The present University Hall, located on the campus of Friends University, was constructed between 1886 and 1888 as part of Garfield University, a Christian college named after the late President, James A. Garfield. After years of financial difficulty the building and campus were purchased by a Quaker businessman, James M. Davis, as a gift to the Kansas Society of Friends in 1898.
The first and largest of the public buildings designed by Proudfoot and Bird, the Richardsonian Romanesque brick four-story structure remains a significant example of Kansas education as architecture. The building features heavy stone trim, circular comer towers, and a 148 foot central clock tower. The brick walls are of running band construction with stone quoining at the corners.
Stone bands divide the building horizontally with decorative stone treatment at the window spandrels. The roof line is defined by a heavy ornate cornice resting on closely spaced brackets. The roof itself is steeply pitched and shingled, with eyebrow dormers on the south elevation, so indicative of the Victorian period of architecture. The entrance is terminated in a large circular rough hewn stone arch.