Built in 1959, McElvaney Hall was the first residence hall constructed in the south area of campus. The building houses 250 students and was renovated in 1996. In the fall of 2014 McElvaney Hall underwent substantial changes. McElvaney Hall became McElvaney Commons as a part of the Residential Commons System under the leadership of the Faculty in Residence, Residential Community Director, and the Residential Commons Leadership Team. In addition to becoming part of the new commons system popular campus restaurant Mac's Place was opened and brought with it a new era of student dining.
Eugene McElvaney (1897 – 1971), McElvaney’s namesake, was the Senior Vice President for the First National Bank in Dallas. In 1939 Eugene McElvaney became a university trustee. Because of his passion and work towards the success of the university he served as the Chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1952-1956. McElvaney also served as a university promoter and fundraiser, and was a major influence on the establishment of the SMU Press in 1937. Since his time here members of the McElvaney family have been an integral part of SMU.
"...constant adaptations are essential to human progress."
- Eugene McElvaney, 1954