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Named after Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the mechanical reaper, this building was constructed in 1887 using funds donated by his widow, Nettie Fowler McCormick. Many architectural features of the Romanesque style can be seen, including arches, bell tower, and hipped roof. The building was the second building constructed on campus following "Old College" built in 1841. The building is in good structural condition. The interior, however, has been "modernized" several times during its life and although much of the original fabric and design remain, they have been covered with contemporary building materials. In addition, one major renovation, ca. 1966, eliminated a two-story open balconied chapel area by inserting a second floor.
The construction of the building by Mrs. McCormick reflects the beginning of a tradition of her support of the institution, steps toward modernization of the campus, and her commitment to supporting church-affiliated higher education, especially where it served regions that provided fewer opportunities for students. Her support also reflects the McCormick's belief in a strict Calvinist interpretation of Presbyterian doctrine. This belief is also reflected in the McCormick's establishment of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Along with classrooms, McCormick Hall today houses the president's and other key staff offices, as well as the board of trustees room. Built in along the walls of the board room are the original pillars which supported the choir loft in the old chapel.