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Directorate of Cadet Activities : Cullum Hall History

Cullum Hall History

“To the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy”


The will of Brevet Major General George Washington Cullum, USMA Class of 1833, contained a $250,000 bequest “to be used for construction and maintenance of a memorial hall at West Point to be dedicated to the officers and graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.”

Cullum’s bequest was formally accepted by an act of Congress and construction began in 1898. When the building was dedicated two years later, it became a memorial repository to honor deceased graduates through portraits, sculptures, and plaques. Noted architect, Stanford White, designed the building in a Greek Revival style of Milford granite. Cullum Hall remains one of the most richly decorated buildings at West Point.

The grand ballroom upstairs is the triumph of the building. With its oil portraits, commemorative plaques, statues, and cannon trophies, it is a tribute to the achievements of West Point’s notable graduates. The Cullum Hall paintings, under the care of the West Point Museum, are among the most significant of memorial portraits at the Academy. The grand ballroom is slated for restoration by Spring 2013.

The main floor contains the Pershing Room (a formal assembly room) which opens onto the Terrace overlooking the Hudson River. Memorial Hall contains plaques and memorabilia, and serves as a reception area for cadet, officer, and graduate functions.

The lower two floors originally served as bachelor officer quarters. They are now offices and club rooms.

Today, Cullum Hall continues to serve the original function outlined by General Cullum in his will – that is, to be the site of social events, military ceremonies, and lectures.

The Cadet Hostess Office, which coordinates the use of Cullum Hall events, is located on the main floor.