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Constructed in 1919 and known in the early years of the college as the Administration Building, Thirkield Hall is named after Bishop Thirkield, a close friend of the institution, who once served as President of Gammon Theological Seminary and later became President of Howard University. In 1929 the institution, Wiley University, was recognized and renamed Wiley College. Thirkield Hall still bears the inscription WU symbolizing Wiley University.
Situated near the center of the main campus, the building is the oldest remaining on campus and exemplifies academic eclecticism architecture. During 1965-66 the building supported the Offices of the President, Dean, Registrar, Business Manager, Director of Admissions and Director of Publicity. The 1968-70 Wiley reporter states, "the building is the hub of the school's classroom activities. It contains lecture rooms, the Language Laboratory, and the Business Laboratory. The Office of the Registrar, Admissions and Placement, Director of Research, and Public Relations are located in this building. Data Processing Center is also located there." Currently the building houses the Offices of Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Distance Learning Laboratory, the Lilly Teaching Renewal Center, Computer Laboratories, faculty offices and classrooms.