Stevens Alumni House
Home Management House
Conceived as a laboratory for the home economics department, the Home Management House was built 1929-30. Planned in the style of a large home, it was intended for use by eight senior home economics students at a time, who were required to live in the house full-time to apply skills learned in domestic arts and science courses.
Assigned as a class project, the "practice house" interior was designed by home economics faculty and students. Considered a model home for training, other colleges and universities requested copies of its architectural plans. Local architect E. H. Eads designed its exterior in Spanish Eclectic style.
Upon its completion in 1930, the College needed dormitory space. As a result, this structure became known as Southeast Hall and served as a dorm for 12-to-14 upper-division students and a hostess. During the Depression Years of the 1930s, a residence located at the northeast corner of campus was used as a temporary Home Management House. In the spring of 1940, this facility was returned to its original purpose.
Prior to the college’s becoming co-educational in 1965, this building was used for intensive foreign language instruction. It later provided space for classes, as a family residence and as a temporary dormitory.
Home economics was originally called "domestic arts and sciences" to imply the full range of the program’s concerns with teaching about home and family management. It was one of the founding academic options of OCW’s "industrial institute" beginnings. Along with secretarial training, or "commercial sciences," both were considered proper spheres of technical and vocational training for women. While home economics remained a very important program throughout the OCW period, it is significant to note its early commingling with the college’s broader liberal arts purposes. The program was taught in such a way as to blur the lines of distinction between the domestic arts and sciences with the fine arts and traditional sciences. An initial two-year home economics certificate was soon eliminated. Thereafter all aspiring baccalaureate degree holders faced a stunningly rigorous four-year requirement of study in mathematics, history, English, foreign language, and science. While the vocational content of domestic arts and sciences aimed to produce "wise and happy queenship in the kingdom of the home," a 1910 catalog proclaimed, it was never separated from the rigors of a curriculum that offered education "so liberal and comprehensive, so modern and practical, as to satisfy the demands of our young women, whatever their ambitions …"
Limited rooms are available to dues paying members of the Alumni Association (annual and lifetime members), members of the USAO Alumni Association board of directors and the USAO Foundation board of directors, and to special university guests, as determined and approved by the university president and/or a university vice president. Prices range from $40 to $65. Individuals or groups wishing to stay in the guest rooms are asked to reserve rooms at least two weeks in advance. Call 405-574-1290 or email for more information.
Myrtle Chandler Stevens has dedicated herself to higher education, the classroom, the community, and the farm. She served as USAO’s alumni director and as a member of the USAO faculty. She also has been the partner in a large farming-ranching operation in Caddo County.
The 1959 home economics graduate returned to Oklahoma College for Women as an adult student. She received her master’s degree in home economics from the University of Oklahoma in 1966 and returned to USAO to earn a degree in art education in 1987. She taught home economics in high school and at USAO for 26 years. During her time as a full-time alumni director, (1994-2006), the USAO Alumni Association assets grew from three awardable scholarships to 67 awardable scholarships.
The USAO Alumni Association Board resolved to raise money to renovate the Home Management House and requested that it be renamed the “Stevens Alumni House” to honor her service as director, alumna and advocate.