aerial view of brookings hall

Brookings Quadrangle, the site of the all-university Commencement ceremony each spring, comprises Brookings Hall to the east, Ridgley Hall to the west, Cupples Hall I to the north and Busch Hall to the south.

Brookings Hall

The cornerstone was laid on November 3, 1900. Along with several other buildings on campus, Brookings Hall is listed with the National Registry of Historic Places. Formerly known as University Hall, and leased from the university for use as the Administration Building of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, its name was changed to Brookings Hall on June 28, 1928, when Mr. Brookings became President Emeritus of the Board of Directors. The name was officially changed again on April 12, 1929 to Robert S. Brookings Hall.

Plaques and Inscriptions

Washington University in St. Louis’ Quadrangle contains a number of commemorative plaques and inscriptions.

Two inscriptions on the east facade of the Brookings archway recognize the university’s original founding in 1853 as Eliot Seminary and its renaming as Washington University in 1857.

Above the archway is the Latin inscription “Discere Si Cupias Intra: Salvere Iubemus” (“If you desire to learn, enter: We bid you welcome”).

The large granite plaque in the plaza in front of Brookings Hall commemorates the naming of the Danforth Campus in 2006.

The plaque embedded in the ground beneath the archway honors Washington University’s founder, first Chairman of the Board and the third Chancellor, William Greenleaf Eliot. The plaque was given to the university during the centennial celebrations in 1953 by the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis.

Finally, on the west facade of Brookings Hall above the clock, the Latin inscription reads, “Cedunt Horae, Opera Manent” (“The hours go by, but the works remain”).