Erected in 1915 to serve as the president’s home, this stately, two-story, neo-classical building was designed by Joseph Hudnut and is now placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Four Auburn presidents, Thach, Dowell, Knapp, and Duncan, consecutively lived in the elegant mansion until 1938 when the new president’s home was built on the corner of Samford and College.
Since 1938, the home has served as office and residence for deans of women and various members of their staffs. Known as the Social Center, each end of the building were designated as dating parlors, and dubbed mushrooms by the students where girls could entertain their dates.
The Social Center came to full bloom as the setting for social and cultural events when Katharine Cooper Cater became dean of women in 1946. As both her home and office, it has been the setting for countless teas, coffees, receptions, meetings, and student parties.
In the late 1970s the building was transformed in to administrative offices and was home to a variety of on campus departments. Today Cater Hall houses the Honors College.
Students still hold the tradition of having organizational “callouts” along the porches of these beloved halls.
Celebrating 100 years in 2015, Katharine Cooper Cater Hall has undergone an adaptive reuse renovation, below is a sneak preview of a documentary by Associate Professor of Media Studies, Kevin Smith.