The corner of Glassell and Palm has been the hub of education in the City of Orange for more than 100 years. Chapman University’s Reeves Hall, one the first buildings constructed for Orange Union High School on the site in 1913, itself has been a cornerstone of education in Orange County since the beginning.
At the time of their construction, Reeves Hall and its pair [now Smith Hall] flanked the main campus building, forming the front section of the U-shaped lawn that is still familiar to Chapman University visitors. The identical buildings, known as “The Twins,” housed the high school’s Scientific (for students going to college) and Commercial (for those going into business) classrooms. In 1920, the first main campus building [now Wilkinson Hall] was moved, the lawn was extended, and Chapman’s iconic Memorial Hall was constructed.
Along with these three other historic buildings, Reeves Hall was purchased by then Chapman College in 1954 when it relocated to Orange County. With its move to Orange, Chapman College became the first four-year college in Orange County to offer a bachelor’s degree and the first sanctioned by the State of California in the county to grant a teaching credential.
Reeves Hall was eventually named in honor of George Reeves, Chapman College President from 1942 to 1956, and all four structures were added to the National Register for Historic Places in 1975.
Chapman University recently completed its third renovation of Reeves Hall in January 2018, the first occurring in 1954 when the campus opened. Now home to the Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies, Reeves Hall continues to serve Orange County, with faculty and students dedicated to teaching excellence and serving local schools and communities.
Enhancements to Reeves Hall include a seismic retrofit, improvements to overall ADA accessibility and safety systems, and the installation of 21st century learning and research labs.
To celebrate both the building’s historic role and these enhancements, Chapman University is holding a ribbon cutting of the newly renovated Reeves Hall and a formal dedication of the Attallah College of Educational Studies on Friday, February 23. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. outside the main entrance of Reeves Hall, located on Memorial Lawn. There will be music, refreshments, and an open house of the new building for all to enjoy from 1 to 3 p.m.
About Donna Ford Attallah ’61:
Donna Ford Attallah ’61, an exemplary graduate of Chapman University, taught kindergarten and first grade in the Cypress School District for 40 years, and is today a trustee of the university. Donna and her husband, Fahmy Attallah, created a legacy of support at Chapman. A testament of their commitment to Chapman is the Attallah Piazza, the center of our campus. In 2017, Chapman’s College of Educational Studies was named in her honor.
Display image at top: Orange Union High School color postcard, 1920 (Courtesy of the Local History Collection, Orange Public Library, Orange, CA)