Missing Kresge Hall letters stump students and faculty


Seeger Gray/Daily Senior Staffer

The Kresge Hall sign has gradually been losing letters over the last few months, and students and faculty are worried of the implications.

Jay Dugar and Danny O’Grady

Over the course of the past three months, silver letters have been slowly disappearing from Kresge Hall’s main signage.

The first few letters started to vanish last November, and by mid-January, all were gone. With just traces of residue remaining, students and faculty speculate about the causes behind their slow disappearance. 

“It’s kind of expected that this would happen,” Weinberg sophomore Raquel Weinstein said. “I saw last year letters missing from one of the residential colleges I lived by.” 

A similar incident happened during the 2021-2022 academic year, with letters disappearing from the Slivka Residential College sign.

Weinstein said the missing letters from the Kresge sign may make the building appear less appealing to visitors. Kresge Hall sits behind The Rock, a landmark that campus tours frequently stop by.  

“I feel like NU tries to come off as a very prestigious, modern-looking, ‘everything’s perfect’ kind of place,” Weinstein said. “(With the missing letters), people might think the building’s unfinished, or (they) might start asking questions.”

According to Northwestern’s managing editor for media relations Erin Karter, the University believes the letters were removed as an act of vandalism. She said individuals behind the alleged vandalism will face disciplinary action, if caught.

Karter added that University officials initiated replacement procedures after the vandalism was identified and that signage is important for individuals finding their way around campus.

“The repairs require fabrication of replacement letters, which are still on order,” Karter wrote in an email to The Daily. “When the necessary materials are delivered to campus, the re-installation will be expedited.” 

But repairing Kresge’s signage will divert resources from other projects relating to building maintenance and infrastructure, she said.

Meanwhile, the letterless sign is on full display to visitors, which includes prospective student tours that pass by The Rock and University Hall.

Weinberg sophomore Audrey Zhou said prospective students may not view the University as “institutionally sound” when they see the missing letters. 

“If we can’t even maintain the letters of our own building, (it) could negatively affect (the) opinion of the school,” Zhou said. 

French Prof. Cynthia Nazarian said a Kresge sign replacement is important to maintain the overall appearance of the building and the University’s public image, especially since the building was recently renovated between October 2014 and January 2017.

Nazarian said it would be acceptable if the sign is replaced with a new dedication or a more “thoughtful” sign, but ideally, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

“It’s bizarre that they’re disappearing piecemeal,” Nazarian said. “I hope that they’re gonna be replaced. Maybe they’ll put something better. Originally I thought it was something intentional, but clearly it’s not.”

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