Skip to Main Content

Buildings History

Stringfield Residence Hall

Stringfield Residence Hall, with four floors, is currently used as a dormitory for students on campus. On center campus, this dorm is conveniently located adjacent to Belk Dining Hall, and within eyesight of Caroll Hall, Martin Hall, Carlyle Campbell Library, and Vann Residence Hall.


Stringfield Residence Hall, first called “Dorm D” and renamed in 1930, was built in 1926 as one of the six original buildings on the new Tucker Farm campus.  

Oliver Larkin Stringfield was the first financial agent hired to travel North Carolina in search of the money required to create a college for women. Born in 1851 in Wilmington, he had survived family and financial losses in childhood. At 23, feeling called to preach, he entered Wake Forest with only a rudimentary education and little money. Upon graduation, he worked as a teacher, preacher, and principal. Perhaps as a result of these formative experiences, he threw himself into the work of fundraising across the state. He was a true believer in quality higher education for women, traveling to raise interest as well as contributions of any size, from gatherings large and small. Falling too ill to attend the school’s opening in September 1899, he visited in November and emotionally, declared himself, “the happiest man in North Carolina today.”  Recognizing his work, the 1906 Oak Leaves is dedicated to Stringfield, no doubt by young women who knew him personally and had been urged by him to come to Raleigh. Upon his death in 1930, Dorm D was rededicated to Stringfield, commemorating his efforts.

Being one of the oldest structures on campus, Stringfield Residence Hall has been updated over the years with paint, lighting, fixtures, and furniture. For decades, the building has been well situated to witness campus events including athletic training, Cornhuskin’, Stunt, picnics, commencements and everyday happenings.


Photograph of Oliver Stringfield late in life.

Oliver Stringfield (1851-1930)

Over the course of his lifetime, Stringfield was a teacher, principal, and pastor of several Baptist churches. When called as a trustee to raise funds for the hoped for Baptist Female University, he traveled the width and length of North Carolina, speaking at any and all venues to create both spiritual and financial support for the school. His efforts necessitated overcoming objections to the education of women and the severe economic difficulties in the state at the time. Most gifts consisted of a few dollars or even a few cents. Perhaps Stringfield was strengthened to the task by remembering his sister, who when he left home for Wake Forest had exclaimed, "I'd give anything if I only had a chance to be educated." 

Oliver Stringfield as a young man.

Oliver Stringfield (1851-1930)

At 23, Oliver Stringfield felt called to the ministry. In spite of his family's poverty and possessing only an elementary education, he walked 80 miles to Wake Forest College to enroll. At the time that he sat for this portrait, he had recently married and was principal of a new school, Wakefield Academy. 


Dorm "D" and the dining hall under construction on the new campus in 1925.

The brick dormitories were four of the six original building on the "new' campus. The 3-story buildings were to house 125 students with a social room on each floor. Each building was equipped with the convenience of kitchenette, a launderette and a pressing room. 

Stringfield Dorm, after 1928

Stringfield Hall, at left

Dorm D was rededicated and renamed to honor Oliver Stringfield in April, 1930, following his death in February. Nearby is the Fannie E.S. Heck Fountain, built and named for another consequential fundraiser and supporter for the early college. 

Moving into Stringfield Dorm, 1965

Moving into Stringfield Dorm, 1965

Stringfield Dorm in the early 1970s.

Stringfield Dorm in the early 1970s.

Stringfield Residence Hall, 2017

Stringfield Residence Hall, 2017