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In the fall of 1965, two new dormitories opened at Muhlenberg: one, Prosser Hall, housed the ever expanding population of female students; the other, Benfer Hall, was for men, and was named for Harry A. “Haps” Benfer (1893-1966), beloved admissions director and director of men’s dormitories who served Muhlenberg for over 40 years.
Benfer Hall was unusual in its financing; it was the first college project in the Lehigh Valley to be built with private financing, rather than by capital campaign. It was also unusual in design; rather than a central interior hallway, the dorm has exterior stairs and balconies. Benfer was designed to house 120 upperclassmen.
Benfer Hall was dedicated to “Haps” on October 16, 1965, just three months before his death.
In September 1971, Benfer and Prosser became the first dorms on campus to experiment with coed housing: 36 men moved into Prosser Hall, and 32 women moved into Benfer.
Today, Benfer is a coed, upperclassmen dormitory that houses eight students per suite.