Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Sharpe Refectory

Sharpe Refectory was built in 1950 at a cost of two million dollars to accommodate 1,640 students in the main dining room and the eighteen (seventeen for the fraternities) private dining rooms around the perimeter, with a cafeteria, the Ivy Room, in the basement for commuters and staff. The refectory was named for Chancellor Henry D. Sharpe 1894, and opened in January 1951. When it was new, 125 student waiters served all the diners in one session, employing “family style” service, bringing food to the table for diners to serve themselves. Board at the opening date of the refectory was $215 a semester for 20 meals a week. The students soon changed “Refectory” to “Rat-factory,” which was in turn shortened to “Ratty,” a name in general use today. Later the service was changed to cafeteria style, and in 1982 the former private fraternity dining rooms were made available for the use of other groups.