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Smith Hall was the first building constructed by Trevecca Nazarene University after it first occupied the current campus property in 1936. The one and one-half story house with full basement was constructed in 1939 with concrete and block, and used a popular English Cottage house design featuring an off-set and projected gabled front. The rubbled limestone veneer of the house, harvested from a small, nearby quarry, would serve as the harbinger for future buildings since it was discovered that under the campus property, in the words of President A. B. Mackey, "enough gray limestone to cover this hill in buildings."
The house was built for President Mackey and his family so they could live in a separate dwelling and not in one of the dormitories, where they had lived since the university first moved to this campus. It continued to serve as the president's house until the late 1950s. In 1959, it was renamed Smith Hall to honor Donnie Smith, a Trevecca Nazarene University student, who was struck and killed by lightning the day before he would have graduated in 1958. Smith Hall then served as a dormitory until it was converted for use by the administrative office of Student Affairs. The building has been moved twice, both times to make way for new construction. In 1984, it was moved to its present location on the south end of the campus.