A 9.8 million top-to-bottom renovation of Willard Hall began in 1995 to make the former women's residence hall the first permanent home of the College of Education. The hall, which had been closed since 1986 and used for storage, was transformed on the inside with the addition of modern classrooms, labs, and faculty offices as well as a large underground lecture hall. Above the new lecture hall was an expansive new elevated patio that encompassed the south lawn and looked out toward scenic Theta Pond. The patio is often used for weddings. A central feature for the new Willard Hall was an upgrade and restoration of the graceful old living room on the first floor that was remember by several generations of students. Opened for the first time in 1939, Willard Hall was named for temperance leader and feminist Frances E. Willard. Initial room rates back then ranged from $7 - $14 in the hall, which housed 407 women.