UF Named Facilities
Marjorie K. Rawlings Hall
American writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is best known for her short stories and novels that captured the rural simplicity of North Central Florida. Rawlings was born in Washington D.C. in 1896. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1918 with a bachelor's degree in English. After graduation, she worked for the Rochester Journal, the Louisville Courier-Journal and the United Feature Syndicate as a journalist, but she continued pursuing other forms of work.
In 1928, Rawlings moved to Cross Creek in North Central Florida. Her new environment inspired her first novel, South Moon Under, which brought her recognition and success. She continued to write and eventually produced The Yearling in 1938, which earned her a Pulitzer Prize for Best Novel.
As a successful female novelist in the 1930s, Rawlings challenged the status quo. She became a prominent literary figure socializing with fellow novelists Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Robert Frost. She influenced the local intellectual community through her rapport with many University of Florida professors. Rawlings was also an involved civil rights advocate and befriended other activists, including Indira Ghandi and Zora Neale Hurston.
Rawlings's success and fame grew with other popular works, such as When the Whippoorwill (1940) and Cross Creek (1942). However, during the following years, she was stricken by illnesses, suffered two automobile accidents and endured a lingering lawsuit that lasted more than five years. It took Rawlings a decade to publish her last book, The Sojourner in 1953. That same year, she passed away suddenly due to cerebral hemorrhage.
Rawlings promoted education and the exchange of ideas. As a result, she left most of her estate, including her library and manuscripts, to the University of Florida. Her contributions invigorated intellectual growth and continue to influence the literary community today.
Designed by architect Guy Fulton, Rawlings Hall opened in 1958 at a cost of $1.15 million. Rawlings Hall is part of the Broward/Rawlings/Yulee Residence Area. It's near an outdoor swimming pool, a series of tennis courts and a large grassy area dubbed "Broward Beach" where students and residents meet to enjoy the sun. In close proximity is the Broward Dining Facility.