auditorium)

The city of Abilene was awarded a bid over Stamford to build a Methodist College on forty-two acres of land at the south side of the city. Fundraising began in 1921, and $300,000 was raised by Abilene Methodists and other individuals committed to the opening of the new college.  Construction of the Administration Building (later named Old Main) began in April 1922, and was completed by opening day on September 19, 1923.  The science laboratories and fine arts department shared the third floor.  The library was located on the west end of the second floor, and the classrooms on both the second and first floors.  The college administration offices and auditorium completed the first floor.  Over the years, the beautiful auditorium that hosted the opening day ceremonies in 1923 sank into a state of disrepair until a massive building campaign in 2014 when Old Main and the historic auditorium was restored to its former grandeur.  The auditorium was renamed Matthews Auditorium in recognition of the financial commitment of the Matthews Family to the restoration project.