Who’s been hiding in room 301?
As students rush off to French and Chinese classes in Folwell Hall on the University of Minnesota’s campus, most are unaware that a constellation of literary celebs once hung out in the building’s faculty lounge. Folwell Hall was home to the English department at mid-century and the department’s cadre of teaching authors included Robert Penn Warren, a young Saul Bellow, and the venerable Sinclair Lewis who officed in room 301. Several award-winning poets joined the faculty in the 1950s—John Berryman, Allen Tate and James Wright among them. While their writings continue to inspire, any trace of their fingerprints have disappeared from the walls. Folwell Hall underwent a complete renovation in 2011.